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A fire pit adds a cozy and fun element to any backyard. Think of the roasting of marshmallows or just enjoying a toasty fire on a chilly fall night. Building a fire pit is a relatively straightforward DIY project. To get started, you’ll need the right materials, tools, location and confirmation you will build it both the legal and correct way.
- Materials: Cast concrete wall stones, cap stones, gravel and sand.
- Tools: Shovel, tape measure, level, steel rake and tamper.
- Location: Choose a place away from your house (or other structure), and be sure your fire pit is not positioned underneath low-hanging trees or placed too close to any hedges or bushes.
- Legal requirements: Check your municipality’s building codes and your HOA’s rules (if applicable) so you can ensure you follow all required specs and regulations.
- Safety first: Call 811 to check for any potential utilities that may be underground where you plan to dig.
Once you’ve got everything together and in order, you’re ready to get started. Here are the next steps you’ll need to take.
Step 1: Lay out your stones in the shape and size of your fire pit, approximately 36 to 44 inches in diameter – make sure the stones are touching and connected.
Step 2: Mark your circle for the pit and then temporarily move the rocks.
Step 3: Dig a foot-deep hole within the perimeter you marked to serve as your pit.
Step 4: Pour gravel/sand into the hole, wet it down and then tamp it.
Step 5: Stack your stones around the hole’s perimeter one row at a time until they are one foot above the ground, be sure to stagger the joints with each layer. Apply landscape/masonry adhesive between layers of stone to lock them into place.
Step 6: Repeat Step 5 two to three additional times until you get the right height for your wall (total layers should be three to four).
Step 7: Pour additional gravel and sand into the hole, making it about four inches deep.
Tip: If you’re a little concerned about choosing the right materials on your own, you can also purchase a fire pit kit from any big box or another type of hardware store.
Building a fire pit is a DIY project that can easily be done over a weekend. Once you’ve put it together, you can sit back and enjoy the fruit of your labors.