Home DIY Projects How To: DIY Fire Pit And Seating Area
Fire Pit with Seating Area

How To: DIY Fire Pit And Seating Area

by Helen
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Build Your Own Fire Pit

A DIY fire pit and seating area is a great accessory and focal point to your yard. Fire pits are a great space to gather with friends and family. You have two options when considering adding a fire pit to your yard. For example, you can build one using a DIY fire pit kit. The second option is to buy a prefabricated metal fire pit.  

You can soften the area by adding tall planters, wind spinners, outside decor, and bird feeders, or add some color by planting a garden in raised garden beds for pollinators.  

Safety Tip

If you plan to do any digging to prepare an area in your backyard for your firepit, be sure to call your local gas or electric company. Ensure there are no utility lines where you plan to dig; This is an important step you should not skip.

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STEP 1. DETERMINE YOUR FIRE PIT LOCATION

 Before you begin your project, be sure to contact your county or city to see if there is any code about the locations of your fire pit.  Plus, you will want to prepare accordingly with how many edgers you will use based on the size of the fire pit you plan to build.  Remember how many rounded edges you need once you design your fire pit location.  If you have a pool, outdoor kitchen, gazebo, or a nice flat area with a view, try to position your fire pit where you can quickly get to your fire pit.

STEP 2. DESIGN YOUR FIRST ROW

 You can complete your DIY project using a fire pit kit or fire pit stones from your nearest hardware store or ordering them online. Additionally, you will need a metal ring that will go inside your fire pit; its purpose is to protect the stones from fire and heat. Moreover, your first row of bricks should fit tightly and securely against the fire pit ring in the center. In other words, your stones or concrete blocks enclose the fire pit ring.

DIY FIRE PIT

STEP 3. MARK AND PREPARE YOUR PATH and FIRE PIT SEATING AREA

If you plan on having a path leading to your fire pit seating area from your patio, pool, back door, or Gazebo, you will have to design how that will look. Furthermore, one of the biggest challenges when creating a walkway is keeping it straight. Although it can be challenging, you can use a board for spacing along with wood stakes and strings to keep your walkway straight. The average spacing of a walkway is 36 inches.

Furthermore, if the grass is in the area where your firepit will go, you can use a shovel to mark where the stones will be placed. However, if you plan on adding a seating area along with your fire pit, you must remove the entire grassy patch about the fire pit.

STEP 4. HOW TO MEASURE YOUR SEATING AREA

 One of the easiest ways to form a perfect ring around your fire pit is to place a stake or rod in the middle and attach a string to it, working around the perimeter (marking with spray paint or powder) to ensure a perfect circle.  

A second option is to measure from the edge of the location of the fire pit bricks and mark the distance with some spray paint or powder. An ideal distance from your fire pit to the outer perimeter of your sitting area is 6 feet.

STEP 5. DIG OUT THE CIRCLE

Dig down 2-3 inches where you will place your DIY fire pit with no seating area. Also, the only place you will need to dig is where you will be installing your fire pit.

On the other hand, adding a seating area plus a walkway that leads to your fire pit involves a lot more digging. Since digging can be very labor-intensive, you can use a cultivator and a sod cutter. You can rent one from The Home Depot’s tool rental department. You can repurpose the soil you remove for other projects, such as low areas in your yard, a new flowerbed near your fire pit, or your garden.  

STEP 6. ADD SAND, TAMPER PLUS CHECK LEVEL

To provide stability and level the ground, you can use paver sand. Also, depending on the slope of your property, you will have to add the paver sand accordingly. You can start with 2 inches of paver sand, water it to make it more compact, and then tamper it. It is difficult to tamper more than about 2 inches at a time. Therefore, if you need more than 2 inches of sand to level your walk and seating area, you may have to tamper, water, and repeat. Finally, make sure you check the level of the paver sand as you go, especially before installing your fire pit bricks!

After you add the first row of bricks, check the level of the first row of bricks. Adjust the sand as necessary by adding or subtracting sand to achieve a leveled first row.

STEP 7. GLUE THE REMAINDER OF BRICKS

 Using outdoor construction adhesive to stick the fire pit bricks together would be best.  Be sure the bricks are tightly in place on top of each other, and they do not move back and forth.  Also, stagger any seams.

Once the glue is dry, it is time to insert the fire ring.  We recommend you follow the manufacturer's instructions on whether you should use sand, gravel, or a different material inside of the fire pit.  You are done if you are only building a DIY fire pit.

However, if you plan on creating a seating area around the fire pit, more work is left to do.  You will use a cultivator or a sod cutter to remove the grass encircling the fire pit.  At this point, use a garden shovel to cut out the edges of your fire pit seating area.  Again, as before, check the level of your sitting area and remove or add some soil as needed.  We prefer using laser levels for some of our projects as it makes it easier.

STEP 8. PREVENT WEEDS FROM GROWING ADD WEED BLOCK FABRIC TO THE AREA

Weed block fabric will deter weeds from growing, so if you put in seating and walkway around your DIY fire pit, put some down.  Even though weed block works, it will not completely block weeds from growing in your gravel fire pit seating area.  Therefore, there will be some maintenance and killing of weeds each season.  Remember, never use round-up or toxic chemicals to kill weeds, as they also hurt the environment.  Therefore, you can try using an all-natural vinegar-based weed killer.  You can use sod staples to keep the fabric in place.  There is no need to put any weed block fabric under the fire pit.

STEP 9. LINE EDGERS FOR THE FIRE PIT SEATING AREA

 Always ensure the walkway and seating area edgers are level and even. If, for some reason, they are uneven, remove any extra soil or use your paver sand to level out and secure the edges.

Place the edgers on top of the weed block fabric. To make sure the bricks meet snuggly on either side without having to cut or trim edges, make sure that you measure the size of the edgers you are using when planning your fire pit seating area. Because you want to be sure you have an accurate number of edgers needed for your fire pit seating area. 

Fire Pit With Seating Area

Final Thoughts When You Build Your Own Fire Pit

The takeaway is that building your own fire pit can be labor-intensive and time-consuming.  Although, the result is worth it.  If you are not a DIYer, there are several prefabricated fire pits.  You can buy wood fire pits, propane fire pits, and portable fire pits.  See our fire pit area ideas for small to large yards.

Related:  My Home Renovation: My New Home Is A Fixer Upper

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