The easiest way to build a fire pit is to purchase one online or at your favorite retail store. You’ll find locations like Walmart, The Home Depot, Lowes, and Amazon sell stand-alone fire pits that you can place on a concrete porch or patio without putting in any work.
If you have some space in your backyard, however, a formal fire pit can provide you with an additional layer of usability. Most homes will be able to complete this project for less than $100.
Here’s what you’re going to need.
- 3 dozen 12-inch retaining wall blocks for the exterior
- About 2 dozen square pavers for the interior
- About 8 triangle pavers for the interior
Then you’ll want to follow these steps to finish the building process.
Step #1: Make sure you can build the fire pit.
Not all communities allow you to use a fire pit. Check with your local regulations to see if this project is permitted on your property.
Step #2: Build your circle.
You don’t need to cut out any sod for this project. Just choose the location of your fire pit, then use 12 of the exterior blocks to create a circle. You’ll want to remove as many gaps as possible from the circle, so keep them tight together. Once you have a good foundation circle, build a second layer with the next dozen exterior blocks. Then add a third layer to have the fire pit reach the correct height.
Step #3: Install the floor.
Now you’ll need to use the square and triangle pavers to build your floor. The triangle pavers work best around the edges. Place two square pavers on each circumference point of the circle. Then build down in layers. The next line should have 4 square pavers. Then you’ll have two lines of six pavers, before a row of 4 and the final row of two. Your triangles are going to fill in the gaps.
If you find the triangle pavers are not fitting quite well, you can take a tile saw or a hammer and chisel to know off the corners which are refusing to fit.
Step #4: Secure the floor.
Now you’ll want to add a bag of sand to the interior of the fire pit. This will secure the pavers in place along the bottom. Get a thick layer in there, then tamp it down in some way. If nothing else, have the kids get in there and jump up and down a few times. Then remove any excess sand and you’re ready to use your fire pit for the first time.
Step #5: Add the lid.
Some communities may allow a fire pit, but it requires you to have a lit to contain the sparks that come from the fire. You’ll need to purchase a metal lid that will fit the full circumference of your fire pit to do this. Using the 12-block method here, you’ll have about 33 inches to cover. If you want a smaller space, reduce the blocks from 12 to 8 per ring.