Create a DIY Fire Pit

8622876294_cefcdc932c_zWith cooler temperatures on the way, one way to keep enjoying the outdoors is by adding a fire pit to your backyard. This easy DIY project doesn’t require any special landscaping skills or expensive materials and can usually be accomplished within a few hours. Once finished, you will have a great addition to your yard where you can entertain guests or spend an evening relaxing by a warm fire.

Some Tools and Materials You Will Need

  • Level
  • Shovel
  • Rubber mallet
  • Measuring tape
  • Sand
  • Heat resistant bricks, landscaping rocks or concrete blocks
  • Fire ring or bowl
  • Masonry adhesive
  • Wooden stake
  • Spray paint to outline for digging

Choosing a Spot

Before beginning your fire pit project, you’ll want to choose a location that is at least 10 feet away from your home or any other structure in your yard. Allow at least seven feet back from the fire for seating that you may place around the pit. Never install your pit over combustible materials, including your lawn or deck. Place the pit over a slab of concrete, pavers or bare dirt. Regardless of what you’re building your pit on, you’ll need to make sure it’s level.

Putting it Together

If you’re placing your fire pit over a bare area, you’ll need to dig a hole that is at least eight inches deep and the diameter of your fire ring or bowl. Put two inches of sand in the hole and place your fire ring in it. If you’re using a paved base for your pit, place your ring on the surface and then add some sand.

Layer your bricks or stones around the fire ring, using your masonry adhesive to adhere each piece to another for stability. Allow the adhesive to fully dry before trying out your fire pit.

Safety First

When using your fire pit, be safe and make sure to use wood that is not treated, painted or stained that can produce toxic fumes. Avoid using green wood that creates extra smoke. Stick to dry wood that does not have excess sap, including oak, hickory, birch or elm. Don’t burn fall leaves in your pit. You may use sticks that you find around your landscaping for kindling, but avoid using accelerants, such as gas or lighter fluid.

Adding a fire pit to your landscaping will extend the time that you can continue to enjoy the outdoors throughout the cooler seasons.


Photo via Flickr CC 2.0 by John Anes