Introduction: Build a Backyard Barbecue!

Picture of Build a Backyard Barbecue!

create a great barbecue and outdoor eating area that will raise the value of your house!
**updated with new pictures on the last step**

Step 1: Cautions

Picture of Cautions

this project assumes that you have some basic knowledge of laying bricks and basic carpentry skills. this is not a small weekend project, and will eat your weekends for several months. this is the cheapest way to get a built in barbecue, by building it yourself, but is still a significant investment. that said, it will add more than its cost to the value of your house. i know this because our house was recently appraised and the barbecue was added in and had a significant value. many parts of the project are left up to the builder since it can be modified in endless ways, but if you want to know exact measurements i will post them. feel free to deviate from this plan, it is not the only way to build a barbecue (or the best probably) but i think the end product turned out great. this instructable is still in progress, so more may be added as time goes on. different materials may be used. if i have left anything out please let me know. please dont earn yourself a darwin award while attempting this.

Step 2: Lay the Foundation

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dig and level the patch of ground that the barbecue will sit on. before pouring the concrete make sure that all your water, power and gas lines are laid, because it will be hard to get them in there after it is poured. run all connections through the foundation and cap them. ours was 3'x11'. create a form to pour the concrete in from 2x4's. mix concrete according to the directions on the package. pour into the mold. level and smooth the concrete with another 2x4. it would be easiest to rent/borrow a cement mixer because we will be mixing a lot of them.

Step 3: Lay First Course of Cinder Blocks

Picture of Lay First Course of Cinder Blocks

first thing to do is to use some cement epoxy to embed the rebar securely into the concrete foundation. drill the hole and epoxy it in. next, create a dry well for the drain water to go. if you can just connect the drain for the sink to a house drain pipe, this isnt necessary. dig a deep hole that is a bit larger than the barrel that you have. our barrel was gotten for free from a friend who works at a coca cola plant, and once had sprite syrup in it. drill many holes into the barrel, and put the drain pipes through the lid. the bottom of the barrel isnt necessary. put the barrel into the hole and fill around it with course gravel. mix up the mortar/mud and lay the first layer of bricks. they should be as close to perfectly level as possible. fill around the drain pipes with cement. the barrel and drain pipes will be buried, since the area behind the barbecue will be backfilled with dirt.

Step 4: Lay the Next Courses of Blocks-

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lay the next few couses of blocks, leaving an opening for doors in the front. lay them according to the pictures below, use a brace to hold up that middle brick above the door.

Step 5: Create Concrete Countertop Forms

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create a form to pour the lower countertop surface. before pouring get your electrical and water lines to where they need to go, and make sure everything is good BEFORE pouring the concrete. make sure the forms are well braced, and won't bow with the concrete's weight. also make sure to take counter overhang into account. try to get air bubbles and pockets out, but it isn't terribly important because it will be covered with tile later. make sure to use plenty of rebar. extra rebar sticking out of the blocks can just be bent over to be cemented into the countertop.

Step 6: Create Brace Forms and Upper Countertop Form

Picture of Create Brace Forms and Upper Countertop Form

create a form for the upper countertop. because it overhangs the barbecue by a few feet, it is a good idea to brace it. this may be slight overkill, but better safe than ssorry. create brace forms out of wood, we made 3. attach them to the side of the barbecue and pour them first. make sure to add rebar to them before they dry. these braces will stick up through the bottom of the countertop form. create that form from wood . ours overhangs by about a foot. make sure this is very well supported and contains rebar.

Step 7: Pour Upper Countertop

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mix concrete and pour into the mold. make sure it is thoroughly set for a few days before even attempting to remove the form. i wasnt around when this part was done, so i dont have pics. this pic is a few days after. make sure it is completely level. air bubbles dont matter that much because it will be tiled. after it has been poured, drill and epoxy some thick threaded rod to anchor the uprights for the cover.

Step 8: Stucco

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mix up the stucco mix and add whatever color you like. trowel it onto the outside of the blocks. dont put it on the countertop. go and select what tile you will use.

Step 9: Tile

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select what tile you will use and get a tile cutter. mix up the tile glue. trowel on the glue and apply tile to countertops and short backsplash area between the upper and lower counters in the front. we applied the edge tiles first, then put in the tiles around the perimeter on the top. then we laid the centrer tiles diagonally. once that is all laid install the sink and side burner. create trim around it from steel if desired. test fit you barbecue.

Step 10: Create Doors

Picture of Create Doors

use whatever wood is available to you for doors. we used some wood that we got for free from a pallete for the doors to get that slightly rustic roughsawn look. we used some antique looking hinges and handles to further this effect.

