Build Your Own Backyard Fire Pit

A backyard fire pit is a great place to unwind after a long summer day of rigorous work or even vacation. Walking into your backyard, lighting a fire, and cracking open a cold one with the boys is a great stress-free day to end a night, so let’s build one! Pre-made fire pits can be expensive, and you can easily save hundreds by just building your own. With some tools you have lying around and some angled paver stones, your custom fire pit will be done in no time, so let’s get to it!

Blog Series: Build Your Own Backyard Fire Pit

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 2-4 hours

The combined weight of the stones can be very heavy, so exercise responsible handling during transport.

Always ensure you follow local laws when burning and exercise safety and caution.

Step 1 - Pick a Location

When choosing a location, look for an area safely away from your house, shrubs, garden, trees, or anything that a wandering ash or coal could ignite. Try to find some level ground, both to reduce the difficulty of digging the pit and to increase the comfort level of those sitting in chairs around the fire.

Mark this location with a stake or some other indicator so you know exactly where you want it.

Step 2 - Prepare the Area

Next, we need to prep your workspace. Begin by removing all organic matter. You can easily do this by raking the area out. After that, we’re going to place the first layer of paver stones down in a ring and use that to mark the size of your pit. You can mark this with spray paint if needed, or just take your shovel and dig a line around the perimeter of the stones.

Once marked, remove the stones and excavate your area to a depth of about 6 inches. Use a level to ensure you have leveled off the land as much as possible. Making the ground level is important as it will increase both the strength and longevity of your fire pit.

Step 3 - Lay the Stones

Now for the part you’ve been waiting for: placing the stones! Place the first layer of stones in a circle like you did when measuring out the size of the pit. Once all the stones are in place, give them a firm shove into place with the side of your foot until everything is nice and snug.

We’re going to lay the second row in exactly the same fashion, but offset each brick by 1/2 the size of a brick. (The center of the top brick should line up with the meeting edges of the two bricks below it). Give these stones a nice push inward as you did with the first layer.

Once the second layer is done, lay the third layer down just like the first one, and finish it off by, you guessed it, pushing them in and tightening it up.

Step 4 - Fill Your Pit

There are many different options you have available to you when filling in the floor of your fire pit. You can use sand, gravel, other paving stones, or nothing at all! Pick whichever one you like, but know that certain paving and brick bases need to be constructed BEFORE you start laying the walls of your pit, and will need a sand mixture to fill in between the individual bricks or stones.

To keep costs down, and to keep this simple, we recommend adding sand or gravel.

Step 5 - Light the Fire!

The final step is also the most fun: getting to use your new fire pit! Pull over some lawn chairs, kindle a fire, kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Wrap Up

That’s it! You have a beautiful new place to spend those long summer nights with your friends and family. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below and we’ll be happy to answer, or call one of our many Koopman Lumber locations and talk to our friendly and knowledgeable staff. Thanks for reading!