How to Build a Backyard Fire Pit
Create a Safe Backyard DIY Fire Pit
It’s time to get your backyard in order for the warmer months! While you’re considering a range of patio upgrades and designs to chic outdoor lighting options, consider the benefits of a fire pit as well. Fire pits provide a great place for family and friends to gather for relaxing evenings from the comfort of your own backyard.
There are many types of fire pits so take time to consider the one that makes the most sense based on your outdoor space, how you enjoy time with family and friends, and your personal taste.
Budgeting for a fire pit can feel overwhelming because your options are nearly limitless. You could spend a substantial amount of money on a custom, professionally assembled fire pit, a few hundred dollars on a mid-range fire pit setup, or even find great options for $100 or less.
Learning how to build a fire pit can be easy, simple, and affordable depending on your approach.
Remember: before starting this project, check with your local fire department to make sure your plan is in line with all regulations and ordinances!
Should I Pave Around My Fire Pit?
Fire pit paving is not only practical, but it can also add a stylish and polished look to your outdoor living space. Pavers, or paving stones, are flat construction units made of stones, brick, or concrete used normally as exterior flooring. Pavers are the go-to choice of most Americans when it comes to creating beautiful driveways, walkways, patios, and pool decks. Paving is a big benefit when it comes to fire pit safety.
Start by measuring the area around your fire pit to determine how many pavers you will need. You can use a measuring tape and some stakes to mark the area.
Choose the type of pavers you want to use for your project. There are a variety of materials and styles to choose from, such as concrete, brick, or natural stone. Consider the style and design of your outdoor living space when making your selection.
Prepare the area by removing any grass or weeds and leveling the ground. You may need to use a shovel and some sand to even out the surface.
Lay the pavers around the fire pit in the pattern of your choice. You can use a mallet or a rubber mallet to tap the pavers into place.
Cut the pavers to fit around the fire pit using a wet saw or a chisel and hammer. Make sure to wear protective gloves and safety glasses when cutting the pavers.
Fill in the gaps between the pavers with sand or gravel. You can use a broom or a brush to sweep the sand into the joints.
Seal the pavers to protect them from stains and weather damage. You can use a sealant specifically designed for your type of pavers.
The Concrete Pit
Building a concrete fire pit bowl can be a fun and rewarding DIY fire pit project.
Materials you’ll need to build a concrete fire pit bowl include:
- Fire pit ring insert
- Large plastic bowls for molding (size of a punch bowl, or larger)
- Quick-dry concrete mix
- Any nonstick cooking spray
- A masonry or margin trowel for mixing
- A bucket for mixing
- Sanding paper or machinery
- Fire-safe lava stones
- Gel fuel can
- Get the food-safe variety so you can roast marshmallows!
- Stay safe and wear protective gloves and safety glasses
Steps to Create Your Concrete Fire Pit
- Choose the location. It should be a safe distance away from your house, trees, and any other flammable materials.
- Dig a hole in the ground to the size and depth you want for your fire pit bowl.
- Place the fire pit ring insert in the center of the hole. This will be the mold for your concrete bowl.
- Apply a release agent to the inside of the fire pit ring insert to prevent the concrete from sticking to it.
- Mix the concrete according to the label’s instructions. The consistency should be thick but pourable.
- Pour the concrete mix into the fire pit ring insert, filling it to the top.
- Use a trowel to smooth out the surface of the concrete and make it level.
- Let the concrete cure for at least 24 hours or until it is completely dry and hard.
- Once the concrete has cured, carefully remove the fire pit ring insert from the center of the concrete bowl.
- Use a shovel to remove any excess dirt or debris from around the concrete bowl.
- Light your first fire and enjoy your new concrete fire pit bowl!
Adding a Fire Pit to Your Deck
Here are some tips to ensure that your fire pit is safe to use on your decking:
- Choose a fire pit specifically designed for use on a wooden deck.
- Seek out fire pit designs that have a protective base or feet that elevate the bowl off the ground.
- Place the fire pit on a non-flammable base, such as a fire pit pad, paver stones, or a metal tray.
- This will help prevent any embers or sparks from coming into contact with the wooden deck.
- Keep the fire pit a safe distance away from your home and any flammable materials, such as plants, furniture, or propane tanks.
- Make sure your fire pit is surrounded by a fireproof barrier, such as a metal screen, to prevent sparks and embers from flying out of the pit.
- Always supervise the fire pit while it's in use and never leave it unattended.
- Keep a fire extinguisher, hose, or large containers of water nearby in case of emergency.
Creating an Aesthetic Fire Pit
Creating an aesthetic fire pit can be a fun and creative DIY project. Here are some steps to help you create a charming and inviting fire pit that will add warmth and style to your outdoor living space.
Decide on the style and design of your fire pit. Certain materials and design styles are more warm and lush compared to those that are stark or sterile. Brick, stone, metal, and concrete are common materials used in the creation of fire pits. Adding texture is a great way to accent the pit in a way that makes it stand out and become a prized backyard focal point.
Decorate your fire pit with cute and stylish elements such as colorful tiles, mosaics, or stenciled patterns. Consider decorative stones or pebbles to create a unique look that speaks to your own taste and how you want others to perceive you and your home.
Create a plush seating area around your fire pit using comfortable chairs or stylized benches. Adding cushions, blankets, or outdoor rugs to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Definitely consider buying a waterproof outdoor storage trunk to store items when not in use.
Lighting in your yard and around the fire pit area can create a magical and enchanting ambiance. You can use fairy lights, lanterns, or even solar-powered garden lights to add a warm and inviting glow to your space.
General Safety Tips for a DIY Fire Pit
Regardless of the look or price of the fire pit you decide to go with, there are a few essential safety tips you should be sure to follow for endless hours of safe, summer fun.
Choose a location for your fire pit that is at least 10 feet away from any structures, trees, or other combustible materials.
Clear the area around the fire pit of any flammable materials such as leaves, brush, or other debris.
Never leave a fire pit unattended and keep a close eye on children and pets around the fire pit.
Make sure you have a way to extinguish the fire, such as a bucket of sand or a fire extinguisher, nearby at all times.
Only use the recommended fuel for your fire pit, and never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start a fire.
Mind The Wind
Be mindful of wind conditions, as gusts of wind can blow embers and sparks out of the fire pit and start a fire.
Consider The Weather
Do not use a fire pit during dry, windy weather conditions or during a burn ban.
Use a fire pit that is appropriate for the size of your outdoor space and the number of people who will be using it.
Safety Gear for Handling The Pit
Keep a fire-resistant glove and a long-handled poker nearby to move the logs around in the fire pit without getting burned.
Educate yourself and your family members on fire pit safety tips and guidelines. Be sure to politely educate guests that come by for a visit on how to safely spend time relaxing around the pit.
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