A moment of relaxation by an open fire right in your backyard! – Nothing in the world can be more comforting! Here are the advantages of having a fire pit in your backyard.
This how to build a fire pit project comes with several benefits. First is the entertainment value. A fire pit can bring you, your family, and your friends together in one warm place. Count in your work colleagues. If your boss asks for a place, politely offer him yours. It’s a sure way to beat the best bar in town!
You can enjoy cooking and eating your meals outdoors, but make sure you are prepared to temporarily make do without the conveniences offered by your indoor kitchen appliances. Aside from barbecue, bring out the marshmallows and kabobs for toasting over the fire pit flame.
Third, a fire pit is that piece you need to extend the warm summer and autumn nights through the winter. That yard will be a good alternative to your usual camping places.
Finally, having a fire pit is a way to boost your home’s value. If you will make a fire pit that’s going to last long, your descendants will thank you for it and for the prospect of selling your home at a higher price.
Getting Down to Work
Helpful instructional guides on how to build a fire pit are available on the internet. These will give you a good idea on how to build one on your own. For less than $500, you can have one that stands 3 feet tall and five feet wide.
These are the materials:
- 50 bricks, an old wheelbarrow
- safety glasses, a hose
- a shovel
- a mallet, a chisel
- leather gloves
- chemical gloves.
This is going to be a physically challenging task. Be patient. If you think your muscles might get sore over the course of constructing the project, have some ibuprofen tabs handy.
Before building the fire pit, inspect the yard from several angles. That will help you locate the best place to put the fire pit.
Using paint, mark the designated location. Let a stick stand in the center and then tie a rope on it. Tie the other end of the rope on a can of paint. Stretch the rope until you reach the side of the circle. Spray paint while moving around the circle.
Tip: The fire pit should not be built close to your house or tree limbs to avoid catching fire. Consider the wind direction. The wind may cause fire pit smoke to hit your windows.
Before making the foundation, know how deep it should be. Some fire pits have a foundation that is only 8 inches deep. This may not apply to you. Experts recommend at least three feet.
Consider the weather. High humidity and precipitation can easily break down the foundation. If the ground around the fire pit slopes toward it, you should build a stronger and deeper foundation. Hot and dry wind can cause the soil around the fire pit to lose moisture. This will shrink the soil around the foundation.
Get ready with the concrete and pour it down into the excavation, making sure that it doesn’t fill the hole to the brim. Leave about ½ inch unfilled. You might want to give the foundation added strength; for that, put some rebar rods. Level the cement.
Let the concrete dry a bit; while waiting, sort your stones. Separate the big from the flat ones. Identify the stones that you can use to form the base. Pick the ‘flattest’ and the ones ‘with the slightest curves’. Those are the easiest to match with the circle’s edge.
Lay down the base row and allow a couple of days for hardening. For each day that follows, stack stones, carefully matching them together. Transfer them row by row. Mortar the piled rows together.
Tip: Mixing and matching stones can be the hardest part on how to build a fire pit. Don’t do this too meticulously as to work for perfection. Just do the best you can. There’s no need to hurry.
NEARING THE TOP:
Going nearer to the top will be more challenging. It will be more difficult to shape the stones because you will have to consider both the vertical and horizontal appearance of the fire pit. For this part, the best tool to use is the chisel. Stones that have varying shapes and sizes will also be very helpful. Place the cap stones and mortar them together.
Place the fire bricks on the wall inside the fire pit. Leave narrow gaps for air to pass through. For wider fire pits, air can be easily absorbed from the surroundings, so leaving gaps may not be necessary. Simply mortar the bricks together.
There are finishing touches to accomplish. Clean the interior of the fire pit. Pull out weeds, if any. Then cover the bottom with pea gravel. Your home now has a fire pit and ready for the first party!
You can make it easy for you every step of the way in this how to build a fire pit project. Buy more stones than your initial count. You may decide to make the fire pit bigger than originally intended or you may have troubles with shapes and sizes later. Better to have several spare stones so as not to run out of variations.
The size of the yard matters. Missing out on that point may lead you to come up with a fire pit that is either too large or too small for the area.
Next, the dimensions of the fire pit important. A too-tall fire pit may be too high to climb and a too-large one may give a huge amount of space for large volumes of air to come in.
Make sure to read your state’s guidelines on the use of fire pits. Know the fire danger rating and conditions that need to be checked before starting a fire. It’s dangerous to light fires in autumn and early spring.