How to Build a DIY Fire Pit With Gravel, Stones, and Walkway

How to Build a DIY Fire Pit With Gravel, Stones, and Walkway

1. Concrete Block Fire Pit

This stylish, circular fire pit design is the classic. This simple fire pit will last for years to come and provide the perfect ambience for many thrilling campfire stories.

source: abeautifulmess.com
source: abeautifulmess.com

Video

DIY Koi Pond Fire Pit

Lucy's Lampshade

As long as the size is correct, old garden ponds work perfectly as fire pits since they are usually lined with non-combustible rocks. Ensure that the pond has stone or concrete lining, not PVC, EPDM (a synthetic rubber), or other flammable pond liners.

Lucy, who blogs at Lucy's Lampshades, turned her old koi pond into a DIY fire pit for outdoor gatherings. She was ready for the change since raccoons and owls tended to gobble up the fish. The transformation was simple, and it took a layer of sand, a covering of rocks, plus firewood in the middle to start the party.

Tire Rim Tower

DIY Joy

As long as you have access to an angle grinder and can get your hands on two old truck or car tire rims that are the same size, you can make an industrial-looking fire pit. You won't need to weld the two edges together; the two can stack on top of the other. You'll need an angle grinder to cut out same-sized squares (or rectangles) from each rim, then turn one on top of the other, lining up the squares/rectangles. That should give you a large opening big enough to allow you to add firewood as needed. If you're going for more of an open fire option, you can also use only one tire rim and stack rocks and bricks stylishly around it. Tractor tire rims are giant and make an excellent option for a larger fire pit.

Finish the Footing

  • Shovel in the remaining concrete until the forms are filled to the top and tap the tubes gently with a sledgehammer until the concrete mix is level.
  • Recheck level, hammering the forms down if necessary, and smooth the top of the footer.
  • Let the concrete completely set up overnight and then remove the forms.

AFTER! With Fire Pit Seating and Walk-way!

With a new fire pit seating area to anchor the fire pit, along with pretty planters, a new patio rug, and fresh flowers, I couldn’t be happier with my patio and fire pit!

I still have some things I am planning, like mulch around the path with flowers…and a sunshade over the patio with a zippered screen (to keep out mosquitoes). I’m also planning to put in an in-ground garden to go with my DIY raised garden beds that I built last spring!

The best thing about building the DIY fire pit last year was being able to spend the day with my middle son…

  

…and the part about Part 2 of the fire pit this year is that I’ll be able to spend time with my family sitting around that fire pit, enjoying the summer with vegan marshmallows! (Yep, I said “vegan”).

Love this project? Click here to save it on Pinterest!

Have you been wondering how to build a DIY fire pit with a stone walkway and a seating area in your backyard? Well, you can do it yourself over a weekend, and it will bring many years of memories with your family and friends!

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How to Build a Fire Pit Safely

Building a fire pit isn’t terribly difficult, and now that you have a good handle on the dos and don’ts, check out this high-level overview to get you started on crafting your own backyard fire pit.

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First, gather all the supplies you’ll need to construct your fire pit. Determine the size, site and specific footprint of your fire pit. Clean up the site, removing grass and weeds if necessary.

Excavate about eight inches of dirt from the bottom of the pit, and then lay down about two inches of sand into the excavated area. Tamp down the sand to compact and level it.

Construct the walls of your fire pit, ensuring they’re level and stable. Finally, add a layer of gravel on top of the sand at the bottom of the pit

Photo: istockphoto.com

Most Important Things to Consider When DIY Fire Pit

You may think that a fire pit is a mere hole in the ground, but there are a lot of things to consider before building one.

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Local regulations

Local regulations and ordinances govern how and whether a fire pit is permitted in your neighborhood. Certain fire pit codes are designated as outdoor burning or recreational fire codes, while others are included in the broader local fire code.

