Fire pits in backyard

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Backyard fire builders face on-the-spot fines over ‘nuisance smoke’

Updated July 17, 2018 14:52:12

Sitting by a crackling wood fire is a great way to keep warm and enjoy the outdoors during winter, but get ready for a fine if your backyard blaze is smoking out your neighbours.

Brisbane resident Kristy Moore told ABC Radio Brisbane she was approached by the council twice over the weekend after lighting up her family’s fire pit.

“We were just outside enjoying our fire pit with a bottle of red wine, the kids were playing basketball, and we had the city council ring our doorbell,” she said.

“He explained the legislation, saying a fire pit could be used for warmth and cooking but it can’t cause nuisance smoke.

“We were quite shocked at that because our fire didn’t seem to be emitting that much smoke.”

Ms Moore said she was directed to use “eco-logs” instead of timber firewood to reduce the smoke but received a phone call a short time later demanding she put the fire out or face an on-the-spot fine.

“They said they’d received a second complaint from the same people and that they had to shut all of their windows and doors it was making too much smoke,” she said.

“We didn’t even think for a second that it would be a problem, or one of the neighbours would have a problem if we did have a fire pit.”

Ms Moore shared her story on social media and asked what other people thought about the situation.

Some people said she would have been in the clear if she was using the fire to cook.

“As long as it is culinary it’s ok. Cook a marshmallow — problem solved.” — Sarah Gabriel

“Put a grill on top and no-one can say squat, I enquired when my son had a party as he wanted a fire pit going.” — Robyn Hardiker

“Wrap a potato in foil and throw it in, it becomes a BBQ and they have no grounds to complain.” — Linda Gunnis

Others weighed in to support the neighbour who made the complaints.

“Fire pits like all other wood fires are a major source of pollution which is an issue in cities in general. Furthermore they can present serious health impacts on people who suffer from various respiratory diseases. What for you may well be a lovely atmospheric amusement can mean a life-threatening event for someone else.” — Pat Pendrey

“Can be pretty annoying on a windy day and the smoke gets blown into your house.” — Carmelina Quinton

So what are the rules?

The regulations differ depending which council area you live in, but the basic principles are the same.

Most authorities permit you to light backyard fires if they’re small, contained to a fire pit or barbecue and don’t produce too much smoke.

If you live within Brisbane City Council boundaries, you can only light a backyard fire if it is lit to cook food on or to provide heat, as long as little to no open flames and smoke are produced.

There’s slightly different rules if you live on a rural-zoned property.

Ipswich residents can light an open-air fire to cook food on a gas, wood or coal-fired barbecue or hangi (a method of cooking food in an earthen pit filled with coals).

If you live in the Moreton Bay Council area, the type of fire you can light depends on the size of your block.

If your allotment is 3,000 square metres or less, you can light fires inside properly prepared barbecues or similar cooking equipment, given you’re using clean, dry combustible material.

Logan residents must live on a block greater than 4,000 square metres to light a fire for anything other than cooking or creating warmth using an enclosed fireplace.

Burning garden waste or starting a fire greater than 2 metres in any direction is prohibited everywhere unless you’ve approached the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) for a permit.

Rural Fire Service superintendent Wayne Waltisbuhl said it was up to local government to deal with smoke complaints, but the QFES would get involved if fires were out of control or a if triple-0 call was made.

He said piles of green waste and rubbish should be taken to council waste facilities instead of being burnt in backyards.

“If you’re cooking on a small fire or sitting around it for heat or warmth, which most of us do in the winter months, then that’s fine. That’s all legal under the QFES Act,” he said.

Mr Waltisbuhl recommended keeping backyard fires small, burning dry wood or using heat beads and dousing fires with water to put them out completely before leaving them unattended.

“The wind could pick up, throw sparks and ashes onto your own house and all of a sudden your house is burning down,” he said.

“Keep it away from houses, fences and sheds as far as you can, and if it’s windy and it’s going to start pushing embers around, don’t light your fire.”

When can you complain?

Local councils will investigate complaints about fires when smoke or fumes are having an effect on human health or the environment.

The amount of smoke created, how long it lasted, and the sensitivity of surroundings are considered when a member of the public makes a complaint.

Most council websites recommend speaking with your neighbours about smoke and fumes before reporting the problem.

If you’re the one lighting a fire, councils recommend notifying your neighbours ahead of time and minimising emissions by avoiding putting wet paper, sanitary items, and other rubbish on the fire.

Topics: lifestyle-and-leisure, fires, local-government, human-interest, brisbane-4000

First posted July 17, 2018 14:46:54

How To: Build a Basic Backyard Fire Pit

Photo: aweskridge.blogspot.com

Many homes have fireplaces or propane stoves inside, but there’s nothing quite like enjoying a fire pit under the stars in your own backyard. On a cool night in the summer, you can cook up a feast of hot dogs in your fire pit, while in the chillier months, nothing beats a fireside snuggle in your most comfortable chair.

Of course, a fire pit can be as simple as a hole in the ground with stones haphazardly stacked around it. But believe it or not, in only a few hours, you can rather easily build a fire pit that is considerably more attractive (and safer), one that’ll really get you and your guests fired up.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
– Shovel
– Measuring tape
– Marking paint
– Wood stake
– Concrete retaining wall blocks
– Sand
– Level
– Rubber mallet
– Masonry adhesive
– Crushed stone

Photo: .com

STEP 1
First things first, satisfy yourself that building a fire pit wouldn’t result in your getting burned with a fine from the local government. Contact the planning offices in your area to see if any restrictions apply. Only proceed once you’ve gotten the necessary approvals or once you’re convinced that none are required.

STEP 2
Choose a location for your ring of fire, one that is on relatively flat ground and situated well away from flammable structures. Remember also to clear any tree branches that are hanging dangerously low. And before considering the spot you’ve chosen as final, record the movement of wind at a few different times of day; the outcome to avoid is smoke billowing into your home’s interior either through windows or doors.

STEP 3
Decide how wide you want your fire pit—the recommended size is between 36 and 44 inches—and use marking paint to outline the dimensions. Accomplish this by driving a stake into the middle of the area where you want the fire pit to go. Tie a length of twine to the stake that is equal to half the planned diameter. Then walk around the stake in a circle, twine extended, painting the perimeter.

STEP 4
Now it’s time to excavate the ground within the circle you’ve drawn. Go about eight inches deep. If the yard is sloped, it may be necessary dig down deeper on one end to ensure that your installation will be level.

STEP 5
Pour a two-inch-thick layer of sand into the area you’ve excavated. Tamp down the sand in order to compact and level it.

STEP 6
Lay one course of concrete retaining wall blocks around the edge of the pit. If slight adjustments are necessary in order to make the blocks level, tap them with a rubber mallet to establish the correct height.

Photo: imgur.com

STEP 7
Lay a second ring of staggered blocks above the initial one, attaching the two tiers by means of masonry adhesive. To promote air circulation around the fire, leave small, intermittently located gaps between the blocks.

STEP 8
Add about four inches of crushed stone within the cavity, then lay down your final two rings of blocks. Let the adhesive dry for approximately two days before having your first fire. After that, let it burn, baby, burn!

Additional Tips
Your fire pit will be just fine with retaining wall blocks, but once you’re done building the pit, you may wish to insert a steel fire ring. Doing so will extend the life of your blocks by preventing them from drying out prematurely.

Also note that while it may be tempting incorporate river stones, it’s much safer to avoid them, because they actually run the risk of exploding when heated.

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This post is brought to you in part by The Home Depot.

I can’t tell you how long I’d been wanting to build a DIY fire pit in my backyard, with a stone walkway. But when you can barely manage to finish projects inside of the house, the outside seems that much less important, doesn’t it?

Last summer, though, I built this outdoor DIY fire pit in my backyard. It was a labor of love between my middle son and me for “Take Your Child to Work Day.” When we were done, we invited over friends and enjoyed roasting marshmallows. It looked great!!

Buuut….like any great outdoor project, what started out looking fabulous, fast forward 12 months later, and it looked like a broke-down yard for people who have neglected their yard. It’s inevitable: the sun fades things…the trees shed their gunk…and the weeds take root.

