Renew Crew

Outdoor Surface Cleaning Blog

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Warming up the Outdoors

After several years of wanting to have a fire pit we finally took an afternoon and built one. It was so simple to do, I wish we would have built this sooner! Now we want to make this fire pit the highlight of a new patio, seating wall and even a pergola one day.

We can’t take credit for the design, we found the paver pattern in a Pavestone brochure. Having the design already worked out, we just went to the home improvement store and picked up the exact number of pavers that we needed so we had no waste or extras. In addition, the size worked perfectly with the premade metal fire ring that we also purchased at the home improvement store. All-in-all, the project cost about $275.00. Not too bad for the value that it added to our home. Do you care to learn how to build this yourself? If so, here’s a few photos and how-to’s.

The first step was to choose the best spot in the yard for the fire pit. We took into account where the smoke would go so that it would not interfere with our neighbors outdoor enjoyment. The last thing you want to do is smoke up your neighbors’ deck, patio or their windows and doors. We settled on an area in our front yard off to the side that was fairly level and the ground was good and compacted. It was our preference to do less digging and leveling to save time and our backs.

Next, we placed the metal fire ring on the ground to use as a template to get the circle right. With fire ring on the ground, I used a hoe and removed the grass all the way around the ring that was wide enough to account for the pavers. Then we removed the ring and dug out the center of the circle. You do not have to remove the grass in the center but we needed some loose soil to level with. We then raked out the area and checked for level.

Next we started laying down the pavers to see just how level we were with the pavers. This step is the most important as you want your base level to be level so that each layer of the pavers line up properly and so that the fire pit does not lean. We were out of level about a half inch so as we went around the circle, we added dirt as needed. Each block was checked for level front to back, side to side and against the others.

Once the foundation row was completely level, we started on the next level. We staggered the joints just as you would do if building a wall. This adds strength and more design interest. We added the entire layer and once again checked for level. When all looked right, we added concrete adhesive to the bottom of each block to lock the layer in place. We repeated the same steps for each layer as it was placed.

The final step was to add river rock inside the fire pit and place the fire ring on the pavers. Also, (not shown here) we added a ring of river rock around the outside base of the fire pit to finish off the look. The river rock hides the exposed dirt and is a good transition from the pit to the grass.

Our final tip, if you find it challenging to get your fire started, if you have some pine straw or even pine cones, they light very easily and will get the wood kindling started. Just be careful-dry pine burns very quickly!

We encourage you to build your own fire pit, it’s provided hours of enjoyment to us already in just one week’s time and honestly, it is the easiest DIY project that we have completed together. You might even become very popular in the neighborhood as who can resist toasted marshmallows and smores?