How to Build a Fire Pit

Build a DIY fire pit using pavers

How to Build a Fire Pit

A fire pit makes for a wonderful gathering place, and installing one is an easy afternoon project.
Learn how to build a fire pit using pavers for a quick, simple backyard upgrade. This stone fire pit can easily be configured to meet your yard’s measurements. This guide will teach you all you need to know about building a fire pit out of pavers.

Tip: To simplify the fire pit building process, The Home Depot offers fire pit kits that contain all the materials you need and complete, detailed instructions.

Safety: If you decide to build your fire pit in the middle of an existing patio, cement your bottom layer to the patio to keep it from shifting.

What You Need

1
Safety and research
SAFETY AND RESEARCH

• Choose your fire pit location a safe distance from any structures or low hanging trees.
• Check your local building codes for any restrictions.

The style and shape of your fire pit will determine the type of wall blocks you’ll need to purchase:

• For a round fire pit, you need trapezoidal blocks, which are smaller on one side. This allows the edges to fit snugly together without creating any gaps.
• A square fire pit uses rectangular blocks, and can be constructed in a variety of patterns with blocks of different dimensions.

2
Prepare the site
PREPARE THE SITE

• If you’re installing in your yard, drive a stake down the middle of what will be the center of your pit.
• Use marking paint tied to a string to draw a circle around the stake. The circle should be slightly larger than the outside dimensions of the fire pit you’re planning to build.
• Dig out the entire area for your fire pit. The depth will need to be about 7 inches below grade.
• Pack the dirt solidly all the way around with a hand tamper.

3
Build the gravel base
BUILD THE GRAVEL BASE

• Pour a generous amount of crushed gravel into the hole so your finished base will be approximately 5 inches thick.
• Wet the gravel thoroughly with a garden hose, and then use the hand tamper to compact it into a hard layer a couple of inches below the surface.

4
lay out the fire pit
LAY OUT THE FIRE PIT

• Lay out your first layer of blocks, pushing them together and using a level to make sure the height stays consistent.
• If necessary, add leveling sand or tap down blocks to even things out.
• After finishing the first row, check the base layer in several places with a long level to be sure the structure is even.
• Then, assemble the second level of wall blocks, making sure to stagger the joints between rows.

5
test-fit the fire pit bowl
TEST-FIT THE FIRE PIT BOWL

• Bowls and insert rings come in standard sizes, so make sure to choose the right one for the fire pit you’re planning to build.
• After you’ve completed the second row, test-fit the fire pit bowl to make sure the lip rests fully on the edge, and adjust the positioning of the blocks if needed.

6
add construction adhesive
ADD CONSTRUCTION ADHESIVE

• Remove the second row of blocks.
• Add beads of construction adhesive to the bottom layer to bond everything in place.
• Refit the blocks and continue the process for the next row.

Tip: A fire pit typically only has 3 or 4 rows of blocks. The bowl sits on top and can be removed for easy cleaning.