I’m sure all of you are sitting there thinking to yourself, “Self, don’t read this. It’s a waste of time. It’s stupid easy to build a fire pit.”
And you’d be right.
However, there’s one tip I have to offer that might save you some headaches. Besides, I took pictures of the build process damnit… so I have to post them on the internet.
Pictures like this one:
When we moved out here, the first “project” I finished during our inaugural weekend after it was too dark and we were too exhausted to carry one more box… was to drag some random rocks out of our woods, circle them up in the back yard, scavenge some limbs, wait until dark, crack open a beer, and light up a fire.
That first fire was glorious… and that primitive stone circle saw a lot of use.
But, it was something else to mow around. Plus, you need to know my least favorite chore is weed-whacking. I have a really nice Stihl string trimmer I’m thankful to have, but I don’t enjoy the work.
So just a couple weeks after our Version 1 of a firepit was born, and for much of its life, that stone circle would be more overgrown than a 1980’s centerfold and always badly in need of a trim.
Last week I was walking through the big box store and saw these retaining wall bricks on sale for $0.99 each. Along with those, I bought these 2″ tall 12″ x 12″ patio stones. Ready to go, I ironically began building my fire pit on the hottest day of the summer.
My primary goal was to have something with a sunken stone border around my ring I could mow over, to keep the grass under control.
Yep, obvious to many I’m sure. But in case it’s not to you – this is the only way to go.
I made sure the new fire pit would be a safe distance from the house and within convenient vicinity to our firewood, threw all my materials in the general area, ignored the old unused satellite dish I cut out of the ground earlier that morning (and is now in the hands of some eccentric CraigsLister)… and got to work.
How to Build Exactly This Fire Pit:
- Purchase or otherwise source thirty-three retaining wall bricks, twelve 12″x12″x2″ patio stones, and three bags of pea gravel.
- Dig a square hole 52″x52″ at least 2-3″ deep.
- Pour pea gravel in the hole, but don’t fill it.
- Level the gravel as much as possible.
- Place your patio stones in the hole, creating a 4’x4′ border. You want these stones to be even with your yard, or just slightly above it so your mower will roll right over them, preventing grass from cozying and then growing right up next to the retaining wall bricks.
- Lay out eleven retaining wall bricks in a circle, three layers tall. Stagger the upper layers so the bricks cover the gaps in the layer below it.
- Work around any obstacles or challenges due to the lay of the land.
- Have your safety foreman check for proper depth.
- Wait until dark.
- Crack open a beer.
- Avoid eye contact with your neglected weed whacker.
Question of the Day: What’s your least favorite chore? Did I mention I hate weed whacking? Did I mention we have a metric crap ton of split rail fence around our place? I’m (too) slowly establishing wildflowers and other other stuff under the fence to cut down on trimming time.