And what’s worse is that the amazing fire pit simply looked like a floating tire in my yard when viewed from my son’s bedroom window. There was nothing anchoring it to the yard. It needed a home, for sure (like a stone walkway!).

BEFORE

Sometimes projects are just like that, aren’t they? You start PART 1 of a project, thinking it’s all the rage and so wonderful….only later to realize that you’ve got to tackle PART 2. That’s exactly how this project was–split into parts. In fact, I am thinking that there are some perennials that I would love to plant along the DIY fire pit gravel and stone walkway. So there could very well be a PART 3 of this project. 😉 For now, this is how PART 2 turned out! Big improvement, eh??

AFTER

Video Tutorials: How to Build a DIY Fire Pit With Gravel and a Stone Walkway

Since this project was split over two springs, I’ll go ahead and split this post into two parts as well.

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial – PART 1

This tutorial will review the steps needed to create a DIY fire pit.

How to Build a Fire Pit Seating Area Using Gravel and Stones – PART 2

This tutorial will review the steps needed to create a DIY fire pit seating area using pea gravel and Pavestone Rumblestone edgers.

How to Build a DIY Fire Pit With Gravel and a Stone Walkway

Okay, now that we cleared up why this project was split into two separate projects, let’s walk through step-by-step how to create a DIY fire pit with gravel and a stone walkway! For the sake of clarity, I’ll combine all the necessary steps into one post so that you can tackle this project from start to finish with the assumption that you’ll be building the fire pit seating area at the same time you build the fire pit.

Let’s cover the materials you’ll need to build a fire pit with a seating area made out of gravel and stones.

Materials to Build a DIY Fire Pit with Stone Walkway

(The following contain Home Depot affiliate links).

  • Fire Pit kit (you can also use concrete blocks)
  • Pavestone Rumblestone Edgers
  • Pea gravel
  • Transfer Shovel
  • Garden spade (for clean, straight edges)
  • Tape measure
  • Paver Sand
  • Tamper
  • Level
  • Tape Measure
  • Landscape construction adhesive
  • Caulk gun
  • Mallet
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Weed Block fabric

STEP 1: Call 811 Before You Dig

Did you know that before you dig anywhere on your property, you should call 811 in order to have someone come and mark on your property where your buried utility lines are??

Yep!

It doesn’t matter if you’re installing a mailbox…planting trees or shrubs…or installing a fire pit. You should definitely call to be safe. They’ll come to your property and mark the location of your utilities. If you don’t mark your utilities and you cut your utility lines, guess who gets stuck with a fine? Oh yes, you are, my friend!

They usually come pretty quickly. And since you’re building the fire pit in the backyard, it’s unlikely (but not impossible) for the utility lines to run through your backyard. But don’t assume. You know what they say about people who make assumptions. 😉

Here’s a little tip: Snap a picture of where the utilities have been marked and save it. You’ll be able to reference it later.

STEP 2: Determine How Far Your DIY Fire Pit Will Be From the House

This is another thing you have to do before you build a fire pit: check your county code!

How far will does fire pit need to be from your house?

Here in Montgomery County, Maryland, the code says that fire pits must be at least 20 feet “from any structure.”

Ummm….does that mean, 20 feet from the edge of my patio…? Or 20 feet from the brick of my house?

I had no idea what they meant by “any structure.” I even tried to call for clarification, but they just kept repeating: any structure. Sounded like they really didn’t know, either.

So to be safe, I decided to move my DIY fire pit back another 5 feet so that it was 20 feet from the edge of my patio.

I also made sure that it was 20 feet from the side fence.

I don’t know about your neighbors, but if you’ve got some questionable neighbors as I do, believe me–they’ll report you the smallest thing–even having a DIY fire pit. But if you follow building codes for your jurisdiction, you are totally covered. If an inspector shows up at your door, you’ve covered your bases.

Making sure that my fire pit is up to code means one less thing I have to worry about. Plus, if we ever sell our house, I won’t have to worry about moving it when a home inspector comes through looking for any infraction!

STEP 3: Plan Your First Layer of Fire Pit Bricks

I laid out the first layer of the bricks at the 20-feet mark, adding the ring so that I knew exactly where I would be placing it in the yard.

You can make a DIY fire pit out of random bricks or stones, but you can also buy fire pit kits from home improvement stores like The Home Depot. They usually range in price from $200 – $600, spending on the bricks. But you could also use concrete blocks to build one for super cheap. But the kits have everything you need to build a chic fire pit.

STEP 4: Mark Your Fire Pit Seating Area and Path

Usually, fire pit seating areas have a path that leads “to” and “from.” Not always, unless you’re just creating a circle fire pit seating around the fire pit. But if you’ve got a patio or deck, you may want to create a walkway leading to the fire pit seating area.

The biggest challenge will be: KEEPING IT STRAIGHT! You don’t want any “wonky walkway” that looks like a novice DIYers got their hands on it.

I love walkways that have some curve to them when the fire pit seating area is off-set. In my case, the fire pit was directly in front of the patio, so there was no need to get all fancy. I just needed a straight walkway leading to the fire pit seating area. To keep it straight, I simply used a board measuring about 36″ long as a gauge of how wide my fire pit walkway would be.

Last year when I put in the fire pit by itself with no defined walkway or seating area, I simply set the stones in place and dug around the stones to mark where the fire pit was going to be placed. I used a shovel along the edges to mark the grass where the stones would be sitting.

Then I moved them out of the way and started digging a little deeper to define that DIY fire pit circle location where the fire pit will site. Note: If you’re only putting in a DIY fire pit, then you can simply start digging and follow the other directions for a DIY fire pit. But if you’re putting in a seating area as well, then you’ll just need to mark the location of your fire pit bricks because you have a bit of marking left to do.

How to Measure a Perfect Circle Fire Pit Seating Area

The easiest way to create a perfect circle around your fire pit is to put a stake in the center of the fire pit and attach a string to it, going around the circumference so that all your measurements from the center of the fire pit would be perfect.

In my case, I didn’t have a stake or a string, so I simply measured 5’5″ from the edge of the fire pit bricks and marked the length with spray paint.

STEP 5: Dig Down 2 – 3 Inches

If you’re only putting in a DIY fire pit with no seating area, you’ll only need to dig out the area where your fire pit will be seated. Dig down 2-3 inches.

If you’re putting in a seating area and a walkway leading to the fire pit, you’ve got a whooooole lotta digging to do. For this part of the project, I used a cultivator, but if you have the means to do it, rent yourself a bigger tool from The Home Depot for sod removal. It will make the job go much quicker. The cultivator worked, but it added to the workload.

There will be a lot of soil you’ll have to remove while you dig down 2-3 inches, so be prepared with a wheelbarrow and some shovels to even out the area.

Related: See how I planted a blueberry garden in my yard.

STEP 6: Add Paver Sand, Tamper, and Check for Level

Using paver sand under a fire pit helps to level the ground and provide some stability for the bricks. I did use paver sand under the fire pit when I built it last summer. I added about 1.5″ to 2″ of paver sand…..tossed some water on it to help make it compact…..and then tampered it.

You can’t tamper more than about 2″ at a time, so after that was tampered down, I added the second bag of paver sand with some water on top, and tampered again.

My yard is a bit sloped. I didn’t realize it until after I was 2 layers into it and realized–oh, crap–my fire pit is about 1″ sloped on one side!

So unless you want a crooked fire pit like mine, make sure you check the level of the paver sand before adding your fire pit bricks!

Now, one thing I did do was check that every two bricks lined up together was level. Otherwise, when the next layer was stacked on top, it would rock back and forth.

I don’t mind a fire pit that slopes a bit, but rocking bricks?? Huh uh. That ain’t gonna work. This thing needed to at least be steady! So I made some small adjustments and that seemed to help, including using a rubber mallet to help adjust them.

When I build the DIY fire pit last summer, after adding the paver sand, I checked the bricks for level.

For the walkway and fire pit seating area this season, I skipped the paver sand for underneath the edgers. I’ve gotten a few comments on the YouTube video tutorial on my channel, pointing out that the edgers will shift and settle over time, but I am doubtful that will happen much. I have done other edgers around my yard and they’ve held their position well, so I felt confident that I could lay down the weed block and skip putting paver sand under the edgers.

