HomeHow To GuidesHow To Build an In-Ground Fire Pit

How To Build an In-Ground Fire Pit

DIY Fire Pit Designs + How to Build a Firepit in One Day

Today’s guide features simple DIY steps for How to Build an in-ground Fire Pit.  Fire Pits are a great addition to backyards, and not only enhance your outdoor entertainment – but create a warmer place to relax as the nights get colder.

While it may seem like a big project – learning how to build a DIY fire pit is surprisingly fast, affordable, and easy for anyone with basic home improvement skills.

Today you’ll learn how to build a fire pit cheap – and get it done quickly. We’ll also show you some great fire pit ideas and accessories to help you make the best backyard fire pit design for your home.

Safety Tips: When You Build Fire Pit

There are many attractive and inexpensive backyard fire pit ideas to consider, but before you get started, here are a few Fire Pit Safety Tips to remember – before you start:

Tip #1)  Fire pits should be located safely 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.

We suggest you be on the safe side and place the fire pit no less than 20ft. away from your house or further if you have the room.

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

Tip #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 To Build an In-Ground Fire Pit:  (FAQ)


How “Deep” Should I Build a Fire Pit?

Learning how to build a fire pit on the ground, You also need to know how deep 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, but you can certainly go deeper if you want the option to build a larger fire pit.

Avoid digging a fire pit hole deeper than 18 – 24” since a fire too far underground will not allow enough oxygen to help the fire burn.

You’ll also lose some of the visual effects of the flames – if you bury the fire too deep in the ground.

Should I Line the Hole With Sand?

One of the most common questions regarding making a fire pit is whether the bottom 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.”  Paver base is a crushed stone found at any home improvement store and is perfect for firepits.

This material helps keep the fire contained, radiates the heat more effectively than sand, and prevents root fires from occurring.

Should I use a Fire Pit Ring?

We highly recommend using a galvanized Fire Pit Ring when building an above-ground fire pit. In addition, you can also install a Black metal fire pit ring which we think look a more attractive – but they are painted, not galvanized.

  • The ring size and configuration (Round or Square) will determine the size of the fire pit.
  • The clean-up of ash is much simpler
  • Protects against fire pit paver damage
  • Clean and attractive, Finished Appearance.

“Concrete Paver” Fire Pits 

Concrete Paver Fire Pit | Best Home Gear
Concrete Paver Fire Pit (shown without Metal Firepit Ring)- BestHomeGear.com

One of the Simplest and Least Expensive Fire Pits to build yourself is the Round Concrete Paver Fire Pit.

Once you have your spot picked out – and know how deep you want the hole to be, you can get started with this Easy-to-build fire pit

Note: Concrete Paver sizes used for fire pits are generally about 4″ wide x 8″ long and 1 3/4 Thick – but they can vary according to the look you want to achieve and what your building supply store offers.

How to Build Fire Pit with Concrete Pavers:

  1. Purchase a metal Fire Pit Ring – This will determine the Size & Configuration of the Firepit
  2. Dig a hole by using a stake, string, and a can of spray paint (like in the video below).
  3. Remove the Sod
  4. Level the dirt, then add “paver mix,” and level out the entire circle
  5. Surround the hole 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.
  6. Stagger the Second Course above the First Course – But leave it loose.
  7. If you need to Cut a Paver Stone for Either Course, here is a How -To Cut Patio Pavers Guide.
  8. Once you have the Loose Second course in place – Remove three pavers at a time, and Bond them in place with Concrete Adhesive (Use a large Caulk Gun)
  9. Repeat Step 7 For your Third Course (Row).
  10. Add a Metal Fire Pit Ring of your choice
  11. Add Lava Rock to the Bottom, and you’re done!

Tip:  When setting Your Concrete pavers, place them about 4-6″ inside of your Paver Mix ring.  This will allow you to use weed killer or a string trimmer up against the pavers,  vs. having grass growing against the fire pit and dealing with grass or weeds when using your lawn mower.

Video:  How to Build a Fire Pit with a “Fire Ring Kit”


Types of Fire Pits to Consider

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?

Simply pick your design, the number of people you want to accommodate, and maybe most importantly – your budget for your fire pit design. Get creative – and build the fire pit that checks all your boxes!

