A stone fire pit is a nice outdoor addition for anyone needing a fire pit, it becomes more interesting and fun when you set out to build it yourself. But, building a stone fire pit is no easy task, it requires some hard work and also money goes in.
Related Story: Building your own stone fire pit
If you have decided to build a stone fire pit and you need a guide on how to go about it, you are at the right place as this post will show you how.
Things to note when building a stone fire pit
As you plan to build your stone fire pit, there are some things you should note more especially if this is your first time;
1. Ensure that your fire pit is built away from bushes, trees and buildings; at least 20 feet away. You would not want to have a fire disaster as fire sparks and embers are common with wood burning fire pits.
2. Your fire pit should not be cited under anything, make sure there is nothing above your fire pit so smoke can go out and air can also come in.
3. Use noncombustible materials – materials that do not readily burn. Making use of materials that burn will be dangerous and wasteful as they can be easily destroyed by the fire.
Materials and Tools you would need to build a stone fire pit
In building a stone fire pit, you sure have to make use of some materials and tools, these include;
- Fire brick
- Measuring Tape
- Spray paint
- Black stove paint
In buying the stones, you should try to get uniform sized ones, fire bricks are uniform sized so they will be OK. The stones or bricks should be strong and of quality so that you will have a lasting fire pit. Every other thing needed can be easily gotten and won’t cost much, some may already be in your home. If you’ve got all the needed tools and materials, it’s time to get to work and build that fire pit.
Steps in building a stone fire pit
Preparing the area for building
First, you will have to do is to prepare the area where you want to have your stone fire pit, stone fire pits are normally built in backyards. Clear the area in a round shape and place a stake in the middle of it. Get a string and tie it to the stake, the string should be about half the length of the diameter of the pit. The other end of the string should be tied to the spray paint, take it around and spray so you mark the circumference of the circle. Now, dig the area inside the circle you just drew with the spray paint to about 5 inches in depth. This hole will serve as a base for the fire pit.
Prepare the area for footing
This involves marking out the particular area where the fire will be. Just like the former, get a string and tie one end to the stake and the other to a spray paint. This time, the string should not be too long, about 1 – 2 feet will be OK. But to be accurate, you should do some measurements and calculation, the length of the first circle (step 1) minus its thickness should be the length of the string. Use the spray paint to draw a second circle, this separates the fire area from the wall.
Get your cement ready and mixed then pour it inside the circle where the fire pit wall will be, spread it evenly across and try to keep things smooth. You should not apply cement to the main fire area. The footing should not exceed 1 inch so you have to make sure it is level and you don’t pour in too much. Allow the cement to get dried before the next step.
Start laying stones/bricks
The first stones to be laid will serve as the base so there should be a focus in putting them together. Stones will be placed on the outer part while fire bricks will be placed on the inner part – the part surrounding the fire area. Mortar should be applied at the end of each fire brick before putting another so they stick together. It is also to be applied to the inner part of the stones facing the fire bricks, the fire bricks should be pressed to it so they stick as well.
Complete the wall
After you have gotten your base then you can complete the way by simply just adding stones and fire bricks the same way, you stop only when you have achieved your desired height. And as you build a layer, you should apply mortar to the top of the stones and bricks before placing another on top of it. Everything should stick together. Be careful enough not to put in too much mortar, clear off some if you have to. You can add some gravel with the mortar.
After getting the perfect fire pit height you want, you can stop building your wall. The top of the fire pit will be of stone – capstone. Out of your stone collection, select the very flat and moderately sized ones, pick as much as would be enough to surround the top of the fire pit wall. Apply a good amount of mortar on top of the area before placing the capstone press them down so they are firm and also fill the gaps between the capstones with mortar. You are sure to have some mortar bits scattered at the top, use your brush to brush them off.
Finish your work
At this moment, you are all but done but you still need to add some finishing touches. You can start by spraying water on the fire pit so the stones and brick are free from dust and dirt; you want everything clean. Also, the interior of the fire pit can’t be left like that, that’s why you have your black stove paint. Use the paint to spray the inside of the fire pit so it is black, you should use a wedge to stop the paint from straying.
Create spaces for sitting
With your stone fire pit ready, you need somewhere to sit and enjoy it and that place is around the fire pit. Clear the area around the fire pit and dig it to about 3 or 4 inches deep and fill it with crushed stones. You can go ahead and make some local wood benches and chairs or you purchase them.
Safety tips in using a stone fire pit
Now you have your fire pit, you should also know how to use it safely so it doesn’t turn out to be a source of danger because of course fire is dangerous. The below safety tips should be noted when using a stone fire pit;
1. Try to keep combustible materials away from it, don’t bring them too close to your fire pit. Also, do not come very close to the fire if you are putting on light clothes.
2. Do not use your stone fire pit in very windy situations. Windy conditions can blow embers which can cause hazards. If possible, check the weather forecast before lighting your fire pit.
3. Avoid using flammable fluids like gasoline or lighter fluids to light your fire pit. Firestarter sticks are best.
4. Do not leave your fire pit unattended to. If you are not making use of it there is no need of it being on; put it off.
5. Look after children when around your stone fire pit. Children should not be left alone around a fire pit, they could hurt themselves.
6. Get a mesh spark screen to cover your stone fire pit if you can. With it, fire sparks and embers will be prevented from escaping the fire area making things safer.
7. Do not leave your fire pit on overnight, put it off before going to bed.
7. Avoid burning softwoods, your choice of wood should be hard and dry woods.
8. Keep an extinguisher or a container of water somewhere close where it can be quickly accessed if anything goes wrong.
Building a stone fire pit is not so difficult as most people may think. It is a lot easier when you know how and you do not have to do it alone, family and friends can be of help. Sure you will be spending some money on it but it could be less if you already have some of the needed tools and materials. Just as stated, it does not end with just building your fire pit, a stone fire pit at your backyard is semi – if not – permanent and using it safely is as important as building it. All the same, you are sure to enjoy using your stone fire pit.