Building your very own DIY fire pit is an opportunity to transform your outdoor space. To show you, we’ll share with you just how we built ours and give you the best tips for getting started.
We’ll explore everything you need to know, from selecting the perfect location and choosing the right materials to design considerations and safety guidelines.
Grab your tools and smore’s, and let’s get started.
Deciding Where to put the firepit
If you have been following along with our stories on Instagram, chances are you already know this story.
When we first moved into the house, Travis found a wonderful location for a future firepit.
The original location was directly behind our house, just feet away from the flowing creek. Better yet, the spot he had picked out is surrounded by a ring of tall, beautiful, trees. It’s definitely a place to connect with nature!
Here’s where the location changed. After installing our fence, I realized I did not want to go in and out of our gates every time we had a bonfire. Opening and closing the gate over and over (trips to the house, trips to the bathroom, etc), we ran the risk of our dogs getting out.
Long story short, we decided to put the firepit inside the fence. After walking our property, we realized there were some factors to consider when picking a location for a firepit.
Tips to Consider When Picking a Location for a Firepit
When choosing the right location to build a fire pit, there are several factors to consider. Here are five tips to help you make an informed decision:
- Safety First: Select a safe location away from any structures, overhanging trees, or flammable materials. Ensure there is ample space around the fire pit to prevent accidental fires or injuries. Be mindful of local regulations and any fire restrictions in your area.
- Accessibility: Choose a location that is easily accessible and convenient for you and your guests. Consider factors such as proximity to seating areas, outdoor living spaces, or the kitchen if you plan to cook over the fire. Additionally, think about how easy it will be to transport firewood and other supplies to the location.
- Wind Direction: Choose a location that provides some protection from gusts.
- Ground Surface: Look for a flat and stable surface for your fire pit. Avoid areas with dry grass, shrubs, or any other combustible materials nearby.
- Privacy: Consider the overall privacy you desire when using the fire pit. Choose a location that provides a pleasant view, such as overlooking a creek or water feature.
Remember to check your local regulations, obtain any necessary permits, and follow safety guidelines when constructing and using a fire pit.
Creating the base for the fire pit
We wanted a large enough area to add additional seating if needed. Therefore, he chose to create a bonfire pit that is 24′ round.
To begin creating a firepit base (24′ diameter), Travis first measured and marked off the area. To do that, he completed the following steps:
- He put a stake in the ground to mark the center of the area where the new fire ring would sit.
- He cut and tied a 12′ string to the stake.
- Holding the string’s end (pulled tight) in one hand and spray paint in the other, he sprayed the ground all the way around.
- When complete, he had a perfect circle measuring 24′ diameter.
Next, he killed the grass inside of the marked circle. You can do this using any grass killer from your local Tractor Supply.
After the grass was dead, he cut it down and laid landscaping fabric to cover the ground inside the firepit area.
We purchased a pallet of large limestone rocks to border the firepit area. On a rainy weekend afternoon, he and I worked to lay these out.
Once the limestone border rocks were into place, we began filling the area with pea gravel.
For both the limestone and pea gravel, we spent $750. Thankfully, we had access to a dump truck to avoid delivery costs.
For the size of our fire area, we had to purchase an entire dump-truck full of pea gravel.
Using shovels and leveling rakes, we spread the gravel to be 2″ deep throughout the entire circumference.
Setting the fire ring
After our area was filled with pea gravel, it was time to place the fire ring in the center.
First, he removed the stake from the center of the ring. Again, that stake was used to locate the center of the ring. This was helpful to mark a perfect circle, and to know exactly where the fire ring should be.
Thankfully, we found a really cool firepit ring from Tractor Supply. It is large enough to burn long fires, has a swinging cooktop, and seems sturdy enough to last for years.
The price of our fire ring was $293.
Burning wood inside a metal fire ring serves several purposes:
- Containment: The primary purpose of a fire ring is to contain the fire within a designated area. The metal ring acts as a barrier to prevent the fire from spreading beyond its boundaries.
- Safety: Using a metal fire ring adds a layer of safety by providing a physical barrier between the fire and the surrounding environment.
- Heat Distribution: The metal fire ring helps to distribute heat evenly. It absorbs heat from the fire and radiates it outward, creating a warm and comfortable space around the fire pit. This allows you to gather around the fire and enjoy its warmth without being too close to the flames.
- Structure and Stability: It helps hold the wood in place and prevents it from spreading outward. Additionally, the metal ring can withstand high temperatures and is less likely to degrade or become damaged over time compared to other materials.
- Aesthetics: The use of a metal fire ring can enhance the visual appeal of the fire pit. It adds a defined boundary and creates a focal point for the fire, making it an attractive feature in outdoor spaces.
Making memories around the fire
And that’s it, y’all! Now, the hard part is done, and it’s time to sit back and enjoy the fire.
We added adirondack chairs, side tables, and tiki torches for a great fire pit ambiance!
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