Ring of Fire

You would be surprised at how often lately that my clients have requested fire pits in their backyards. It seems that people are wanting to spend more time at home entertaining guests and adding a fire pit is an easy way to have a get-together to enjoy the company of friends and family alike. If you are a DIYer and would like to know the process of making a fire pit in your backyard, I have some guidelines to take into consideration should you decide to take the plunge and build your own.


I’ve given instructions on spray-painting your fence, but I would say that this is only a bit more complicated than that and definitely won’t cost an arm and a leg either. You will have to go to your local hardware store and get a few essentials, however.


Purchasing Stones

After you decide how large you want your fire pit to be, then you will have to measure everything and select enough materials that match those dimensions. If you want to save a bit of time, I would suggest investing in palletized stone as it is pre-sorted and cut, with the stones more uniform in shape, size, and quality. You can also have the materials delivered directly to the site to save you even more time.


Preparing the Base


In the center of the fire pit, hammer a rebar piece, then cut a string piece that is half the length of the diameter of the fire pit. Then, make a loop on the string’s end, and next slip it all the way around the rebar. Next, loop the opposite end around a can of spray paint. Then, mark the circle’s circumference. Excavate 6 inches deep the area that is inside the paint.


Marking Footing


Next, cut another piece of string that is the same length as the initial piece minus the fire pit wall’s thickness. Attach string to the spray paint and rebar, marking the second circle inside the first one.


Pouring Footing


Next, you should prepare premixed cement according to the directions written by the manufacturer. The cement should then be spread between the inside and outside circles. The center area should be clear for drainage purposes. Keep adding cement and then level it until it is 1-1/2 inches below grade. Then tap 2-foot rebar pieces into wet cement until it is completely submerged around the footer. Then, wait until it is dry.


Laying First Course of Fire Brick

Once the first course is set into place, move on to the first row of firebrick. A layer of mortar should be trowelled inside the face stone’s edges, press the initial fire brick squarely into place. Next, apply mortar to the end of the next brick and then butt it against the first and press it into the mortar. Then, check for level and remove excess mortar as you are working. Continue this process until the first ring has been laid of firebrick.


Completing the Fire Pit Wall


You will next continue building by alternating layers of firebrick and face stone until you have reached the desired height. Then apply a mortar bed on top of the layer before of fire brick or stone and then set the bricks and stones.


Avoid weakness of the wall by staggering joints between subsequent and previous layers of brick and stone. Any gaps between the stone and fire brick should then be filled with stone scraps and mortar.