How to Build a Bench Around a Fire Pit

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Build a bench around a fire pit to encourage campfire storytelling and the strumming of guitars late into the evening. A sturdy design using masonry techniques will result in a block-built circular seating area that will last for years to come. It's a project that's incredibly satisfying and easy on the wallet.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Bar level
  • 2-by-4 wood piece
  • Crushed gravel
  • Retaining wall blocks (interlocking)
  • Retaining wall block pegs
  • Construction adhesive
  • Landscape edging
  • Use a measuring tape to decide where to place your circular bench around the fire pit. The seating should be a couple of feet from the outer edge of the pit.

  • Use a shovel to dig a 1-inch trench following the circular shape of your bench. Fill with crushed gravel and tamp down with a hoe. Check that the entire trench is level using a piece of 2-by-4 placed at increments around the circle with a bar level on top.

  • Lay a layer of interlocking blocks on the first level, following the instructions they came with to properly align and interlock the blocks. These blocks come with pegs and holes to secure the layers together.

  • Layer the blocks until you reach a height of three layers or about 2 feet.

  • Apply a final layer of blocks on their sides to cap off the bench and create the seating. Use construction adhesive sparingly on the blocks to attach this final layer of blocks. Follow the adhesive's directions for best application results.

  • Insert landscape edging around both sides of the bench to keep the gravel base contained and secure.

References

  • "Master Gardener Handbook"; Dennis R. Pittenger; 2002
  • Photo Credit campfire image by vb_photo from Fotolia.com
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