How To Build an Outdoor Fire Pit

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You may have come across patios that have those outdoor areas made of pavers. Big stairways, areas with fire pits… When it comes to added value, fewer things add more to real estate than pavers. But do you know how to build an outdoor fire pit with pavers? The idea is magnificent, but you need to observe several things and have a series of precautions to build your fire pit. But first, let’s start answering a simple question…

Can I Build a Fire Pit on Top of Patio Pavers?

Yes, but you need to observe a number of things. First of all, if the yard has not yet been built, it’s recommended that you build the pit first, and then build your yard around it. This allows you to save on materials, make cleaning easier, and protect your patio from the heat of the outdoor fire pit.

If your patio has already been built, you have to insulate it from the heat emanating from the fire pit. This can be done by filling it with sand and rocks. Or, you can use a metal disk, which by the way, will make cleaning easier.

How do You Build an Outdoor Fire Pit

If the patio has not yet been built, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the location. Preferably from a point away from the house and where there are no trees covering the fire pit.
  2. Mark the shape of the fire pit with blocks. This task is easier if you make it rectangular, so you can adjust the size.
  3. Check for square, adjust, and mark the outline with a shovel.
  4. Put the blocks aside and remove the sod and dirt to a depth of approximately 2 inches.
  5. Then tamp down the soil, keeping it as level as possible.
  6. Next, add approximately 2 inches of gravel paver base, wet it, and tamp down. Then, add another half inch, and tamp again, keeping the base level.
  7. With the base firm, place the first row of rocks. Make sure the blocks are touching. Then set the second row of blocks, staggering the joints of the first layer. If you have to cut a block, mark around it, and cut on two sides using a circular saw with a concrete blade, then part it with a chisel.
  8. When the second row looks like a good fit, remove each stone, and apply concrete adhesive and reposition. Do the same to the third row.
  9. After you’ve placed the blocks, add some more paver base and line the inside of the fire pit walls with clay fire bricks. Add a few inches of lava rock to hold them in place.
  10. Then add logs and kindling and you’re all set.

Building a Fire Pit On An Existing Paver Patio

If you are building your fire pit on an existing paver patio, the process is similar. The biggest difference is that you don’t have to dig where you are going to install it. Just position the blocks, make sure they are aligned and touching each other. Fill with the material, as explained in the steps above, place the metal plate (if you want to use it). Finally, follow the rest of the steps (7 onwards).

For a portable outdoor fire pit the process is even simpler, just choose where you will place it and be sure to isolate it from the pavers.

What Is The Best Material For The Base, Can I Use Sand?

Sand or gravel, if one of the two is not available to you, no problem, you can choose only one of them. The ideal is to use a combination with both as it makes the base fit better and makes it easier to level it.

Hard rock, gravel, or sand weren’t meant to reach high temperatures and can spark and explode if your fire gets too hot. For this reason, it’s recommended that you place materials such as lava rocks or lava glass beads on its base. These materials will attenuate the heat that reaches the sand and the gravel.

What Rocks To Use For a Fire Pit?

Some types of rocks have the potential to explode. It’s important to note that for this to happen, some conditions must be present. For example, wet rocks, especially porous rocks, which generally absorb water and moisture more easily, if exposed to excessive heat, can explode. This is mainly due to the rapid expansion of water molecules present inside.

The types of rocks to avoid when building pavers are sandstone, limestone, pumice, and river rocks.

On the other hand, granite, marble, slate, fire-rate brick, lava glass, and lava rocks are much more resistant to heat and do not absorb water as easily. Therefore, they are more suitable for use both inside and on the fire pit walls.

Can I Build a Fire Pit Myself?

We highly recommend you not to. It is essential that you know what types of materials to use when building your fire pit. Forest accidents, skin burns, and heavy environmental fines are just some of the problems you can face if you are not extremely careful. The price of doing the project yourself is just not worth the risk.

Whenever possible, hire qualified personnel or companies to work on your fire pit project. At JS Brick we have 20+ years of experience providing paver Installation, supply, and maintenance services in Sarasota and surrounding cities. For a free estimate on your fire pit project, don’t hesitate in leaving us a message or a call.