Step 11: Create Cover/roof

Picture of Create Cover/roof

we decided to go with a more open style roof. you will need 4x4's for the uprights, 2x6's for the sides, and 2x2's for the slats. stain the wood to match trhe rest of the barbecue. use a template to get the end cut right. run all electrical up to a box on the post. use wet location switches and outlets. paint the pipe to match the stain of the wood. cover the base of the uprights where they are bolted down with trim to hide it. install at least four lights to make grilling at night possible.

Step 12: Backfill the Area Behind It

Picture of Backfill the Area Behind It

backfill this area with dirt to cover the dry well and drain pipes, and either cover with pavers or use cement. we are still in the process of doing this, so theree are no pictures currently. soon i will update this with our progress.

Step 13: Finished Pictures

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i added these new pictures to the instructable a few months afterwards. we have since poured new concrete around the barbecue, and have used it a lot. especially in the heat wave that we've been having lately here in SoCal. its worked out great for us. all we need now is some patio furniture and barstools to put on the patio behind the barbecue. if i did this project again, i would have made the upper countertop a foot or so higher. it seemed like it would be high enough, but it actually is pretty short for bar area. also, do not use 1/2" ply to hold back large areas of concrete, because they tend to bend under the pressure. this happened behind the actual barbecue slot, and the concrete there is bowed.


howdydodi (author)2010-11-11

My finished bbq area... I wanted to add the pargola but cause mines close to the fence i thought it would look stupid.... anyway im happy with the result and thankyou so much for your industructable....

reneis (author)2009-10-27

This my barbecue

howdydodi (author)reneis2009-11-30

thats nice...   bet the meat tastes better.... lol

good job...

hivoltage (author)reneis2009-10-28

 Wow that looks great! congratulations on completing your new barbecue! I am always happy to see that my instructables have inspired people to start their own projects.

abencomo (author)2017-07-04

Do you have to call the city to get a permit? And did a city inspector come over check that everything was under code/spec regulation?

JimboFarns (author)2017-01-30


You inspired me to build a similar patio of my own! I have attempted to give you credit in my post! Please check it out and let me know what you think!

akeene made it! (author)2016-04-26

Great job. Love the look.

We did ours. But we used steel 2x4's. Screwed together. Used cement board for the backing and smooth mortar for the finish. Then built the roof. 4 post and a solid hip roof. Flat tile and a brass eagle as a topper. We use it at least 3 times a week, almost all year long.

CarlTrin (author)2016-01-29

That's pro, bro!

michaelgc (author)2014-08-15

Wow, this is beautiful! I will using a lot of these ideas in my new outdoor grill I am making.

pgronseth (author)2014-05-04

Absolutely phenomenal 'ible. I got the perfect place to build one. I plan on incorporating a brick pizza oven into it as well. Thanks for the share.

pamd (author)2014-04-03

I love it! Thanks You!

rana79 (author)2011-11-21

My fire pit

paperclipking (author)2011-04-08

very nice!

Giesterfarher (author)2011-03-10

Great instructible! I'm saving this one for future reference!

I've found that it pays big in time saving and headache avoidance if you do a dry run with the tiles. That way your sure everything will fit, and that you have enough to do the job.

Pizzapie500 (author)2010-11-20

OMG! That's SOOO AWESOME! I wish I could make something like that! If I did, I'd probably would put a pond behind the bbq,

raggy61 (author)2010-11-07

you are an inspiration my friend!! Clearly laid-out and easy to follow..I see no reason why I can't build something very close to this for myself.. thanks!!!!!

janettetsmith (author)2010-09-09

That is awesome!

ecarrilloalbarran (author)2010-09-09

Excellent Instructable, one of the best I have had the pleasure to read

edwin i galindo (author)2010-08-15

i love this project ,well done....... ENGO04

matthewabel (author)2010-06-19

This is an awesome 'ible. Absolutely great. I"m pretty excited to get something like this set up - perhaps a might smaller in scale, but you provide an amazingly complete jumping off point. Thanks for sharing the hard work!

