If your backyard is a bore right now, building a bonfire pit could be a fun fix. You’ll create a gathering place in your backyard and also add something entertaining to do. I mean, who doesn’t like making s’mores and playing Catch Phrase around the fire?
You can install this bonfire pit in one day with a budget of under $200. Although this project requires some effort, it doesn’t take much skill or expenses. Read below to learn how you can be spending relaxing summer evenings by the fire in no time!
DISCLAIMER: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE TO BUILD YOUR BONFIRE PIT UNDER YOUR OWN DISCRETION. PLEASE FOLLOW ALL STEPS, ORDINANCES AND SAFETY PRECAUTIONS WHEN COMPLETING THIS PROJECT. CONSULT YOUR LOCAL PROFESSIONALS FOR ANY ASSISTANCE, GUIDANCE OR DIRECTION WITH THIS PROJECT INCLUDING: FIRE, SAFETY, HOUSING ASSOCIATION, HOME IMPROVEMENT AND BUILDING PERSONNEL.
1. Check with ordinances.
First things first, check your local building codes, ordinances and homeowner association guidelines to make sure that fire pits are allowed. You can call your local fire department to ask. Also call 811 to check for any underground utilities.
2. Safety first!
Brush up on your fire safety skills before you even begin building. Every bonfire you start should be treated with caution and care. If you have children, make sure they are always supervised by a live fire and are educated on how to act near a fire.
3. Pick your spot.
Pick the location in your backyard where you’ll be installing the bonfire pit. It MUST be at least 10 feet away from any structures, trees, fences or other obstructions. Keep in mind that you also don’t want anything hanging above your fire pit, so even if a base of a tree is 10 feet away, you don’t want to have branches hanging directly above the fire pit.
4. Get your supplies.
It’s time to pick up the supplies. Take this list to your local hardware store.
- Colored spray paint
- Gravel to fill your pit
- Concrete landscaping stones
- Landscape adhesive
- Metal firepit ring
- Lava rock
You’ll also need:
- A shovel
- A hand temper
- A level
- A rake
If you don’t have any of these tools, ask your neighbor to borrow theirs!
5. Spray paint your guide.
Once you’ve found your spot and have your supplies purchased and unloaded, it’s time to get started. Place the fire pit ring down where you’re building your bonfire pit. Place four bricks evenly around the fire pit ring (making an invisible plus sign with the bricks). Then spray paint the perimeter of the circle by connecting each brick. Be careful not to get spray paint on the bricks!
6. Prepare the area.
Use your shovel to remove the sod and dirt within the painted ring you just traced. Go about two inches deep within the ground. Then press the dirt down with your hand temper. Use a level to make sure it’s even throughout the whole area of the circle. Now fill this space with gravel and even it out with your rake.
7. Bring on the bricks!
Make a circle with your bricks to create the first layer of your fire pit. Make sure each brick is touching. Your circle should use 14 bricks. Place your fire pit ring in the middle to make sure the measurement is correct and that the ring fits within the bricks.
8. Add the second and third brick layers.
Place the second layer of bricks on the first layer by staggering the bricks. The middle of the brick you are adding should be placed over the seam of the two bricks underneath it. Once you have placed the second layer, remove two bricks at a time and apply the landscape adhesive on the brick below them and then reposition them back on. Repeat the same process for the third layer of bricks, once again using the staggering method.
Allow the landscape adhesive to fully dry before starting a fire.
9. Put on the fire ring and add lava stones.
Place the metal fire ring on your layer bricks and fill your fire pit with lava rock up to where the fire ring begins.
10. Grab a drink, s’more ingredients and start your fire.
Place logs and kindling in your bonfire to light your fire. Enjoy the perfect summer evening by making s’mores under the stars!