Guide to Getting Ready for Your Fourth of July BBQ

A successful Fourth of July BBQ takes a fair amount of preparation. That’s why we’ve created a quick guide that runs down what needs to be planned out well ahead of time and when to start each task. We’ve thrown plenty of Fourth of July BBQs on our back decks, and these are the tips that we’ve pick up along the way.

4th of July BBQ

Two to Four Weeks Before the BBQ


Fourth of July is one of the most social days of the year. Lots of people are planning get togethers to celebrate the nation’s birthday so it’s important that you get your invites out well in advance. We suggest sending an evite out about 2-4 weeks before the big event. This will give guests plenty of time to RSVP so you can plan accordingly. For the few guests that don’t regularly check emails send out a mass text or give each one a call to let them know about the BBQ.

Deck Maintenance

At least two weeks before the BBQ give your deck a good once over. Pay careful attention to any weak spots in the railings or steps as well as places where there are nails popping up from the boards. Fix any structural issues that you find.

This is also a good time to plan out how you intend to spruce the deck up. A good cleaning is always an excellent idea, and if it’s been more than a year since you sealed your deck consider doing so. Cleaning and sealing your deck will give it an impressive facelift without much effort. Wash the deck down 2-3 weeks before the fourth then seal a few days later after it’s had time to dry.

Access Your Accommodations

Do you have enough seating? How is the lighting after the sun starts to fade? Will it be easy for guests to make their plates? A couple weeks before the BBQ make a list of everything you’ll need to accommodate everyone that has RSVP’d for the party. If you’re going to need to rent furniture or equipment, go ahead and make the reservations now.

A Week Before the BBQ


Get your recipes together at least a week in advance so you have plenty of time to prep. Another fun idea is to come up with a signature drink, side dish or grilled delight that fits the theme of the holiday.

Get the Items on Your Accommodations List

The week before the big event take a shopping trip and get everything on the accommodations list you made a few weeks ago. Once you get everything in place back at your house, you may find there are a few more loose ends to tie up so don’t put this task off until the last minute.

Get the Grill Area Prepped

Whoever will act as the pit master during your Fourth of July BBQ should look over all of the grilling equipment to ensure that everything works properly and that he or she has everything needed to cook at the party. Don’t overlook the things that aren’t so obvious like making sure the chef has shade to cook in.

Take Friends Up on Their Offers to Help

If friends have offered to help get everything ready for the grill out and you plan to take them up on their offers, let them know at least a week in advance.

Do a Deep Clean of the Interior and Exterior

Get the heavy-duty cleaning done indoors and outdoors the week before so you only have smaller stuff to handle when things get closer to party time.

Send Out an Invite Reminder

People have a lot going on, so it is easy to forget to RSVP sometimes. An Invite reminder a week out, will help you get a more accurate count of how many guests plan to attend.

A Few Days Before the BBQ

Grocery Shopping

A couple days before the BBQ, prepare yourself for a serious shopping excursion. Don’t wait until the day before just in case you have trouble finding ingredients or need to make a few additions.


Marinades should be made 1-2 days before the event so the meat has plenty time to soak up the delicious goodness.

Send an It’s Time to Celebrate Message

Send your guests a message letting them know everything is almost ready for the party and how happy you are that they plan to celebrate the holiday at your backyard BBQ.

The Day Before the BBQ

Start Cooking

Get cold side dishes prepared, line up the condiments and do any other cooking that doesn’t have to wait until tomorrow.

Get the Deck Prepped

As long as there isn’t rain forecasted overnight, get the deck and grill area set up. This includes decorating the area, stringing up lights and getting the seating arranged.

The Day of the BBQ

Fill the Coolers

It can be a hassle to try and keep ice from melting so wait until the morning of the BBQ to get the ice and fill the coolers.

Do a Quick Clean Up

Good thing you got the big clean up done a week ago! A few hours before guests start to arrive give the inside and outside a quick clean up.

Need help getting your deck ready for your Fourth of July BBQ? The experts at Timbertown Austin can help you make repairs, get things spruced up and even add landscaping features to enhance your outdoor space.

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