How to Build a DIY Fire Pit
It may amazed you how easy it is to construct your own amazing, low-cost DIY fire pit in your backyard. And how versatile it may be for gatherings with family and friends!
When we first started developing our farm 11 years ago, one of the first chores we addressed was the construction of a fire pit. It remains one of our all-time favorite projects to this day. I don’t think we realized how much pleasure it would provide us when we built it.
It was the ideal gathering spot for a lively chat. Whether it was with family, friends, and neighbors, or just the two of us, we were able to enjoy the warm light of a fire while gazing up at the wide sky.
I’m not sure how many pots of chili or garden-fresh vegetable soup we cooked over the fire. And how did that slow-simmering soup over open flames taste? It’s simply divine! So here, you will get a complete guide about how to make a fire pit screen.
How to Make a Low-Cost DIY Fire Pit
On the other hand, the fire pit always made an evening seem more than excellent. That’s why, when we relocated to our new property this year, constructing one was a high priority. It was, in fact, one of the first jobs we finished.
It is possible to construct a fire pit that is both simple and economical. The key to success is to use a few simple fire pit construction techniques that are both sturdy, beautiful, and functional. Then, by incorporating natural and locally available materials, you can create an outstanding appearance that is also cost-effective.
The identical approach was used to build both of our fire pits for under $175. In fact, our newest fire pit costs less than $50 to construct! Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how we built our fire pit, as well as a few pointers on how to keep your project on budget.
Using The Earth As Your Friend
The first step in creating a usable fire pit is to keep it below the soil line. When it comes to building and sustaining a fire, burying the pit a little deeper into the ground has several significant advantages.
To begin with, it keeps your fire pit safe by keeping embers from leaping from a burning fire. It also aids in preventing the wind from becoming too much of a problem—both for igniting and keeping smoke out of your eyes.
However, burying your fire pit in the ground helps to insulate it. This means the wood will burn a little slower, and the heat will be distributed more evenly over the fire. This is fantastic not only for relaxing around the fire but also for cooking.
Creating A Template For Your Fire Pit
A 36-inch piece of thread was connected to a spherical rebar pole to construct our circular fire pit design. We began by embedding a rebar post into the ground where we needed the fire pit’s accurate focus to be.
We next walked around the post with the thread wrapped around it, spray painting a perfect circle on the ground with a spray can. It simplifies what might be a time-consuming operation of measuring an accurate circle.
After marking the lines, we scraped 16 inches of earth from inside each line. We finished up with a hole that was 72 inches in circumference and 16 inches deep all the way around after using a 36-inch string.
The 72-inch diameter may appear wide, but it will be filled with stone to form the fire pit circle. It also provides enough room for our cooking bar base to be installed, as you will see later. You may, of course, make your circumference any size you choose. Keep in mind that you will lose some space when you stack the stones to complete the circle.
The Cooking Bar Install
This is entirely a discretionary step. However, if you plan on cooking over your fire, we can assure you that this is far easier and less expensive than acquiring expensive triangle supports.
In a nutshell, the cooking bar is made out of 1′′ threaded black iron pipe. This is a strong, solid cooking bar obtained at any hardware shop.
We make a “U” shaped bar by threading two 90 degree angle threads together. The bar then slides down into two somewhat bigger pipes bored into the earth, each measuring 1.25′′ in diameter.
When not in use, the cooking bar may be easily removed, and the pipes in the pit can be covered with a threaded cover cap. It’s also quite simple to use pre-made outdoor cooking grates with the fire pit.
We cook hamburgers, chicken, steaks, and more on a Hickman folding grill in our fire pit. It simply sits on fold-out legs within the fire pit and makes cooking anything a breeze!
Creating The Base
A solid base is essential for a long-lasting fire pit—especially one whose walls will be made of stacked stone. We employ low-cost limestone screenings as our foundation. They’re commonly found in a quarry, but they can also be found in tiny gravel or sandlots.
A small pick-up load normally costs around $4, with a tonne costing roughly $7 to $10. Some locations will even let you take the screens in 5-gallon buckets for around $1 each.
Small pieces of limestone and dust from the limestone rock make up screenings. The limestone screenings compact well and provide a sturdy, level foundation for a fire pit.
A four-inch layer of limestone screenings at the bottom of a fire pit is more than adequate to provide a solid base for the stone layers that will be added later. Even so, the pit depth is still roughly 12 inches deep in the earth.
Building The Stone Wall
After completing the base, we began constructing the stacked stone wall. Although rock can be purchased at a stone center, it is sometimes prohibitively expensive. Buying your rock from a local quarry is one of the finest methods to save money.
We used rip-rap mixed-size stones from a neighboring quarry for our first fire pit. We were able to purchase all of the rock we needed for around $80 at the cost of around $20 per tonne.
We were even luckier with our new fire pit. The contractors uncovered tonnes of rocks while digging for our septic and water tanks. Mary and I got to work swiftly picking them up, and we were able to construct the new fire pit entirely out of farm rock – for free!
The point is that there are better solutions than buying palletized stone, regardless of how you find your rock. You can save money with a little legwork and imagination. Even old brick or fractured concrete may look magnificent with its jagged edges.
The Building Process
It takes patience and tedious effort to construct a stacked stone fire pit. We picked through the rocks and laid out the largest stones as the foundation. We constructed up from there with the leftover rocks. To make the top of the pit, we set aside the flattest of the rocks.
Setting one course at a time is the key. Try a few rocks in different locations and, with patience, you’ll find rocks that fit together well. Work gently and have fun with it. Dry stone stacking has the advantage of being simple to fix and adjust. It’s also convenient to replace a damaged rock with a fresh one if necessary.
Finishing The DIY Fire Pit
We used limestone screenings again for the seating area around our fire pit, which we subsequently filled with low-cost pea gravel.
To destroy the grass, we doused the sitting area with high-strength vinegar. Then, to make a solid, firm base, we laid down a two to three-inch layer of limestone screenings.
We applied a 2 inch top coat of #8 pea gravel when we had a level and sturdy base. We’ve also used this combination of a limestone screening base and a pea gravel top layer to make walkways for a low cost. It looks fantastic and lasts indefinitely!
The limestone screenings provide a near-concrete-like substrate that can be laid directly on top of existing soil to level it out and build the walkway.
It’s quick, simple, and long-lasting. With a few applications of vinegar spray per year, it is also simple to keep fully weed-free. It costs about in terms of square footage. It costs between 5 and 10 cents per square foot to use, which is hard to beat!