date October 30
Everyone loves to gather around a fire pit for friends, food and fellowship!
Now that it’s officially fall, there is no better time to plan an easy weekend fire pit project that not only will add value to your home and landscape, but will please your family and guests throughout the year.
While you can certainly hire a professional landscaper to build the fire pit for you, that is not necessary! With the right set of tools and a little elbow grease, you can enjoy a great fire under the stars on chilly nights. Read on for some easy steps and tips on how to build a backyard fire pit.
DIY: Step-By-Step Guide to Build a Firepit
Location: First, decide on the perfect location. Where will you build the fire pit? Remember that safety is key! Choose a location that is well-distanced from fences, trees, plants, or other types of flammable material. Plus, you will want to ensure there is enough room for friends and family to gather around safely.
Design: Next, think about a design. Fire pits do not need to be elaborate, but they do need a functional, well-planned design. You will want to think about how many people will sit around the fire and then include a buffer around the fire pit, too. Check your building codes, as well, to see if they require fire pits to be enclosed by a border of gravel or sand. Then, decide on the diameter and interior dimension of the pit.
Building the Fire Pit: Once you’ve decided on all these factors, use a string or a measuring tape to mark out a circle according to your design.
- Dig: Once you have marked the fire pit area, dig out the dirt and sod within the circle. Ensure the pit is at least 18 inches deep. Speed up the process and make this a one-day job with our mini-excavator.
- Fill: Next, fill the fire pit with at least 6 inches of gravel. Smooth each layer before you add the next to ensure a strong foundation. After you’ve added all 6 inches, tamp it to ensure it is secure and safe. Consider the Jumping Jack Tamp Compactor to make the strongest foundation.
- Lay in Walls: Using the string or measuring tape, outline an inner radius to use as a guideline for placing the first layer of retaining wall units. Secure the stone to the gravel base with a mallet and be certain the retaining units are level. When you are certain the first row of retaining wall units is secure, add a second layer. Ensure that these units are dry and clean so that you can easily add the coping rows with adhesive in place.
- Add Pavers: Create a six inch gravel base with a one inch top layer of coarse concrete sand. Place pavers in your desired pattern. Use an aluminum or plastic restraint over the pavers so that they don’t move and fill the gaps and joints with concrete sand.
Tips To Keep In Mind
– For added safety against embers, consider adding a mesh cover and adding another layer of retaining wall.
– Be certain to use stones rated for the heat of a fire pit. Choosing the wrong type of retaining wall stone could pose a safety hazard and be costly.
– Refrain from burning leaves, brush and garbage in your fire pit, especially items that include plastic. These items produce excessive smoke and even hazardous fumes.
– Safety is always first! Keep a bucket of water close by in case you need an emergency extinguisher. Better still, have a fire extinguisher handy.
– Never leave a fire, even if it is only smoldering, unattended. Ensure it is fully extinguished before going inside. Never leave children unsupervised around a fire pit at any time.
A backyard fire pit is a great way to bring friends and family together throughout the year. This project is inexpensive and can be completed in a weekend, just in time for your next party!