However, if I were lining this entire walkway with pavers, I would definitely use paver sand to keep them solidly in place.

STEP 7: Use Construction Adhesive to Glue the DIY Fire Pit Bricks

I found it a little difficult to glue the fire pit bricks with the construction adhesive.

You’ll want to make sure there isn’t a lot of “rocking” between the bricks when glued together. And when stacking the bricks, I made sure to stagger the seams, as you see here. All three layers of the DIY fire pit were glued together.

Most DIY fire pit kits will come with a fire ring. Once it’s all glued together, you can insert the fire pit ring and all the crushed gravel. Some people say they don’t think crushed gravel is good to use inside of the fire pit because it makes it hard to clean, but I haven’t found it problematic to clean out.

Last year, this is how the fire pit looked when I was done!

But you can see the entire area around the fire pit that I had to carve out this spring, using my cultivator. Here are some tips for making this project easier:

  • Identify a dumping ground for the grassy leftovers, using a high-quality wheelbarrow.
  • Use a garden spade to edge out the area around the fire pit seating area so that it’s crisp.
  • Rent a sod cutter from The Home Depot if your area is big. It will be much faster but could be considered “over-kill” and expensive if your fire pit seating area is small.

This step was a lot of work! It took about a solid day to clear out the fire pit seating area.

STEP 9: Add Weed Block Fabric to the Fire Pit Seating Area

If you’re putting in a walkway and seating area around your DIY fire pit, then you’ll want to use a weed block fabric to deter weeds. But just so you know, this won’t entirely stop weeds! You’ll still get some weeds that will grow in your fire pit seating area, so there will definitely be some maintenance and weed-killing each season!

Depending on the size of your fire pit seating area, be sure to get a roll that will cover the entire area.

I stretched several pieces out over the entire area. Since my fire pit was already built last summer, I worked around it. If you’re putting in a fire pit at the same time as the seating area, you can still just work around the area where your fire pit bricks will be. You won’t need to put weed block fabric under the fire pit directly.

STEP 10: Neatly Line Your Edgers Around the DIY Fire Pit Seating Area

When putting in the edgers for the walkway and DIY firepit seating area, I didn’t use a level, but instead, gauged by eyesight and my hands to see if one was significantly higher or lower than the one before it.

These Pavestone edgers actually “locked” together nicely because the edges were rounded out with a crescent shape.

They sit on top of the weed block fabric, holding it in place. As I mentioned before, some folks said I should have used paver sand under these, but I honestly didn’t feel I needed it. My soil is very clayish and compact and in the past, I have had success with edgers staying in place without paver sand, so I felt I didn’t need it.

Here’s an important tip: Make sure that you measure the size of the edgers you’re using when planning your DIY fire pit seating area because you want to make sure you have an exact number of edgers for the space you’re completing. It is possible to cut bricks to trim them to fit, but honestly, who wants to do that? If you know the length of the bricks, you can determine how many bricks you’ll need so that each junction fits perfectly.

Here is what the fire pit seating area looked like when the edgers were all laid out!

STEP 11: Add the Pea Gravel

Pea gravel is great to add to a fire pit area because you don’t have to be so precise with it. It’s comfortable to walk on and doesn’t cost much per bag. I had about 28 bags of pea gravel and ended up needing more. I still need more, actually! But that will come with time. Just make sure you have enough to cover the weed block fabric.

STEP 12: Add New Fire Pit Seating!

The last critical step is to add new seating around your firepit! These awesome chairs were sent to me by a friend I met several years ago at the Florida Home Show. He’s the CEO of a company called GloDea. I knew these fire pit chairs would be the perfect addition to my DIY fire pit (thanks, Dan!).

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.

All Done! My New DIY Fire Pit!

DIY fire pit kits are super easy to assemble. Carving out a fire pit seating area is always a bit more challenging because it’s back-breaking work! But you can do it yourself in as little as a weekend. If you have help–even better!

Here’s a reminder of what my yard looked like when I just had the DIY fire pit.

Last Spring

But after a season of elements, it needed a pick-me-up for the spring.

BEFORE – This Spring

AFTER! – Now!

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”).

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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Few things are as fun—or as Canadian—as a night outdoors, with friends, drinks, and maybe some marshmallows, s’mores or other comfort food roasted over a crackling fire. There’s almost a deep primal joy we get from gathering around in a circle sharing old stories and jokes, strumming a guitar and huddling together for warmth. So, why do we limit our campfire experience to camping and cottage trips?

The main reason we don’t have fires at home is that there are restrictions, especially within city limits. While home fire pits are a great way to enjoy a fire in the comfort of your own backyard, there are some things you’ll need to know before you jump in. Here are some tips to get you started.

Location Matters

In the same way that you need to follow the rules of the campground when you have a fire away from home, backyard fires need to be managed in a responsible, environmentally friendly way.

If your home is in a remote or a rural area, you’re pretty much free to create a firepit in your backyard any time you like (be sure to check local fire bans)! However, in urban areas, the rules around backyard fires vary. Some municipalities don’t allow for fire pits at all. Other locations permit fire pits but have safety requirements that need to be followed closely.

If you’re thinking about a backyard campfire for recreation, or even as a landscaping feature, you’ll first need to look at both the local bylaws for your area of residence as well as provincial laws to see what your situation is. Our area, Haldimand County, requires that fires must have 10 metres of clearance from any combustible objects or structures on all sides, and they must be at least 4 metres away from any adjacent properties. On the other hand, if you live in Vancouver, British Columbia, while grills for cooking are allowed, fire pits and chimineas are not! So, always consult your local laws regarding fire pits first!

Making the Right Choice

Once you’ve picked out a good, legally permissible spot to put a fire pit, what kind do you want? If your area allows backyard fire pits, you’ve got a variety of options. Fire pit design has come a long way from just building a circle of stones and throwing some wood and kindling in the middle. So, what do you want to see in your backyard campfire?

Wood Burning Fire Pits

The classic has stuck around for a reason, so it’s not surprising that many Canadians would consider this option first. An old-fashioned, wood burning fire pit comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. So you’ve got a lot of options here in terms of balancing functional preference with aesthetic ones. Do you want a round, open pit on legs, so you can have it on your patio without damaging the stones? You can get that. Do you want something square, with a fine grate that allows flames but contains sparks? You can get that, too!

A Natural Gas Pit

If you want the flame without the mess, a gas burning fire pit is another great option. While the debate about gas grills versus charcoal will continue, no one will deny that gas grills are faster and easier to start and maintain than charcoal. The same goes for a fire pit that burns gas instead of wood. Depending on your preferences, you can have these directly hooked up to a natural gas line, or you can choose one that uses a tank.

Outdoor Fireplaces

For people who really want to go all out, the outdoor fireplace is a visually striking option. Unlike the other options, an outdoor fireplace actually has a chimney to contain smoke and is often quite a sizable centrepiece as far as landscaping features go. A fireplace is an excellent choice for people who want something unusual, but also don’t want a completely exposed, open flame. In some cases, an outdoor fireplace may be the option that allows you to circumvent restrictions on open flames in your backyard!

Need More Help?

If you’ve still got questions or concerns about having a fire pit in your backyard, or you want to know what your best local options are, reach out and talk to Jeff’s Outdoor! We’re always happy to help you.

Backyard Recreational Fires

Smoke from burning wood is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles, which are also called particle pollution or particulate matter. Outdoor recreational fires can become a considerable source of fine-particle air pollution – especially in some metro areas. Children and teenagers, older adults, and people with heart or lung disease – including asthma and COPD – can be particularly sensitive to the health effects of particle pollution in wood smoke. Be a good neighbor when burning and consider your neighbors, as well as wind direction.

Enjoy Your Fire Pit Responsibly

If you choose to burn wood, reduce particle pollution with these steps:

  • Only burn seasoned, dry wood, which burns hotter and cleaner.
  • Use a moisture meter to check firewood; moisture content is best at about 20 percent.
  • Cover stacked wood, but allow good air flow so it can dry.
  • Never burn wood during air quality alert days, when air pollution is already higher.
  • Never burn green wood, construction waste, plastic, garbage, or yard waste. They create more smoke and can be toxic.
  • Take extra care if you live in a region where brush fires are of concern.

