Fire pits are an excellent idea if you like spending time with family and friends. They are a great way to relax in the evening. You can roast hot dogs and marshmallows or add a grill cover and cook over an open fire. A fire pit can be very elaborate or plain and simple. Basically, the finished pit will be as good or functional as you make it.
Design and Placement
Before you build the pit, you will need to plan your landscape design and know exactly where you want to put it. There are two types of pits. The first is below the ground's surface, while the other is on top and surrounded by a stone or brick parameter. Determine where you want to place the fire pit and then decide whether an above or below ground version is the best choice. Make sure you accurately measure the distance from where the pit will be and the nearest flammable object. The measurements will be extremely important if you plan on keeping insurance on your home or other outbuildings. Insurance companies may have restrictions on how close fire pits, grills and trash barrels can be placed to the home or garage.
Once you know how you want it to look and where it will be placed, the next step is to determine what materials you want to use and how you plan on building the pit. Fire pits are made of metal, stone, brick or cement. If you know the size of the pit and the type of material you want to use in its construction, then you will be ready to shop for your materials. You will need:
The enclosure – this can be made of a large metal, fire pit ring, stone or brick.
If the fire pit is to be permanently placed, it will be a good idea to buy mortar if you plan on using brick.
A metal grill rack that can be placed over the pit for cooking
You will need a shovel and rake to prepare the ground and dig the hole for the pit. A measuring stick would be helpful in digging the hole, but is not necessary, you can dig the pit as deep as you would like.
Whether you are planning on above or below ground pit, you will need to dig a hole. For an above ground pit, you will only have to remove an inch or two of top soil and make sure to clear away any grass and lawn debris. If you want the fire part of the pit to be below ground, you will need to dig down six to eight inches. Make sure hole you prepare is big enough to contain both the pit itself as well as the brick, stone or metal you choose to install to contain the fire.
Fire pits are normally lined with brick, stone or metal. If you plan on using a metal fire pit ring, purchase it first and you can use it as a pattern when digging the hole. If you are using brick or stone, you will need to measure carefully so you can include a lining of stone inside the pit itself. Once you have the hole dug, you can begin to place the brick and form the outside shell.
If you use brick, stones or cement pavers to build your fire pit and use mortar or another type of cement filler, you will need to let the pit set for a few days to make sure the cement hardens and has time to dry effectively. Once it is dry, you can have miniature bonfires whenever you want. It is ideal for backyard cookouts or relaxing on cool summer night. When you start planning your backyard landscape design, make sure to have a firepit as your focal point.