Building an in-ground fire pit requires several tools and materials and is a multi-day task. The tools and materials can be found at home improvement or hardware stores. While some in-ground fire pits may have different details and options, most follow the same basic plan.
- Gather tools and materials
The tools and materials needed to build a fire pit include: tape measure, shovel, wheel barrow, hand tamper, trowel, stake, string, spray paint, gravel, ready-mix concrete, firebricks, paver stones, capstones, high heat stove paint and river rocks. The number of firebricks, paver stones and capstones is determined by the size of the fire pit.
- Find a suitable space
For safety, a fire pit should be on level ground, well away from houses, buildings and trees. Some local communities have restrictions on fire pits, so check with the code enforcement office before building. Always file the proper permits before beginning a project.
- Mark the dimensions and pour the foundation
Find the middle point of the location of the fire pit. Using string and spray paint, mark the outside edge of the wall of the fire pit, then move in 12 inches to mark the inside of the fire wall. Dig out the area to a depth of 6 inches. Mix concrete and pour a foundation between the two circles that extends to 1.5 inches below ground-level. Smooth and let dry for 24 hours.
- Lay the stones
Apply 2 inches of mortar on top of the foundation. Work in small sections to lay stones around the outer circle, adjusting them to follow the natural curve of the circle. After a section is complete, lay firebricks along the inner circle, filling gaps with mortar. Finish both the outside and inside circles by building up the wall to the desired height, making certain to fill all gaps with mortar. Lay capstones across the top of the completed walls, filling spaces with mortar.
- Finish the fire pit
Brush off any loose debris on the walls. Spray with a garden hose to remove any excess mortar. Spray paint the inside of the fire bricks with high heat stove paint. Add a layer of river rocks to the bottom of the fire pit. If desired, spread landscape fabric and gravel over the area surrounding the fire pit.