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Home > Landscape Enhancements > How to Build a Safe Fire Pit for Your Backyard Landscaping

How to Build a Safe Fire Pit for Your Backyard Landscaping

fire pit landscaping design - Big Easy Landscaping

Imagine it is a crisp evening, and you have friends over for an outdoor fire. You’re telling childhood stories as you enjoy the taste of roasted marshmallows at the fire pit. 

You’re having fun, and your friends are enjoying the outdoor space. 

This is one of the many ways you can enjoy a fire pit in your backyard. 

Apart from being a source of entertainment, it can also add a decorative touch to the household and also increase your bonding time with the family. 

This will reinforce the bond through the quality time that you will share there. 

If you are wondering how to build a fire pit, then you have come to the right place. 

The fire pit is one the backyard landscape ideas that are popular among homeowners

It also happens to be one of the sought-after landscaping enhancements by any individual who wants to give their own a modern feel. 

Read on to find out more about it and what you should think about before making one.

Things To Consider When Building A Fire Pit

Location

One of the crucial things that you should consider is the location of the fire pit. 

This will help you in your backyard landscaping as it will ensure that it is situated in the right place. 

It’s prudent to keep it at least 10 feet away from the house and any surrounding trees and fences. Also, avoid putting it near tall grass as it is flammable. 

It should be in an open place, and on level ground; avoid building it on a slope.

Materials

It is advised to avoid materials that are not suited for high temperatures, such as concrete blocks. 

These can explode if they are not made to heat up. 

fire pit material - Big Easy Landscaping

It’s also crucial to know the heat rating of the materials that you will use to build the fire pit, and not just go for the stones that are around the backyard. 

This is to prevent the stones from cracking and also splinter. 

It is advised to have a stainless steel interior liner in the fire pit to prevent the materials from getting too hot.

Area Codes

When doing backyard landscaping in New Orleans, it is crucial to know the city’s fire safety codes. You should know of your city’s requirements to ensure that you are abiding by the laws. 

To know more, you could visit your local fire department to get their approval.

The Size Of The Fire Pit

Some of the essential factors that will play a hand in the size of your fire pit include the number of people that will be sitting around it and how big the landscape space is. 

To accommodate around six or more people, you could go for a 6 feet wide fire pit. 

fire pit landscape ideas - Big Easy Landscaping

When it comes to height, a good one for the outside edge should range between 6 to 12 inches tall. 

This will be a safety buffer to prevent the logs from rolling out and also ensure that it is not too deep to force you to lean in to get closer to the fire.

Maintenance

Fire pits can be a pain to maintain but it’s a breeze once you know the basics. 

If you can’t fit the cleaning session in your schedule, you could always contact a landscape maintenance contractor to take care of your fire pit.

How To Build A Fire Pit

Gather The Materials

Below are some of the materials that you will need:

  • Concrete Blocks.

  • Gravel For Drainage.

  • Sand For Foundation.

  • Metal Fire Ring.

  • Mortar.

Mark Out the Area

You should dry lay the blocks on the fire pit site to form a circle on the place you want the pit to be. 

To adjust the size, you will need to cut the block. Ensure that all the joints between the blocks are very tight and that the front and back edges line up. 

You can use spray paint to create an outline.

Dig the Trench

Using a shovel, dig a straight-sided pit of about 8 to 10 inches deep within the circle that is marked out. 

You can then use a tamper to compact the soil and ensure that the bottom of the hole is level enough for the bricks to be laid. 

Lay the blocks in the trench to see if all the pieces fit; if they do not, then you will need to dig more to widen it.

Pour The Base

You will need to prepare a concrete mix to build the base. 

This concrete flooring will ensure that the base is stable and also prevent the formation of cracks on the pit wall during ground movement. 

Fill the trench with about six inches of ¾ inch drainage gravel.

Lay the First Course

The first block should then be placed on the ring and should be leveled from side to side and front to back. If it is too high, use a rubber mallet to tap it down, and if too low, use a patio base to sort it out. 

Ensure that the first block is adequately leveled in the trench before moving forward. 

Once this is done, you can lay another block next to it, line up the front and back edges, and level it, using the first block as a reference. You can then continue and layer all the other blocks in the same manner until the ring is complete. 

Ensure that all the blocks are perfectly leveled and tightly lined up with their neighbor before adding another block.

Complete The Wall

Lay a thick bed of mortar on the outside wall and let it harden for around 20 minutes. 

Ensure that all the interlocking parts on the blocks fit together well. Continue laying this masonry adhesive over the boulders until the second course is done.

Fill The Pit With Gravel

For the first base, fill the bottom of the pit with 2 inches of gravel and spread it evenly. 

You can then add around four inches of gravel to the second course, and lay the third and fourth courses. 

Gravel is recommended since it adds durability to the pit and also compacts better than sand. It is also perfect for drainage purposes.

Cap The Blocks

Lay the capstones on top of the blocks and level it. Do so until the entire wall is finished. Once done, wait two days until you light a fire.

Building a fire pit for your backyard is not an easy task. 

It requires a lot of skill and getting all the materials right. 

Landscaping Design,  Maintenance, and More

If you need advice on how to go about it and other landscape ideas, you can ask for expert advice from our Big Easy Landscaping. 

See more of our backyard ideas:

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