Backyards provide the opportunity to spend quality time with those you love while enjoying our year-round amazing weather. But the fun doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down, especially as fall and winter approach – balmy evenings give us a great opportunity to relax with family or entertain friends outdoors. Fire pits create an inviting, cozy space in your own backyard.
Before you begin designing and constructing your fire pit, be sure to check if your town has any restrictions on backyard fires. Some HOAs and homeowner’s insurance companies also require that they be notified when a fire pit is built. Once you’ve checked that your town allows the construction and you’ve notified your HOA if necessary, you’re ready to begin.
What is the Right Location for Your Firepit?
Location is a critical factor when planning your fire pit. It needs to be at least 10 feet from any structures that could catch fire, such as your house, your neighbors, fences, pools, or gardens. You should also make sure there are no overhanging branches or dry plants nearby that can catch fire. Placing a fire pit on a patio can give your outdoor area a lovely aesthetic, but consider whether you are able to build it far enough away and how much room it may take up there. With proper preparation of the ground underneath, you could also place it anywhere on your lawn.
Expert Tip: Consider a chiminea if you can’t build a full fire pit.
Design Ideas for Fire Pits
Most fire pits are designed in either circular, square, or rectangular shapes. Square or rectangular structures fit well in a corner or against an outside wall of a patio. For a large gathering of friends, a round fire pit in your yard allows for a large group to enjoy the warmth equally.
Choose the color and type of pavers to build the outer structure of your fire pit. While general-use rectangular stones work for a square/rectangular pit, you will need trapezoidal blocks to form a circle that does not have any gaps between the stones. You can build a fire pit with just the outer ring of stones, but planning to use a steel fire ring set inside the stones will slow the process of stones drying out and cracking, as well as add an additional layer for the flames.
Prepare the Area for Your Fire Pit
When building on your lawn, measure and outline the area of the pit using spray paint or a trowel. Your marks should be slightly larger than the outer sides of your pavers.
- Remove the top 6-7 inches of soil from within the area, and flatten and tamp the area so that it is level.
- Lay a gravel layer of 4-5 inches to create a base for the stones to sit on–this will help prevent shifting over time.
- Set the first layer of stones onto the gravel, and use a level to ensure they are sitting flush together and have an even surface. Sand or extra gravel can be placed under rocks that sit too low, or you can tap down corners that sit too high.
- Once they are level, arrange the second layer temporarily. Test the fit of your fire ring at this point to make sure it sits well, then begin gluing the layers together with construction adhesive to ensure they don’t slip out of place.
For more ideas or inspiration for building firepits, check out Pinterest or other online photo sharing sites.
To purchase pavers or stones for a beautiful firepit – or to find any other backyard decor that you need – come to one of Big Earth Landscape Supply‘s 4 area locations.