There are different types of value that you can add to your home. Some of the upgrades you can make bring social and entertainment value. Others add visual appeal. Some changes are meant to add convenience. If you choose the right improvements to make, they can also add up to make a significant difference in the monetary value of your home if you’re ever ready to put it on the market.
And not all of the upgrades that are worth considering are indoor projects. Have you seen our article about laying your own paver patio? You can use similar materials and techniques to add another much-coveted element to your backyard as well. In a few easy steps, you could have a fire pit that will provide the perfect evening getaway. Whether you’re looking to kick back with a glass of wine or take the kids out for a marshmallow roast, you’ll get some serious mileage out of a fire pit. It provides social value, and even creates a focal point around which you can create some functional décor.
First things first – check your local fire codes and call your fire department if you have any questions. You need to make sure that you’re allowed to have a fire pit before you proceed. Then, you’ll want to find a suitable location – look for a spot that’s a minimum of ten feet away from anything like trees, bushes, sheds or structures, and make sure that nothing is hanging directly over this spot either. As a note, always consult a professional if you’re not entirely sure you can create a fire pit safely and properly.
Next, you’ll want to gather up your materials. You need landscaping spray paint, gravel as a base filler for your pit, a digging tool (a shovel will do), landscaping stones, a metal fire pit ring (if you want one), masonry adhesive and a rubber mallet to tamp and tighten things up. When you’re shopping for the stones and the ring, you’ll find lots of options, including different colors and even kits that bundle the objects together.
Mark the Contour
If you decided on using a ring, you can lay it down to help guide the size of your framework. At any rate, you’ll want to place your first layer of landscaping stones and use your spray paint to mark the outer edge. To do this without ruining any of the stones, remove a few from the ring at a time and mark where the outsides would have hit until you’ve marked off the entire circle.
If you followed our article about laying your own patio, you’re familiar with this next step! Time for a little bit of sweat – dig out a circle of approximately 6 inches throughout the boundaries you’ve marked off. Once you’ve got the digging done, grab your gravel. You’ll want to fill in the area until the gravel is level with the ground that you’ve left around your circle. The gravel is an important element to provide drainage for when it rains, so don’t skimp on it!
Building Your Pit
Now you’re ready to re-lay the stones that you sized your pit with. Place the bottom row on top of the gravel, and if you’re using a metal fire pit ring, you can go ahead and put that back to make sure you’re packing the rows tightly around it. Grab the rubber mallet that you pulled out when you gathered up your supplies, and gently tamp your first layer of stones until their surfaces are even and level with each other.
The placement of the second layer, for structural superiority and for visual appeal, should be staggered so that the stones overlap with those of the first layer by half of a stone’s length. Apply masonry adhesive to the bottom of each one before placing, and use the mallet to continue to even things out. Once you’ve repeated this process for your final row, you have a finished fire pit that’s ready for roasting!
Enjoy your new pit, and if you have any tips or hacks that helped you with your own pit, leave a comment and tell us about it!
DISCLAIMER: Readers should keep in mind that any accounts of renovation presented in this article are written accounts of events taking place at individual homes, and are not necessarily endorsements of do-it-yourself home improvement. You proceed at your own risk if you attempt to replicate any activities described here.
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