Archive for the ‘Bricks / Blocks / Pavers / Other’ Category

Image from Paul Miller Custom Pools

An alternative option to buying a barbeque is to create your own “built-in” barbeque to fit the needs and design of the space that you have.  The advantage of a custom built barbeque is that you have the ability to create something that truly suits the style and design of your home.  In addition the barbeque area can, if it is well thought out become a selling feature of you home in its own right.

This is Australia, who doesn’t enjoy a backyard barbeque in summer?

Because the barbeque will become a permanent part of your garden it is worth taking your time and doing your homework before you begin.

1.  The Design – First  you need to determine the design and function of your barbeque.  Where will it sit in your garden? How much space will it need? How do you want to use it?

Then when you have answered these questions it is time to consider how long you want it to be? will it be straight or have a right angle curve? how much bench space do you want/need?  How high off the ground should it be (especially if you have little children)?

Determine all your dimensions and draw a few little sketches.  It is worth doing a few searches on the internet to see what you like and what you do not like.

2. Materials – Looking at the internet will also help you determine the type of materials to use.  Most built-in barbeques will use brick because it is cost effective, easy to get and there is a wide choice available. Another option is to use a cheap brick and then render, which is also popular.  Other options include sandstone, stone and bushrock.

3. Storage – With your sketches drawn, the size of the hot plate and bench space determined, it is worth considering the storage space you want.  You will most likely need to store your gas bottle, brushes, cleaning products and some cooking products such as oil etc.

4. Location – Although you may have an idea where to locate your new barbeque it is worth also considering these questions, is it close to your back door, as you will need to bring food in and out?  Can you still mingle with your guests while you cook, i.e. is there enough space around it to entertain?  Does the location offer you some shade and protection from the elements?  Is the surrounding area clear from danger?  Do you plan to use the barbeque at night? If so you will need to plan for appropriate lighting.

5. Approval – In Australia it is worth checking with your local council before you commence purchasing your materials or building your barbeque.  They may also be able to offer you additional advice and information.

For all your home barbeque material needs, check out the DIY Bargain Bin Bricks, Blocks and Pavers section and DIY Bargain Bin BBQs, Outdoor Settings and Outside Heaters.

This image is from the Revolutionary Gardens blog. By looking closely you can see where the base dips from bad base preparation.

Laying pavers should be fairly simple, but it is easy to skip the first steps to the process, which is the preparation.  Not paying adequate attention to your preparation will cause problems down the track.

The problems

The three biggest issues are:

  1. Poor design,
  2. Laying on the incorrect surface or underprepared surface, and
  3. Not allowing for proper run off.

Each of these will require that you will basically need to pull up and relay your pavers, which is expensive and a waste of time.  Instead get it right first time.

Revolutionary Gardens in Northern Virginia has a great blog where they point out some of the disastrous paving jobs they have discovered, which is an entertaining read!  The image I have used here is from their blog showing what a bad base will do to your end job.

Getting it right

Here are our top six tips to a great preparation.  Let us know if you have any additional ones.

  1. Start with a design, this is especially important when working with a pattern.
  2. Measure the area and calculate how much paving you will need. Look into the DIY Bargain Bin Bricks, Blocks, Pavers and Other section for discounted pavers.  Ensure that there is enough for your job.
  3. Clear the area, so that you clearly know where your paving is going to go.  Mark it out.
  4. Dig out the area to be paved.  Ensure it is deep enough for your paver and your compacted under layers.
  5. Compact your soil and then compact your base layer. The DIY Bargain Bin also supplies the items for your base layer so check out our Soil / Rocks / Stones / Fill / Bark section.
  6. Ensure that your ground is even with a slight slope away from any building or structure.

A fantastic comprehensive guide to laying pavers can be found on the Boral website. It is full of good images and instructions to get it right first time.

Be sure to let us know how your paving goes.