If you want a fire pit in your backyard but are not impressed with the retail options, are concerned about cost or just want something original, can you build one yourself? The answer is yes. And it doesn’t take nearly as much effort or expertise as you might think. You don’t need to be an expert mason, either. A few tools you probably have on hand, and maybe even some materials you have on hand, and you can build yourself a cozy, safe and enjoyable fire pit for those chilly evenings.
Before you should even contemplate building your own fire pit, check with the local fire department and local code officials to make sure you’re allowed to do it first, and if there are any special rules you need to follow. Don’t get yourself a code violation for no good reason.
What You’ll Need
As far as tools, you really just need a good shovel and some elbow grease to dig the pit. Then you’ll need some fire proof material like bricks, paving stones, rocks or field stones for the lining. You might already have these on hand from a driveway paving project, or maybe some bricks were left over when you had your house or fireplace refaced. If not, a good place to start before heading to the home improvement store is an architectural salvage yard, if you have one nearby. If not, don’t spend an arm and a leg on really fancy new materials. It’s going to get black anyway and its for protection and safety more than aesthetics. Measure your hole and do some quick calculations to determine how much you need to line around the sides of the hole, with enough to extend above the ground several inches. If you buy too much or not enough, just head back to the store.
Pick a safe spot in your yard with at least 10 feet clearance from buildings, sheds, trees shrubs and anything else that may be flammable or combustible. If you have a yard that gets heavy breezes in certain areas, avoid them.
You can dig your hole in any shape you want; round, square, rectangle. Heck, go star shaped if it suits you. Just remember that odd shapes are harder to line. As noted above, line the sides and make sure you leave a few inches above grade. If you have a round hole and flat faced stones, arrange the stones in a circle and then fill in dirt on the outside of the stones, making sure they stay put. If you want, line the bottom. This is an added step and additional materials, but it will make cleaning out ash easier and keep your hole from getting deeper than you want it.
Now that you have an in ground hearth, safety is a big responsibility you should never take lightly. A screened heavy steel grill that fits over it can keep embers from taking flight. Make sure to completely smother the fire once you are done for the night.
Keep it covered when you are not using it. Always have a fire extinguisher near by.
Although you want to save money but consulting an outdoor living experts team will always ensure that no safety and building codes are violated while building your own backyard fire pit.