Before you begin creating your new patio fire pit, check to see if it is legal and if any restrictions apply. You definitely want to avoid spending money on your perfect patio fire pit only to be fined and forced to remove it.

Fuel source

Fire pits can have different fuel sources, such as propane tanks, natural gas, gel, or wood. When compared to wood-burning fire pits, propane fire pits are simple to use, easy to light, and burn quickly.

Because they produce no ash or smoke, they can typically be used notwithstanding municipal fire restrictions. Additionally, they are much easier to clean.

After determining the size of the tank required for non-wood patio fire pits, the following step is to select the size of the tank. This will vary according to the size of your fire pit and the frequency with which you intend to use it.

Safety precautions

Along with keeping your patio fire pit clear of existing structures, it’s critical that it’s situated or built on level ground. If you’re utilizing a wood-burning fire pit, a metal screen is necessary to assist contain sparks and ash.

Keep it clear of overhanging trees and bushes, and away from important sidewalks and paths to avoid being a nuisance.

Design

Fire pits come in a variety of styles. The most popular types are fire bowls and square-shaped bowls. A bowl is a fantastic solution for tiny yards and is often popular for portable designs. You can pick between square or rectangular fire pits for huge, permanent fire pits.

Apart from their varied shapes, they also feature a variety of designs. Select those that will fit comfortably in your space. After settling on the best size and location, consider function.

By answering a few broad design and style questions, you can begin the process of selecting or building the ideal patio fire pit for your backyard.

Dangerous materials

Fire pits are often composed of an inner and outer wall, a cap, and decorative stones or other materials placed at the base of the pit. 

The inner wall must be constructed entirely of fireproof materials, preferably fire brick; the exterior walls must still be resistant to heat but may be constructed entirely of masonry block, stone, or even heat-resistant outdoor stucco or tile. 

Flagstone is an excellent material for the cap of the fire pit. No component of the fire pit should be constructed using nonporous or flammable materials that retain moisture. That means you should avoid compressed concrete blocks, river rocks, or pea gravel. 

How Much Does an Average DIY Fire Pit Cost?

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A fire pit costs on average $700 to build. The cost of the project might range from $300 to $1,400. Labor is charged at a cost of $55 per hour, or approximately $340 per task, while supplies are charged at a rate of around $400.

Naturally, this will vary depending on the materials you use, whether you hire a contractor or decide to do this yourself, what type of fuel the fire pit is going to use, or what type of material you want surrounding the pit, if any.

If you live in a location where spring and summer bring forth swarms of flying pests, you may want to consider an enclosure.

One of the decisions you’ll need to make before determining the materials and supplies you’ll require, and the cost of your project is the type of fuel you’ll use in the fire pit.

Certain materials are not suitable for all fuel types, the maintenance requirements may vary, and some will require the assistance of an electrician or plumber.

STEP 13: Add Stone Planters

The Pavestone Rumblestone bricks that I used actually come in a bunch of kits, including fire pits, planters, and even benches. I had ordered two bench kits but changed my mind on using them as bench kits. Instead, I decided to use them as low planters!

I could have stacked them a little higher but knowing my children, they would have stood on them if they were any taller (that’s just how boys are). Keeping them low to the ground makes them less attractive to my sons.

I still them with soil and pretty flowers. Typically these bricks would be glued together just as I used construction adhesive for the DIY fire pit. However, since they were low to the ground, I didn’t find them to be a falling hazard. Plus, if I ever want to reconfigure them into another arrangement, I wanted to be able to easily move and reposition them.

Fire Pit Parts: An Overview

Illustration by Gregory Nemec

A built-in fire pit is a glorified campfire, with sturdy walls of stone that help contain the flames and heat. That’s especially important in the parts of the country where there’s a risk of brush fires. So the first task in building any fire pit is checking local codes on open flames. The pit must be located far from overhanging trees, the house, and any other flammable structure.

