How to lay bricks neatly?

I've been delaying rebuilding the brick BBQ but it's time.
The 3 walls that rise up over the cooking base, are loose and the brick needs to be replaced. What is the easiest way to put new bricks and mortar them in?
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cshenk wrote:

likely a 'take it apart and put it back together' situation. Depending on how the BBQ is built, spot repairs will likely not last, and the proper repair is to take it apart brick by brick, clean the brick, and start over. If the brick is crumbly, new brick may be indicated. Good excuse to redesign it and fix all the little things you didn't like. The DIY aisle at the borg or bookstore will have lotsa books with pictures that explain the process better than any words on the screen could, and include sample designs for barbecues. A common failure mode I have seen in BBQs, brick planters, etc, is no water sealing on the top, and water gets into the brickwork and freezes, popping the mortar joints. That is why brick fences and walls usually have capstones- to shed the water before it runs inside. In a BBQ, one side of non-fire-rated brick being too close to the flame can produce similar problems- it heats up and dries out more than the back side, and the mortar fails.
-- aem sends...
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For 'easy', hire a brick layer. The process is easy to explain, books in your local library, etc., but it takes a lot of practice before one can lay them neatly and accurately. The odds of a person laying them the first time and coming out with an acceptable looking job approaches zero.
Harry K
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Whatever caused those bricks to come out ..... poor mortaring ..... freeze/thaw cycles ......... poor mixing of mortar ...... poor mortar in a bag ....... other things ......... are throughout the bbq, and not just in the bad spots. You CAN fix these by meticulously picking out the bricks and mortar and replacing them, but this will become a continual project that you will spend more time and money on than a complete rebuild, doing it right this time. Doesn't sound like a big expensive deal. Should be fun. Take notes as you take it apart and mark any special bricks. Even draw a picture.
Steve
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"SteveB" wrote

True! I didnt give enough information probably. Sorry about that.

The BBQ as best as we can tell is over 15 years old, may be 20. Only the top section has degraded as well as the center sunk in. Mortar eventually degraded. Base still looks solid. True that a total replacement would probably be wise after this long but for now just looking to keep it going another 3-4 years with DIY til we can pay off other repairs and have a professional redo it.
I predates us owning the home. It's on the charts from when the homeowner before us had the house so would have been built before 1989. My guess is not badly done for the age it has survived.
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wrote in message

Probably not bad at all for something that has been sitting out in the weather 24/7 for twenty years or so.
If it were me, I'd rip it out, pour a small slab, budget $500 for a barbecue, and do some cheap DIY froo froo. Maybe a light metal awning. A light. A sink. A table or shelf fitted to hold ice chest, little basin, stuff like that. You can find some pretty incredible and cheap stuff at yard sales. I like charcoal bbqs and the old ones will cook a lot of meat. But unless you do that a lot and like it, a gas grill works pretty good. I've had one of those big back yard bubbas, and it was a lot of work just to cook a couple of steaks or a chicken or three.
Don't forget if you get that rebuilt, that there will be some maintenance to keep it up ............
Good luck.
Steve
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This is in the area of "artwork", coloring in a coloring book and staying within the lines, or writing "neatly".
It takes a LOT of patience (which many people do not have these days), a string line which is level and measured up an exact distance so the front of each line of bricks will be in a straight line, and a small level so you can make sure the bricks will be level front to back. (Each brick level in all directions and lined up with the string.)
Might want to get a book on this and learn a few tricks.
Pretend you are Martha Stewart and position each brick just so!
"cshenk" wrote in message

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"Bill" wrote

Grin, thanks Bill! I've done wallpaper many a time and know those tricks. Seems close in some ways. Careful and slow is the trick.
Don and i talked about it and we are going to have a few free estimates made as it may be the base really is needing to be replaced. Replacing a few bricks (about 10 total) doesnt bother us but there's no point if the whole thing really is rotting out due to age. It never had 'capstones' along the top.
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