How to Build a Fire Pit
Time Required: 2-4 hours
A fire pit makes for a great gathering place with friends and family, and installing one is an easy DIY 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 concrete 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 stone fire pit in the middle of an existing backyard patio, cement your bottom layer to the patio to keep it from shifting.
- 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 circular 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.
- 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 diameter of 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.