How to Build An Outdoor Fireplace Step-by-Step Guide

#1 Choose Wood Instead of Gas

Gas fire pits are more expensive because you’ll have to hire a plumber to run the gas line and an electrician to power the pit.

A wood fire pit has none of that cost, which will run at least several hundred dollars. Besides, who doesn’t love the smokey ambiance of a wood fire?

Video

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

DIY BBQ Fire Pit

Red Door Home

Most backyard fire pits offer the charm of flames that can roast marshmallows. But Stacy at Red Door Home wanted a completely functional fire pit that can be used for cooking throughout the summer.

Two full-size grills rest atop a ring of retaining wall blocks, allowing Stacy to cook anything from steaks and kebabs to s'mores. Extending the use of the fire pit ensures that it can be used for more than just the summer season.

Add the Rebar

  • Bend rebar into half circles for this circle fire pit and tie them together with wire to make a ring.
  • Fill the forms halfway.
  • Press the ring into the concrete for strength, making sure it doesn’t touch the sides of the forms.

Dry-Set the Firebrick Liner

  • Because regular clay brick can crack at high temperatures, we’re using firebrick (also called “refractory” brick) to line the inside of the easy fire pit walls.
    • Pro tip: Firebrick is a dense brick that’s kilned to withstand high temperatures. It’s larger, thicker and wider than regular brick, and you can find it at most brickyards. Firebrick is more expensive, but it will stand up to nightly fires for years to come.
  • You’ll need 25 firebricks for a 3-ft. diameter pit.
  • Because firebrick is so dense, it’s tougher to split than regular brick. “Soldiering” the brick (standing it on end) minimizes the amount of splitting and lets you easily accommodate the curve of the pit.
  • You’ll only need to split four firebricks (use the technique shown in step 11), which you’ll place across from one another around the pit to create draw holes for oxygen for your fire.
  • After you split your firebricks, dry-set them in place on top of the footing.
  • Adjust the spacing between bricks so you won’t have to cut the last brick to fit (cutting firebrick isn’t easy).
  • Mark the position of every brick on the footing.

11. Mini tabletop fire pit

                 Source:        The Art of Doing S
Source:

The Art of Doing Stuff

Create your very own personal zen fire pit with just a few simple materials and tools. Head over to The Art of Doing Stuff to find out how.

13. Easy DIY fire pit kits

A fire pit kit with metal fire ring and circular p

A fire pit kit with metal fire ring and circular precast stones or cinder block makes it so much easier to build your own fire feature. Below is the video tutorial from Lowes Youtube channel.

You can use the same technique to make a brick fire pit. Because bricks have different shapes than these retaining wall blocks, you may need mortar to help fill the pace in between the bricks.

#8 DIY a Fire-Pit Kit

If you’re handy, DIY it. You can get a kit for a wood-burning fire pit for $130 and up. (You can buy kits for gas fire pits, too, but they cost a lot more and you’re still going to need to run a gas line.)

The easiest fire-pit kits are made of modular stone that you can stack, no mortar necessary. They’re like Legos for grown-ups. Each brick has a raised edge that makes it sit securely on the one below it. The only tool you’ll need is a wrench.

But be prepared: These kits can weigh as much as half a ton. Buy one you can have delivered.

Materials Needed for a DIY Fire Pit

View in galleryView in gallery

Once you’ve decided on the fuel source for your fire pit, it’s time to pick up some supplies. Of course, the exact materials you need will depend on the type of fire pit you are making and where you plan to put it in your yard.

In general, you will want some sort of stone or cement, a way to attach them to one another, and a way to make a hole for the firepit to drain.

Here’s a list of DIY fire pit materials you can consider:

  • Stones
  • Bricks
  • Concrete Blocks
  • Shovel (to dig)
  • Cement mix
  • Steel Pit Ring
  • Metal Grate
  • Sand
  • Gravel
  • Rubber mallet
  • Paint if you desire

Although bricks and concrete blocks are the easiest materials to make a DIY fire pit with, you can use other materials like glass, recycled metal, or even old flower pots.

