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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.