How To Build A Backyard Fire Pit
The most basic below ground, backyard fire pit will add many years of enjoyment to your summer get-togethers and can be built with the following items:
– Measuring Tape
– 1 Can of Athletic Marking Chalk ( Krylon 5895 Marking Chalk works very well)
– River Rock (various sizes)
Once you have these items, then the fun really begins!
First order of business is to determine the location of your new fire pit.
Typical locations for most people are the back yard of their home.
Find a location in your back yard that is at least 25ft. away from structural or combustible material for obvious safety reasons. Last thing we want is for your house to catch fire or for anybody else’ for that matter! Even if it’s that nosy, annoying neighbor… I know, I know… But, we all need to practice safe fire pitting.
Once you’ve determined the location you’d like to build your fire pit, take your can of marking chalk and mark a single dot in the center of where you’re envisioning the center of the pit to be.
Now, with your tape measure, you should measure out from the center, 4 ft. all the way around to create the outside diameter. Just mark a dotted circle again with your marking chalk.
Now that your diameter is created, it’s time to bust out that shovel and start digging!
Starting at the edge of your lines, dig toward the center to create your pit. General rule of thumb is to dig a depth of 6 inches to 1 ft. with a gradual decline toward center to create the bowl.
Once your bowl is dug, in comes the river rock. This is the really fun part because it’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle! C’mon… Bring out your inner child!
The goal here is to line the outer rim and the outer walls of the bowl with river rock, leaving the center and bottom of the fire pit as only dirt. The river rock will help to contain the fire so it doesn’t spread to the outside of the pit. The dirt in the center will also help to contain the fire in a single area.
Begin by lining the outer edge with the river rock to create a border around the fire pit. Once you’ve placed the rock to create a border, start to build up the interior walls of the bowl in the same fashion. Build the walls to the point of the bowl where it begins to level out toward to bottom.
After all of the river rock has been placed, take the dirt you dug up to create the fire pit and begin filling in the spaces between the rocks. This is much easier if done by hand rather than with your shovel because you can pack it down and be sure it’s secure. This also works a lot better if the dirt you have is slightly moist. Just make sure it isn’t wet mud. Depending on your geographical location, the dirt should be sufficient as is and will require zero added water.
After you’re done filling in the spaces with dirt, make one final pass over to ensure the pit is stable. If you find any lose areas, repeat step 5 until the pit becomes stable enough. The more dirt you use and the harder packed it is, the stronger the fire pit will be.
Building an Outdoor Fire Pit can be a very rewarding project for many seasons to come. This step-by-step guide will show you the basics of building an outdoor fire pit.