Building a Fire Pit In Eight Hours


June, 2018

We’ve walked you through how to build a shed in three days, and this week we’re here to add more fun to your backyard. In one afternoon using this guide, you’ll have your very own fire pit to host late night summer gatherings and make s’mores with the family.

close up of a fire in a fire pit

Hours 1-2: Pick And Prepare Your Location

You’ve decided you want a fire pit, but now must decide where to place that fire pit in your yard. The location should be far from the house and have no low-hanging greenery or branches above. Keep in mind that you’ll be keeping chairs and other furniture around the pit, so there should be plenty of room for gathering space. Some cities have regulations on fire pit locations, so be sure to conduct research on your own city before taking the plunge. Also, call your city to check for any underground utilities before conducting any excavation.

If you’re choosing to build on concrete or patio with polymeric sand in the joints, remember to line the bottom of the fire pit to protect the sand. The best choice is to use fire-rated bricks cut to fit the inside of the pit. If you’re installing on grass, use a stake, string, and marking paint to create a compass to outline the pit. This will allow you to visualize your pit and double check the positioning.

Hours 3-4: Laying A Base

Now that you’ve marked and prepared the land for a pit, remove the sod and dirt to a depth of 2-3 inches (if you wish to reuse the sod, be sure it keep it damp). With the soil exposed, compact the area using a hand tamper. Be sure to level the base to ensure proper installation, and adjust by removing or adding soil as needed. Using your paver base, lay it in the leveled tampered area. Make the base wet with a hose, compact the layer, then add another 1/2 inch of paver base and continue tamping. This will complete your base, and you’ll be ready to move on to setting the stones.

Hours 5-6: Setting The Stones

Now is the fun part of the project, where your pit will begin to resemble a structure. Choose your favorite color and texture of stone, while still choosing the proper shape and durability for your pit. Lay the first row of stones, making sure all the blocks are snug and touching. Insert your stone ring in the middle to check for any layout issues, and use a level to make sure the stones are laid properly. Remove the ring and set aside.

Now, lay the second row of stone, making sure the stones are staggering joints as you proceed. Remove two stones at a time and apply landscape adhesive before repositioning them back on the adhesive. Continue with the third row of stones as you did with the second, checking with a level, adding adhesive, and staggering the joints.

a fire pit with a seating area in the back of a green backyard

Hours 7-8: Final Touches

Insert the metal ring inside the fire pit. Fill the bottom with lava rocks (or another base of your choice) and give your fire pit plenty of time to cure before using. Add logs and kindling, and invite your closest friends over for the best s’mores in town. Remember to fully extinguish flames before leaving your fire pit unattended, and refrain from tossing trash or other objects in the pit. Lastly, many cities have ordinances in place which state you much have a metal fire pit covering, so be sure you have a “lid” that you can put on top of your pit to catch debris that may fly out of the pit during use.

If you have other outdoor projects you’ve been excited to try, call J-Tech construction today for help with all of your exterior needs. We’re just as excited for your projects as you, and are happy to give you a free consultation to kickstart your to-do list.

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