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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How to build the best fire pit, that's durable too! 5 design tips.

A fire pit can be made of thick steel that's durable, one that will last for years!  All it takes is a trip to your local scrap yard, (one that sells scrap metal). We found the one below at DH Griffin for $35. The garden shop wanted $200 for a much thinner metal that would've required replacing after a couple of seasons. Teh thicker metal will with stand hard use for many years.

5 tips for building a build a fire pit on a budget.
52" fire pit, a little manual labor on a Saturday, and look what you can achieve!

1) Mix and match stone colors
We combined 3 color variations above: gray, tan, and natural. These were from Home Depot. As long as they're the same size & shape, it's fun to mix equal parts from several different colors. The fire pit shown above ended up being 52" in diameter, the drum itself is 36". Be sure to ask your local fire dept for city and county laws regarding size.

Also ask your home owner's insurance company how far it should be from the house. Note - If you buy an unusual size drum, it helps to make a paper pattern then lay out the bottom row of pavers, so you'll know how many stone pavers to buy.

Fire pit with steel drum
2) Placing Sand at the bottom will make leveling the blocks much easier!

We did not glue these - which makes it easier to adjust them until you get them just the way you want them. Helpful Tip - the bottom row must be spread out the widest (a couple of inches from the steel drum), the second row closer in, maybe an inch from the drum, then the top row will be the closest to the steel drum.

3) Use an outdoor table top to cover it and keep it dry during rain and snow.

This makes it much easier to start a fire after a hard rain, and it keeps animals out.

As mentioned above, check your local fire codes, and your home insurance. Every county & city has different rules and regulations.

4) Pipe from a local scrap yard is much thicker!

The garden store fire pit was very thin, and it would only last a couple of seasons. Instead, we got  pipe from the local scrap yard, where they sell scrap steel. Just put the crooked side down, with the level side up.

5) If you want to go the extra mile - add a surrounding patio with flagstone (see below)

 Now get out the marsh mellows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars, gather round and enjoy!!

Below are additional styles for fire pits, which professional masons built.
A fire pit is a wonderful addition, whether you have the work done by stone masons, (with mortar)
or whether you make it yourself as a dry stack. 

For photos of outdoor living spaces, patios, outdoor kitchens etc. and tips for remodeling,
See this link:

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