Cleaner Alternatives

Learn about your options before burning wood in your backyard. Switching to natural gas or propane reduces harmful air pollutants. Kits that convert existing fire rings and pits to natural gas or propane burners are available at hearth and patio stores.

Check Your Local Laws

Some local governments have adopted ordinances to restrict backyard recreational fires. For more information, check with local authorities.

Residential Use of Incendiary Devices

When it comes to outdoor fire pits, outdoor fireplaces oil lamps, torches and chimineas these devices that have gained in popularity over the past several years, and they come in many shapes and sizes. These devices are not specifically regulated under MA General Law Chapter 148, MA Comp Fire Code 527 CMR 1.00 or the Air Pollution Prevention Regulations 310 CMR 7.00. Typically these devices are to be fueled by clean firewood and prohibit the burning of trash, refuse or other similar material in such devices. As with wood boilers, 310 CMR 7.09 prohibits any burning which creates a nuisance or a condition of air pollution (i.e., excessive smoke) or hazard to others, and the fire department does have authority to enforce this prohibition pursuant to 310 CMR 7.09. Additionally, Massachusetts General Law Chapter 148 § 5 allows the head of the fire department to order that conditions likely to cause fire be remedied. This could be applicable when these devices are located on decks, or porches or located close to buildings. There is also many specific things when it comes to the code pertaining to outdoor fires.

So what does this all mean to you. The Hull Fire Department does not issue permits for fire pits or other items that are mentioned above. When it comes to a call for the fire department concerning the use of one of these devices these type of calls are based on a call for call bases. If you use your outdoor fire pit and your neighbor calls the fire department, the FD will respond. At this point the officer will make a determination whether or not the complaint is valid or not and will base his decision to let you continue to burn or whether it needs to be extinguished. There may be times that it is ok and there may be times that it is not ok. However please be aware that if your neighbor calls over and over again it becomes a nuisance call and we will tell you to shut it down for good.

How to Build a Fire Pit

Outdoor fires are so hot right now. Seriously. Mankind has called the hearth home for the centuries, it’s true, but these days people are going ultra-retro and getting their heat from stone-walled pits set into the earth. And, why not? On cool summer nights, you can melt marshmallows and nibble s’mores while you lounge in an Adirondack chair, feet propped up on the rock ledge. So if you really want to light up right, do it in style. Take a few days to build your very own ring of fire.

Step 1

Building a Fire Pit

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.

Step 2

Lay Out the Blocks

Photo by Kolin Smith

Dry-lay a ring of blocks on the fire pit site, placing them end to end until you have a perfect circle positioned where you want the finished pit to be. To adjust the size of the circle, you may need to cut a block. Hold the block over the gap it will fill, then mark it on the underside at the proper width.

Using a 3-inch cold chisel and a brick hammer, score the block on the mark, and continue the score all the way around the block. Place the block on a hard surface (flat rocks or gravel). Hold the chisel in the score line, then hit it with the brick hammer until the block splits.

Clean up jagged edges with the tail of the brick hammer. Place the cut block into the ring.

Step 3

Mark the Pit Location

Photo by Kolin Smith

Make sure all the joints between the blocks are tight and the front and back edges line up. Using a spade, mark a circle in the ground about an inch outside the perimeter of the ring.

Take note of how many stones make up the ring, then remove them and set them aside.

If the blocks you are using are interlocking, remove any tongues on the bottom of the first-course blocks so they will lie flat in the trench. Chip them off with the tail of a brick hammer.

Step 4

Create a Level Trench for the Blocks

Photo by Kolin Smith

Using a spade, dig a straight-sided trench, 12 inches deep and as wide as one block, within the circle marked out on the ground. Then dig down 6 inches in the area encircled by the trench.

Lay the ring of blocks in the trench to see if all the pieces fit in a circle. If not, dig more to widen the trench. Remove blocks.

Step 5

Fill the Trench

Photo by Kolin Smith

Fill the trench with 6 inches of 3/4-inch drainage gravel. Using a hand tamper, compact the gravel. If necessary, add more gravel to keep the trench level and even.

Always make sure the blocks line up perfectly in the front and back when you lay them out; a difference of 1 inch in the circle’s diameter could create a 3-inch gap between blocks.

Step 6

Lay and Level the First Course

Photo by Kolin Smith

Place the first block in the ring. Using a 2-foot level, check that it sits level both side to side and front to back. Where the block is too high, tap it down with a rubber mallet. Where it’s too low, shim it slightly with a handful of patio base. Make sure this first block is perfectly level and positioned correctly in the trench before moving on.

Lay another block next to the first one. Butt the sides together tightly and line up the front and back edges. Using the first block as a reference, level the second block side to side and front to back.

Lay the rest of the blocks in the trench in this manner until the ring is complete and all the blocks you counted earlier are used. Make sure each block is perfectly leveled and lined up tight with its neighbor before moving on to the next one. (You may have to coax the last block into place with a mallet.) Using a 4-foot level, occasionally check level across the ring.

A small hit with a mallet can make a big adjustment; work slowly and carefully, block by block.

Step 7

Assemble the Walls

Photo by Kolin Smith

Using a caulking gun, squeeze a zigzag bead of masonry adhesive across two adjacent blocks. Lay a block on top of the glue-covered pieces, centering it over the seam between the two. Make sure any interlocking parts on the blocks fit together well. Continue until the second course is finished.

Step 8

Fill the Pit

Photo by Kolin Smith

Fill the pit with 6 inches of gravel, which will help support the first two courses as they set up. Glue and lay the third and fourth courses, continuing to stagger the joints.

Insert the iron campfire ring into the circle. Adjust it to sit even with the top of the block wall. Fill any space between the ring and the block wall to the top with gravel.

Work quickly and only in a small area at one time; masonry adhesive sets up quickly.

Step 9

Cap the Blocks

Photo by Kolin Smith

Loosely arrange the cap pieces on top of the pit walls. (If you are using natural stone, try to arrange the pieces together like a puzzle.) Lay one stone edge over the next and mark the upper stone where they meet. Also, roughly mark the stone for a 2-inch overhang on the outside of the circle and an inch on the inside. Using a brick hammer and a chisel, score the stone on those marks. On thick natural stone, use a grinder fitted with a diamond blade to score it more deeply.

Lay the stone on a hard surface. Split it by hitting a chisel in the score mark, or by tapping against the stone’s edge with the brick hammer until it breaks. Score and split each stone this way, moving around the circle in one direction until you’ve made a cap that fits together tightly.

If you’re using blocks, glue the pieces on top of the wall. If you’re using natural stone, combine the dry mortar with enough bonding additive—not water—to make a mix with a peanut-butter consistency.

Wet the wall with some bonding agent. Lay a large mound of mortar on two blocks. With the point of the trowel, make a groove across the mortar. Lay the capstone on top, push it down, then tap it with the rubber mallet to set and level it. Continue to lay the capstones in this manner until the wall is finished. Wait two days before lighting a fire.

The perfect backdrop for outdoor fun is closer than you think, thanks to our step-by-step instructions.

Turn your backyard into a cozy camp spot by making your own fire pit. This DIY project is easy to complete, and you’ll be making s’mores around the fire in no time.

Get ready

Before you begin building, consult your local fire code to see if fire pits are allowed in your city and, if so, how far away the fire pit has to be from a structure.

Then, gather your supplies:

  • Bricks for the fire pit wall
  • Gravel
  • Twine or string
  • Tape measure
  • Stake
  • Large shovel
  • Trowel
  • Tamp
  • Level

When purchasing bricks for the fire pit wall, go for something sturdy like retaining wall bricks or concrete pavers. Some home improvement stores even carry bricks specifically designed for fire pits. Use a layer of firebricks, which have a higher heat resistance, on the inner layer of the fire pit as an extra safety measure.

Now that you have all your supplies and you’ve checked your local fire code, you’re ready to build!

1. Create a circle

Pick a spot for your fire pit (ensuring that it is located a safe distance from any structures, bushes or trees) and insert a stake in the ground where the center of the pit will be.

