How To Build An Amazing DIY Fire Pit

Tools Required

  • Brick hammer
  • Bucket
  • Concave jointer
  • Concrete float
  • Cordless drill
  • Level
  • Margin trowel
  • Mason’s trowel
  • Safety glasses
  • Spade
  • Tuckpointing tool
  • Wheelbarrow

DIY BBQ Fire Pit

Red Door Home

Most backyard fire pits offer the charm of flames that can roast marshmallows. But Stacy at Red Door Home wanted a completely functional fire pit that can be used for cooking throughout the summer.

Two full-size grills rest atop a ring of retaining wall blocks, allowing Stacy to cook anything from steaks and kebabs to s'mores. Extending the use of the fire pit ensures that it can be used for more than just the summer season.

Video

5. Concrete Tree Rings Fire Pit

This petite fire pit stands out for its unusual design and colour. Now that scalloped edges are currently on trend, this is the most fashionable fire pit in our list!

source: www.instructables.com
source: www.instructables.com

Getting Started on Building an In-Ground Fire Pit:

Advice From a Masonry Pro:

Doug Montzka, of Montkza Concrete & Masonry in St. Paul, Minn., has been in the concrete and masonry business for 23 years. He’s seen the popularity of fire pits but it’s possible to create a DIY fire pit. “I started getting requests for brick fire pits a few years ago. It isn’t rocket science, but there are a few tricks to doing the job right. A well-built masonry fire pit is rock solid, safe to use, and will easily last for as long as you own your house.”

Set Aside a Few Days

This won’t be the kind of project you can complete in an afternoon. There are a few time-consuming steps that will spread this project out over a few days. First, you’ll have to pour the footing and give it the time to set up. Then you’ll have to mortar the bricks into place.

DIY Fire Pit vs. Pre-made Fire Pit

View in galleryView in gallery

When it comes to choosing a new fire pit, the key is determining which type is most suited to your needs. Consider your budget and the quality of the fire pit before deciding between a bespoke or prefabricated fire pit for your property.

Additionally, you should evaluate which will allow you to make the most of your outdoor oasis and create enduring memories.

Price

A fire pit DIY kit purchased from a local hardware store would cost homeowners between $100 and $500 for a simple construction. On the pricier end of the range, prefabricated models can cost homeowners between $1,000 and $4,000. 

The advantage of kits is that they are easy to find in brick-and-mortar stores or supplied right to your home, allowing homeowners to begin installation immediately. However, design options and construction materials are more limited.

Custom fire pits do require a greater financial commitment. Custom designs normally begin at $5,000. The cost of these items reflects the design, time, and labor involved in creating a personalized fire pit. 

Additionally, custom fire pits offer a wide variety of design and material possibilities, allowing you to exercise creative control over the entire project. For many people, the additional alternatives available exceed the additional time required to complete the project.

Quality of materials

Custom fire pits are constructed to resist extreme weather conditions. These permanent buildings need additional funding at the outset but result in a solid, long-lasting structure. 

You are making an investment in a space that your family will benefit from for years to come. The value is in the structure’s quality and the moments spent around your new personalized fire pit.

A prefabricated fire pit is of significantly inferior quality than its handcrafted equivalent. While the materials used in prefabricated kits are durable for a few seasons, they inevitably fracture, fall apart, or corrode.

10. Brick Fire Pit

Old bricks are great for a variety of  clever DIY projects, not least building a pretty fire pit! This fire pit idea keeps things simple with minimal materials and all of them cheap!

source: tuffguardhose.com
source: tuffguardhose.com

Get Classic Lines With Cinder Block Caps

Delia's Photos

Fire-resistant cinder block caps can be artfully designed into a square, contemporary-styled fire pit with clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic. Although cinder blocks are fire-resistant, they are not fireproof and, over prolonged use, will eventually crumble. To protect and extend the viability of your fire pit, consider using a fire ring as a liner or fire bricks.

Fire Pit Parts: An Overview

Illustration by Gregory Nemec

A built-in fire pit is a glorified campfire, with sturdy walls of stone that help contain the flames and heat. That’s especially important in the parts of the country where there’s a risk of brush fires. So the first task in building any fire pit is checking local codes on open flames. The pit must be located far from overhanging trees, the house, and any other flammable structure.

To make building stone walls easier, you can use blocks made from cast concrete and molded to look like real stone (available at any home center). They’re flat on the top and bottom so they stack neatly, and some interlock for added strength. Glue them together with masonry adhesive. Choose a block with angled sides, meant to form curves when butted against each other. The optimal size for a fire pit is between 36 and 44 inches inside diameter. That will create enough room for a healthy fire but still keep gatherers close enough to chat.

As an added precaution, the fire pit should be lined with a thick steel ring like the ones used for park campfires. These protect the concrete in the blocks from the heat, which can cause them to dry out and break down prematurely.