To make building stone walls easier, you can use blocks made from cast concrete and molded to look like real stone (available at any home center). They’re flat on the top and bottom so they stack neatly, and some interlock for added strength. Glue them together with masonry adhesive. Choose a block with angled sides, meant to form curves when butted against each other. The optimal size for a fire pit is between 36 and 44 inches inside diameter. That will create enough room for a healthy fire but still keep gatherers close enough to chat.

As an added precaution, the fire pit should be lined with a thick steel ring like the ones used for park campfires. These protect the concrete in the blocks from the heat, which can cause them to dry out and break down prematurely.

A fire pit should sit low to the ground, with walls rising no more than a foot off the ground. But for stability, the base of the wall must be buried below ground in a hole lined with gravel, providing drainage and protecting against frost heaves in winter. The gravel also creates a level base for the stones to rest on. Most concrete blocks are about 4 inches high, so if the first course and a half sit underground, and there are two and a half courses above ground with a cap on top, you’ll end up with a foot-high wall—just right for resting your feet on while sitting in an outdoor chair.

Cost breakdown

It cost about $450 for all the supplies to build the 15-foot space and includes the $79 delivery fee from Lowes. I found a patio set of handmade wood furniture for $200 on Facebook Marketplace. We used existing stumps we had for tables and extra seating. And finally, some solar string lights make a cozy, warm glow for $40. They make it possible to enjoy the space even if there’s no fire.

Level the Pit

  • Shovel out the soil to a depth of 8 in. for your fire pit base. Don’t disturb the underlying soil.
  • Check the bottom of the hole with a level.
  • Remove high spots in your in ground fire pit by scraping off soil rather than digging.
    • Pro tip: That way, you won’t loosen the underlying soil.
  • Compact the soil with a hand tamper or a 4×4 post.

How Do You Build A Round Patio With Pavers?

Building a round paver patio with a fire pit is easy if you buy a fire pit paver kit from a supplier. You begin by measuring and clearly marking the required area which you then dig out to a depth of about nine inches. The pit is then filled with a paver base to a depth of about half a foot. Compress the paver base by tamping and then add a one-inch thick layer of sand. The layer of sand must be level for the correct laying of the patio pavers.

Locate the exact center of the circle. Place the center-piece paver first and use it as a compass to lay the rest of the pavers. The kit comes with a provision of pavers cut at angles to fit the circular edges.

As you progress, ensure the pavers are level by tamping with a rubber mallet for firm positioning into the sand. Once all the pavers are in position, pour polymeric sand of your preferred color into the paver joints. Sweep out the excess sand. Using a water hose, lightly spray the entire patio for wetness. Avoid water puddling as this will prevent the settling of the polymeric sand. The paver patio must be allowed to dry overnight in preparation for the fire pit building.

Can I Put A Fire Pit On Pavers?

Yes, you can. Place the broken pavers or any leftovers at the bottom of the fire pit. These paver pieces on the floor of the fire pit serve as a good barrier between the fire and the patio pavers.

Tools Materials

  • Brick hammer

    Brick hammer

  • Cold chisel

    Cold chisel

  • Spade

    Spade

  • Hoe

    Hoe

  • Metal rake

    Metal rake

  • Tamper

    Tamper

  • Level - 2 foot

    Level – 2 foot

  • Level - 4 foot

    Level – 4 foot

  • Mallet

    Mallet

  • Caulk gun

    Caulk gun

  • Pointed trowel

    Pointed trowel

  • Power grinder

    Power grinder

12. Crazy Paving

Make your fire pit stand out from the rest with this unusual tiling. This is one of the simplest and most effective DIY fire pit ideas, it goes to show that one small change can affect the whole look of your pit. Maybe you have some of your own creative designs in mind after seeing these DIY fire pit ideas…?

source: www.goodshomedesign.com
source: www.goodshomedesign.com

If you enjoyed these outdoor fire pit ideas, have a look at our other outdoor DIY projects:

How To Make An Easy DIY BBQ

How To Make A DIY BBQ With A Tyre Rim

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