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Backyard fire pits are one of the most popular of all landscaping features. They are attractive, functional and provide an outdoor gathering place.
Ideally, a fire pit is constructed from fireproof material on a flat, level area at least 25 feet from a house or tree. Fire pits are strictly governed by local building codes. Some codes require the pit to be encircled by a border of sand or gravel. So before you decide to add one to your backyard, know the code in your area.
The style and shape of a fire pit can vary. Our circular fire pit is about 2 feet tall and 5 feet in total diameter with a 3-feet interior dimension.
Pound a rebar stake into the ground at the center of the fire pit then mark the circumference of the circle. For a fire pit with a diameter of 5 feet, attach a string to the stake, measure 2-1/2 feet (or half the length of your circumference) and tie this end of the string to a can of spray paint. Pull the string lightly taut and walk around the stake as you spray paint your circumference (image 1).
Dig the space out to a depth of 6 inches. Then use the same method as above to mark an inner circle 12 inches in from the outside circle. This inner circle will be the edge of the fire pit wall.
Make a foundation for the stones to sit upon. Mix concrete with water until it reaches the consistency of peanut butter. Lay the wet concrete in between the two circles so it is level to the ground (image 2). Leave the center area free of concrete to allow for drainage. Build up the concrete until it is about 1-1/2 inches below ground level. Press rebar into the concrete for reinforcement. Smooth the surface with a trowel and let dry for 24 hours (image 3).