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Designing my grill/smoker - Analysis Paralysis

Joined Nov 18, 2016
Been lurking for a while. Hoping I can get some help. I have a space 12' by 4' that I want to put a masonry grill and smoker/smoke house with offset fire box

I talked with a masonry shop and as I expected they said it was going to start at 14K and go up from there. I am not without masonry skills so that finalized my idea to build it myself this summer. 

To be honest I am not sure what to do at this point. I am adding the two ideas I have drawn up that I think are likely unbuildable. I definitely have no clue how to figure out the actual brick layout etc. 

So how do I convert my crazy ideas into something I can build? 

How do I know if I have something where the smoke will draw correctly? 

Where do I go for supplies? 

In other words HELP!!! I just keep analyzing the problem I am not sure what to do next.



Joined Jul 18, 2016
Hey Eirik,

Your design is almost the same as the one I have.  I'll have to post a picture of later.  I'm still in the design stage as well.  I've got some brick leftover from our house that I'm going to use but may need another pallet.  I've been emailing suppliers around town to find the firebrick for cheaper.  The hardest thing to source appears to be the doors and other metal parts.  I bought a welder and am learning to weld.  Lots of firsts for me on this project.  I'm handy, so hopefully I can do it without it looking bad.  

I'm also adding a propane grill on the other side.  Mine is more L shaped around my patio.  8' on each side.

Glad to hear you were quoted $14k.  We can do it a lot cheaper I'm sure.


Meat Mopper
Joined Apr 10, 2015
This is purely from a designer / builder stand point, but it applies to most projects,

1. Gather ideas and put them on paper.   - It looks like you have done this.

2. Make a semi - scale drawing to see if it will all fit like you think it will.

3. Start to source parts.  You might have a door at 32", but will only be able to find a 30" door in your price range.  Or your 20" deep rack might end up 24", etc, etc

4. Scale up a second/ third (4th?) version using the parts you have found.

5. Remember that materials have thickness ( wood, bricks, mortar joints) and scale it out again.

6. Estimate materials - if you have drawn it out fully, you should know exactly how many of each brick you will need - assuming you don't break any.  Buy at least 10% more because of breakage.

7. Figure out how much this is actually going to cost.

8. Get approval from the wife.  In writing is best.  Have her sign the plans.

9. Figure 15% extra in cost (at least)

10 Decide that building a counter / bar and buying a grill and smoker will be cheaper.

11. Show wife how much money you are saving.

12. Have a beer.

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