Tie one end of the string or twine to the stake and measure how wide you want your circle to be.

Typically, a fire pit has a diameter of about 4-5 feet. Cut the string and tie the other end to the handle of a trowel. With the string or twine taut, drag the sharp end of the trowel around in a circle, creating a line in the grass.

2. Shovel out the grass

Using a large shovel, dig out the grass inside the circle.

For safety purposes, the hole for a fire pit should be about 6-12 inches deep. Be sure to call 811 before you start digging to ensure there are no utility lines buried under the spot you’ve chosen.

3. Tamp down the dirt

If you don’t have a tamp, you can just use the bottom of your shovel.

4. Make sure the circle is level

Get down on the ground with your level to ensure that the surface is ready for the bricks. Keep making small adjustments until it’s completely level.

5. Add gravel

Put a pretty thick layer of gravel in the fire pit (at least a couple of inches). Spread the gravel around evenly.

6. Arrange the bricks

After you’ve spread the gravel around, arrange your bricks in a circle and stack them in layers until the fire pit wall is at least 12 inches tall.

For extra safety, you have the option to put an inner layer of firebricks. Though you don’t need to use mortar if the bricks are heavy enough to make a sturdy stack, you can use an outdoor fire-resistant mortar between the bricks for extra stability.

7. Relax and enjoy!

Gather a couple of Adirondack chairs, some firewood, a few friends and campfire treats to get full use out of your new fire pit.

Related:

  • 9 Tips for Preparing a Fabulous Flower Bed
  • 5 Tips for Spring Lawn Prep
  • With This DIY Sporting Goods Catch-All, Game Day Is No Sweat

Originally published July 19, 2017.

There is just an outdoor fire pit seating and there are seating ideas that are just spectacular. Someone with good taste and knowledge has created these designs, and we got to learn from them. There is something magical about seating around fire and when the design is so beautiful, this magic multiplies. If you’re planing to build a fire pit seating area, you’ll find these 33 awesome ideas inspiring.

To build one, you can take at least three different approaches. You can get seating plans and DIY it. You can hire a professional landscaper. Or … you can just buy or build wooden chairs or other types of outdoor seats and place them around your fire pit, and you’re done.

That is providing you already have a fire pit. You could, of course, built it yourself too. Regardless what’s your budget is, this guide is designed to help you get started on this exciting project.

Sunken Fire Pit Seating

Here’s one spectacular architectural idea materialized in concrete in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. A circular sunken fire pit seating area is finished with natural stone and adorned with a plethora of soft subtle color cushions. Source: freshome.com.

In this modern minimalist idea above, a raised deck has a rectangular sunken fire pit area in the middle. What almost looks like a wooden boardwalk is installed within the entire perimeter of the polished concrete base. Finally, on top of wood, there are comfortable seats with back support. The rectangular pit is also concrete and is gas or bio-fuel based. Source: archdaily.com

The patio design above shows how making an area around a fire pit recessed (even slightly) helps creating a very cozy backyard feature. And of course, positioning seats in circle adds that feeling of togetherness. Source: homedsgn.com

Modern Concrete Fire Pit Seating Ideas

We’ve found this great video tutorial on how to make an outdoor concrete fire pit yourself – check it out.

The one above and the next two ideas are by Italian manufacturers of outdoor tile. Shown is a large modern patio overlooking a beautiful waterfront, with built in concrete seating, a square fire pit in the middle and porcelain tile on the floor. Source: irisfmg.com

Another stunning outdoor fire pit seating setup, all built in concrete and plus the tile flooring. This idea proves that cold cement can look welcoming and cozy. Source: edimax.it

And here’s a small but awesome seating area designed to gather around a small metal fire pit. Looks like a great place to relax after a day of adventures in the snow. Source: marazzi.it

This idea (above) is a perfect example of how, using concrete, you can create an awesome built-in seating area, even with a concrete fire pit in the middle. Source: contemporist.com

Stone Fire Pit Seating Ideas

A stone clad fire pit is the centerpiece in this landscaped waterfront patio paradise. It seems to be separated from the rest of the world by a large stone retaining wall. Just you, fire, water and the views … what can be better for a romantic seating idea. Will this be your favorite spot to escape the daily grind? Source: alderwoodlandscaping.com

Another awesome idea by the same landscaping company – a circular seating area and a round fire pit in the center, both clad in stone. But the most amazing feature of this design is how seamlessly the precisely clad seating wall transitions into the randomly placed boulders, while similarly random patterns of the flooring tiles help with a smooth visual transition. And you can use these natural stone boulders as seating too. Source: alderwoodlandscaping.com

The eye-candy inspiration continues as we’re now looking at what’s on the other side of the same seating area. The house also has an indoor fireplace inside of a veranda room that can be open to the outdoors. As it gets colder, the seating around a fire pit continues indoors. What a cool idea. Photo source: porch.com

Shown above is a simple but beautiful outdoor design that uses large stackable fieldstone boulders as seats. This would be a perfect idea for a garden fire pit seating. Source: TerremotoLandscape

Another spectacular idea where everything is made of stone – the seating, the fire pit, the retaining walls, the floor and the steps. Source: zillow.com

A Rooftop Fire Pit Idea

This very modern rooftop terrace uses a range of built in ideas for seating around a fie pit. A very large pit for a very large outdoor area. Source: unknown.

Unique Fire Pit Seating

When pit design takes the center stage, simple foldable wood chairs is all you need to enjoy seating around a fire pit. But the very comfortable ones. The unique Scottish masonry is referenced in this pit design. Source: HGTV.
Landscape Architect: Gregory Lombardi
Photo: Eric Roth

Use this DIY Tutorial to build a very similar fire pit from soapstone.

Patio Fire Pit Ideas

For more outdoor living inspiration, please see our guide to the trendiest Patio Seating Ideas.

This is a very simple but very cool patio fire pit design idea. The seats are just metal chairs. When building your cement patio, make a round opening in it, add some gravel and install a simple fire ring onto it, and you’re done. Clean and safe. Source: archdaily.com

This modern urban backyard in San Francisco has a dedicated fire pit area (photo above). Two rattan chairs offer comfortable seating. The landscape design is by Terremoto. Photography by Bruce Damonte. Source: contemporist.com

A patio fire pit set up inside of a pavilion and under the roof is an interesting outdoor design option. You can be enjoying a warm fire even under a heavy rain. Source: zillow.com

Two classic, spectacular fire pit area designs from DiSabatino Landscaping (3 photos above). In both ideas, outdoor patio chairs are used for seating.

Easy Fire Pit Seating Ideas

Creating a nice fire pit seating area doesn’t have to be complicated, and this simplest idea shown above proves it. You buy a set of outdoor furniture and position it around a pit. Of course, some area landscaping would help to create a more enjoyable environment. Source: ecosmartfire.com.au

The unusual, black color Adirondack chairs make a statement in this very simple outdoor seating design. Chairs are sold at fifthroom.com.

Circular Fire Pit Seating Ideas

Some people may think this is a dream idea for fire pit seating (photo above), and they could be right. Made from redwood, this is an awesome built in circular seating with back rest. In fact, the entire patio construction is all one continuous built-in design. Source: diynetwork.com. Photo By: Ernest Braun for California Redwood Association.

Another spectacular idea for a circular seating design. There is a semi-sphere fire pit in the center. Source: dreamcastfirepits.com

DIY Fire Pit Seating Idea

When it comes to DIY-ing a fire pit area seating, it’s hard to compete with classic Adirondack chairs. Add some landscaping, lighting, a garden path and a small outdoor dining table, and suddenly, this simple place around a fire looks like a piece of paradise. Check out the DIY Tutorial on how it was built.

Fire Pit Seating Ideas with just Chairs

A simple but elegant backyard fire pit seating idea using modern rattan chairs (photo above). Source: unknown.

Why Adirondack chairs around fire pit is … one of the most inspiring outdoor living ideas? Could be it because they are the only chair designs that are so rustic in appearance? Source: stylemepretty.com. Photography: White Loft Studio.

