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How to Make an Outdoor Fire Pit


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A fire pit can add dimension and value to your home. Fire pits are very nice in the winter as well as the summer.

There are kits available that allow you to simply put one together and away you go. However, I find that learning how to make an outdoor fire pit is the most cost effective way to go.

The first thing you want to do is consider what you want the fire pit to look like. Think about color, height, width, location and material needed.

You want to be away from any structures or things that could catch fire for obvious reasons, so location is the first thing to decide on. For material, most rock or do-it-yourself cement should suffice.

As these things go, always check with your local authorities for ordinances and regulations regarding fire pits in your area concerning where they can be placed and how big they can be. You want to be within the law with this. If you need building permits or neighbor's permission, get it so you are in line and legal so you don't run into problems later on.

With that out of the way, you can map out your location and begin. Here is an idea for a basic, in-ground fire pit that is approximately 24" inside diameter and 10" deep.

What You Need

You will need 2 or 3 bags of quick drying cement like Sakrete or the like, enough firebrick or stone to line it with, some quick mortar, a trowel, a 2x4 piece of lumber, a small piece of dowel wood, a can of spray paint (any color will do), some regular gravel and some string.

1) First, find the center of your fire pit's location and mark it with the dowel wood. Now attach a 12" piece of string to the dowel with a can of spray paint at the end. Using the string as a guide, paint a 24" circle. Then do the same thing with a piece of string 24" long.

2) Dig out between the paint lines 10" deep and you have a trench that is 48" in diameter at the largest point with a trench that measures 12" wide by 10" deep all around. This is your base.

3) Now add the gravel to the trench and tamp it down so it's firm. Then mix your cement and fill the trench to the top all the way around. Level this off with the 2x4 and smooth out with the trowel. Allow to set for at least two days, possibly up to a week so it has cured properly.

4) You will dig out the inside of the pit to so it is 2 to 3" higher than the sides, which will 7 or 8" and lay some more gravel in the bottom.

5) Then mix up your mortar and lay the firebrick so the bottom is completely covered. You may want to lay a second layer of brick. That's up to you entirely.

6) Allow the mortar to dry for a couple of days and you have an in-ground fire pit ready to go.

This is only one style among many, so look around and see what you want and go for it!

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