Thinking of building a permanent barbecue fixture on your deck or patio? Gas and charcoal barbecue installations add style and functionality to any backyard, and they're also fantastic outdoor kitchens for parties and gatherings on warm afternoons and evenings. Installing a built-in charcoal barbecue is fairly simple and only requires the construction of a stone or treated wood enclosure. Installing a built-in gas barbecue may require more technical work if you plan on connecting to a gas line, or you can build an enclosure for removable fuel tanks. Whether you plan to hire a contractor or do the work yourself, planning a built-in BBQ for your yard requires some careful planning. Ask the following questions for eight things to know about built-in barbecues as you decide whether these fixtures are ideal for your home.
Which contractors will offer free in-person quotes for their services?
Do your homework if you need to hire a contractor for your built-in deck project. Talk to various contracting companies and find contractors who will come to your home and give you quotes for no extra charge.
Would a gas or charcoal barbecue be better?
While many people prefer the convenience of outdoor gas barbecues, charcoal grills are the choice of purists who prefer that true char-broiled flavor. Creating a built-in charcoal barbecue can be just as easy as installing a built-in gas barbecue.
Do I want a grill that's hooked up to a gas line?
You can get your barbecue hooked up to a gas line if you already get gas services at your home, but you'll need professional help to do so. Getting an installed gas hookup is more work (and costs more money), but nothing is more convenient than a permanent gas barbecue.
Do I want the BBQ built into a bar or table?
Building a barbecue into a bar or tabletop adds more room to socialize and dine with your grill being the center of attention. However, this isn't possible in all types of yards.
How much space do I have for a built-in barbecue?
Measure the available space on your deck or patio before researching your options too heavily. This will be one of your biggest limiting factors.
Do I want to also install a smoker box?
You'll need to install a smoker box in addition to your grill if you plan on smoking or slow-cooking meats with indirect heat. This would add space to the size of enclosure you need. Also keep in mind that you'll need a charcoal grill if you're set on smoking.
Should I use real stone for my built-in BBQ?
Outdoor built-in BBQ installations are often built using either real stones or stone veneer on each side of the BBQ grill. Stone veneer is a less-expensive, low-maintenance option that doesn't need to be painted or treated. Real stone is more difficult to install and may require more professional help to get stones to fit properly, but it does have a fantastic look and feel.
Do I want a DIY built-in BBQ installation plan?
There are many simple plans for building outdoor barbecue fixtures that don't require help from contractors. However, if you're not a proficient builder, then you should strongly consider hiring a contractor. Most DIY plans call for stacking stones to enclose each side of your barbecue and then building wood structures on either side as decorative storage and work spaces.