How To Build An Amazing DIY Fire Pit

How to Build a Fire Pit

Make your own fire pit in 4 easy steps!

Keyword fire pit

Prep Time 1 day

Cost $600

Ingredients

marking spray paint gravel to fill your pit shovel mattock, or other digging tool concrete landscaping stones and metal firepit ring optional masonry adhesive rubber mallet

Instructions

OUTLINE YOUR FIRE PIT. Lay out the bottom ring of your stones in the grass where you want the fire pit to be. If you are going to use a metal ring, like we did, you can use that to build a few stones around to find your circle.  Remove a few stones so you have space between them, and use the spray paint to mark where the outside of the stones would hit. Remove those remaining stones and complete your painted circle. DIG YOUR FIRE PIT. Use a shovel, mattock, or whatever other digging tool you need to dig out your circle 6” deep. Depending on where you live, this will be an easier or more difficult task. Our Missouri grass has crazy strong roots and we have lots of giant rocks in the soil, so this was quite an arm workout for us!  FILL YOUR FIRE PIT. Once you have a 6” hole dug, you’ll want to pour your gravel into your hole until the gravel is level with the ground. The gravel will give your fire pit an important drainage area when it rains. BUILD YOUR FIRE PIT. Place your first ring of stones around the edge of the gravel circle and use a rubber mallet to tamp the stones flat and even with each other.  Again, if using a metal ring you can keep that in the middle to make sure you are fitting your stones right up against the ring. When placing the second row of stones, place some masonry adhesive on the bottom of each stone and stagger the placement of the second row (the middle of each stone should sit on the end seams of the row beneath it). Use the rubber mallet to even and tighten the stone placement. Repeat the process with the third row. 

Video

3. Outdoor fire pit grills

Create a super fun DIY fire pit grill or fire pit

Create a super fun DIY fire pit grill or fire pit BBQ by adding grill grates over wood burning fire pits, and here is a round swing-away grate.  ( Original image source lost. Please let me know if you find the original source, thank you! )

You may also love: Build a simple wood fired pizza oven in one weekend! 

Build a simple wood fired pizza oven in one weeken
Build a simple wood fired pizza oven in one weekend! 

22. Koi Pond Fire Pit Design

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Photo:Credit

I find this design truly inspiring! It makes your imagination racing.

This is an old Koi pond transformed into an in-ground stoned fire pit. All you need is just a bunch of flat stones and some free time. It’s a traditional wood-burning fire pit that you can make in your backyard.

More info: Here

9. Large Square Fire Pit For The Backyard

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This large square fire pit takes about 6-7 hours and $150-180 to be built.

If there is a space in your yard which you rarely use – this may be the solution! Imagine…making a barbecue while you are drinking beers and chatting with some friends around the pit. Not bad, isn’t it?

More info: Here

DIY Mini Fire Pit

Evansville Living

Here's a true mini fire pit made using a flower pot to create the size and shape. Your fire pit will take the form of any large plastic container you choose, such as a flowerpot or urn.

For this DIY fire pit, Deb McDaniel at Evansville Living sprayed the inside of the container with non-stick cooking spray and poured in quickly setting concrete. Set one or more gel fuel canisters into the wet concrete to create the right-sized space (coat the canister with non-stick cooking spray for easy removal). Place rocks or beach glass into the still-wet, pliable concrete mix for a sparkling finishing touch. When the concrete dries, remove the container (gently break it apart if necessary or glide the concrete out of the container) for your unique fire pit.

Repurposed Washing Machine Drum

HGTV

If you're going for the look of a stylish, pricey fire pit for practically nothing, it helps to get inventive. A sleek receptacle that can double as a fire pit is a stainless steel washing machine drum. Stainless steel holds up to heat, and the holes throughout the drum allow for the oxygen flow a fire needs for keeping the flames lit. Another perk at night, the little holes against a dark night backdrop look like tiny twinkly dots of light. Making this firepit requires some work, such as finding a used or old drum and using an angle grinder to get rid of the centerpiece, the agitator, making space for the firewood. Make sure you remove all the plastic and rubber bits, too.