Just be sure whatever you use is fireproof, and know that if it is metal, it will be hot to the touch when a fire is in the pit.

8. Concrete Fire Pit

If building blocks aren’t so much your style, then you can keep things simple with a concrete pit. Build your forms, mix, and pour for a stunning square fire pit. Make sure that you include another material between the concrete and the fire.

source: www.diynetwork.com
source: www.diynetwork.com

14. Experiment with different textures

                 Source:        Piximus
Source:

Piximus

The great thing about DIY projects is that, well, you’re doing it yourself! Try using different colored bricks, or different shapes, you can even use small stones to fill in open spaces.

DIY Fire Pit vs. Pre-made Fire Pit

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When it comes to choosing a new fire pit, the key is determining which type is most suited to your needs. Consider your budget and the quality of the fire pit before deciding between a bespoke or prefabricated fire pit for your property.

Additionally, you should evaluate which will allow you to make the most of your outdoor oasis and create enduring memories.

Price

A fire pit DIY kit purchased from a local hardware store would cost homeowners between $100 and $500 for a simple construction. On the pricier end of the range, prefabricated models can cost homeowners between $1,000 and $4,000. 

The advantage of kits is that they are easy to find in brick-and-mortar stores or supplied right to your home, allowing homeowners to begin installation immediately. However, design options and construction materials are more limited.

Custom fire pits do require a greater financial commitment. Custom designs normally begin at $5,000. The cost of these items reflects the design, time, and labor involved in creating a personalized fire pit. 

Additionally, custom fire pits offer a wide variety of design and material possibilities, allowing you to exercise creative control over the entire project. For many people, the additional alternatives available exceed the additional time required to complete the project.

Quality of materials

Custom fire pits are constructed to resist extreme weather conditions. These permanent buildings need additional funding at the outset but result in a solid, long-lasting structure. 

You are making an investment in a space that your family will benefit from for years to come. The value is in the structure’s quality and the moments spent around your new personalized fire pit.

A prefabricated fire pit is of significantly inferior quality than its handcrafted equivalent. While the materials used in prefabricated kits are durable for a few seasons, they inevitably fracture, fall apart, or corrode.

FAQ About Building a Fire Pit

What do you put in the bottom of a fire pit?

You’ll want to start with a layer of sand at the bottom of the pit, and then top the sand with gravel, lava rocks, fire pit glass, paving stones or even bricks for your fire pit. Alternatively, you can simply use dirt.

How do you prepare the ground for a fire pit?

Clear away all grass and plant material. Excavate about 8 inches of soil, ensuring that the bottom of the pit is level and the soil is compact.

Can you build a fire pit on dirt?

Yes, you can build a fire pit on dirt. Make sure the dirt is compact and level.

What is the best base for a fire pit?

You have several options. Plain dirt is fine, but sand topped with gravel makes a more attractive base.

DIY Koi Pond Fire Pit

Lucy's Lampshade

As long as the size is correct, old garden ponds work perfectly as fire pits since they are usually lined with non-combustible rocks. Ensure that the pond has stone or concrete lining, not PVC, EPDM (a synthetic rubber), or other flammable pond liners.

Lucy, who blogs at Lucy's Lampshades, turned her old koi pond into a DIY fire pit for outdoor gatherings. She was ready for the change since raccoons and owls tended to gobble up the fish. The transformation was simple, and it took a layer of sand, a covering of rocks, plus firewood in the middle to start the party.

5. Concrete Tree Rings Fire Pit

This petite fire pit stands out for its unusual design and colour. Now that scalloped edges are currently on trend, this is the most fashionable fire pit in our list!

source: www.instructables.com
source: www.instructables.com

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.

23. DIY Tabletop fire pit

Video tutorial from DIY Creators on Youtube.

Video tutorial from DIY Creators on Youtube.

Tip: choose lava rocks, lava pebbles, or fire glass  , because river pebbles or concrete pieces can possibly explode when used over high heat flames.

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