How To Build a DIY Outdoor Kitchen with Paver Stone For a Santa Maria Grill:

Paver stone outdoor kitchen islands can be built on your lawn or on a patio. Rectangular paver stone blocks come in various sizes making it easy to adjust the layout to a size that works well for your design. Using different color and shape blocks can also change the look of your outdoor kitchen island.

Building a DIY outdoor BBQ island using paver stones is a fantastic way to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing outdoor cooking area. Paver stones offer durability, versatility, and a timeless charm that enhances any outdoor space.

Note: If you’re planning to build a DIY barbecue island on an existing patio or foundation, you can skip the first step.

Caution: Before beginning an excavation, call 811 to check for underground utilities. Also check local building codes, ordinances, and homeowners associations guidelines to make sure that wood fired grills are allowed. When choosing a location make sure to pick a spot located away from your house, low hanging limbs, or anything else that could catch fire.

Total time: 8 hours

What You Need to Build a DIY Outdoor Grill Area

Learning how to build an outdoor grill is a challenging task but many DIY homeowners are happy to take it on. Here’s some of the things you’ll need.



  • Wet saw and circular saw with concrete blade
  • Quick Square and Large framing square
  • Tamper
  • Sharpy or pencil
  • Flat head shovel

1. Prepare the area without cement base.

  1. Outline shape of the firepit with blocks.
  2. Check the layout for squareness with a large metal square. Adjust as needed.
  3. Mark the outside of the brick with a flat head shovel. Remove blocks and set aside.
  4. Remove the sod and dirt to a depth of 2 inches.
  5. Tap down the soil, keeping the area level. Adjust if needed by adding or removing soil.
  6. Add about 2 inches of gravel base. Spread evenly with rake.
  7. Wet the paver base and tap it down.
  8. Add another 1/2″ of base and tap again. Checking with the leveler to make sure it’s even. Adjust if necessary.

2. Set Paver Stones:

  1. Lay the first row of stones on the paver base, making sure the bricks are touching.

    Sub Steps

    1. Check each brick for levelness across the top. Add more paver base to adjust if needed.
    2. Use a long square to check squareness.
  2. Lay the second row of blocks staggering the joints with the first row.
  3. As you work around you may need to cut some blocks to fit. Hold the block in place and mark around the block using a quick square.
  4. Cut the block using a circular saw with a concrete blade, If your blade won’t cut all the way through use a hammer and chisel to split the block.
  5. Now that the second layer is cut, remove one block at a time and add a layer of fireplace motor (comes in a caulking tube) on top of the first layer.
  6. repeat steps 2-5 until you reach your desired height for the DIY grill patio.

Extra Tip: Using a circular saw to cut pavers can be dusty. Consider having a helper use a shop vac to clear dust away while operating. Always wear appropriate safety gear.

3. Filling up firebox cavity 2 options:

Best Option:

  • Fill the inside cavity with paver stone until you’re approximately 20″ from the countertop.

Sub Steps

  • Inside the Firepit Mark 20″ down from the top of the countertop.
  • Fill the inside cavity with 5″ of paver base, wet and tap it down.
  • Continue step 2 until you reach your mark.
  • Don’t add firebrick to the floor.

Tip: Rain will wash out some of the paver gravel from the DIY outside grill area.

4. Install Fire Bricks:

If you’re using paver gravel to fill the inside of your firebox skip steps 1-3.

  1. If the cavity is filled with paver stone. Apply fireplace mortar on 1/4 of the floor.
  2. Add a full size firebrick cut as needed to fit using a wet saw.
  3. Continue steps 1-2 until the floor of the firebox is fire bricked.
  4. Insert fire bricks on the interior side walls. Cut as needed with a wet saw.
  5. Remove one firebrick at a time and apply fireplace mortar and reinstall. Continue the process until the first layer is complete.
  6. Continue steps 4-5 until you reach the countertop.
  7. Let mortar dry to the manufacturer’s suggested time.

Sub Steps

  • Install Countertop. Always seal your countertops. Typical outdoor countertops options include:
    • Paver Stone
    • Cement
    • Granite
    • Ceramic Tile

5. Install Santa Maria Grill:

The final step is to invite friends over, you are now ready to BBQ!

Make Sure You Have the Grill For the Job

Having the best Santa Maria grill for your DIY outside kitchen will complete the job. Once you’ve sealed your countertops and put the final touches on your DIY outdoor island, it’s time to make sure you have the right grill to complete the project. Shop our portable drop-in Santa Maria grills here!