Fire pits are a great addition to your backyard. It can add to your outdoor living space and create a great place to gather with family and friends all year round. The key to building yours is to make sure it looks great and is safe. If you want to build a fire pit in your yard, here’s how to get started.
If you want your fire pit to look great, be safe and last, you have to do some preparation before starting on the project.
- Step 1 – Choose a location – Although it may seem like a good idea to build your fire pit close to your porch or patio, the general recommendation is to choose a site at least ten feet from your home or a neighbor’s. The further from homes, trees, and shrubs, the less fire hazard.
- Step 2 – Measure and design – One of the easiest ways to build a fire pit is to start with a steel pit ring. They provide an inner barrier for the fire and a good base to add your stone. Once you choose a size that works for your space, you’ll want to measure out from the ring to get an idea of where people will sit and how big of a space you’ll need to prepare.
- Step 3 – Head to your local stone supplier – They’ll have the best selection and be able to guide you to the right stone to use to build a fire pit and compliment your style. They can also help you get the right quantity of material no matter how large or small your project.
- Step 4 – Level the area – Depending on whether you’re planning a stone or grass base around your fire pit, your prep will look different. If you’re going to lay concrete pavers, you’ll need to level the entire area. If you’re just putting stone around the steel ring, you’ll only need to level the ring’s area as well as an additional two feet past the ring.
Once the area is level and you have the materials, the actual build is quite simple, especially if you’ve chosen stack stone or retaining wall style blocks as that doesn’t require mortar or concrete. Here are the actual steps to take to build the fire pit itself.
- Dig about 6” below the ground level in the fire pit area.
- Lay gravel in the area you’ve dug out until it’s level (this helps with drainage either from rain or if you use water to douse the fire).
- Depending on your metal ring, the instruction may be to lay one layer of stone first and then add the steel ring or place the ring in the ground, follow the instructions on your ring.
- Start building with rock or stone around the outside edge of the ring. Whether you’re using retaining wall blocks or stone, alternate or stagger the placement of the stone for greater stability. It is a good idea to use masonry adhesive (also known as brick glue) for greater stability. A good height is between 12 and 15 inches, anything higher will be too high for a standard patio chair.
That’s really all it takes to build a fire pit. The key is keeping the space and stones level as you build. Also, remember to keep a water source nearby when you have a fire so that you can put it out at the end of the evening.
The Rock Place in Smyrna carries a wide variety of stone from stack stone to retaining wall stones so that you can choose the ideal materials for your project. Call (615) 459-9200 or come by 475 Wade Herrod Road and we’ll be happy to answer your questions and help you get the materials you need to build a fire pit or any other project.