Ah, the stone fire pit: gatherer of friends and cooker of tasty treats. Fire pits are much more efficient and easier to maintain that traditional 3 stone stoves, not to mention, much more aesthetically pleasing.
But this DIY guide is not just for making a simple fire. You could save yourself the hassle and sit next to a fake one at your nearest Starbucks — if that’s all you’re trying to do. This guide is for you to gather your friends and plan for an outing!
Get a Game Plan
First thing’s first–make sure you know what you are about to do, what you need and where you are going to do it. Take your time a do some research on what you want your fire pit to look like. In this guide, we will focus on constructing a round stone pit but you can definitely variate to your liking using these concepts as a base. Check building codes in your neighborhood to get up to speed on proper specs and regulations and make a list of the tools and supplies needed to construct your dream fire pit.
For a basic concrete stone pit, you’ll need to visit your local hardware store and purchase the following supplies:
- concrete pavers- plan to purchase enough to build a circular wall at least 12 in high and 36–44 in diameter
- bag of sand
- tape measure
- steel rake
Need help? Talk to someone at your local hardware store to troubleshoot which materials will be best for your particular environment.
Pick the Perfect Spot…
Put some thought into picking out a spot for your fire pit and take some time to observe your yard, the terrain and where you will be hanging out most frequently on a chilly winter night. For safety, search out an open area well away from your house, low hanging tree branches, utility lines and other plants and structures. Now it’s time to prep the chosen area.
Use your rake or other yard tools to level and clear out weeds, rocks and smooth bumpy, uneven ground for a flat, solid surface. Take safety to the next level and dig a shallow hole removing the topsoil. You want to dig a moderate, 12 in deep hole right in the middle of the circle, which will be surrounded by pavers. Remember to watch out for those pesky utility lines!
Size up Your Pit Circle
Lay the concrete pavers in a circle about 36 to 44 inches in diameter and measure with tape and a level. Try using a round BBQ grille grate as a measuring guide when layering the pavers. Next, continue to stack the pavers in a circle. You can either stack leaving a crack of space between each or lay pavers side by side. You can make your pit larger or smaller in size depending on what you want. If you are using a grate as a guide, simply layer pavers around it to look like a sun disk with rays.
Just Add Sand
Now comes the sandy part. Layer sand on the bottom and tamp till level. You don’t have to just use sand either- Gravel works just as well. Cover the center of the pit with a thick layer of sand/gravel.
Stack Those Stones
Once the sand is down pat, continue on your layering quest. Stack as many pavers around the circle to your liking, at least 12 inches above the ground. You can build the wall as high as you fancy, but make sure there are at least two layers surrounding the shallow dig. Pour a second layer of sand into the circle, completely covering the first layer. Make sure that overall, the sand is at least four inches deep.
Now that your fire pit is complete, it’s time to grab some hot cider and light it up! Just be safe when dealing with fire and monitor flames responsibly.