How to Build an Outdoor Fire Pit – a DIY Step by Step Guide

It is true that for centuries, mankind has called the fireplace a home. Nowadays, folks just love the warmth and the ambiance that the hearth gives, and they often want to bring it outside their homes. There’s a plethora of ready-made outdoor fire pit designs available today for purchase, but building your own brings more personal pride than purchasing one. When you decide on a DIY firepit project, you are almost limitless to the design and material options you can choose from. And besides, usually when you build your own firepit, it costs less than buying a pre-fabricated model.

Below is a step by step procedure on how to build a fire pit in your backyard:

Before you start digging in your backyard or garden, first check the local codes in your community to see if any of them will affect building outdoor fire pits. Areas which are prone to brush fires may have more stringent policies.

The other thing you have to do before you get started is to decide on the materials to use for your firepit and prepare the tools needed, and of course, finalize the fire pit design. Once you’ve got those steps taken care of, you are then ready to build your dream outdoor fire pit. If you have decided to make a basic round stone or brick fire pit, read on for more information about how to get this done.

Here is a basic step by step guide on how to build an outdoor brick or stone fire pit: (note: this guide is for a round fire pit but you can also follow this to build a square fire pit as well, or almost any shape for that matter)

After you have decided the location for your fire pit, which is assumed to be away from trees, overhanging branches or powerlines, lay out the outside boundary of the fire pit by making a circle on the ground.

Mark out another circle inside the first circle and use this as a guide to dig out a trench that is 4 to 6 inches deep.

Make sure the trench base is fairly level.

Mix concrete with water until its consistency becomes spreadable but not runny. Spread the mixture into the trench until it is about an inch thick. Leave the inner circle to allow drainage.

Pour gravel on the wet mixture and push the gravel stones down until they are covered by cement. This will provide support and prevent cracking during weather changes.

Allow the concrete to set fully. This will serve as the base of the fire pit.

Now you are ready to build up the walls of the fire pit. Set the first brick or stone on the concreted circle, and then set the next brick or stone adjacent to it on a slight angle to follow the circle, until the first row is completed. Make sure the subsequent bricks have a neat mound of mortar adhered to their sides to avoid gaps.

Go to the next layer of face stones. You can make your imagination work here and stack the layers artistically like putting puzzle pieces. Just make sure to avoid weak points.

Fill the fire pit with 6 inches of gravel. This will support the first two rows as they set up.

As your fire pit builds up, check the height of the fire pit to know if you have reached the desired height before adding subsequent layers.

When you have reached the desired height, set the capstones or the flat stones which will make the top of your stone fire pit. Capstones can be cap pieces or blocks.

Now you have an outdoor fire pit where you can enjoy grilling with family and friends during the day or to keep you warm in the cool summer nights. No matter what the intended use of your new fire pit is and what fire pit design and materials you choose to go with, just make sure that how you build a fire pit is based on keeping things safe, both during the construction process as well as when the fire pit is used. This is the most important aspect of fire pit construction advice possible.

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