The perfect addition to your backyard is no more than a few simple steps away. This DIY project will take your ordinary backyard and transform it into a cozy camp site.
Planning and assembling your own DIY firepit is not as challenging as it may sound. Before long, you and your guests will be huddled around the fire making s’mores and telling stories into the wee hours of the morning.
Before You Begin
Before you start construction on your firepit, you’ll need to round up some supplies that you can find at your local hardware store. You will need the following:
· Bricks for the firepit wall
· Twine or string
· A stake
· A large shovel and trowel
· A tamp
· A level
If you don’t want to spend any more money than is necessary, you can ask your friends or neighbors if they have any of these tools laying around their garage or workshop.
When you are picking out bricks to form the walls of your firepit, look for something sturdy like retaining-wall bricks or concrete pavers. If you’re lucky, some home improvement stores carry bricks specifically designed for lining the walls of firepits. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance in the store if you are unsure of what you need to purchase. Use a layer of firebricks (bricks that have been specifically designed to have a higher heat resistance) on the inner layer of your firepit as an added layer of safety.
1. The Circle
Survey your property to find the perfect spot to place your firepit, keeping a safe distance from any structures, bushes or trees. Fires tend to pop and spew. You don’t want embers flying out and catching a shed or bush on fire.
Once you’ve located the perfect spot free of any potential dangers, insert a stake into the ground where the center of the pit will be.
Take a piece of string or twine and tie it to the stake in the center of the pit. Measure how wide you want your firepit to be; most firepits are about 4 to 5 feet in diameter. Cut the string once you’ve decided on the width of your circle. Tie the other end to the handle of a trowel. With the string or twine pulled tight, drag the sharp end of the trowel around the circle, digging out a line in the ground.
2. The Digging
Using a large shovel, begin to dig out the center of the circle, removing any grass and dirt. Keep in mind the hole you dig for your pit should be at least 6 to 12 inches deep. If you are unsure of any utility lines that may be buried in your yard, call 811 (811 In Your State) before you start digging. If there are any utility lines in your yard, city-workers will come out and mark them so you can avoid disrupting any services.
3. The Tamping
Use a tamp to pat down and level the dirt you’ve dug up inside the circle. If you don’t have a tamp and don’t want to have the extra expenditure of a tool you won’t use that often, you can use the bottom of your shovel.
Once all the dirt has been packed down, follow up with a level placed in the center of the circle. You want the surface to be perfectly leveled before you lay any bricks. Continue making small adjustments until the ground is completely leveled.
4. The Gravel
Place a thick layer of gravel in the firepit hole. You want the layer of gravel to be a couple of inches thick. This may take a varying amount of gravel depending on the type of gravel you have purchased. Spread the gravel evenly across the ground and follow up with a level again. You want to make sure you maintain a consistent level throughout the firepit.
5. The Building
After you have spread and leveled the gravel, arrange the bricks in a circle and begin to stack them in layers until your firepit walls are at least 12 inches high.
For added peace of mind against any unwanted fires, you can place an optional layer of bricks inside the firepit. You don’t need to use mortar bricks if the ones you have chosen for the outside of your firepit are heavy enough to make a sturdy stack. You can also use an outdoor fire-resistant mortar on the inside layer for extra stability and protection.
Once you have a design and height of your liking, you can fill the middle up with some firewood, call your friends and bring out the treats to enjoy the good times that are sure to be had around your brand-new DIY firepit.