By Jodie Kushner.
Your garden is an extension of your home and with a few extra features it can be the most beautiful part of your property. There are many different ways to completely transform your garden. For instance, you could make it ultra modern by going for a minimalist Japanese Zen theme, or go in the opposite direction and let the grass grow wild for a more rustic and wild feel. Most homeowners want a relaxing place they can unwind and entertain people.
One of the best additions to a garden is a fire pit. It can be the focal point of any garden layout. All you need to do is add some cosy blankets, deck chairs, and a few pillows, and you have yourself a little sanctuary you will never want to leave. If you are interested in creating your own fire pit here’s how to build one in your garden:
Choose the design
Martha Stewart lists a number of fire pit designs you can choose from depending on available space and the aesthetic you want your garden to have. Stacked stone fire pits look nice, especially if you have cosy outdoor furniture surrounding it. You can also choose a curved fireplace, which works best if you have limited space.
In this post we will make a stacked stone pit.
Find the best spot
Where you put your fire pit matters, as it impacts your home’s safety. Make sure you have a large open space, far from any combustible materials, plants, and any structures near your home. It can’t be emphasised enough that safety is the highest priority.
Prepare the ground
After you’ve removed the grass, This Old House suggests you first spread about two inches of crushed stone mixed with sand over the area you want the fire pit. Then smooth it out with a rake. You then need to measure your desired patio radius, and use a line-marking spray to mark the outline.
Create the base of your fire pit
To make the concrete footing of your standard 3-ft. diameter fire pit, mix ten 36 kg bags of concrete mix. You can get this at any DIY store near you. To create the shape and border of your fire pit, you will need to build two circular cardboard tubes – one with a 36-inch diameter circle (inside circle) and one with a 48-inch diameter (outside circle).
Dig a shallow pit that is 48-inches in diameter and to a depth of 8 inches. Then place the two circles down and fill with concrete. If you want to make the structure stronger, halfway during the filling press rebar into the concrete. Once full, tap the tubes gently with a sledgehammer until the concrete mix is the right level. Smooth the top and let the concrete completely set and dry before removing the tubes.
Set the fire brick
Line the inside of your fire pit using firebricks. Don’t use the regular clay bricks as these usually crack at high temperatures. Firebricks are dense bricks that are kilned to withstand high temperatures. They are much more expensive, but will last longer. You will need 25 bricks for a 3-feet diameter fire pit.
Mortar the firebricks around the pit and use a thick layer of refractory cement. Unlike regular masonry mortar, refractory cement can withstand high heat, which makes it a better choice. Make sure you also have draw holes, so your fire has oxygen. Simply break four opposing fire bricks or remove them completely.
Complete the outside walls
Use brick to finish the outside look of your fire pit wall. You will need approximately 80 bricks for your fire pit. Use half bricks to form the curves. You will need about five 36 kg bags of concrete. Add a rowlock cap to finish off your fire pit. To make this, you can use 40 face bricks or natural stones. This will help protect the wall joints from rain and keep sparks contained. After you’ve worked your way around the circle, fill any gaps with mortar.
Once you’ve built the fire pit, let it rest for at least a week before using it. While you wait, you can turn the surrounding area into a place where you can entertain guests by adding a few pieces of outdoor furniture. To make the entire space inviting, build a pergola around the fire pit. After you have set up the structure, plant some flowering and fragrant vines, which can grow up the posts to create the perfect nighttime hideaway. Screwfix notes how pergolas are both stylish and functional, so much so that they can become a unique focal point of your garden. A pergola is a timeless installation that works with any fire pit design, and is perfect for cosy nights with family and friends. Just make sure there is enough space around the fire pit to prevent any accidents.
We hope the above article has inspired you to create your own fire pit. A pit will add value to your home and make your garden even more special.
This post was created in collaboration with Jodie Kushner.