How to Build a Fire Pit

Building a fire pit in your backyard can be a truly rewarding experience. Just imagine: lazy summer nights just chatting with friends around a cheerful fire, sipping cold drinks and grilling some nice things to eat. Sounds like paradise right? We can help you get there with these simple and easy-to-follow instructions.

John Anes

John Anes / flickr.com

Select a spot for your pit. Choose a place that will provide room to walk around the fire, away from plants, fences, or any other kinds of flammable material. Consider the wind in your backyard and the way it will blow smoke from the fire. Also consider how many people will be enjoying the fire, a 6-foot buffer minimum is a good idea.

Dig a circular hole, 4-feet in diameter and 12-inches deep. Using cement bricks, construct a 12-inch high wall around the pit. Leave about 2 inches (5.1 cm) between the bricks for air circulation. It is best to use larger, wider bricks when you build a brick fire pit so that the walls of your fire pit are sturdy.

Vaya

Vaya / flickr.com

Lay down some concrete, the quick setting type. Cover most of the bottom of the pit, creating a small “dip” in the center where you can place newspaper and kindling. Sprinkle water on the concrete until it hardens to your satisfaction.

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Check with your local authorities before lighting any kind of fire. A fire in an open pit may be illegal in your area. Be kind to your neighbors. Check with them first and tell them you will reduce the smoke as much as possible.

Jami Beverly

Jamie Beverly / flickr.com

To build the fire, coonstruct a tepee from kindling around the newspaper. Light the newspaper, and you’re ready to go. Feed the fire. When the kindling gets going, start placing bigger pieces of wood around the shelf in a tepee shape.

Always extinguish the fire correctly. Don’t just let the fire go out on its own. Ash and embers can remain hot and dangerous for a long time. Spread the coals around the bottom of the pit and douse them with water until all smoke and steam has disappeared.

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