David Domoney offers a practical guide and some 'top tips' on how to build a barbecue into your garden landscape.

How to build a garden barbecue


When summer rolls around there’s one question on everyone’s lips: ‘shall we have a barbecue tonight?’ This is followed by the mad rush to the shops for charcoal, burgers, and fruit for Pimms. So, get one step ahead by building your own barbecue, so your garden is set for summer.

This practical guide will give you some top tips to build your own outdoor barbecue, and some top treats that you can use it to cook.

Building a barbecue

To build your barbecue, you’ll need just a few tools that you’ll have knocking around in your shed or garage.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a pointing tool, a piece of hosepipe will do just as good a job.

All the tools required to build a barbecue in the garden

You will also need to get hold of a metal grill and an ash pan for the charcoal, which you can easily find online or even at your local DIY store.

Grill racks that can be purchased from a DIY store, to use when building your garden barbecue

Laying bricks in the garden for construction of a garden barbecue


The right building materials

When acquiring materials, ensure the bricks are hard, well-burned clay bricks that can withstand high temperatures. There are a variety available, so choose some that complement the rest of your garden design. 

Similarly, next to the cooking section, you’ll want a slightly lower section which can be used for food preparation and storage. This can be topped with a paving stone, picked to match the rest of your patio for a cohesive design.

For my barbecue, I have chosen Dolomite porcelain, which is Italian, high quality, stain-resistant and highly durable. It has an extensive range of ten stone types and can be profiled so that it is fit for whatever purpose you need. However, there are plenty of other colours and textures to choose from within the Pavestone Porcelain range that will wonderfully complement your barbecue.

All the materials you need to build a garden barbecue


Let’s get started

Get started by laying the first level of bricks on the surface, using a cooking tray as a way to measure the barbecue section. Once the ‘E’ like shape has been laid out with bricks, mark the area and remove the bricks.

Overhead plan of a simple garden barbecue

Then, mix sand and cement together in the ratio of 5:1, adding water to create a rigid consistency.

All the materials you need to build a garden barbecue

At this point, use a spirit level to measure the site before spreading on the mortar, for any uneven parts, more mortar can be added to ensure the surface is level. 

Use a spirit level to constantly check your levels when brick laying

The spirit level will come in handy again for use as a guideline for the first level of bricks. Once the first level is done, check again with a spirit level. This is also the time to ensure the right angles are all positioned correctly.

The following course is laid, overlapping midway with the course of bricks below. This is commonly known as a stretcher bond, also called as running bond.

Laying course for the second layer of brcks in a brick built garden barbecue

A reinforcing metal tie can be added to the right angle between the longer rear wall and the middle smaller one.  As each course ‘overlaps’ each other, the two end walls will be strong enough without the need for ties.

Layers of bricks can be added, spreading mortar between each level and placing the bricks so the end of the brick above measures at halfway through the brick below to make the structure more robust. Along the way, keep checking with a spirit level.

Use a steel brick tie to strengthen the walls of your garden barbecue

Keep adding layers until there are seven layers of bricks. On the larger side that’s fit for the charcoal tray, turn the bricks longways to create a ledge.

Brick laying plan for a garden barbecue

Add another three courses of bricks, then another length of longways bricks for the cooking tray to fit.

Brick courses for a building a garden barbecue

If you wish, add another two courses of bricks, to give your cooking some protection from the wind.

Bricl laying pattern for building a garden barbecue

For an aesthetically pleasing finish, use the piece of hosepipe and run it along the joints to smooth the mortar. As the finishing touch, choose your favourite Pavestone paver, or the one that matches your patio on top of the wall to make it look great as well as being purposeful.

Use a pavng slab for a worktop when building a garden barbecuee

If you need some additional space to rest your refreshments while you’re cooking, add some coping around the top course.

Top off with a coping when building a brick garden barbecue

Seal natural stone slabs (worktops) when building your garden barbecue

If you choose a natural stone for your worktop areas, it is a good idea to seal the surface with a stone sealer. This repels moisture, which if absorbed by the natural stone could cause cracking or shifting of the mortar joints. Pavestone have several different options of sealer to match whichever natural stone shade you have chosen for your barbecue to ensure smooth finish.

Build your own outdoor kitchen with a fully built in barbecue


Even more adventurous

If you wanted to go one step further than a simple charcoal barbecue, then why not build a complete counter top with built in gas fired barbecue!!


Building a spectacular complete outdoor kitchen area in your garden


You could also build a complete outdoor kitchen. Pavestone have some beautiful Moodul Walling that you could try, and plenty of other styles to dress up your outdoor kitchen in whatever design you choose.

Use Bekstone Burford walling to make a more natural looking brick barbecue in a rustic garden

If you want a more natural and aged look to really make your barbecue look at home, then perhaps the Burford walling stone would suit your garden better.

Choose from one of seven shades of Bekstone Burford walling offerings when building with reconstituted stone

With a choice of seven shades, It has been particularly popular in areas such as the Cotswolds and South West, looking very much fit for purpose for the weathered cottages found in that area of the country.

Build an outdoor garden kitchen with Pavestone


Call in the experts

But even if you don’t fancy attempting to build any outdoor cooking creations yourself, then you can speak to a Preferred Pavestone Installer who could help you get the kitchen garden of your dreams without having to lift a finger yourself. 


Building an outdoor eating area with Pavestone landscaping materials

Their expertise and skills can achieve great feats, such as a pizza oven with surrounding additional seating. You would never need to order a takeaway pizza again with one of these gorgeous ovens on your very own patio!


Building an outdoor pizza oven with Pavestone landscaping materials

Bountiful barbecue

When it comes to barbecue season, there’s nothing quite like using homegrown produce in the process. Whether you’re growing mint for mojitos, or thyme for flavouring meats, there are a wide range of herbs that will take your dishes to the next level. Then, there are the many vegetables that you can use for a big serving of flavour. Onions, peppers, and tomatoes are among the many vegetables to grow, that taste delicious as barbecued skewers.


When it comes to barbecue season, there’s nothing quite like using homegrown produce in the process.

Capsicum annuum (sweet pepper) ‘Marconi’ have a lovely, sweet taste, as their name suggests. They have a long, slender appearance and cook very well on the barbecue. Sow them from seed from February to April in small pots or modular trays with peat-free compost and position them on a warm windowsill with plenty of heat. Once there are two true leaves on the plants, they can be transferred to small pots. Then, in May or June, the plants can be transplanted outdoors to a sunny, sheltered spot. When flowers appear, feed with a tomato fertiliser to encourage fruit growth. When the fruits turn green and glossy, they’re ready to harvest. Or they can be left on the plant to turn red, ready for harvesting and eating.

Whether you’re growing mint for mojitos, or thyme for flavouring meats, there are a wide range of herbs that will take your dishes to the next level

So, get prepared for barbecue season by building your own in the garden. Then, get growing some barbecue favourites, ready to cook up a storm.


This month I have selected a video which has a beautiful built in barbecue, or should I say a beautiful outdoor garden kitchen? See what you think...



There are many more stunning videos of beautifully landscaped gardens using Pavestone landscaping and building materials featured here for you to explore. Let me walk you through them.


David Domoney, TV gardener, horticultural expert and Pavestone brand ambassador blogs monthly on the Pavestone website on all things landscaping related. We look forward to seeing you back again next month.


Pavestone Brand Ambassador David Domoney