Backyard fire pits offer fun and inexpensive ways to create welcoming spaces that reflect your sense of style. The glow and warmth of an outdoor fire pit draw people together for conversation, great food and relaxation. Design your own winning backyard fire pit with affordable materials that are enjoyable and easy to assemble.
Before you get started, check with your homeowner’s association (HOA) and local regulations to be sure that fire pits are allowed. Once your plans are cleared, select safe burning materials specially designed for outdoor burning. Wood logs or charcoal are great fire starters for large fire pits. Gel canisters or pressed wood logs work well in smaller fire pit selections.
Brainstorm the type of fire pit that would complement your landscaping, deck or patio. Consider if you are attracted more to the look of glass, stone or metal. Then browse the following list of outdoor fire pit ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Natural Stone Pit
A fire pit built of natural stones has the automatic attraction of soothing rivers and creeks. Other samples are quarried from the rich earth. Natural stones include sandstone, slate, marble, onyx, and more. Gather stones from nearby water sources, fields or wooded areas. If no natural areas are available, purchase stones that are appealing to you in color and texture. Form the shape of your pit with the larger stones first, then fill in with complimentary, smaller stones.
Curved Paving Stone Pit
Curved paving stones are very inexpensive and easily purchased at home improvement stores. Because these concrete stones are simple to stack, the building time is minimal. Allow space for vents at the base of the pit and consider the dimensions of the structure as you establish your bottom row. Instead of using mortar, dust the paving stones with sand to set them in place. Create a uniform shape on all levels, or vary the visual appeal with a graduated look. Because pavers are relatively lightweight, you can alter your designs over time.
Large Stones Pit
If you are looking for a bold statement for your fire pit, a large stones pit is the way to go. Consider larger stones if you have found the perfect place for your fire pit that will be permanent for years to come. Select boulders, large rocks or stones cut to pre-specified shapes. Secure the stones with a high-heat mortar and allow ample time for the construction to set. Though this project will take more helpers and time, the results will add a stunning look to your backyard.
In-ground Stone Fire Pit
An in-ground stone pit is a great option for those wanting to build a stable and long-lasting gathering space. Begin by selecting an area that is easy to dig and free from underground cables and pipes. Call 811 to check on underground utilities if in doubt. Include a drainpipe so that your fire pit won’t fill with water during rainstorms. Before building up the edges, pour about two inches of paver base around the perimeter of the ring for stability. Carefully stack selected stones around the edges until no spaces are visible. Secure stones with sand or high-heat mortar as needed.
Curved Bowl Fire Pit
A curved bowl fire pit has an alluring touch that is simple to assemble. Select a substantial bowl with a steady base. Begin the construction by spraying the inside of the container with a non-stick cooking spray. Next, fill the container with quick-setting concrete. Then, place one or more fuel canisters into the bowl while the concrete is still wet. Finally, finish off your design by arranging stones, glass or other materials on the top of the concrete before it sets. Depending on the size, place your curved bowl fire pit on a tabletop, deck, patio or in a protected area of the yard.
Concrete Fire Pit
Concrete is flame-resistant, so it is an excellent building material for an outdoor fire pit. Start by building two wooden frames for the inner and outer walls of your formation. Next, dig out an area for the placement of your frame. Fill the base with fire bricks before beginning to set the concrete. After building the concrete structure, remove the frame and let it sit for about twenty hours and then fill the top with lava rock. The bricks and lava rock protect the concrete from the flame.
Retaining Block Fire Pit
Like pavers, you can quickly obtain retaining blocks from a local home improvement store. Retaining blocks are larger and heavier than pavers. Determine the perimeter of your pit and mark it with string or tape. Marking off your space will ensure that you won’t need to make many adjustments with the heavier blocks. Stack the retaining blocks about three to five tiers high. Increase oxygen flow by cutting two of the blocks for vents on the bottom row. The angled sides of the retaining wall block allow them to form a complete circle without gaps. No mortar is needed with this formation, though a dusting of sand helps to set them in place.
Adirondack Fire Pit
Build a complementary Adirondack fire pit to complete the cozy look of Adirondack chairs for your patio or deck. Begin with a standing metal firepit that comes in various shapes: circles, squares or hexagons. Build a table around the frame using slats that match your Adirondack chairs. Use Eco Logs that reduce sparks or gel fireplace fuel canisters as safe ways to provide the fire for the arrangement. Your friends and family are bound to love the ensemble effect.
Pond Fire Pit
Repurposing an old decorative pond is sure to get attention. These ponds transform easily into fire pits because they are lined with fireproof rocks. First, wash out the pond to remove any remaining bacteria or refuse. After drying, fill in the bottom with a layer of sand. Place plants surrounding the pond far enough away from the pit to eliminate any risk of catching fire. This construction is a perfect set-up for a wood-burning fire pit.
Square Fire Pit
A sizable square fire pit provides room for many people to join your party. First, determine the dimensions of your fire pit, then dig out an outline in an ideal space in your backyard. Fill the square with paver sand. Next, build the square firmly on the sandy area. Use at least two rows of blocks for stability. Fill in the tops of the blocks with a layer of concrete for an attractive, finished appearance. Consider painting your square fire pit in the color of your choice with flame-resistant paint. Allow the concrete to set for at least twenty hours before use. Fill the open area with fire canisters or wood and you are ready to begin inviting your guests to celebrate with you.
BBQ Fire Pit
Combine two irresistible elements of backyard parties: kicking back around a charming fire pit and cooking over an open flame. Ensure that the building materials for your fire pit are strong enough to resist the heat and the weight of the grills. Place one or two full-size grills on top of the blocks to make your fire pit is ready for cooking. Try out a variety of dishes: including steaks, skewers of chicken, shrimp and other favorite meats. Top off the meal with marshmallow roasting or a round of S’mores. Your BBQ fire pit is sure to satisfy all of your guests’ senses.
Contemporary-style Fire Pit
While all of the categories listed above can be as basic or ornate as you desire, contemporary-style fire pits unleash your imagination. Search for any suitable metal, stone or glass object that can withstand both heat and weight. Recycle favorite containers or inherited items to add a familiar flair to your backyard. These structures include large, thick vases, metal frames or planters, wheels, etc. Extend your creativity by forming designs with the sand or gravel around your structure. Examples include a guitar shape for a musician or a ball for an athlete.
Few structures for your home give as much enjoyment for so little cost. They are also the perfect starter projects for aspiring builders and masons. As long as you make sure that your materials are fireproof and well secured, you have a wide range of materials and designs from which to choose. Build a fire pit this weekend and begin inviting your guests to join you for a host of memorable events.
When looking for the best outdoor designs, turn to the skilled craftsmen of Exscape Designs. We service the greater Cleveland and Northeast Ohio region. Our experts have a passion for creating stunning spaces for all of your relaxing and entertaining needs. Our team members have extensive knowledge of the most durable materials and guide placement while ensuring the best use of space and safety. Contact us today as a first step for building the backyard living space of your dreams.