How to Build a Firepit

Jun 30, 2022 | Landscape Supply, Uncategorized

Summer’s in full swing and there’s no better time to gather outside at night with friends and family around a fire. Whether you want to roast S’mores, share a conversation, or watch the crackling flames while you sit under the stars, a firepit can transform your backyard into a warm and cozy gathering spot.

But what if you don’t have one in your backyard yet?

That’s no problem. Here’s how to build a firepit in eight easy steps.

Step 1: Contact Your Local Authorities

Depending on your local government, homeowners’ association, or even your insurance company, you may not be legally allowed to build a firepit. Or, there may be restrictions on its size, location, and materials, especially if you live in a fire zone with a high hazard score.

While you could just go through with your build without checking, that would be playing with fire (sorry, we had to). Chances are, you’ll be given the green light without much hassle at all.

600x300_Fire-pit

Step 2: Find the Right Spot

Before you start building your firepit, you’ll need to scout out a viable location. As we’ve discussed previously, there are several factors you need to consider, but two, in particular, stand out:

  1. Safety – Whenever you’re dealing with open flames, the most important factor is safety. At the very least, your firepit should be at least 20 to 30 feet away from any standing structures or vegetation, which could pose fire hazards.
  2. Stability – Whether you’re building a firepit from scratch or purchasing a pre-built pit it’s important that you have a firm, level foundation to keep the pit from tilting or warping over time.

    #3 Select the Firepit Shape

    Most firepits will take one of two shapes: a circle or a square, roughly 3 to 4 feet in diameter. The style and shape of your pit will impact the types of stone blocks you need to purchase.

    For a pit ring, you’ll need trapezoidal blocks that narrow on one side, thus allowing them to fit snugly together. For a square pit, you’ll have more freedom in terms of pattern and block shape.

    #4 Purchase Your Supplies

    Have you decided on the ideal shape for your firepit?

    Good. Now, you’ll need to purchase the materials. For a pit ring, your shopping list will include:

     

    It will take roughly 10 to 15 stones to make a single ring level. Just to be safe, your firepit should be at least two levels to mitigate loose embers. 

    #5 Outline the Pit and Dig the Foundations

    Lay out a single ring layer as your pit outline. After that’s complete, use spray paint to mark the shape.

    From there, remove the stones and start digging. You’ll need to dig up approximately 5 to 7 inches of grass and topsoil within that perimeter. Do your best to keep the excavated pit level.

    Once you’ve finished digging, compact the dirt. For that, you can use a tool like a tamper, or just stomp around with your feet.  

    #6 Pour Gravel or Sand in the Hole

    Your next task is to create a sturdy, fireproof base by pouring a generous amount of gravel or sand into your freshly dug hole. Once that’s done, wet the material with a hose and compact it into a hard, flat layer two inches beneath the surface.

    #7 Lay Out the Pit

    Now, the fun part begins as the firepit takes shape.

    Place your first layer of stones on top of the base, making sure that the blocks are flush. After the initial layer is down, check to see that the blocks are level. If they’re not, you can use a mallet to even them out.

    For your second layer, place the blocks on the halfway point of each stone. Staggering the stones creates a more stable and airtight structure.

    If you want to add more layers, be sure to stagger your stones again.

    Note: If you want the structure to be permanent, you can place some masonry adhesive on the bottom of each stone to increase stability.

    #8 Fill It Up

    The structures may be complete, but you still need to add further fireproofing by filling it up with your lava stones. These serve to dispense the flames, spread the heat, and can withstand high temperatures without cracking.

    Build with Kurtz Bros

    That’s all there is to it! In just eight easy steps, you can create a firepit that instantly becomes the main attraction of your backyard.

    If you want to learn more about firepit installation or need to purchase supplies, Kurtz Bros has you covered. We offer pre-built firepit kits, high-quality materials like firewood, gravel, and much much more.

    Visit us today to bring your firepit project roaring to life.

 

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Expertly Reviewed By:
Matt Malone, Vice President Operations
Matt Malone
Matt is an accomplished business professional with over three decades of experience in the green industry. As a graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelors of Business Administration, he has put his extensive education and training to work in his nearly 15 years with Kurtz Bros., where he currently serves as Vice President of Operations.

Learn More About Matt

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