16 17. Propane fire pit table

At 30L x 30W x 24.15H in. Both fire pit tables hav

At 30L x 30W x 24.15H in. Both fire pit tables have stylish porcelain-tile table top and cover to shield the pit when not in use. The base panels hide the gas tank. Here is the light grey table, and dark grey table.

Tip: a tempered glass wind guard will help with flickering flames when windy, like this one- American Fireglass Wind Guard

How to Make a DIY Fire Pit Table

The only thing more fun than a DIY fire pit is a DIY fire pit table, and it’s about as easy to make. Follow these instructions to create your very own DIY fire pit table.

Supplies:

  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Kreg Jig
  • Wood Glue
  • Sander or Sand Paper
  • Jigsaw
  • box cutter
  • 5 boards (2x4x8)
  • 1 board (1x4x8)
  • Fire Pit Insert
  • Energy Source for the Fire
  • Cement Board
  • Caulk
  • Stain/Paint as desired

Step 1: Cut Your Wood

Cut the wood into equal pieces to make the square sides of your table. The pieces for the top can be a little bit longer to make a rectangle-shaped table. 

Step 2: Put the Wood Together

Drill holes into a couple of the boards. Use these to assemble the others into squares. It is recommended to make your squares for the sides of the table 5 boards put together.

Lay the longer pieces across the top and screw in place. You can use wood glue as well if you need extra adhesion.

Step 3: Stain or Paint the Table

Now is the time to stain or paint your table if you plan to do so. You should also sand any rough ends.

Step 4: Cut a Hole

Next, cut a hole in the table where you want the fire pit insert to be. You’ll want to cut the hole slightly larger than the size of the kit, approximately an inch on each side.

Step 5: Install the Fire Pit Bix

Cut and assemble a wooden box the size of the fire pit kit starter you purchased. Be sure it is a little larger than the hole you just cut. Place your cement board at the bottom of the box. Use caulk to hold it into place.

Step 6: Attach the Box to the Table

Use screws and wood glue to attach the box to the bottom of the table. It needs to be secure and dry before you move on to the next step.

Step 7: Add the Fire Pit Insert

Place your completed fire pit table where you plan to use it. Once it is in place, put the fire pit insert into the box. Fill any excess space with fireproof materials like fire glass or stones. Now you can enjoy your new fire pit table.

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2. Tabletop Fire Pit

This chic fire pit is a elegant alternative to the traditional garden pit. Although you probably won’t be using it to cook anything, it will bring a touch of luxury to your patio. Just add your favourite garden furniture set nearby and enjoy watching the flames flicker.

source: www.theartofdoingstuff.com
source: www.theartofdoingstuff.com

9. All Squared Away

If a concrete square is a little too spartan for your tastes, but a circle seems passé, try a concrete block square! Using blocks in a square avoids the time consuming process of cutting the blocks to fit into a tidy circle.

source:
source:

What Stone Is Best for a DIY Fire Pit?

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Almost any type of rock can explode, particularly porous and moist rocks. When wet rocks become heated, the trapped water and air expand rapidly and violently shatter the rock, occasionally causing it to explode. 

River rocks, gravel, pumice, limestone, and sandstone are all examples of rocks that should be avoided when building a fire pit due to their porous nature and proclivity to retain water. 

Due to the density of hard rocks (such as slate, marble, or granite), they are less prone to absorb water and burst when exposed to heat. Additionally, fire-rated brick, poured concrete, lava rocks, and lava glass are all safe to use around and in your fire pit. 

This is one place where lava rocks can be used to ensure the safety of a fire pit. If your fire pit contains or is surrounded by rocks, exercise caution when igniting flames after it has rained. 

Wet rocks have a far greater chance of exploding than dry rocks. If you use your fire pit frequently, you may want to consider covering it during inclement weather to keep it dry and to keep yourself safe.

