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How To Build an In-Ground Fire Pit – Cheapest Way

DIY Fire Pits You Can Build In One Afternoon

Learning how to build an in-ground fire pit will enhance outdoor entertainment space, and make your yard a better place to relax as the nights get colder. And while it may seem like a big project – constructing a DIY fire pit is surprisingly fast, inexpensive, and easy for anyone with basic home improvement skills.

Today you’ll learn how to build an inground fire pit the cheapest way – and get it done quick. We’ll also show you some fire pit ideas and accessories for the easiest backyard fire pit designs you can build.

Before Your Start

There are many attractive and inexpensive backyard fire pit ideas to consider, but before you get started, here are a few suggestions to consider.

Safety First

1) Fire pits should be located a safe distance from your house and any nearby flammable objects. While some municipalities require minimum distances, the general rule is to keep a fire pit at least 10-20 feet from a home, fence, or any other combustible structure. Err on the safe side of 20ft. Or more if you have the room.

2) Flying fire pit embers can be a problem when you have an open fire. You certainly don’t want them floating onto your roof – or worse yet – your neighbor’s roof 🙂

3) It’s a good idea to keep fire pits several feet away from trees or bushes- below-ground fire pits can burn tree roots, or cause damage to limbs or leaves.

How “Deep” Should I Build a Fire Pit?

You should also consider how Deep you want the hole for your in-ground fire pit to be. As a rule, your fire pit should be at least six inches below ground level, though you can certainly go deeper if you want the option to build a larger fire pit. Avoid going deeper than 18 – 24”, however, since a fire too far underground may not allow enough oxygen to help the fire burn. You’ll also lose some of the visual effects – if you bury the fire too deep in the ground.

Should I Line the Hole With Sand?

One of the most common questions when it comes to how to make a fire pit is whether the bottom of a fire pit should be lined with sand.
In most cases, it’s a good idea to line the hole of a fire pit with an actual “paver base” which is crushed stone found at any home improvement store. This material helps keep the fire contained, radiates the heat more effectively, and prevents errant root fires from occurring.

Soon you’ll be on a hunt to discover How Much is a Cord of Wood Near Me? This article can help!

Types of Fire Pits

One of the advantages of building a fire pit – is individual creativity – You get to choose the type of fire pit that best suits your yard. Do you want to build a Round, Square, or Rectangular fire pit? Should it be above ground or flush to the ground? Incorporate your design aesthetic, the number of people you want to accommodate, and maybe most importantly – your budget into your fire pit design. Just get creative – and build the fire pit that checks all your boxes.

“The Concrete Paver – Fire Pit” [Above Ground]

This Simple concrete paver fire pit design – is one of the Easiest you can build. A concrete paver Fire Pit also looks great on top of a concrete patio as well as a lawn.

 

Once you have the spot picked out and know how deep you want the hole to be, you can get started with building it. One of the least complicated backyard fire pit ideas is the Standard “Concrete Paver Fire Pit”.

Building a Concrete Paver Fire Pit – In 10 Easy Steps

  1. Dig a hole by using a stake, string, and a can of spray paint (like in the video below).
  2. Remove the Sod
  3. Level the dirt and add “paver mix” and level out the entire circle
  4. surround it with a single ring of pavers. Using concrete pavers for fire pits will allow you to make a cheap and straightforward fire pit – you can build quickly.
  5. Stagger the Second Course above the First Course – But leave loose.
  6. If you need to Cut a Paver Stone for Either Course here is a Simple Method to Use
  7. Once you have the Loose Second course in place – Remove 3 pavers at a time, and Bond them in place with Concrete Adhesive (Use a large Caulk Gun)
  8. Repeat Step 7 For your Third Course.
  9. Add a Metal Fire Pit Ring of your choice
  10. Add Lava Rock to the Bottom and you’re done!

Let’s make it Even Easier – WIth this short video from Lowes “How to Build a Fire Pit with a Fire Ring”

How To Build a Fire Pit (w/a Ring Kit)

 

“Ground Level Fire Pit”

Another option if you want to know how to build a fire pit cheap is to line your hole with bricks and small stones. This kind of fire pit won’t have any structure above the ground, but will instead have its top row of blocks flush at ground level. While not as attractive as some other options, a flush to the ground fire pit will work perfectly well and can be built for a very low price.

 

“Natural Stone Fire Pit”

For a more rustic looking fire pit, use flat natural stones to create a fire ring. This approach works best for a larger pit due to the irregular shaped stones, so plan on creating a circle of at least 3 feet in diameter.
Once the firepit hole has been dug out, begin stacking the stones around the perimeter. While you could stop with One Tier, this is one of those fire pit designs that are way more eye-catching if you add a few layers – making it 2 – 3 tiers high.