This is a very cool design, actually. Landscaping features outline a dedicated fire pit area filled with beautiful custom made wooded seats and outdoor tables. And the decorative wall matches the gravel on the floor. Very modern but rustic at the same time. Source: archdaily.com

Ideas for In Ground Fire Pit with Seating

A boarded concrete design for an in ground fire pit with seating. This design is only minimalist by appearance – it’s rich with ideas. Just take a close look. A small fire-safe area is built using cement, with a square hole in the ground and nice modern concrete seating that will last forever and requires no maintenance. This idea is perfect for a DIY project. Source: archdaily.com

What a lovely setting. It’s a rustic modern design with many inspirational ideas to borrow from. First, it clearly shows that a little twist in the chair design can completely change the look and style of the entire setting (and the look is modern thanks to the unexpectedly straight-line cut backrests). Second, it clearly shows that lemon green is one of the best colors for creating a close-to-nature feel. Third, including a rectangular concrete seating slab adds a contemporary touch. Forth, an in-ground fire pit with a very geometric (square) design also ads a contemporary feel despite its rustic appearance. And finally, the fifth, adding huge rough-edged boulders immediately ads that rustic touch. As the result is a spectacular mixture of styles that sure deserves your attention. Source: archdaily.com

This is a very clever idea actually. They needed to build a raised deck anyway so why not to include a fire pit seating area. Simply make a round opening in the wood construction and you’ve got a nice seating and a metal pit on the ground. Just don’t fall into it. And notice something else – they store firewood under the deck too. Source: archdaily.com

Also see:
FREE Firewood Rack Plans Built from 2x4s.
Quick & Easy to Build Firewood Rack Bracket Kit Reviews

Rustic Fire Pit Seating

An unusually large fire bowl is the centerpiece in this dramatic rustic fire pit idea. The uniquely designed wood chairs are also cool. All place on gravel, adding to the rustic look.

Also see: Steel Fire Pit Designs: Fire Balls are Custom Made

Use fire pit log seats for a truly rustic seating design. Source: trendir.com

My favorite time of the year is when the weather is chill enough and we’re having a family and friends gathering around our fire pit, toasting marshmallows, making s’mores, and enjoying the moment.

So guess what I’m bringing you today?

You probably guessed it…a bunch of different DIY fire pit ideas. Hopefully, they’ll inspire you so you can spend the time outdoors with your family as much as I already am.

Here they are:

1. The $60 Fire Pit

This fire pit is totally simple. She gives you a great materials list and the price she paid for each item on the list. This is a great thing to have because it should help give you a ballpark figure for what you should expect to pay.

But this fire pit is also wonderful because the design is super simple. I honestly think I could get out in our yard and have it whipped up in no time. (That is saying something, my friends, because my husband is the master carpenter between the two of us!) So if you need functional, budget-friendly, and simple this fire pit could be it.

Build this fire pit ›

2. Easy Fire Pit Ideas

When you visit the website you’ll notice in the heading it says ‘it’s easy.’ That is a good sign! When they include that it is usually because it is a super simple project. So if you are someone that thinks, ‘gee, I’d love a fire pit, but I’m just not the builder type.’

Well, fear not because this design is another simple one. So if you stand a chance at building a fire pit, this one might be the one. Cut yourself some slack, check it out, and then take a chance. The worst case scenario is you have the materials on hand for someone else to build it for you.

Build this fire pit ›

3. Boulder Fire Pit

This is actually a link to where you can purchase a fire pit that is made from a boulder. Then they turn it into a gas fire pit.

Now, I understand that this may not be as rustic as you’d hoped since it is gas. But if you are not a DIY person then this might be a good option. Or you could use this as inspiration to create your own boulder fire pit that doesn’t operate on gas. Totally up to you.

Build this fire pit ›

4. The Gravel Fire Pit

This is a wonderful outdoor oasis. It has a basic rock fire pit. You could buy these rocks, or just gather them yourself if you live near a body of water.

Then all you would need to do is gather the wood to burn, place a few Adirondack chairs around the fire pit, and place gravel for safety. You’d have a great place to hang out with friends.

Build this fire pit ›

5. The $40 Cinderblock Fire Pit

I love this fire pit. My reasoning is that it is easy to build, cheap to buy the materials, and very functional. This is literally something you could throw together quickly and get busy enjoying it.

So if you need a great place to hang out during the brisk fall temperatures then consider this fire pit. If you are skilled at putting things together, then you could put it up and have friends over for s’mores that evening.

Build this fire pit ›

6. In-Ground Fire Pit Ideas

Are you on a tight budget? But you still want a cool space at your house to host get-togethers? Then this fire pit could potentially be right up your alley.

These plans tell you exactly how to build it, and they require very few materials. But it doesn’t stop this fire pit from looking great. So if you need something cozy but simple then give this fire pit a glance.

Build this fire pit ›

7. The 9-Step Fire Pit

This fire pit appears super easy to put together. The plans appear very thorough as well. So if you are looking for a basic design then you should definitely check this fire pit out.

It a circular fire pit with ample of room for chairs to be placed around it. It would be a perfect style to roast marshmallows and hot dogs. What better way to spend a fall evening?

Build this fire pit ›

8. The One Hour Fire Pit

This fire pit is another circular one. It is built from stone and would fit into most any backyard setting. Plus, it appears it would have ample room for plenty of friends and family to gather around it.

But what makes this fire pit so great is that it is simple to construct. The author of the post claims it can be built in an hour. Any project that takes that little amount of time has to be pretty easy to build. And you end up with a great gathering spot to boot.

Build this fire pit ›

9. The Backyard DIY Fire Pit

This fire pit is also circular, as a lot of fire pits are. But the design of this one appears to be another really easy one. You basically begin with a metal fire ring in the middle.

Then you’ll place brick around the outside of it for reinforcements and for appearance. So if you are familiar with brick then this fire pit could be something you’d be very comfortable constructing.

Build this fire pit ›

10. DIY Fire Pit And Seating Area

I love the fire pit plans that not only show me a fire pit but also show me a great seating area to accompany it. That is what I, personally, want because I don’t just want a fire pit. I want a hangout spot.

So if you are like me and want the full picture then you should check these plans out. The design is very simple so it wouldn’t be hard for most to construct. But you look and be the judge if this is a project you would love to take on or not.

Build this fire pit ›

11. The Inexpensive Backyard Fire Pit

Okay, let’s be real. Nothing I’ve shared with you so far appears to be that expensive. But this particular fire pit claims to be very inexpensive.

So for that reason alone, it is worth the glance. If you can have a nice looking fire pit with very little cost attached, then why wouldn’t you love it?

Build this fire pit ›

12. Modern Concrete Fire Pit

I’ll be honest, if I didn’t already have a really awesome fire pit, I would build this one. It just looks cool. How could you not love the bowl shape? And the nice rock features too?

Then to top it off, it isn’t something you have to pay a hefty price for premade. Instead, it is something that you can make yourself. So if a modern fire pit interests you then you should definitely check this one out.

Build this fire pit ›

13. The 4-Step Fire Pit

This is another super simple fire pit. It too is circular, and it is built with a fire ring and stone. So you really don’t get much easier than placing a fire ring down and then building around it with stone.

Which means if you are in need of a small gathering space in your yard (no matter the size yard you may have) this fire pit would probably be a good fit.

Build this fire pit ›

14. Garden Fireplace With Bench

This is a really neat set-up. It isn’t as solid as a fire pit, but instead, they created this neat indented place for wood to be neatly stacked.

Then they took it one step further and created a nice bench that you could sit on and enjoy the fireplace. But the bench doubles as a storage space for wood. It is really a great feature for any yard or garden.

Build this fire pit ›

15. The Concrete Fire Feature

Let’s say you have a nice sitting area in mind for a patio. You could put a fire pit on this patio, or you could put this awesome fire feature.

The fire feature would be an awesome way to add a little beauty to your sitting area. However, it could also be used to provide a little warmth on cold nights.

Build this fire feature ›

16. 6 1-Day Fire Pits

This is a really great post. It shares 6 different fire pit designs that can be easily created in a day. So if you are someone that doesn’t think they could handle anything complicated, then you should certainly check out these designs.

Plus, if you are afraid you are too busy to take on another large project then you should check out these designs too. It is something that can be built in a day and also help you relax from a crammed schedule.