#6 Select an (Almost) Smokeless Fire Pit

Smokeless fire pits, or smokeless stoves, aren’t entirely smokeless. But even though they’re wood burning, they generate less ash than wood fire pits The list of pros is extensive: durable, easy to maintain, efficient, usually made of stainless steel, and sometimes portable.

Keep in mind that some aren’t safe to use on decks, so for those, you’ll need a heat shield or fire pit mat.

The price ranges from about $90 to about $600 if you want a high-end Solo Stove.

Fire Pit Build Safety Tips

Building a fire pit, while it indeed can be a fun weekend project, is also a serious undertaking with high stakes for the safety of your friends and family. It’s imperative that safety is top of mind through each step in the process to ensure a final product that offers not only fun and beauty, but a safe environment for all involved.

Start by ensuring that your fire pit is built in a safe area, away from flammable structures and plant life. Ensure that every material used in your pit is fire-resistant and safe for high-heat situations. This includes the stones, adhesive, and mortar you use to construct the fire pit. Build the pit carefully and solidly, and when enjoying an evening around your pit, always have a fire extinguisher or water source close at hand in case things get out of control.

  • Do not use regular bricks to build a fire pit. They may crumble and degrade or, worse, because they may contain trapped water and gases, they can explode.
  • Do not use river rocks as the base layer of your pit. They, too, can contain moisture that can explode.
  • If possible, have a second human on the premises when you’re constructing your pit. If a heavy block lands on your foot or if you get carried away with the rock chisel, it’s good to have someone nearby to render first aid.

Tools Materials

  • Brick hammer

    Brick hammer

  • Cold chisel

    Cold chisel

  • Spade

    Spade

  • Hoe

    Hoe

  • Metal rake

    Metal rake

  • Tamper

    Tamper

  • Level - 2 foot

    Level – 2 foot

  • Level - 4 foot

    Level – 4 foot

  • Mallet

    Mallet

  • Caulk gun

    Caulk gun

  • Pointed trowel

    Pointed trowel

  • Power grinder

    Power grinder

Fire Pit Parts: An Overview

Illustration by Gregory Nemec

A built-in fire pit is a glorified campfire, with sturdy walls of stone that help contain the flames and heat. That’s especially important in the parts of the country where there’s a risk of brush fires. So the first task in building any fire pit is checking local codes on open flames. The pit must be located far from overhanging trees, the house, and any other flammable structure.

To make building stone walls easier, you can use blocks made from cast concrete and molded to look like real stone (available at any home center). They’re flat on the top and bottom so they stack neatly, and some interlock for added strength. Glue them together with masonry adhesive. Choose a block with angled sides, meant to form curves when butted against each other. The optimal size for a fire pit is between 36 and 44 inches inside diameter. That will create enough room for a healthy fire but still keep gatherers close enough to chat.

As an added precaution, the fire pit should be lined with a thick steel ring like the ones used for park campfires. These protect the concrete in the blocks from the heat, which can cause them to dry out and break down prematurely.

A fire pit should sit low to the ground, with walls rising no more than a foot off the ground. But for stability, the base of the wall must be buried below ground in a hole lined with gravel, providing drainage and protecting against frost heaves in winter. The gravel also creates a level base for the stones to rest on. Most concrete blocks are about 4 inches high, so if the first course and a half sit underground, and there are two and a half courses above ground with a cap on top, you’ll end up with a foot-high wall—just right for resting your feet on while sitting in an outdoor chair.

#9 DIY the Patio, Too

 If you’re building the pit, why not build the patio, too? It’s just a floor, so no design skills required.

In order of difficulty: A decomposed granite patio is easiest to DIY. Pavers are next, followed by flagstone.

“Fifty to 60 percent of a patio cost is the labor,” Rogers says. You can do this, thrifty homeowner. Go to YouTube, search “How to build a patio,” and get going.

Related: 6 DIY Fire Pits That’ll Make You Feel Oh-So-Warm

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