A fire pit in the backyard allows you a space to enjoy a natural element. However, this has to be done properly, or you risk lighting an uncontrolled fire. Fire pits need to be buried in the ground with a high wall and a nonflammable surface, such as gravel, below it. This helps contain the fire even if a big wind blows up. A properly constructed fire pit will last for years, but it takes several days to make and is labor-intensive, due to the heavy lifting involved.
Things You'll Need
- Cast concrete wall stones/bricks
- Square spade
- Drainage gravel
- Rubber mallet
- Masonry adhesive
- Caulking gun
- Stone caps
- Brick hammer
Lay the bricks in a circle to help you see the desired size and position of the fire pit. The bricks should fit tightly together.
Dig a spade in behind all of the bricks to mark where the pit will go. Set the bricks aside.
Dig 12 inches down along the spade marks and remove the soil. Dig a trench wide enough for the bricks to fit into. Check that the bricks fit into the trench as you work.
Dig the center of the trench 6 inches deep, and remove all the soil.
Pour drainage gravel into the trench until it is half full. It will be flush with the center of the pit.
Lay the blocks back in position, using a rubber mallet and level to make sure they are all evenly placed. Complete the circle in this manner, continuing to make sure that the bricks are tightly together and level.
Insert masonry adhesive into a caulking gun and create a zigzag pattern over the finished row of bricks. Lay another row of bricks on top of this row in the same manner as the first. Make sure they are level and tight.
Fill the center of the pit with 6 inches of gravel and smooth it out.
Repeat Step 7 for rows three and four. Make sure each row overlaps the previous row so the cracks between bricks are covered by the next row.
Finish the pit by laying thin caps on top of the bricks. Make sure they fit properly by laying them out first. They should extend 2 inches on the outside and 1 inch into the pit. Use masonry adhesive to secure them in place. Let the pit sit for two days before using it.
Tips & Warnings
- To cut a block to fit the circle, measure it against the open spot and mark where it needs cutting. Score the block with a chisel and brick hammer all the way around the brick where you want it to break. Put the chisel in the score marks, and hit the chisel with the hammer so it breaks. Smooth the brick with the brick hammer.
- Check your local zoning laws to make sure fire pits are allowed in your area.
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