How to Build a Fire Pit

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How to Build a Fire Pit for Perfect Evenings Outside

A fire pit is a classic backyard amenity, providing endless entertainment for families and friends alike. Even better? A fire pit is a relatively easy project that somewhat handy people might feel comfortable tackling on their own.

If you want to learn how to build a fire pit cheaply, read on for the step-by-step instructions—you’ll be ready to enjoy s’mores with the family or guests in no time.

Affordable Fire Pit Ideas

Since pre-made fire pit options can get expensive fast, let’s zero-in on budget-friendly fire pit ideas with simple supplies and instructions.

Rather than building an elaborate flagstone patio or seating area, create a DIY fire pit on a grass, dirt, or gravel surface that you already have on your property. Then, all you’ll have to do is pull up your lawn chairs and bring on the fun.

Keep in mind that local building codes strictly govern fire pits, and there may be special requirements. Learn about the code that pertains to your neighborhood before you begin a backyard fire pit project.

Instructions for How to Build a Fire Pit with Bricks

First, gather the following materials:

  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Metal fire pit ring
  • Retaining wall blocks
  • 7″ square pavers or firebricks
  • Pea gravel
  • All-purpose sand

Then, identify the area where you want your fire pit to be located. Choose a flat, level area a minimum of 25 feet from buildings and trees. If you plan to build on a grassy area, remove the top layer of sod with a shovel. Planning to build the fire pit on level gravel or dirt? You are ready to go with no extra prep necessary.

After choosing your fire pit spot, follow these steps:

  1. Use the size of your metal fire ring to determine how large the pit will be. Place the metal ring on the ground with the retaining wall blocks surrounding it, and then mark the outside with the shovel’s sharp edge. This will identify the area that needs to be cleared.
  2. Move the blocks and ring out of the way and dig inside the marked hole to make it at least 7″ deep.
  3. Line the hole with a 1″ layer of the sand and tamp the sand down flat to create a level surface. Use the level to ensure you have an even surface.
  4. Lay the first layer of blocks neatly inside the hole, placing them on the outer edge of the hole to create a circle.
  5. Place the metal ring inside the first layer of blocks.
  6. Insert the firebricks or square pavers in the bottom of the pit, covering as much of the area as you can.
  7. Fill the gaps in between the blocks and pavers with the pea gravel.
  8. Stack the remaining retaining wall blocks until you reach the height you want. Stagger the blocks so that the seams are not aligned, creating both a nice look and a more solid structure.

How to Build a Fire Pit with Rocks

If you prefer the rustic look of stacked rocks for your fire pit, you won’t need the metal ring or pea gravel. Line the ground with a 1″ layer of sand, covering a foot or so outside of the fire pit for additional protection. Make sure there is no yard matter or grass within two feet of the pit. Then, stack the rocks as securely as possible. Use non-flammable landscape adhesive, masonry adhesive, or liquid nails to provide additional staying power.

Give your Fire Pit some Flare

To level-up your fire pit without burning up your budget, consider some of these decorative options:

  • Add a smoker fire basket, also known as a vertical drum. Insert it into the center of your fire pit and secure it tightly with the rocks or bricks.
  • If you choose the brick pit option, you can top it off with a fire bowl. Build the first layer of the pit securely around the screen top of the bowl.
  • Hang outdoor lights above the fire pit to create an inviting ambiance.
  • Place comfortable outdoor seating around the fire pit along with trays or small tables for holding s’mores ingredients and drinks.

Protect Your Yard from Mosquitoes for the Ultimate Backyard Experience

Spending time outside in the evening can mean spending time surrounded by pesky mosquitoes. Don’t let mosquitoes take the fun out of your new fire pit! The experts at your local Mosquito Joe perform seasonal mosquito treatments to protect your yard and allow you to make the most of your backyard fire pit experience.

With barrier sprays that repel not only mosquitoes, but also fleas, ticks, and some flies, you can enjoy your s’mores without the hassle of insects. Give us a call at 1-855-275-2563 or contact us online so we can make the backyard fun again for you and your family.


Don’t have time for a DIY? Get The Grounds Guys involved for any of your backyard landscape design needs. Like Mosquito Joe, The Grounds Guys is a fellow member of the Neighborly® family of home service brands.

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