When finished building this simple fire pit design, you’ll be amazed by just how much natural beauty it will add to any backyard.

 

Fire Pit with Matching Patio

While all of these fire pit ideas are just fine on their own, you can add luster and appeal to any of them by incorporating them into a larger fire pit area. If you’re good at laying down paving stones, brick or gravel, you can create a patio area to surround your fire pit and give your guests a place to sit while they enjoy a roaring fire. Building a paved area around your fire pit can make even the most inexpensive fire pit look terrific.

An important part of adding a paver patio surround is that you pick the pavers that match the fire pit you want. For example, you likely wouldn’t want to use a patio paver made up of rectangular pavers built around a natural stone fire pit, as the two materials would clash.

Consider using a concrete patio paver (smooth or interlocking edgers) from a supply store that also has the same color as the fire pit pavers (with rough edges)

Here are Two fine examples of matching fire pit and patio pavers together

 


 

Add a Feature Wall

To add visual interest and additional seating options to a fire pit area, build a perimeter wall that partially encircles it. A feature wall makes a great backdrop and will highlight a firepit from the rest of your yard. Just check out these great ideas below.


 

More Fire Pit Options

 

Fire Pit Rings

Whether your plan is to build as Square or Circular fire pit – nothing makes the build go faster than using a Metal Fire Pit Ring. A Fire Pit Ring can be purchased online or at any major home improvement store and replaces the work of lining the inside of your fire pit with concrete pavers.

Fire Pit Rings can be purchased at Amazon in Galvanized Steel or Black Painted Steel – and will certainly speed up your fire pit construction time. Dig the hole, line the bottom with paver base, drop in the fire ring, add a tier or two of concrete pavers around the border – and that’s it – you’re done!


 

Fire Pit Patio Furniture

A final consideration for creating a complete fire pit area is to choose patio furniture that fits it well. Keep the style of your fire pit in mind when picking your furniture out. Classic or Rustic furniture will usually pair best with a round fire pit of natural stone, while modern style furniture provides a more “high-end” look for square fire pits built of sleeker concrete pavers.


 

“Portable Fire Pits”

While having a DIY in-ground fire pit is great, not everyone is willing or able to dig a large hole in the backyard. If you want a fire pit without digging the hole, a portable fire pit may be your answer. There are any number of portable fire pits you can buy, including both wood-fired and propane-powered models.

 

Our personal pick for the best “portable” Wood-Fired model at Amazon is the 24” Landman Big Sky Fire Pit

While we think the best portable propane-fired model at Amazon is the 21” Outland Living Portable with Carrying Kit. The propane-fired Outland model is also Perfect for Tailgating!

If you prefer to stick with the DIY fire pit idea, you can also make your own portable version from any number of suitable metal containers.

Commonly used materials for this purpose include old washing machine drums, car rims, and shopping carts. Generally, all you’ll have to do to turn a metal object into a fire pit is drill holes to allow for airflow.

Washing machine drum | Portable Fire Pit
Using a Washing Machine Drum For a Portable Fire Pit

 

Beer Keg - Upcycled Fire Pit | Best Home Gear
Upcycled Beer Keg – Fire Pit

 

Conclusion

As you can see there are loads of options for Backyard fire pit designs.

And now that you know how to build an inground fire pit of your very own, it’s just a matter of selecting a design you like – buying the materials and dedicating an afternoon for construction.

Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying evenings with your friends and family gathered around the warm and beautiful fire pit – that you built – for years to come!

Check out more “Gear” for Your Home at BestHomeGear.Com

Additional Reading & Resources:

Tree Branches in Your Way?  Check Out the “Best Cordless Pole Saws” at Amazon

The Proper Way to Store a Gas Propane tank from “WikiHow”

For Easy Yard Clean Up – “The Best Cordless Leaf Blower You Can Buy

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Kevin

As a Homeowner, Builder, and Property Developer/Manager for 30+ years, I’ve worn a lot of “different hats”, and In that capacity, owned or used about every tool or piece of home equipment one can think of.Managing property in Michigan, Arizona, and Florida, also allows us to test many of the products we review firsthand, and in vastly different climates and conditions. Our goal at BestHomeGear.Com is to share the first-hand experience by providing exceptional Home & Garden Techniques, Product Reviews, and useful DIY Guides for our faithful readers - Homeowners like you. We trust you will find BestHomeGear.Com very informative - and extremely helpful.

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