“The Round Fire Pit” [Above Ground]

The Concrete Paver fire pit design – is one of the simplest types you can build. A concrete paver fire pit also looks great on top of a concrete patio and a lawn.

“Ground Level Fire Pit”

Another option if you want to know how to build a fire pit cheaply 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 other fire pit options, a flush-to-the-ground fire pit will work perfectly well and can be built for a very low price.

garden fire pit
Outdoor Garden Fire Pit – Besthomegear.com

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

Stone Fire Pit
Natural Stone DIY Fire PIt – Besthomegear.com

Fire Pit with “Matching Patio Pavers”

While all of these fire pit ideas are 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 picking 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


best fire pit for seating
Best Fire Pit for Seating – Besthomegear.com


best patio fire pit
Best Fire Pit For Patio Pavers – Besthomegear.com

Add Feature Wall To Fire Pit

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

Patio Fire Pit with Bench
Patio Firepit with Raised Bench – Besthomegear.com
circular fire pit
Fire Pit with Bench Seating – Besthomegear.com

Fire Pit Options:

Fire Pit Rings

Some folks wonder how to make a fire in a fire pit. We can confirm whether you plan to build a Square or Circular fire pit – nothing makes building a fire 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 thin concrete pavers. You already have the fire pit paver walls built – why line them with “more 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 a 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 Metal Ring
Metal Ring Insert For Fire Pit – Besthomegear.com
Square Metal Fire Pit Ring - Besthomegear.com
Square Fire Pit Ring – Besthomegear.com

Trust Us – If you’re building a fire pit with pavers, the simplest way is by using a fire pit ring – and BTW – clean-up is “WAY” easier.


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.

When buying patio furniture – A classic or Rustic table usually pairs best with a round fire pit of natural stone. In contrast, modern furniture provides a more “high-end” look for square fire pits built of sleeker concrete pavers.

Fire Pit Furniture - Besthomegear.com
Patio Fire Pit Furniture – Besthomegear.com



“Portable Fire Pits”

While having a wood fire pit is great, it’s not ideal for everyone.

Some may not be willing or able to dig a large hole in the backyard and build a fire pit from scratch.

We get it, and If you want to get rid of the shovel and have a fire pit without digging the hole, a portable fire pit may be your best answer. You can buy many portable fire pits, including wood-fired and propane-powered models, which can be used as a heater.

portable fire pit - best home gear
Portable Fire Pit – Besthomegear.com

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

And we think the Best portable Propane Gas fire pit is the Outland Living” Gas Fire Pit.  The portable Outland Gas Fire Pit is the Perfect gas fire pit for Tailgating – and Camping.

See the 10 Best Gas Fire Pit Tables – For those who prefer LP Propane gas fuel vs. Woodburning.

DIY Fire Pit Ideas

If you prefer to stick with the Do It Yourself fire pit idea, you can make your portable fire pit from any suitable metal containers you have on hand or buy them inexpensively.

Commonly used materials 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 – Besthomegear.com


Beer Keg - Upcycled Fire Pit | Best Home Gear
Upcycled Beer Keg Fire Pit – Besthomegear.com


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 own, it’s just a matter of selecting a design you like – buying the materials and dedicating an afternoon to 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:

Best Tips For Fire Pit Safety – University of Utah

How to Build Regulation Corn Hole Boards – Besthomegear.com

Best Cordless Pole Saw for Removing Branches https://besthomegear.com/best-cordless-pole-saw/ Besthomegear.com

How to Store a Gas Propane tank Outside  – WikiHow.com

Best Cordless Blower 2023 – Besthomegear.com

Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear. In addition to his work in publishing, Kevin enjoys exploring the Outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, Hiking, Cycling, Fishing, Reading, and Completing Projects for Home and Garden.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Best Home Gear Is a One-Stop-Shop for Expert DIY Guides, and the Best Products & Equipment for Your Home.

Since 2018 we've provided Homeowners with  Professional Lawn, Garden, Home Repair, and DIY Advice - Along with Product Reviews You Can Trust.

As an Amazon Associate we may earn from qualifying purchases. Disclosure statement.


Popular Now