By adding a fire pit to your yard, you can create a ambiant and sociable space to relax on chilly evenings. Fire pits have been around for generations, and different fire pit designs available today still perform the same basic functions of providing heat and light. You can buy ready-made fire pits, or build one yourself. However, you can only start planning in this direction if your local laws allow the use of fire pits in your backyard.
Step 1: Decide on the Location
You must place your fire pit in a location that is free of any obstructions. Make sure that the fire pit is far way from your house, any trees or plants, and is placed in a convenient location that does not hamper movement. Check to ensure that the ground below does not have any pipes or wires running across. Also, sweep the area thoroughly to get rid of any twigs or leaves on the ground.
If you are using a readymade fire pit, you are all set to light up the fire and start relaxing!
Step 2: Dig the Pit
Before you start digging, mark the area that you plan to dig. This is important to ensure that you stick to the area you require for the fire pit. First, mark the center with a stick that you can push, standing, into the ground. Use a marker to draw a circle, with the stick as the center. Dig out the soil, making a pit that is about 1 foot deep. Place the blocks in the interior of the pit perimeter, and check to see if the blocks can be arranged properly around the pit. Also, check to see if there's enought room for the steel ring to sit inside the blocks. If needed, dig out more soil so that the blocks fit properly. Remove the blocks, and start lining the pit.
Step 3: Line the Pit with Gravel and Sand
Fill less than half the depth of the pit with gravel, which will allow rain water to drain away. Level the gravel, and then pour a couple of inches of sand on top of it. Sand acts as a cushion and also prevents the spread of fire.
Step 4: Lay the Stone Blocks
Start laying the stone blocks in the inside of the pit. Use a level to make sure that the blocks are placed properly. You may have to use a mallet to fit some blocks in place. Build another ring of blocks over the first one. You may use adhesive to hold together the blocks, but this has some disadvantages. If you use adhesive, it becomes difficult to replace any broken blocks. Also, adhesives can melt and emit toxic fumes. Place the fire pit ring on the inside.
Step 5: Build a Fire Safely
You can start using your fire pit as soon as you are ready. Run a last check around the area for any obstructions before you start the fire. Also, never stack wood too high in the pit, or the wood might fall out and cause the fire to spread. You can also use screens around your fire pit to prevent spreading. Never start a fire with gasoline, and always keep a fire extinguisher close by. Never leave a fire unattended.