A backyard Barbecue is a great way to spend time with family and friends during the warm summer nights. You might think that building a backyard barbecue is too hard and too expensive for you to do yourself, but with a little time and with this guide, you will find that you can make a wonderful outdoor kitchen for any budget.
First you need to make a design and building plan for your outdoor barbecue. Then you need to find the spot for your backyard barbecue and level the ground. Next you need to build a form out of 2x4s, and make sure it is level. If you don’t know anything about forms and concrete you should get a book from your local Library. With just a little reading you should be ready to tackle your backyard barbecue project.
Next you will lay rebar in the hole for your cement. The rebar should go both directions in your form and should be spaced about 18″-20″ apart. You will also need a few pieces of rebar sticking up for supporting the cinder block. You should have one rebar on every corner and about every three feet. You can also set your blocks around the edge of your form to know where exactly to put some of your rebar risers. There is another way you can put your rebar risers in the concrete, but it takes a little more work and a power drill, masonry bit and some concrete epoxy. If you do go this way you just drill your holes after you have poured your concrete, then epoxy in your rebar. The rebar should stick up about 3 feet from your slab and you should put some soda cans or something else on top of your rebar so no one gets hurt if they fall around the slab. Also make sure you get in all your electrical plumbing and gas lines before you pour.
Then you will be ready to pour your slab. You can either go to your local hardware store and buy bags of concrete and mix them yourself or rent a mixer if none of your friends have one. The other option would be to call up your local concrete truck company and have it delivered. This will cost a little more and you may need to have a concrete pump to get it to your backyard. Whichever way you get your concrete after you pour your slab you will need another 2×4 for a screed, just run it on top of your form to smooth out your concrete and just go in between your rebar risers. Then you should let your concrete dry for at least a week.
Now you should be ready to start putting in your blocks, don’t forget to use mortar on all joints and to first stick your first row of blocks to the slab. For the next rows keep putting a thin row of mortar between all joints. And always stagger your block joints, do not just stack one block on top of the other, make sure the top block sits on two blocks. After you have all your blocks in place you can cut any excess rebar you have sticking up, and then fill all of the block cells with concrete. To save money you can fill every other cell, but make sure you fill all the cells that have rebar in them.
After all your block work is done you should now start your counter tops. There are many ways to do this, I suggest to use 3/4″ plywood. You can either pour concrete on top of it or screw cement backer boards to it. You can then use tile or whatever you want your countertop to be.
After you have finished your countertops you will need to finish the outer walls of your Barbecue enclosure. There are a number of things you can do to finish off your barbecue, but the most popular ways are to either stucco, tile, or use natural stone. With stucco you will have to get stucco mix and stucco color, then mix it and trowel it in to the desired finish. To tile just get your mortar and notched tile trowel and put on your mortar and tile. You will also need a tile saw to do this. If you go with natural stone it will basically be the same as using tile. Any of these materials you use will enhance the look of your backyard barbecue and make you the hit of any party.
All you have left to do now is insert your barbecue and hook up all your gas lines, sinks (if installed), outlets and lights. You should now be ready to throw your backyard barbecue party. If you get your books now and start planning you should be ready for Memorial Day and be the hit of all your block parties.