How to Build an Above-Ground Fire Pit

Suzanne Oliver
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Difficulty: Intermediate
Duration: Day


Above-ground fire pitCircle around the backyard fire pit on a crisp, fall night to toast marshmallows and swap spooky stories.

Learn how to build an above-ground fire pit. It’s not as tough to construct as you might think.


Concrete blockTools:


  1. Arrange 16 blocks edge-to-edge in a circle on level ground. You can use a hose to help make the circle.
  2. Mark off circle with chalk.
    Tamping down sand in fire pit
  3. Remove the blocks and dig down 6 inches.
  4. Fill hole with 4 inches of paver base. To level, use a hand tamper, making it nice and compact.
  5. Add 2 inches of leveling sand on top.
  6. Tamper it down again. Double check using a level. A little lip of dirt should edge the circle.
  7. Enlist a helper and rearrange the blocks in a circle around the sand, making them as even as possible. If a block sits lower than the rest, shovel a little sand underneath and tamp down with a mallet. Then check with a level.
  8. Starting 2 inches from all sides of the block, squeeze three long squiggles (1/4 bead) of landscape block adhesive onto the top of each block. Glue a block on top of the middle of two and stagger around.
  9. Use this method to create a pit four rows tall. (You may have to cut the last block to fit. A diamond blade saw is the best option.)
  10. Fill in the bottom portion of pit with lava rock.

Stacking blocks for fire pit


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