Reader Project: Patio Featuring Open-Fire Brick Barbecue Bar

John Kubicki had never laid a single brick before tackling this open-fire barbecue. John learned how to do it right by first doing it wrong.

John Kubicki had never laid a single brick before tackling this open-fire barbecue. As with any self-taught skill, John learned how to do it right by first doing it wrong. (Early on, he had to dismantle and redo a few courses.) Here’s his best advice for aspiring bricklayers: Take the time to make sure each course is perfect. A course that isn’t plumb or level will throw off the next course. Problems compound as you go, and you end up with sloppy, slanted work. John topped off his barbecue counter with patio blocks and low-voltage lights inside glass blocks. Then he was ready for another brick project, so he built the planter bench combo alongside the patio.

“Laying brick was the hardest thing I’d ever done—until I got the hang of it.” — John Kubicki

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open fire barbecuePhoto: Courtesy of John Kubicki