DIY Experts Share How-to Build an Outdoor Fire Pit

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How to Build a Backyard Firepit

Four Methods:

Relaxing in front of a backyard fire can be the perfect ending to a busy day...assuming the fire pit is safe! The scent of the burning wood and the sparks dancing off into the night has entertained people for millions of years.


Using Garden Stones

  1. Pick a spot and dig a hole.The hole should be 1.5' deep and 5' wide. Get it as flat as possible on the bottom.
  2. Set up your firebrick ring.Buy a bunch of firebricks (used to line fireplaces). There should be enough that you can make a circle to your desired size with the bricks standing on their ends. Form the circle in the hole by standing the bricks on end and putting one next to the other.
  3. Solidify the ring.Use concrete, cobb, clay, or other fire-resistant materials to join the bricks together into a solid, strong ring. Let this material dry completely before continuing.
  4. Fill in the edges.Fill in any space outside the circle with dirt. This is so the ground leads right up to the top edge of the brick.
  5. Fill the center.Pour a layer of river rocks into the central pit.
  6. Add a decorative edge.Get some paving stones or garden stones (the kind you usually use to make a path with) and use them to form a ring around the fire pit.
  7. Enjoy your pit!Be careful not to let grass overgrow the stones and get too close to the fire.

Using Concrete Bricks

  1. Select a spot for your pit.Choose a place that will provide room to walk around the fire, away from plants, fences, or any other kinds of flammable material. Consider the wind in your backyard and the way it will blow smoke from the fire. Also consider how many people will be enjoying the fire, a 6-foot buffer minimum is a good idea.
  2. Dig a circular hole, 4-feet in diameter and 12-inches deep.
  3. Using cement bricks, construct a 12-inch high wall around the pit.Leave about 2 inches (5.1 cm) between the bricks for air circulation.
  4. Lay down some concrete, the quick setting type.Cover most of the bottom of the pit, creating a small "dip" in the center where you can place newspaper and kindling. Sprinkle water on the concrete until it hardens to your satisfaction.
  5. Build the fire.Construct a tepee from kindling around the newspaper. Light the newspaper, and you're ready to go.
  6. Feed the fire.When the kindling gets going, start placing bigger pieces of wood around the shelf in a tepee shape.

Using Garden Edging

  1. Get curved pieces of garden edging.These are sometimes referred to as tree rings. The edging will need to be made of stone, clay, or brick and can be scalloped or straight across the top. You will need to purchase 4 pieces of 14" inside diameter bricks and 6 pieces of 24" inside diameter bricks.
  2. Lay out the first layer.Clear an appropriate area for your firepit and then lay out the first two 14" pieces to form a circle. Use three of the 24" to form a larger circle around the first one. You can use a bit of concrete to help the pieces stay together, if you want.
  3. Lay out the second layer.Use the remaining pieces to set out the second layer, on top of the first. You can put a layer of concrete between the two stone layers, if you want to. If you use scalloped bricks, put the second layer upside down, so the scalloped edges are touching between the two layers.
  4. Fill with rocks.Fill the gap between the circles with river rocks until the brim is reached. Alternatively, you can fill it most of the way to full and then put down a thinner layer of more aesthetically pleasing rocks, like glass pebbles.
  5. Line the bottom.Put a small layer of river rocks or other fire-friendly material in the bottom of the pit.
    • Alternatively, you can find a grill bowl with the same diameter (or very slightly larger) as the central circle and place it there.
  6. Light your fire!Set up a wood fire in the central pit and enjoy your new fire pit. Put a circular grill surface over the hole to use it as an outdoor cooking pit!

Considerations for Firepits

  1. Check with your local authorities before lighting any kind of fire.A fire in an open pit may be illegal in your area.
  2. Be kind to your neighbors.Check with them first and tell them you will reduce the smoke as much as possible.
  3. Always extinguish the fire correctly.Don't just let the fire go out on its own. Ash and embers can remain hot and dangerous for a long time. Spread the coals around the bottom of the pit and douse them with water until all smoke and steam has disappeared.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Do I have to dig out the center of the fire pit?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, but you don't want to start a fire on dead grass or have grass under the ring of stone.
  • Question
    How many stones should I use for the firepit?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    There's no set number, so you should use just as many as it takes to fully surround the pit. This will also depend on the size of the firepit you are making.
Unanswered Questions
  • Can I use cinder blocks in a fire pit?
  • Is it possible to put a campfire ring on the ground if the glass part has been taken out?
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Quick Summary

To build a backyard fire pit with bricks, start by digging a circular hole that’s 4 feet in diameter and 12 inches deep. Then, use cement bricks to build a 12-inch high wall around the pit, leaving about 2 inches between the bricks for circulation. Next, lay down quick-setting concrete in the bottom of the pit and make a small indentation in the center for newspaper and kindling. Finally, use pavers or garden stones to make a decorative edge around your fire pit if desired.

Did this summary help you?
  • Many purchased fire pits come with mesh fire covers. These are definitely worthwhile as they keep the sparks under control.
  • Do not burn garbage, leaves, or brush. This usually ends making excessive smoke.


Things You'll Need

  • Backyard
  • Shovel
  • Measuring tape
  • Cement bricks
  • Matches
  • Newspaper
  • Kindling and wood to burn
  • Bucket of water or sand

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  • Videos provided by
  • - This site supplies a bunch of information related to building both temporary fire pits and permanent backyard fire pits. It also has related information about types of fire pits, grills and tips for cooking with fire.

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Date: 16.12.2018, 18:40 / Views: 84232