How to Build a Square Concrete Fire Pit

What You'll Need
Concrete blocks
Pea gravel
Measuring tape

A concrete fire pit can provide a great addition to your patio or garden. It is one perfect way to impress your friends and have people over for a barbecue on spring and summer evenings. A concrete fire pit is quite cheap and easy to build. There is certainly nothing high-tech about it. For the most part, a concrete fire put is basically a hole in the ground with a concrete base and surround. You can also add a grill to this to make is usable for barbecues. The job is quite labor intensive, but it is not overly complicated and neither will it cost much.

Step 1 – Find the Best Location

First, determine an appropriate location for your outdoor concrete fire pit. It should be on a level area of ground and safely far away from any trees or shrubs. When you have established the perfect location, determine the size of the fire pit. A square fire pit is slightly more complicated to build than a round one and it will also require more materials.

Step 2 – Prepare the Surface

Prepare the surface for the fire pit by excavating the area to about four inches depth. Dig out the area with a shovel and place the soil in a wheelbarrow. This excavated area will act as a foundation for the fire pit. Fill this area with a layer of gravel, ideally pea gravel, about two inches thick. You can also use lava bricks instead of gravel, adding them after you have built the wall. Lava bricks are more appropriate for certain surfaces, such as if you are building the fire pit on a stone or concrete patio.

Step 3 – Build the Fire Pit Surround

Make sure that you have enough concrete blocks for the job before you start. Also, make sure that the concrete blocks are suitable for this kind of purpose. They also need to have smooth and level surfaces. You should not need to apply mortar to stick them together and you can instead use the dry method of installation to keep things simple. Lay the first square of concrete blocks and make sure that the surface is level. Use a standard bubble level to confirm this. Provided that the first row of bricks is level, place the second one. Build 3 to 4 layers of bricks so that the retaining wall is about 18 inches in height. If you prefer to make the pit higher, feel free to do so. Just remember to make sure it is easily accessible enough to lay the fire.

Step 4 – Finishing Up

Before starting a fire, make certain that the retaining wall is stable. A fire pit can be a very basic thing to build but you can also add some things to it to make it more useful. You can easily lay a grill over the top of it as well so that you can use it as a barbeque.