Fire Pit

How to Build a Fire Pit

Though humankind has called the hearth their home for centuries, firepower had almost gone out of style in the last half-century. Now those cozy home fires are making a comeback as more and more people are pursuing simple pleasures and are harnessing the power of fire once again to cook their food, warm their hearts, and bring people together.

Select a Location

Begin by choosing a location that is not close to trees, buildings, or anything flammable. A level area is best, but a spot which has a slight slope is okay.

Draw the Fire Pit Ring

Pound a stake into the ground and attach a 2 foot piece of string to the stake. Attach a stick or nail to end of string, pull the string taut, and draw a circle around the center stake. Color this circle with spray paint, or by sprinkling a ring of flour, bird seed, etc. to mark the edge prior to digging out the fire pit hole.

Dig and Drain the Hole

Remove the sod and dig out the dirt within the circle. Dig about 1 foot deep, being careful to keep the sides of the hole straight up and down. In the center of the main hole, dig a smaller hole 8 inches across and about 1 foot deep. Fill the smaller hole with pea gravel then pour sand over the gravel. This smaller hole acts as a sump to improve drainage in the fire pit after it has been rained on. It’s crucial to not skip this important step; standing water in the bottom of fire pit is impossible to remove and will cause either a unbearably smoky fire or worse, no fire at all.

Build the Fire Pit

Surround the hole with two rows of concrete pavers; preferably use the kind of pavers that are curved to form a ring when stacked on top of each other. When stacking pavers, be sure to stagger the joints. Never use an adhesive to glue the pavers together; it will burn off when the fire is lit and will give off toxic fumes. Keep adding rows of pavers until the hole is filled. Add additional pavers at the top of the fire pit to create a ground-level ring of stone around it, like a mini patio, if desired.