DIY Network

How To Build a Bench Around a Firepit

Follow these steps to install a stylish bench that provides a spot to enjoy a firepit.

More in Outdoors

  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard


Step 1: Fill Trenches with Crushed Gravel

The benches are made of segmental retaining-wall block and complement the circular design of the firepit. Dig circular trenches to the depth of 6" and fill with 6" of crushed gravel: crushed gravel has edges that knit together to work as a leveling base in a unifying unit. This gives firm, stable support to the benches.

fill trench with crushed gravel

Step 2: Place the First Two Rows of Blocks

Lay the first row of blocks in place. Then, lay the second row of blocks in place as directed by manufacturer. These blocks have holes drilled into the second row to create an interlocking system (Image 1). Pegs slip into the holes to create block stabilization (Image 2).

Step 3: Apply Top Caps and Landcaping Edging

Apply top caps to the bench walls with construction adhesive (Image 1). Don't overapply -- just a few beads of adhesive are needed. Use shims to hold in place, if needed, until dry. Install landscaping edging between the benches (Image 2) so the pea gravel and crushed glass will stay contained. Plastic edging is used here and will last a long time. Dig a trench that is deep enough to leave 1" of the edging exposed at the surface, and use plastic stakes to secure in place.

Step 4: Add Pea Gravel and Crushed Glass

Pour pea gravel (Image 1), a small rounded pebble that complements the concrete colors and is frequently used for walkways. It is durable, economical and easy to install. Add color and punch to one section of the firepit landscape by pouring cobalt-blue crushed glass at the front of the pit (Image 2). The color will reflect the fire at night and add an interesting element that reinforces the circular design of the area. Not only is it a great accent, but it is also recycled, so it is great for the environment -- and it is safe to walk on (Image 3).