The al fresco dining season is upon us which means it's barbecue time.
But if you want to really impress your family and friends this year, instead of reaching for a flimsy, disposable barbecue, why not build your own?
Experts at on-demand cleaning and handyman service, Handy (handy.com), have put together this simple, step-by-step guide to show you how to build your own brick babecue in the garen this summer.
You will need:
Many UK retailers sell DIY brick barbecue sets that contains the cooking grill, catcher tray and charcoal grid, but these usually don’t include the bricks.
Bricks can be bought at your nearest home renovation store and the amounts of bricks you need will depend on the size of your cooking grill.
You will also need approximately 5-10kg of cement and 30-50kg of sand to mix the mortar that you will use to stick your bricks together.
To lay the bricks you will need a shovel, trowel and a spirit level.
How to build your DIY barbecue:
- Choose a level spot in your garden for your barbecue. Make sure you position it a safe distance from your fence, or anything flammable, and somewhere that the smoke won’t enter yours or your neighbour’s house.
- Place your cooking grill on the ground to measure out where your first row of bricks need to be laid out, making sure to keep the front of the barbecue open. When measuring allow a little space so that once assembled, the grill can be removed and cleaned.
- To start putting it together use mortar (a solution that is one part cement, four parts sand) and, once you have checked the area is level using your spirit level, spread the first layer onto the ground using a trowel.
- After placing the foundation bricks on top of the layer of mortar, add five to eight layers of brick on top, using a layer of mortar to adhere each course. Make sure to cut off any excess mortar so it is flush with the brick edge, and smooth over with the back of the trowel. The amount of courses will depend on how tall you would like your barbecue to be, and the total amount should be at least twelve.
- Two of your layers will need to be laid out differently to the layers beneath as they will be supporting your charcoal grid and catcher tray. For these two courses, instead of laying all the side bricks vertically, you need to alternate vertical bricks with horizontal ones to create a foundation, or ledge, that your charcoal grid and grill can rest on. We would recommend doing this on the seventh and eleventh layer. You can do this higher up if you would prefer a taller barbecue, however, ensure that there are three layers in between your cooking grill and charcoal grid.
- Once you have built your barbecue allow at least 48 hours for it to dry and make sure to cover it if there is risk of rain, as it may wash away the mortar.
How to maintain your barbecue:
Cleaning: You will need to clean the grill before and after each use. To do this take solution of hot water and washing up liquid, scrub the grill using a wire brush, and rinse with cold water once clean.
Brickwork: Over time, mortar may start to wear or chip and your brickwork may need repointing. To fix this, carefully remove any loose or damaged mortar using a plugging chisel, and clean out with a wire brush. Once you've done this apply fresh mortar, packing it right into the crevice, and fill until flush with the bricks. When in place, cut off any excess and smooth over using the back of your trowel.
Paintwork: You may have decided to keep your bricks exposed for a rustic look, but if you want to paint your barbecue, make sure you use a heat-resistant paint. Rust-oleum’s spray Stove and barbecue paint is simple to use and costs just a few pounds from your local hardware store.
- For more gardening ideas, pick up the latest copy of Yours magazine