Building Your Own Fire Pit

Fire pits can be fancy or plain, complicated or easy.  If you’re on a tight budget, it’s still possible to create an attractive and functional fire pit that adds charm and warmth to your yard or patio in a few relatively simple steps on your own.

This method doesn’t require setting the pavers in concrete or pouring a permanent base, so it’s a quick and easy project.  With no messy concrete to mix and therefore not having to wait for the cement to dry and cure, it’s possible to build your fire pit on Saturday and use it for a party on Sunday.

Materials And Tools

  • Concrete Wall Stones
  • Cap Stones (Optional)
  • Masonry Adhesive (Optional)
  • Sand
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Level
  • Tamper

Before beginning your project, make sure to check your community’s building code for restrictions and regulations. Make sure to choose an area that is not near any buildings or low-hanging structures, trees or bushes. Ensure that you will not be digging near any underground utility lines, water or gas pipes.

Your fire pit should be approximately 36 to 44 inches in diameter. Lay out your stones in a test circle and mark the outside perimeter. You can use spray paint to mark grass, or use a shovel to cut the turf around the perimeter.

Remove your test circle and dig down 12 inches to create your pit. Make the walls of the hole as vertical as possible. Dig out the bottom so that it is flat and level. Pour several inches of sand in the bottom of the hole and tamp it to maintain a level surface.

Lay the wall stones just inside the perimeter of your hole. Make sure that they are resting snugly against the walls of the hole and against each other. Continue adding staggered courses until the wall is approximately 12 inches above ground.

Add another layer of sand in your stone ring, approximately four inches deep. The sand should cover the first course of stones.

At this point, your fire pit is ready to use. However if you wish to give your pit a more finished appearance, you can add a row of decorative capstones.  Set your capstones temporarily in place to get a smooth, continuous fit. Once you’re pleased with the spacing, pick up a capstone and use a dollop or two of masonry adhesive to set it in place. Continue around the circle and remove one piece at a time to apply the adhesive and reposition the stone. Press down firmly to spread the adhesive evenly and to make solid contact between the capstone and the stone wall.

Your fire pit is complete, looks great and is ready for a party or a leisurely get-together. Now it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy your new outdoor living space.

If you are wanting a more elaborate fire pit or barbecue set-up than this or if you simply do not have time to do the work yourself, call 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME or enter your zip code above to find the Handyman Matters location closest to your home.  Expert craftsmen are happy to consult with you in order to create the customized barbecue/firepit that will best serve your individual needs.