DIY Network

How to Build a Fire Pit

Use these step-by-step instructions to build your very own fire pit.

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  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Mark Placement of Fire Pit

Determine the size, shape and location of the fire pit. Hammer a spike in the center of the fire pit site. Cut a piece of string to the length of the fire pit’s outer perimeter. Attach the string to the spike and mark the circumference of the circle with paint. Cut a second piece of string and mark out the interior wall of the fire pit.

Step 2: Pour Fire Pit Footer

Excavate the area inside the paint to a depth of 6". Prepare premixed cement according to manufacturer's directions. Spread the cement in the excavated area. Leave the center area free of concrete to allow for drainage. Continue to add cement and smooth with a float until the footer is flush with grade level. Allow to dry.

Step 3: Build Fire Pit Wall

Prepare premixed mortar according to manufacturer's directions. Trowel a generous layer of mortar onto the footer. Selecting stones that fit together, begin setting the pieces into the mortar. Continue laying the stones all the way around the fire pit until the first course is complete. Apply another bed of mortar on top of the previous layer of stone and continue building fire pit wall. Avoid wall weakness by staggering the joints between previous and subsequent layers of stone. Use a trowel to removes excess mortar throughout the process. Once the mortar is almost cured, use a stiff brush to scrape off remaining bits of mortar.

Tip: Mix only one bag of mortar at a time so that it does not dry out.

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