Building a Stone Fire Pit in Your Backyard

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When it comes to landscaping designs, fire pits are popular features because they can really be built to suit any yard in any location. The size is adjustable, and so are the materials, meaning that you can use whatever is available in your area to create the perfect entertainment and relaxation space in your yard. It’s also a great way to add value to your property. Take a look at the basics of building your own stone fire pit.

What You’ll Need

  • Knowledge of local codes for fire pits – required distance from housing and trees, as well as whether or not you need to encircle it with gravel and sand

  • Weed eater (to keep the area clear of grass, weeds, and other unwanted plants while building, as well as around the edges after construction is complete; you can find a number of light and easy to use trimmers that will get the job done

  • Fireproof material, such as stone or bric

  • Fire brick (for fireproofing the structure)

  • Concrete for the base

  • Mortar for the side

  • Spray paint (to mark the perimeter for construction)

  • Shovel, trowel, string

Step 1 – The Foundation

Using string tied to the can of spray paint, create a mark showing the area you want the fire pit to occupy. Inside the circle, dig a hole 6 inches deep. Mix your concrete with water to the consistency of peanut butter, and pour to within 1 ½ inches of the top of the hole. Smooth the concrete with a trowel so it is level and even, and let the concrete sit for at least 24 hours so that it hardens and sets properly.

Step 2 – Lay the Stones

Shovel about two inches of the mortar mix on top of the concrete around the edge, only putting it on sections at a time. As you finish a section of mortar, lay the stones on top. Mix and match the color, size, and shape of the stones so that they seem random but also fit together nicely. You can use a chipping hammer, if you like, to shape the stones better for the curve of the round fire pit. Repeat this step again for a second layer, and a third. As the outline begins to take shape, do the same with the fire brick on the inside of the structure to create your fireproof barrier.

Step 3 – Filling in the Gaps

Any gaps in the brick or stones should be filled with wet mortar. Use a trowel or the shovel to smooth over the fill so that it remains attractive rather than messy and rough. Be sure to stagger the joints between the bricks to make sure the strength of the structure is maintained.

You should select some flat field stones to lay as the top layer on your fire pit so that you have a nice, smooth, even surface. Use about an inch of mortar to lay these top stones. Then, go back around your entire structure, looking for excess mortar that needs to be scraped or holes to be filled a final time. Make sure the fire pit is solid.

Step 4 – The Finish Line

Finishing your fire pit is probably one of the easiest parts of the job. You should paint the inside bricks black for a uniform interior look. Be sure to use high heat stove paint so it doesn’t crack and peel when you start lighting fires. Once you’ve weeded the area around your fire pit, add a layer of landscape fabric in a dugout around it to prevent further growth. Inside the pit, create a base layer of river rocks over the concrete to keep it looking natural.

Now, all you have to do is find some great furniture to go around your fire pit for entertaining. It’s a great place to relax year-round, with the heat of the fire keeping you warm in the cold months. A fire pit looks great, feels natural, and keeps your yard space viable even during cold months when you would otherwise be trapped indoors. Use stone or brick or, treated and used with the appropriate fire brick, you can even use wood to build your fire pit. That way, you have a personalized look that is thrilling to you!