How To Build Your Own Fire Pit

A fire pit can make your back yard a popular gathering place on cool evenings. But, they can also be enjoyed year round as well. Fire pits are becoming widely popular and they’re very easy to install. They’re also very easy to build yourself.

The location that you choose to install your fire pit should be several feet away from anything! The heat from a pit placed to close to plants and shrubs will damage and even kill them. You also don’t want to place one too close to a pool, fence or your home. The ash and soot generated by a fire pit can be quite damaging.

Although in most communities, something as small as a fire pit don’t require approval, you may want to check your building codes just in case. And, checking with your local utilities before installing a fire pit is very important. You obviously don’t want a gas line or water line right under neath a blazing fire!

Once you’ve chosen your location, mark an outline of where you want the pit to be. Keep in mind that the area needs to be large enough to accommodate the fireplace grate and provide at least one to two feet of space on each side. You don’t want to make the perimeter to large, you won’t be able to enjoy the heat from the fire.

You can use flour to mark the area, or use a stick to dig out a small trench marking the spot. All of the plant life, such as grass will need to be completely removed from the area. If you can remove the grass in layers, you can set it aside to use it to fill in any areas around the pit when your finished with it.

The hardest part of the project is removing the dirt. You will need to dig down and remove around six inches of the soil from the entire area where the pit will be located. Set the soil aside with the grass to use to fill in bare spots later.

After you’ve removed the proper amount of soil, smooth the ground out with a rake. The perimeter of the fire pit needs to be lined with some type of fire proof landscaping material. You can choose to add pieces of rock, or even decorative rocks such as moss rock. If you want to use brick make sure that you purchase fire brick, regular brick will usually explode if they get too hot.

Once you’ve gotten the entire edge of the pit lined, you can create a decorative floor. If you expect drainage to be a problem, you can install a drain pipe into the floor of the pit. The bottom can be decorated with gravel, sand or even heat resistant lava rocks.

Whatever you choose to use, there should be at least a two to three inch layer on the entire bottom. This will not only make the fire pit look much nicer, it will also prevent an unsightly mud hole from forming around your pit when it rains.

After you’ve gotten all of this done, set your fireplace grate in the center of your pit. Any kind of wood will work for burning in the pit, but in some communities they prohibit the burning of certain types of wood. Some wood will create noxious vapors, so check with your local authorities before lighting your new fire pit.

Use the extra soil and grass to fill in any bare spots around the pit and in between the bricks or stones you used to line the pit. And, if you’d like to landscape the area, place some plants around the perimeter. Just make sure that you choose plants that won’t vine, or grow over into the pit.