DIY Fire Pit Ideas
It’s nice to be able to bring a little light and warmth into our evening and nighttime hours, and it’s not hard to do either. With the right accessories and some great DIY fire pit ideas, outdoor cooking and relaxing can come from a fire pit in your yard.
Installing an outdoor fire pit is well within the abilities of nearly every homeowner, and with just a few tools and easy to obtain materials, a very attractive and functional fire pit can be built in a weekend.
Also, homeowners can inexpensively obtain a ready-built free-standing fire pit such as the Breeo-X system which allows great outdoor cooking and enjoying the flame of a fire pit with minimal setup and preparation.
The first and perhaps most important step in placing any fire pit in the yard whether it is an owner-built unit or a ready-made metal form, is determining where the pit will go. Make sure that local regulations allow open fires. Some communities don’t allow it.
The fire pit needs to be away from the house, but within easy walking distance. Try to find a level spot that is not under trees or near bushes. Look and make sure there are no overhead limbs or power lines. Don’t locate a fire pit over underground utilities, either.
Having the simple fire pit within reach of a water hose or source is also a good idea and maybe required.
Plan It Out Now to Save Trouble Later
Now comes the sweat work if you choose to move forward with your cheap fire pit ideas. You’lll need a spade to dig good straight walls and either buckets or a wheelbarrow to remove dirt.
Most fire pits are circular, they don’t have to be, but a circle fire makes sense in most cases. A four foot diameter pit is right for most uses.
Take the cement blocks that can be purchased at any hardware or big box store. These will become the walls of the pit. Lay out a circle of them to make the four-foot ring. Blocks can be trimmed using a chisel and hammer if needed, but most of the time, they’ll fit well as they are.
A metal inner-ring is a good idea for a fire pit, and it can be used to lay out the circle. Metal rings can be found at most big hardware stones locally or they can be ordered online. The rings often come with wire screens, and this is a great idea for safety reasons.
Once the circle looks right, mark the outside edge of the circle to guide the digging work. Stack the blocks used to plan the circle out of the way. Chalk powder or spray paint can be used to mark the ring.
Get to Know Your Spade
With the spade, dig a six-inch deep trench all the way around the marked circle. Keep the sides of the trench as straight as you can, and keep the bottom flat and smooth as this will make laying the cement blocks much easier.
Once the trench is dug and the inside dirt is removed, the blocks should fit in the planned circle near the dug walls with a little room for adjustment.
If an inside metal ring is used, it must fit snugly to the cement blocks.
Keep it Level
Once the first ring of blocks is laid and the ring looks good, we can move on. Remove the first row of blacks and fill the trench with about six inches of gravel. Walk on the gravel to compact it. When the ring of gravel-filled trench looks level and the gravel is set, we can lay the blocks permanently.
Lay the first row of blocks and use a bubble level to make sure it’s level and square. The top of the first row of blocks should be right at ground level. Then continue to lay the first row off blocks and level as you go.
We can use a masonry adhesive to hold the rows of blocks together, but dry-laid blocks will work well, too.
When the first row is laid, leveled, and squared, we can lay the next row. Make sure to crisscross the blocks so that joints are staggered and don’t fall in a line which is a very weak structure.
We will only want to build the fire pit up a foot or so above the ground. This is enough for protection to the fire and is high enough to keep people and pets out of the pit.
When we have the blocks laid to three layers, we can fill the inside of the pit with gravel and the metal ring. This gives good support to the inside of the ring.
Make a Nice Finish on Top
The final layer of blocks will need a cap of some kind. We can use the same blocks used for the circular walls, but flat paving blocks look very nice on top, and a cap of same-thickness rocks laid on the blocks can be very attractive. Make sure this final cap of material whether it’s blocks, pavers, or fieldstone is well attached to the blocks with masonry cement.
Let the adhesives cure for a couple of days, and we’re ready for a fire.
Easy Fire Pit Ideas
Of course, if heavy home-construction is not what a potential fire pit owner has in mind, there are some very attractive options. Professionally designed and built fire pits are easy to install, attractive, and they can be used the same day they are assembled at home.
The Breeo-X Series of USA-built fire pits offer folks X Air Flow technology which gives improved air flow in the pit unit which reduces smoke, and the steel outside wall of the unit takes color as it ages beautifully. This unit is fifteen inches high, has a 19.5 inch opening, and it weighs 78 pounds. This ready-made firepit is a great option for folks who want the beauty and functionality of a firepit without the sweat and effort required to build one.
And fire pits are not just for ambiance and atmosphere. Easy fire pit cooking grate ideas allow a fire pit to become a first-rate cooking tool. Burgers, steaks, hot dogs- anything that cooks on any other barbecue grill can be prepared on a fire pit grill, also.