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How to Build a Backyard Fire Pit

How to Build a Backyard Fire Pit

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Fire pits have become an integral part of backyard entertaining today. Whether you use yours to roast marshmallows, add ambiance to your get-togethers or simply stay warm on a chilly summer night, fire pits are a stylish addition to outdoor living areas across the country. Signature Forum has the necessary steps for constructing your own backyard fire pit, as well of a list of contractors to ensure your pit is as safe as it is beautiful.

Consult Town Hall
Before you begin construction of your fire pit, make sure your town doesn't have an ordinance against open fires in your area. If it does, that beautiful new fire pit might have to go unused indefinitely! It is also important to educate yourself on your neighborhood covenants or building codes that might affect the structure you choose. If you work with a licensed contractor on your fire pit, this experienced professional may already know of any hoops you need to jump through to get approval prior to the construction process.

Choose a Location
Choosing the right spot for your fire pit will make a difference in both the aesthetic quality of your landscaping and the safety of your fires. Keep the structure away from your house, fences or plants that could pose a fire hazard. Choose a spot far from your neighbor's yard, so the smoke from your fires doesn't become an irritation. You also want a location that will provide plenty of room for seating, so your friends and family will be able to enjoy your evening fires in a cozy atmosphere.

Prepare a Hole
Once the location has been chosen and measured out, it is time to dig the hole to begin your backyard fire pit. The hole should be about four feet in diameter, with a depth of around two feet below ground level. Fill the bottom of the pit with six inches of gravel to provide drainage and a firm support for the concrete blocks that will form the wall of your fire pit. The gravel will also protect your fire pit from ground heaves during the winter season.

Build the Walls
The walls of your fire pit can be constructed of concrete blocks that easily stack together inside the rim of your pre-dug trench. Begin by lining blocks around the first level of the hole, and then stacking in subsequent levels until you reach the desired height. Many are crafted to look like real stone to add to the aesthetic appeal of the fire pit. Blocks should be glued together using masonry adhesive or mortar designed for this construction material.

As you place your bricks, carefully tap each one into place so that your wall remains uniform throughout. Use your level to measure each completed layer of blocks, so you know the fire pit is even all the way around. Build your wall about a foot higher than ground-level to ensure fire safety and to provide a nice place to rest your feet while relaxing in front of your fire. After your walls are built, line them with a steel ring for additional protection.

Using Your Fire Pit
Once the fire pit is complete, wait at least two days before lighting your first fire. This gives the mortar time to set and the walls time to settle before the pit is used. Whenever you light a fire in your pit, follow proper fire safety by keeping a bucket of water available for emergencies and putting out the fire completely when you are finished for the night. Never light a fire when it is windy and do not let children or pet too close to the flames.

A properly constructed fire pit can be an asset to your family's outdoor entertaining experience for many years to come. If you aren't comfortable with the idea of building a fire pit on your own, there are many experienced contractors who can ensure your fire pit will be built quickly and safely. For contact information for contractors in your area, check the listings available at Signature Forum.

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