Al fresco dinging and garden parties are what summers are all about. If you want to throw some great get-togethers this season, have you considered creating your very own barbecue pit?

These are relatively simple to create and can help you put your own twist on the standard barbecue this summer — the only question is, how do you do it? With the help of Flogas, a leading supplier of LPG storage tanks, you can find out how to construct a safe and efficient barbecue pit in your garden for all your summer parties in 2018 by reading our step-by step guide.

1.    Tools and equipment

Here’s everything you need to create your own barbecue pit:

  • Bricks
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Cinder blocks
  • Dry mortar
  • Gravel
  • Grill top
  • Hand tamper
  • Measuring tape
  • Metal braces
  • Metal cylinder or can (if you’re building a metal pit)
  • Paving slabs
  • Shovel
  • Spirit level
  • Trowel
  • Water

2.    Deciding where your barbecue pit will go

There are several variations you can choose from when it comes to barbecue pits, although, some may be more difficult to build than others. Check out this handy guide from DIY Cozy Home to help you find the design for you and don’t forget to consider your budget — you don’t want a half-finished pit just because you realised during the project that you couldn’t afford all the materials.

Where are you going to build your barbecue pit? This point is very important. For convenience, you should be aiming to place it close to your dining room or kitchen, so that you only need to walk small distances with food and utensils once it’s time to grill. Logistically, you should aim for your pit to be at least 15 feet square (3 feet x 5 feet).

Always consider safety when you’re making preparations for your barbecue pit. Avoid building it in a place where it’s likely that smoke is going to blow straight into either your home or one of your neighbour’s properties. It should be placed away from any overhanging trees, buildings and fences which are at risk of been damaged from the smoke or catching fire. If your home’s outdoor space is vulnerable to high winds, aim to build the pit close to a brick or concrete wall which will work to break the force of the wind.

Using gas to fuel your new barbecue pit? There are some important safety rules and advice to be aware of. Refrain from ever enclosing your barbecue pit, such as by putting a tent or cabin around it. Be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning once a gas-powered barbecue pit is constructed too. You should stop using a barbecue pit immediately if you begin suffering from a loss of breath, dizziness, headaches or nausea and seek advice from a specialist builder before operating the barbecue again.

3.    Building the foundations

Now you’re ready to start creating — and first comes the foundations! The barbecue itself is going to be a substantial weight and will require good foundations to support it.

Make an eight-inch-deep hole wherever you want to build your pit. Once you have the right size, clear any stones and use your hand tamper to compact the soil at the bottom of the trench. Next, pour a layer of gravel into the trench that is around two to three inches deep and level this off, again using your hand tamper. You will then want to mix your dry mortar with some water and spread a two-inch layer of the mixture on top of the gravel. Level this mixture out using a trowel, though do this quickly as mortar tends to dry-off at a rapid rate.

4.    Constructing the base of your barbecue pit

As soon as the foundation of your barbecue pit is just right, you need to start working on the base. Start placing cinder blocks around the edges of the mortar. A small hole should remain to drain water and any gaps between the blocks can easily be filled using wet mortar. Just be sure to keep removing any excess mortar while remembering that mortar dries off quickly.

Using a spirit level and carpenter’s square, check the evenness or your pit and its and corners. After, spread more wet mortar on top of the cinder blocks and start placing bricks in a side-by-side format on top of them. By using a double layer of bricks, you will instantly strengthen the entire pit. Once again, don’t waste time removing any excess mortar to avoid problems once it’s been given time to dry.

5.    Completing the final touches

Depending on the style you’ve gone for, this step might change for different barbecue pit builders. If you have decided on a metal pit, then all that’s going to be required is for you to install the metal cylinder or can over the layer of bricks you’ve put in place and fit the grill top over the furnace.

Building a brick barbecue pit / Do you want to know how to make a fire pit? Follow the below procedure:

  1. Using more mortar, carry on building additional layers of bricks until you reach the optimum height.
  2. Put bricks in the corners first and work outwards.
  3. Keep using your spirit level and your carpenter’s square throughout this process.
  4. Reached the penultimate layer of bricks? Then stop and insert metal braces into the mortar so that they face inwards before applying the bricks.
  5. Allow to set overnight.
  6. Place the grill top onto the metal braces.

Gone for a gas-powered barbecue pit? Then, attach the hoses for the gas supply and ask an expert for advice to check that the gas transfer is operating properly. Remember, gas taps must be switched off before you change a gas cylinder and you must only carry out this task in an open-air environment.

Once you’ve checked around your creation and are happy that it’s sturdy, celebrate the fact you’ve built a barbecue pit from scratch and get ready for a nice day to start enjoying outdoor dining!