How to Build a Fire Pit

R. L. Rhodes
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Difficulty: Intermediate
Duration: 2 hours

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Introduction

Few things make a backyard as cozy on cool autumn nights as huddling around a fire pit. These instructions will show you how to build your own.

Start by stripping any turf grass or plants away from the area where you intend to build. Lay out a single layer of stones to judge the shape and size of the fire pit. You can use string or a garden hose to help define the boundary. Marking the outer edge with powdered chalk will provide a clear perimeter for digging the base of the pit.

Step 1

Remove the stones, then dig a six inch base for your pit. As with any project requiring digging, call 811 first to make sure there’s no danger of disrupting utility lines.

Cover the base of the excavated pit with a 6 in. layer of gravel and an inch or two of leveling sand. Use a level to ensure an even surface. Tamp the surface to compact the sand.

Step 2

Return the first layer of stones, adjusting the level of sand below any that sit higher or lower than their surrounding blocks. Using a rubber mallet, tamp each stone to settle them firmly into the sand. Check the level of the stones to avoid sloping.

Apply landscape block adhesive to the top of each block, leaving a 2-inch perimeter between the adhesive and the edge of each block. Stagger the placement of the stones on each new layer so that each stone overlaps two stones in layer below it.

Step 3

Continue placing stones until you’ve built the pit to the desired height, preferably 3 to 4 blocks high. Cover the floor of the pit with a layer of loose, fire-safe stone. Allow the adhesive to fully dry before using the pit. Paving around the pit will help reduce the chances that an errant spark will come into contact with grass or other plants.

Materials

Tools

For video instructions, watch Coach Dave and Foodie Ken build this project on The Home Depot YouTube channel.

If doing-it-yourself seems a little too involved, take a look at the pre-assembled fire pit kits available at The Home Depot.

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