Build these fire pits ›

17. The Stacked Stone Fire Pit

If you aren’t working on a particularly tight budget, then this might be a good fire pit design for you. I say that because usually, the stacked stones are a little pricier than working with concrete.

However, they are gorgeous and are also a great way to design a unique fire pit. So if you are desiring a fire pit with character then you should check this one out.

Build this fire pit ›

18. The Pit

You’ll understand why I named this one the pit if you read the post.

But I digress, this fire pit is another basic circular design. She shows you step by step how to accomplish this fire pit. It would be a feasible design for any size yard. So I chalk this one up to functional, fabulous, and one you should give a glance at.

Build this fire pit ›

19. The Outdoor Fireplace

I know, I told you this was going to be about fire pits. But as soon as I saw this fireplace, I thought there might be a few of you reading this that are fortunate enough to have the space for this beautiful masterpiece.

Plus, I was hoping someone would have the DIY craftsmanship to make this happen in their yard. If you do, please be so kind as to share the pics with me. I’m putting it mildly when I tell you that this outdoor fireplace would be an amazing space to have around your home, at least in my mind.

Build this fireplace ›

20. The DIY Design Fire Pit

This fire pit is another easy design to make. It is also a circular fire pit and is said to cost around $80 to complete the project.

However, what makes this design a little different is that there is a pan inside of it that keeps the wood off of the ground. If you were using a fire pit on a patio this would be a great design for it, most likely.

Build this fire pit ›

21. The Backyard Fire Pit

This fire pit is DIY but you’d never guess it by looking at it. They used stone that is similar to what you get when you build a fire pit from a kit.

Then they purchased the bowl and lid separately. You can actually shop around to see what your preference is for the fire pit bowl and lid. It would change the look a little and make it unique to your own preferences.

Build this fire pit ›

22. The Instructables Fire Pit

This fire pit is another variation of a circular fire pit. But what I love about this one is that the instructions are so detailed.

They include pictures to accompany every step. Plus, the design is simple too. So if you are someone that is a beginner at building anything yourself, this tutorial might be extremely helpful to you.

Build this fire pit ›

23. The Backyard Fireplace

So maybe after you saw the previous post about the outdoor fireplace you thought that you might want to try it. But you felt the other design was just a little above your paygrade.

Well, fear not. Here is another design for an outdoor fireplace that isn’t quite as extravagant but would certainly do the same job. It would also add a little charm to your backyard space, if needed.

Build this fireplace ›

24. The Stacked Stone Fire Pit

This fire pit is a lot larger than some of the others mentioned. So if you are a big-time entertainer, or if you just like more elbow room when toasting your marshmallows, then you might want to consider this design.

However, this one is a little more expensive. According to the post, it should be able to be completed for less than $500. So if you have a little larger budget for this project then you might want to check this design out.

Build this fire pit ›

25. The Sentimental Fire Pit

I love this fire pit. It isn’t the biggest fire pit, or even different from the traditional circular shape. However, I love the sentimental touch they added to this fire pit.

So they give you step by step instructions on how to construct this circular fire pit. But at the end, you get to do something special. Instead of just pouring rock in the bottom, they put cement. While the cement was still wet, they put the whole family’s handprints in them. That is very special and something unique to each household.

Build this fire pit ›

26. The Concrete Tree Ring Fire Pit

This fire pit is unique and inexpensive. According to the post, it should cost around $50 to complete it. But instead of building this fire pit out of plain old concrete, they used concrete tree rings.

It looks different in comparison to a lot of other fire pits we’ve seen. Plus, it looks very simple to put together too. So if you need something easy and inexpensive then you should glance at this design.

Build this fire pit ›

27. The Rustic Fire Pit

This fire pit is rustic and different. They basically used large rocks and dirt to Build this fire pit › It might be a little more on the expensive side because of the cost of the large rocks to build it.

But if you love it, then it might be worth the cost to you. Plus, though it is a little modern, it could still pass as rustic too. Therefore, it would mesh in just about any decorative setting.

Build this fire pit ›

28. The Masonry Outdoor Fireplace

As you can tell, I’m a little hooked on the outdoor fireplace. They are rustic and cozy while also adding some nice charm to your backyard space.

So if you feel the same way then you might want to check out this design. It is very charming and beautiful. Give me a cup of coffee and a good book, and I could see this being my new hangout spot.

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29. The Fire Pit Table Top

So I’ve given you a lot of designs for circular fire pits. But what do you do with the space in your backyard when you don’t want a fire pit?

Well, you know us on this blog. Everything has to be versatile. So why should a fire pit be any different? This table top will cover the open spot of your fire pit and turn it into a great table when you aren’t using it for burning.

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30. The Simple DIY Fire Pit

This fire pit is circular and simple. So if you need an easy outdoor space then give these plans a glance. They gave great instructions on how to construct this little fire pit too.

So if you are wanting to get more use from your outdoor space then create your own little oasis. A fire pit is a great start.

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31. The $10 Upcycled Fire Pit

This fire pit is awesome. Do you have an old washing machine drum that you no longer use? Well, don’t toss it or leave it to rust. Instead, put it to use as a fire pit.

The best news is it can be upcycled for a whopping $10. So if you’d love to have a fire pit to enjoy your outdoor space even more then give this budget-friendly idea a glance.

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32. The Steel Fire Pit

This fire pit is different for a lot of reasons. For starters, it isn’t circular! Instead, it is a square shape. The second difference is it is not built with stone, brick, or concrete.

Instead, this fire pit is built with steel sheets. So if you want something a little more on the modern side then this fire pit could be what you’ve been looking for.

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33. The Personal Fire Pit

Do you just like the warmth that a small flame brings to an outdoor space? Or maybe you love s’mores and don’t want to share. Either way, I get it!

So if you’d like to have a personal and inexpensive fire pit then build this one. It is created from a planter and a few other inexpensive items. That way you can have a warm glow on your patio, or a personal flame to make s’mores any time you want.

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34. The Patio and Fire Pit

So you want a fire pit, but you’d like to have it in a nice patio area? Well, I can understand that. That is why we are sharing this awesome post.

It not only tells you how to build a great fire pit right in the middle of a patio, but it also shares how to build a great circular patio. This post has the complete package.

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35. Portable Fire Pit

This fire pit is great! It takes upcycling to a whole new level. They take an old shopping cart and turn it into a fire pit that can be moved anywhere you like.

Plus, it has a built-in log holder. They use the bottom of the cart as a place to hold logs. So this way you always have wood on hand when using the fire pit.

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36. Brick Fire Pit

This post is one that has been shared a lot. Though there aren’t great details on how to build it, the picture is rather self-explanatory.

So if you’d like to have a beautiful square brick fire pit then you’ll probably love this. It is charming to say the least.

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37. The Home Road Fire Pit

I really like this post. They give you honesty. The authors provide pictures of what they had to work within their yard. Plus, they shared where they struggled with this project.

So if you would like to build a fire pit then you might want to check this design out. For those that have never built a fire pit might find their pointers helpful.

Build this fire pit ›

38. The Fire Pit Patio

Do you already have a store bought fire pit? Well, don’t toss it just because I’m trying to give you DIY inspiration.

Instead, build this fabulous patio for your store-bought fire pit. With it, you can have a great place to gather and enjoy it like you’ve probably never done before.

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39. The Tractor Wheel Fire Pit

Do you have an old tractor wheel? Well, there are lots of different ways to upcycle it. But for now, I want to point out how that old tractor wheel could become your next fire pit.

This post offers great instructions and pictures to help you through the building process. What a unique piece to add charm to your yard.

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40. The Fire Pit and Planter

This was actually discovered through a Facebook post. So there aren’t great instructions on building this masterpiece.

However, if you are someone that can look at an idea and run with it then you might love this design. It is meant to hold lots of flowers, offer a sitting area, and have a great fire pit.

Source ›

41. Fire Pit Seating Ideas

This post shares many great ideas for seating around a fire pit. So if you are someone that wants a ‘fire pit area’ without actually building your own fire pit then this post might offer a good selection for you.

So you’ll notice that most of these are based around store-bought fire pits which might be a good fit for some. Either way, I hope their ideas inspire you.

