Whether it’s a cool Summer’s evening of a cold Winter afternoon, having an outdoor stone fire pit to enjoy in your yard is a wonderful addition to any property.
The first step is to pick out the location in the yard where you’re going to want to build the fire pit. Use marking paint or chalk to indicate the area where your fire pit is going to be and then remove about 4-6 inches of dirt and sod within the outline.
Some jurisdictions require home owners to call a certain number, just as 811, before any digging occurs, even if it is just to a depth of 6 inches. Make sure you are following local laws as you begin your stone outdoor fire pit project.
Once you’ve got the dirt dug out, you will need to make sure that the area is as level as possible along the bottom of the pit. Many yards are sloped, even if only by an inch or two, so take a board and a level and see how flat you’ve actually made the bottom of your excavation. If there are slight variations, you can use the board to help flatten out overall pit.
Use Regular Gravel or Lava Rock For the Bed
Now you’re ready to fill in the bed of the fire pit. You can use standard gravel for this process. It takes a few wheelbarrows of stone to accomplish this in most cases. Rake the gravel so that you get a fairly even surface and then you’re ready to lay down your first bricks for the fire pit.
Make sure that you’re not using river rocks for the foundation – the water content of the rock can cause them to explode when they encounter the high heat of the fire.
Lay out the first layer in its entirety so that you have a complete circle. Once you have done this and everything looks flush and even, take a large board and lay it across the entire diameter of the circle. This will help you determine if you have created a level surface. Go all the way around the circle to make sure it is level and use a rubber mallet to set any stones that may just be slightly off.
It is easier to use bricks that don’t have railing edges on them. If you did select bricks with these edges, you’ll need to chip them off to get the fire pit to build correctly.
Now You’re Ready to Build Upward
Now you’ve simply got to build the walls up layer by layer with your bricks. As you are building, use some landscaping adhesive to make sure that you’re getting a good set with each brick that you place. After completing another full layer of the pit’s diameter, check how level it is as well and tap down with your rubber mallet if necessary.
Make sure to let your fire pit dry for at least 24 hours. Then all you need to do is get outside and enjoy your new property feature!