Our backyards are our haven and a place where many of us spend a lot of time. They are virtually extensions of our indoor areas and can feature many elements to enhance the outdoor experience. One of those is a fire pit. Built-in versions made from stone can create a spectacular focal point in the backyard. If you’re looking at installing one at your place, here is a basic guide on how you can do it step by step.
Things to consider before building a stone fire pit
Like any home improvement project, if you plan on tackling it yourself, it pays to do your research first. You want to ensure you are across the specifics of the build and what and how much materials you need to complete the job. You should consider the following:
- Where your fire pit will go – is it the most logical and practical location for it?
- What you want the finished product to look like
- How many seats you’ll need/want
- Safety – the fire pit shouldn’t be too close to the fence, the house, overhanging trees, or any other fixture that’s above or nearby.
Remember, that you will need to check whether backyard fires are allowed in your location and it is nice to notify your neighbours if they are close to you when you are going to have a fire, as this can give them the chance to get off any washing that may be on the line and to close any windows that are near your property. You’ll also need to check with your local council on whether you need a building permit or not to build the fire pit. If you do, you’ll need to obtain a permit before you start any work on your pit.
What you will need to build a stone fire pit
Here are some basic supplies you’ll need to build a fire pit, ensuring you include any extras that you need to build the specific type you are making:
- Tape measure
- A level
- Stone pavers
- Spray paint or chalked string line
- A rake
- A rubber mallet
When making a stone fire pit, you’ll need to consider which type of stone will work best from both a functional point of view as well as what it will look like. The stone you choose needs to be able to withstand being exposed to high temperatures from the flames.
How to build your fire pit
Mark out the area
Using your spray paint or chalked string line, mark out the location where the proposed fire pit will go. This can be used as a guide to follow when installing the real thing.
Prepare the area
Before any kind of building commences, you’ll need to ensure the ground has been properly prepared first. The ground needs to be levelled, additional soil may be needed if the area is sloping and needs to be built up first. The dirt should be compacted, then a course base such as crushed gravel should be added, spread out evenly and levelled. Garden edging can be used to mark out the perimeter if you like to prevent grass from growing into the fire pit area.
Mix and apply cement
Using your marked area as a guide, apply the cement in sections, laying the pavers as you go.
Lay your pavers
Pre-laying your pavers before officially installing them can give you an idea of how they will look when put together and whether any changes need to be made beforehand to ensure a flawless finish. Lay the pavers one at a time in the same sequence as your final pre-laying pattern. Ensure that each paver is level before moving on to the next one. It’s best to finalise one layer of pavers before starting on the second.
Finish off with stone capping
To give your fireplace a flawless finish, place stone capping on as the final layer of pavers. Fill in any gaps with cement as you go.
Additional extras you can add to your fire pit area
You want your fire pit to be as comfortable and as welcoming as possible, right? Here are some ways you can do this:
Add built-in seating
Adding built-in seating is a sure-fire way to take the aesthetics of your fire pit to the next level. Having permanent seating there draws people to the fire pit even when it’s not in use. It can be used to enjoy a morning coffee or to catch up with friends with a drink or two.
As mentioned, accentuating the comfort will make the fire pit more inviting, and you are likely to spend more time here. Ample outdoor cushions can make the seating more pleasant to sit on for extended periods.
Stoking sticks can come in handy when you need to adjust logs. Rather than risk burning your hands or using a flimsy stick, stokers are much more dependable.
Fire pits make the perfect conversational hub
What better way to catch up with friends and family on a cool winter’s night than with a fire and some marshmallows? If you have any questions about limestone pavers for your fire pit, contact the professionals here at Bonita Stone. We are natural stone specialists and can help you choose the perfect stone pavers for your fire pit project.