Source ›

42. The $125 Fire Pit

This fire pit looks really good. It is circular and made from stone as others we’ve mentioned.

However, this fire pit has a pan in it that keeps the wood from the ground. So this would be a great fit for a patio area.

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43. The Mosaic Fire Pit

This fire pit is very different. It is the common circular shape and built with stones which are also common. Yet, this fire pit is different.

It is different because they added different pieces at the top of the fire pit to give it a unique and art inspired feel to it. Each one of these fire pits is guaranteed to be a one of a kind.

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44. Fire Pit With Custom Capstone

This fire pit is different in comparison with a lot of the others shown. The reason is that it is rectangular. Plus, it also appears to be lower to the ground than some of the others featured.

However, this fire pit has a capstone that is unique. The author gives a very descriptive post about how to Build this fire pit › Plus, you also get a very detailed materials list which is very helpful as well.

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45. The Koi Pond Fire Pit Ideas

This post is another one of inspiration instead of a ‘how-to.’ However, the author showed how she took what was once a Koi pond in her yard and transformed it into a really neat looking fire pit.

Again, if you are someone that can see things and figure out how to transform them then this might be a good selection for you.

Source ›

46. The Simple Fire Pit

I know we’ve called a lot of these fire pits ‘simple.’ But this one really appears to be. It basically sums up as you dig a hole in the ground, surround it with firebrick.

Then you’ll build it up in stone and you have a great looking fire pit. Obviously, the actual post will go into great detail for you. But it is definitely a great looking fire pit.

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47. DIY Portable Fire Pit

If you are someone that likes the look of a fire pit on a smaller scale, or maybe you live in an apartment without a lot of room for a fire pit?

Well, don’t worry. With this tabletop fire pit, you will be roasting marshmallows in no time. It looks super simple to create too.

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48. The Wheelbarrow Fire Pit

This post doesn’t go into great detail on how to actually construct this fire pit. However, I think it is safe to say that between the picture and Google, most people can probably figure out how to build this and use it safely.

I just fell in love with this fire pit when I saw it because of its rustic appearance. So remember to always do really thorough research before building or using anything in regards to fire. You build at your own risk. But please send us pictures if you recreate this beauty.

Source ›

49. The Pirate Ship Fire Pit

This is another post that doesn’t go into great detail on how to Build this fire pit › Dare I say, this would be something that would take some serious know-how mixed with a lot of artistic ability.

But who knows? Someone reading this might be totally inspired and find a way to successfully build this. Again, you build and utilize at your own risk. But if you are able to recreate this successfully, we’d love to see!

Source ›

50. The Fire Barrel

This post gives more details on how to build this really awesome table. It looks very rustic and charming at the same time.

So if you would like to have an eye-catching piece on your patio then this could very well be it. Just because it is a table doesn’t mean that you still couldn’t find a way to make s’mores on it, though.

Build this fire table ›

51. A Massive Fire Pit

This fire pit is amazing. They made a huge one and out of very few materials. So if you are on a tight budget then you might want to check into this design.

It may not be as swanky as some. However, it looks as though it will give you the most bang for your buck. You be the judge.

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52. The Flower Pot Fire Pit

This is another table top fire pit. It is something that can be made for very little money but would be very handy to have if you live in a place with basically no yard.

So if you can get your hands on a flower pot and a few other materials then you could have your own tabletop fire pit and be making s’mores in no time.

Build this fire pit ›

53. From Scratch Tabletop Fire Pit

This fire pit is a little more extensive. You actually make the bowl that everything sits inside of. So it will take a little longer to make but by the looks of it is totally worth the extra effort.

So if you have been in the market for a tabletop fire pit then give this design a glance. You might really like what you see.

Build this fire pit ›

54. A Pallet Fire Pit

You’ve seen over and over in this article how people will slide fire pit bowls inside of a fire pit to keep the wood off of the ground.

Well, this design is very similar. Except they made a pallet fire pit and slide the bowl inside of it. It is a very neat and unique idea.

Build this fire pit ›

55. The Portable Propane Flower Pot Fire Pit

This fire pit looks really awesome. It would also be easy to utilize as it runs on propane. Now, everyone isn’t into a gas fire pit. But for those that are, you might want to look at this design.

Truthfully, the design looks rather fancy. I wouldn’t have guessed it was made from a flower pot if the post hadn’t told me. So if you are looking for something different, look at this fire pit.

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56. Board-Formed Concrete Fire Pit

This is a design meant to inspire you. Unfortunately, the post doesn’t go into detail on how they were able to construct this really awesome looking fire pit.

However, I’m sure with a little research, someone could recreate this masterpiece. I just love how it is made out of concrete but literally looks like it is made from wood.

Source ›

57. Tree Stump Fire Pit

Our final fire pit ideas is just that, an idea. The post doesn’t share in-depth details on how to create this yourself.

However, if you are someone that can see a picture and recreate it then you would probably be able to safely design this.

Source ›

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Fire pits continue to rise in popularity, and it’s no wonder. There’s just something about gathering around a fire that’s inherently human. A fire pit instantly becomes everyone’s favorite gathering spot. It’s the ideal place to relax, unwind, tell stories, and get to know one another on a deeper level. If you’re thinking of adding a fire pit to your backyard, there are a lot of options to consider before you begin.

Decision 1: Mobile or Built-In

Many people opt for a mobile fire pit that can be moved around to various locations. Movable fire pits are certainly less expensive than a built-in pit, come in a wide variety of designs, and have the added benefit of portability. The primary drawback, however, is that a movable fire pit tends to only last a season or two before the materials begin to deteriorate.

An in-ground fire pit can be a cost-effective option.

Decision 2: In-Ground or Above-Ground

An in-ground fire pit can be cost-effective, however above-ground pits are more common. One trend is to create a “sunken living room” design for an above-ground fire pit. This offers the added benefit of built-in seating. In addition, the surrounding wall can act either as a wind barrier or a heat reflector, creating a warm and cozy room.

Decision 3: Gas, Wood or Hybrid

There are a number of benefits to a gas fire pit. It’s easy to start, there’s no mess, there’s no smoke, and it can be placed closer to the house. For purists, however, burning wood is one of the primal reasons to even have a fire pit. For the best of both worlds, consider a wood-burning fire pit with a gas starter. One popular trend is to install a gas starter with a switch that can be operated either locally, from inside the house, or with a mobile app.

Decision 4: Placement

An above-ground pit becomes a focal point of your outdoor living design. Be sure and place it where it balances with other large design elements. A gas fire pit can be placed just about anywhere, but a wood-burning pit will need to be at least 10 feet away from any structure. Before putting in a permanent fire pit, check for wind patterns that may cause potential smoke issues. Also, remember to leave ample room for seating around the pit.

This sunken fire pit room uses a combination of natural stone and manufactured hardscapes.

Decision 5: Materials and Shape

Above-ground fire pits can be constructed from a variety of materials. The most popular options are brick, natural stone and concrete blocks, such as Belgard retaining wall products. Although design options are endless, most fire pits are either round or square. One reason has to do with the shape of standard fire pit liners. Fire pit liners are highly recommended and may be required by your local municipality. In addition to adding a finished look, a steel liner keeps excessive amounts of heat from absorbing into the surrounding stone. By reflecting the heat up and out, it adds to the life of the stone and creates a safer environment. It also increases the feeling of warmth for those around the fire.

Decision 6: Seating Options

Built-in seating is currently one of the top trends in outdoor living and makes an excellent addition to a fire pit design. Some people like to place seat walls four feet away from the fire pit, which allows for walking room. Others prefer a three-foot distance, which can allow you to prop your feet on the ledge of the pit. If using seat walls, consider leaving one or two sides open. This will allow for the option of furniture placement, which softens the look and adds interest to the design. To add comfort and color to seat walls, use a variety of throws and outdoor pillows.

The combination of built-in seat walls and open seating provides ample seating space and accommodates those who want to control their seating distance in relation to the fire.

Fore more fire pit design inspiration, visit our “Fire Pit Ideas” Pinterest board. To discuss your ideas with a Belgard authorized contractor or dealer near you, visit our contractor and dealer locator page.

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