A fire pit should sit low to the ground, with walls rising no more than a foot off the ground. But for stability, the base of the wall must be buried below ground in a hole lined with gravel, providing drainage and protecting against frost heaves in winter. The gravel also creates a level base for the stones to rest on. Most concrete blocks are about 4 inches high, so if the first course and a half sit underground, and there are two and a half courses above ground with a cap on top, you’ll end up with a foot-high wall—just right for resting your feet on while sitting in an outdoor chair.

Tools Materials

  • Brick hammer

    Brick hammer

  • Cold chisel

    Cold chisel

  • Spade

    Spade

  • Hoe

    Hoe

  • Metal rake

    Metal rake

  • Tamper

    Tamper

  • Level - 2 foot

    Level – 2 foot

  • Level - 4 foot

    Level – 4 foot

  • Mallet

    Mallet

  • Caulk gun

    Caulk gun

  • Pointed trowel

    Pointed trowel

  • Power grinder

    Power grinder

FAQ About Building a Fire Pit

What do you put in the bottom of a fire pit?

You’ll want to start with a layer of sand at the bottom of the pit, and then top the sand with gravel, lava rocks, fire pit glass, paving stones or even bricks for your fire pit. Alternatively, you can simply use dirt.

How do you prepare the ground for a fire pit?

Clear away all grass and plant material. Excavate about 8 inches of soil, ensuring that the bottom of the pit is level and the soil is compact.

Can you build a fire pit on dirt?

Yes, you can build a fire pit on dirt. Make sure the dirt is compact and level.

What is the best base for a fire pit?

You have several options. Plain dirt is fine, but sand topped with gravel makes a more attractive base.

Building a Fire Pit: Steps to Follow

 

You have your design, materials & tools. It’s now time to get started with the fun stuff.

 

Regardless of the size, shape and complexity of the project, you’ll just have to follow these simple set of steps:

Prepare the Area

 

1. Start by marking the shape and the size of the fire pit on the ground. 
For square or rectangular fire pits, lay down blocks and mark the ground with your shovel around the perimeter of your fire pit.


For circular fire pits, hammer a stake into the ground and attach some string. Use the string like a compass and mark out a circle with a can of spray paint.

 

Dig and level the Base

 

You’ll need to now create a base for your fire pit. A solid base is going to ensuring its stability and longevity for years to come.

 

2. With your shovel, start digging up the grass an

2. With your shovel, start digging up the grass and dirt inside the marked area of your fire pit; do this until the area is 5cm or 2″ deep. It’s best to place the grass and dirt into a wheelbarrow to discard easily later on. 
3. Next, use your hand-tamper to tamp down the soil and make sure that the entire surface is compressed and level. You can also check its level with a spirit level.

 

Lay the Foundation

 

Once you’ve dug out the base of the fire pit, its time to strengthen the foundation! 
4. Start with adding a 2.5cm or 1″ layer of gravel on the base and distribute evenly with a garden rake. 
5. Lightly wet the first layer of gravel with your garden hose and tamp down the gravel with your hand tamp. 
6. Next add a second 1.5cm or 1/2″ layer of gravel on top and tamp down one final time. Compressed layers of gravel will be the strong and stable foundation we need for our diy firepit.

 

Constructing the Walls

  
7. Lay the first row of blocks or bricks inside the perimeter of the base and use a level to make sure they sit evenly.

 

8. Once the first layer or blocks are down, place down the next layer of blocks on top and stagger them like a ‘brick wall’ until you have a two layers of blocks. We are laying the second layer of blocks to see how they will look before we apply an adhesive. (If there are any gaps in your second layer – you will need to use a saw with a masonry cutting black and cut a block to size and fill the gap. 
9. If you are happy how the second layer of blocks look, remove each block one-by-one, apply concrete adhesive with a caulking gun and replace the block back in to position for permanent fixture. 
10. Repeat steps 8 & 9 for each of remaining blocks until you have three or four completed layers around the fire pit. The amount of layers will depend on how high you would like build you fire pit.

 

Adding the Fire Bricks

 

Once the concrete adhesive has dried, its time to add in the fire bricks! These clay fire bricks will evenly distribute the heat and will prevent any of your blocks from cracking! 
11. Place the clay fire bricks in an upright position and line the inside of walls of the fire pit. To get the correct height, you should either add a bit more gravel on the base or you can place a some of fire bricks along the bottom of the pit too. 
12. Once the fire bricks are in position, fill the pit with lava rocks around 7cm or 3″ or half way up the fire bricks. This will hold the bricks into position and create a nice base to place your wood to burn.

That’s it!

That’s it!

 

Your DIY fire pit is ready for burning! All you have to do now is place your fire wood in and kick back and relax!

 

 

DIY Smokeless Fire Pit Conclusion

Regardless of the size of your garden or outdoor space, a fire pit is a perfect addition for outdoor gatherings. Whether you choose to make a DIY fire pit or buy one from an online store, you’ll find your family and friends will love hanging out this year at your new garden focal point.

Even if you have a small garden, we think this is a great investment and one that you can use at any time of the year. If you live in a cooler climate, it will help you spend a little more time outdoors without getting chilly in the colder months. Whichever fire pit you go for this year, we hope it makes a great addition to your garden setup.

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