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Outdoors · June 29, 2015

How to Build a Fire Pit in Your Backyard for $50 or Less

1. Do your due diligence.

Check the laws around fire pits in your city: Some may mandate that the pit be a certain distance from the property line, while others require a permitwhich usually just entails simple paperwork. Also keep in mind that your homeowners insurance policy may ask you to disclose that you have a fire pit. Now for the fun stuff

2. Gather your supplies.

To build a fire pit, youll need:

30-60 bricks, depending on the desired height of your pit: ~$0.50 each

1 bag of sand or gravel: ~$5 each

Landscape block adhesive: ~$6 (optional)

Slate or field stone pavers for a decorative border: Prices vary (optional)

Editors Tip: Before heading to Lowes or Home Depot, scour your property and garage for any leftover materials from the construction of your house.

3. Find a spot.

Use common sense. Your fire pit should be a safe distance from your house and any flammable or combustible materials. And before you settle on a location, look up: There should be a clearing to the sky without any tree branches obscuring it. If your yard is small and tree-full, consider cutting some branches.

4. Break ground.

Dig a circular hole, approximately 3 ft. in diameter and 10 in. deep. Cover the bottom with a thin layer of sand or gravel until the dirt is fully covered.

5. Lay your bricks.

First, place a layer of bricks vertically along the perimeter of the hole. Then lay three to six subsequent rows of bricks, horizontally, until they reach the desired height. For added stability, you can glue the bricks togetherbut our experts say its not necessary, as long as you occasionally check the pits structural integrity.


6. Optional: Surround the fire pit with found stones or pavers.

In addition to a nice decorative touch, this adds a protective buffer to keep marshmallow-roasting folks from getting too close.

7. Collect kindling and firewood, strike a match, and let er rip.

Hopefully you learned how to construct and light a fire at summer camp. A base of dry twigs and brush is ideal for ignition, and a few dry logs should keep your fire blazing for hours.


Kate Canary