Homemade Brick & Mortar Fire Pit


Fire pits are a welcomed addition to any homeowner's backyard, and can provide for a cozy setting when entertaining guests or while simply enjoying time with your partner. Fire pits can be bought at most home and garden stores, ranging from elaborate bronze sculptures to small black cauldron-like pieces. To save a little money, you can build your own fire pit using bricks and mortar. The design can be any style that you prefer, but the easiest technique is to make a simple square fire pit.

Things You'll Need

  • Bricks Cement or mortar Masonry trowel Shovel or hoe Sand and gravel Plastic sheeting
  • Dig a square hole that is one foot deep in a desired location in your yard for the fire pit. Make the hole 3-by-3 feet square. Smooth out the area near the edges as flat as possible, then slope the center into a slight bowl.

  • Line bricks lengthways around the perimeter of the hole, then repeat to create the base. You should have two lines of bricks, side-by-side, forming a perimeter.

  • Mix up your preferred cement or brick mortar compound, then use a masonry trowel to apply mortar to the top of the bricks, half an inch thick. All mortar and cement compounds will vary in the mixing procedure so be sure to read the instructions on the bag.

  • Set the next layer of bricks on top in the same manner as before, but this time the bricks need to be centered over the edges where the bottom bricks touch one another, and spaced out half an inch from each other.

  • Apply mortar to the top of the bricks, and as you’re applying the mortar, push mortar down into the spaces in between each brick. Use the side of the trowel to scrape the excess away, then pat the bricks to ensure an even plane, keeping the bricks even. Repeat the process until the bricks are two feet above the hole. Allow the mortar to dry for the prescribed drying time as listed on the bag, which is usually 24 to 36 hours for proper curing; make sure you cover the structure with plastic sheeting if rain is expected.

  • Cover the dirt in the center of the pit with gravel and sand, and line the interior perimeter base with gravel and sand. This will create an insulated base for your fire pit.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ensure that you wash your hands and trowel thoroughly. Once the cement dries, it is extremely hard to remove from the trowel, and the cement can dry your skin rapidly.

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  • Photo Credit fire wood hot coal flame firewood firepit image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com
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