Nothing says comfortable and cozy like the flames coming through the fire pit in your backyard. A homemade fire pit enables you to enjoy your outdoor space all year long, especially during the winter season. A simple DIY outdoor fire pit, no doubt, can be a brilliant addition to your outdoor space. You can sit, relax, enjoy food, and chat with your friends or family members at night.
Although it may seem like a daunting task at first, creating your own fire pit is not as expensive or difficult as you may think. The building materials, such as brick, are affordable, and you can create any type of design you want!
In this blog post, we have created a simple step-by-step guide in which we will explain how you can create your own DIY outdoor fire pit for summer nights.
- Cordless drill
- Concave jointer
- Brick hammer
- Concrete float
- Safety glasses
- Tuck-pointing tool
- Concrete mix
- Face bricks
- Fire bricks
- Cardboard concrete form
- Bucket of cement
- Mortar mix
Mark The Fire Pit Spot
The first step to creating your own fire pit is to mark the spot and dig that space in your yard for the base of the fire pit. Ideally, you could use a 3 ft. diameter that creates enough space for the fire to light up and keeps everyone close enough at a talking distance.
You can use cardboard concrete form tubes to make the measurements accurate. You can, however, create your own cardboard form by screwing hardboard pieces together.
Level Out The Pit
You can use a shovel to dig out the soil to a depth of 8 inches for the base. You can use the level to measure the bottom of the hole. Scrape off the soil rather than digging. This way, you won’t disrupt the underlying soil.
Pour A Sturdy Footing For The Base
The ground tends to move over time. To prevent the sides of the pit from cracking and to create a stable base, you can use a concrete footing. If the forms are not completely round, you can reposition the stakes.
To create a circular fire pit, bend the rebar into half circles and tie them up with a wire to form a ring. Next, fill out the forms halfway through and press the ring for strength into the concrete. Make sure that it does not touch the sides of the forms.
Finalize The Footing
Use the remaining concrete to fill out the remaining forms to the top. Use a sledgehammer to gently tap the tubes to level out the concrete. Create a smooth top for the footer (hammer down the forms if necessary). Allow the concrete to dry and set up overnight and remove the forms the next morning.
Set The Fiber Brick Liner
To line the inside of the fire pit walls, use high-quality material, such as fire brick, to prevent it from cracking at high temperatures. Fire brick is a sturdier form of brick that is designed to withstand higher temperatures. It is much thicker, wider, and larger than regular brick and can easily be found in brickyards. Fire brick is more expensive compared to regular brick, but it has the ability to withstand harsh temperatures.
If you have a 3 ft. fire pit, you will need at least 25 fire bricks. However, fire brick is tougher to split due to its density. You will need to split four fire bricks that should be placed across each other to ensure that the pit has enough space to receive oxygen.
After splitting the fire brick, set them dry on top of the footing. Make sure that you adjust the space between each of the bricks so you won’t have to cut the last brick.
Use Mortar ForThe Fire Brick
You can use refectory cement to mortar the fire brick. Refectory cement has the ability to withstand high temperatures. It has the consistency of a thick paste and is available premixed.
Tip: A tuck pointer can be used to clean up the joints, and a margin trowel is useful for scooping up the cement out of the bucket.
Work with four bricks at one time and position the first brick by using a thin layer of cement on the foot. Next, put another layer of cement on the second brick and place it against the first one. Continue to do the same in a similar pattern across the fire pit.
Use Air Holes
Mark four opposite points in your fire pit circle and leave gaps between the bricks. You can fill up the small gaps with half bricks. These gaps are used to transfer air into the fire pit circle. Prop up the half bricks until they are supported by the ring.
Finish The Outside Walls
You can use a face brick to line up the exterior of the fire pit walls. For a 3 ft. fire pit, you will need at least 80 face bricks. Face bricks that have holes can easily be split using a brick hammer because it is easier to create a curve using half bricks. Mortar the face bricks together using a mortar mix (3 stacks at a time). However, the size of face bricks is smaller than fire bricks, and the width of the mortar bed will be based on this difference in height. Allow the face bricks to sit up slightly and smooth out the top.
Strike The Joints
Use a jointer to smooth out the joints after finishing each section of the face brick. You can check if the mortar is ready by pressing your finger into it and see if there is an indentation.
Add small amounts of mortar to fill in any extra gaps. You can use a brick hammer to tap gently for a smoother surface. Strike the joints for a smooth finish once the bricks have been mortared.
The process may sound difficult, but once you get started, it will smoothen out and become simple. Good luck!