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DIY: Building a Fire Pit for Fall Entertaining

Posted by: Erika Green on October 2, 2019

October Content_01_Fall Projects 2_02.jpg

If you find yourself looking out into your backyard and letting out a heavy sigh, it’s probably because it’s missing something. That one thing that every backyard just isn’t complete without; the hub for fall get-togethers and summer nights.

A DIY fire pit.

Building a fire pit can be simple to do and with the right tools and equipment from The Home Depot Rental, you can make it your next fun weekend project. So, if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to build a DIY fire pit, here is your chance.

Planning

Before starting your DIY fire pit project, familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations regarding the proper placement distance from your home. Check local codes and regulations regarding building a fire pit such as permissible dig depth, as well as any width and height restrictions. Dialing 8-1-1 is a good resource for locating buried utility lines on your property. Also, be sure your desired location is far from low-hanging trees or other flammable structures. If your preferred spot is being infringed upon by branches from surrounding trees, consider some quick pruning to clear the space.

Lastly, you’ll want to consider the best fire pit shape for your landscape. Round or square designs tend to be the most popular, but you’ll have to decide which works best within your parameters. The Home Depot offers stone in a variety of shapes for any style fire pit you choose.

Site Prep

Should the area in which you want to build your DIY fire pit be on a slope, hill, or generally uneven ground, you’ll want to grade and level the space before construction. For smaller projects, a mini skid steer is an ideal choice for grading the area. A mini skid makes it easy to level the ground and prep for trenches required under the base, as well as clearing the area once the project is done. If the ground is flat already, a sod cutter can be used to simply remove the grass prior to construction. The Home Depot Rental carries multiple mini skid steer and sod cutter options that are versatile and easy to use, as well as trailer rentals that are perfect for transporting your materials. 

But before you begin, be sure to review the operations manuals and any safety regulations associated with your equipment rentals.

Time to Build

Making a fire pit starts by measuring and placing your perimeter blocks. Be sure to mark the outer diameter with spray paint or string, then remove the blocks and dig a base trench. According to This Old House, the entire dug out area should be at least 12 inches below grade. Once the hole for your fire pit has been dug and any loose dirt is tightly packed using a compactor, lay the foundation. The foundation is typically about 6 inches thick and allows for proper drainage, which makes pea gravel a suitable material.

Once the foundation has been laid, it’s time to replace and secure the perimeter blocks.

  1. Place pavers or bricks around the perimeter.
  2. Tap the blocks with a rubber mallet to settle everything into place.
  3. Use a level to make sure the height of the perimeter is consistent.
  4. Assemble the second layer of blocks, staggering joints and adjusting to the right layout.
  5. Remove the second row of blocks one at a time to apply masonry or construction adhesive to secure the second layer. A cement mixer can help keep any masonry material ready until application.
  6. Repeat until your pit is the desired height.

Once your DIY fire pit is done, you can use your mini excavator or TLB from The Home Depot Rental to grade and level the seating area. Lay sod for a lush green grass around your new entertainment space, topped with your choice of seating. Add string lights, torches, or lanterns to complete the project.

 

Whether it’s materials, large equipment or tools, building a fire pit for the fall season is easy with The Home Depot.

Tags: DIY, fire pit, how to build a fire pit, building a fire pit, DIY fire pit, mini skid steer, sod cutter, trailer, manual tamper, cement mixer