Vikking (author)2010-03-13

I just bought a house and have a giant empty backyard, i wanted to build a BBQ pit and this is a great idea.

the4thgoodie (author)2010-01-19

Well done mate, nice job. You've inspired me to have a crack at one for myself!

reneis (author)2009-10-28

I've done more around the barbecue but I dont have pictures yet but I will post them later thank you so much for your pictures.Help me a lot to get it done.

reneis (author)2009-10-27

 I just want to say thank you for your instrutions to build a barbecue .
I built one myself and we love it . My barbecue (grill) is charcoal not gas

chita113c (author)2009-09-05

that is so cool how much did it all cost you I'm really looking at building one

Knucklez (author)2009-06-14

that's amazing. best outdoor BBQ setup i have ever seen in my life. very inspirational. Knucklez

bleethat (author)2009-05-02

WOW! Great instructable, very informative, love the finished product!

scootie10 (author)2009-04-20

How many bags of mortar was used for this project? By the way, it looks wonderful! We are trying this next weekend.

koncept (author)2009-01-11

great instructable. nice job

MrL33TPenguin (author)2009-01-10

i also named my dog milo :)

jordiguiu (author)2008-11-05

Incredible! nobody make something like this in Spain. You made the barbacue of my dreams that one day I hope to make by myself. very nice job! thanks for the knowledges!

zorro3355 (author)2008-10-31

how i wish i don't live in an apartment

Carlos Marmo (author)2008-10-30

Wonderful Work! Congratulations!

Jouda Mann (author)2008-05-30

Fine job, and makes me envious as hell. The only thing that's missing is a wet bar to go with the wet bar sink.

Derin (author)Jouda Mann2008-10-02

what is a wet bar opps*cough*wikipedia*cough*

MaDoGK (author)2008-08-29

As soon as i recover from my back operation im doing this! Thnx dude!!

DarkKnightJared (author)2008-07-29

Oh man, that is beautiful. I showed this to my family and we ended up thinking up a grand outdoor area with a nighttime fire pit and a bar and some steamers... Brilliant work, sir.

thydzik (author)2008-07-14

very nice indeed. how did you go about planning the whole thing? (possible to get any drawings/dimensions?) any sites/resources you recommend?

hivoltage (author)2008-05-31

thats probably a good idea to do in general, but i don't think its really necessary for where i live. i don't know if this area has ever seen snow, since temperatures in the middle of winter rarely fall below 50. definitely a good suggestion for colder locales though.

mmixer (author)2008-05-31

I would recommend to put the pipes through the sleeves. Just make them from short pieces of PVC tubing of bigger size. This will prevent your lines from cracking in case of foundation movement (in winter, when soil freezes and expands, and thus moves foundation up)

stienman (author)2007-03-28

Since so many are asking for cost I will put my guess in as follows: $500 for the concrete, blocks, rebar, cement. $200 for sink, faucet, and plumbing $150 for wood and wood fasteners (lots of 2x2s on the top...) $100 for stucco? No experience here, just a guess... $100 for tile and tile cement, etc $100 for electrical, lights, switches, outlets (probably less) $500 for the side burner ( "side burners") $700 for a similar grill So the project, assuming you buy all new and scavenge very little is probably within a few hundred dollars of $2,300. Chances are good that it will raise the value of the home by at least $5,000 in nearly any locale, but if built in California or some other luxury-based housing market would raise the value an easy $20k to $50k. If you have professionals do the design and work you should expect to pay $10,000 and up. -Adam

Derin (author)stienman2008-05-18

i may get it down to $100 by using scrap and a bbq for people who make kofte which can be hooked up to a chimney ps kofte is a type of meatball

hivoltage (author)stienman2007-03-29

pretty accurate guesses. we reused a sink from one of our neighbors since it was like new, so a little less there. the grill was about that much, but the side burner came attached to it. so we just unbolted it and set into the countertop. i dont know how close the total value is because we didnt keep a running total. it was more of just running to the hardware store and buying what we needed as it came up. i'll have to go look at the reciepts. you guessed right about the house being in california though.

Notags (author)2008-05-15

I have threatened to do this for 2 years now. I have a great grill that I can convert from propane to NG as I have a NG stub out already. SWMBO wants a sink, I don't see the need. Grill, fridge, shade, bar stools and an outdoor ceiling fan... maybe TV. One of these days......

solo.card (author)2008-05-14

Nice! When I own my own property, BBQ here I come!

darkmuskrat (author)2008-05-14

someday when I get my own house, ill link back to this and definatly build it.

topazeyes (author)2008-05-14

Wow, you make it look so simple. too bad I don't own my property. I own my double wide but not the land. I'll show this to my parents and maybe we can build something similar. these are great constructable's on how to build something like this. would you happen to have an idea on how to build something like a docking station for an existing barbecue pit on a tailor with wheels? that would be a neat project. Thanks for sharing this instructable.

codester (author)2008-05-14

When i saw the thumbnail i was thinking "Why do people put up pics of things that they didn't make" Then i read the instructable! AMAZING!!!!!!!

GorillazMiko (author)2008-05-13

Very nice job, must agree with others, looks extremely professional!

+5/5 stars.

Milo rules.

benthekahn (author)2008-05-13

Awesome work! Very professional looking!

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