Making A Fire Pit For Friendly Gatherings

landscaping for people

I always liked camping and sitting around a campfire, but never really considered a fire pit for the yard. After all, we had our “burn pile” and hauled our lawn chairs out there when we wanted to roast marshmallows, etc.

It wasn’t until we went to my son’s place and sat in a comfy seat by his fire pit that I realized what a nice feature it is. A spot chosen specifically for friends and family to gather around a small fire.

The decision was made to have just such a place, the next step revealed the wide variety of choices for a cozy patio fire.

fire pit

This is how the fire pit area looks in our yard

First choice: Fuel Type

What you decide to burn, wood, charcoal, or gas? We like to burn wood, so the decision was already made for us. I enjoy the aroma of wood burning and we always have access to small pieces from leftovers of our wood supply for our indoor woodburning stove. There is an art to building a fire, but any girl scout manual will guide you into soon becoming an expert.

As with anything that uses wood as fuel, there needs to be a place to store your logs and kindling. Although I like fancy wood racks, we are probably going to make do with the wood stacked on an old pallet and covered with a tarp. We only need enough wood for a few fires at a time.

So we chose a wood burning model and started looking at reviews and other features.

Fire Bowl, Fire Pit, Or Fire Ring?

What’s the difference? A fire bowl is shallower, while the pit has a deeper container to hold more wood and give more heat. Fire rings are often used at campsites and some fire rings and masonry kits are permanent fixtures while many firepits are portable.

We liked the idea of a portable style, but heavy enough to be sturdy and withstand the sometimes heavy winds.

 

Ready-made or DIY?

There are many metal and stone fire pits which are available to buy, and there are also numerous, easy to follow directions for making your fire pit area from your own materials. It is up to you what look, and how much labor to put into the project.

We chose the product and construction method partly for speed of assembly. We wanted something we could set up in a day and use that night.


Depending on where you live, there might be restrictions or ordinance covering the building and use of fire pits in your area. Be sure to check with your local fire department or fire marshal.

Then We Bought Our Fire Pit

Most of the complaints that people have with their fire pits, especially in the lower price ranges, is the bowl rusting out. This is definitely a concern for us since we live in a high rainfall area, and weathering takes a toll on all things made of metal.

If my budget had not been restricted, I would have purchased a cast aluminum type or one with a strong copper bowl, but living within our means required that we risk some rust, and try to make up for it by storing the pit under cover for most of the winter. That is the plan, anyway.

One feature that was an asset for the fire pit we chose was the enamel lining for the fire bowl, but the fact that it this one received consistently high ratings from consumers swayed our decision, as well. I love the beauty of the slate table edging which is inlaid with copper tiles. It is a handy place to set your coffee mug.

 

 

Steps to creating our instant (practically!) conversation area fire pit:

  • We removed the sod, after marking out the appropriate size square to accommodate the pavers we had purchased for this project.
  • We filled in the base with builders sand for laying in the pavers. After setting in the paving, we added sand to fill in the spaces between blocks.
  • We set the fire pit on top, and voila! pulled up our lawn chairs and were ready to start our fire.


The Fire Pit Garden, Hampton Court 2010

Photo by Sarah depicts the garden designed by Arthur Northcott and John Gutteridge for Hampton Court

Our home project shows just how easy it is to make a valuable addition to family enjoyment of a yard. Ours is at the simplest side of the economic and labor that one can expend on setting up an easy nook like this to making a a gas fired stone design with all the look and luxury of an expensive professional installation

This can become as complex as a person might dream up: patio stones covering a larger area, constructed fire pit of stone or bricks, permanent benches, etc.

The real unifying factor in such a landscaping project is the inviting conversation in a welcoming area, where people can enjoy the warmth of a fire on a chilly evening.

San Simeon Fire Pit

Fire Safety For Fire Pits

  1. Location: 10 feet from structures, minimum; with no low overhanging trees. Not inside enclosed porches, or directly on grass or a wood deck.
  2. Keep a bucket of sand, a fire extinguisher, or a garden hose near at hand.
  3. Don’t use gas, kerosene, or lighter fluid to light the fire
  4. Use a non-flammable base like brick, stone, or concrete

Situate your fire pit construction 10 to 20 feet away from any nearby trees or shrubs.

Rose Creek | 16720 Rainwater Trail Edmond OK

Once You’ve Made It

After you have successfully created this entertainment area in your yard- let the fun begin!

Have Fun Firepit Conversations
Skills

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Posted on

September 16