7 Steps To Building a Backyard Fire Pit
Summer is over, and cooler nights are providing opportunities for family
gatherings. Unfortunately, few people have the money saved up after retirement to invest in any landscaping projects to make their yards more inviting, especially at night. Thankfully, a simple DIY project can transform your outdoor space without breaking the bank. Follow this seven-step plan to create a one-of-a-kind fire pit to warm up those cool autumn nights.
1. Gather Supplies and Find a Location
Before you get started, you will need to gather the materials for the project and check local fire codes for permissions. If a fire pit is legal in your area, then head over to your local big-box store to pick up the necessary materials.
• Tape measurer
Once you have all the essentials, go to work selecting the best place for your new fire pit. Make sure the pit is not located near any structures, bushes or trees. With the location picked, place a stake in the middle of where the pit will go. Then, cut a piece of twine the radius of the desired diameter, tying one end to the stake and the other to the trowel. With the string taut, drag the blade of the spade through the grass around the circumference of the circle, making a trench.
2. Remove Grass
With a boundary created, grab your shovel and start removing the grass from inside the circle. Standard safety regulations require a fire pit hole to be six to 12 inches deep. However, before you start digging, make sure there are no hidden utility lines by calling 811.
3. Tamp the Dirt
Once you remove all the grass and have a hole of adequate depth, grab your tamp and begin
compressing the remaining dirt. If you do not have a tamp, the back of the shovel will do. You
want to make sure the ground is nice and compact to reduce settling later.
4. Level the Area
For a stable pit design, you need to level the compressed soil. Do not rush this process. Use a
level and slowly build up dirt where necessary. If you need to add more soil, make sure to tamp the surface again.
5. Add the Gravel
With the soil level, it is time to add the gravel to the surface. You want the gravel layer to be at least a couple of inches thick. Again, you will need to level this surface when finished laying the material.
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6. Arrange the Bricks
Finally, you get to do the fun stuff: placing the bricks. Take your bricks and arrange them in a
circle. Alternate the placement in each layer to boost stability. You want to continue to add layers until the pit is at least 12 inches tall.
7. Use Mortar for Extra Stability
Step seven is optional. If the stability of your fire pit concerns you, then you can add a fire-
resistant mortar between the bricks to increase its strength.
Why spend thousands to contract a custom fire pit when you can do it yourself? Financial
freedom during retirement is about spending money wisely. If you want more tips about
retirement finances, keep reading the Wise Ol' Owl.