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My three favorite words!
Who doesn’t love roasting marshmallows and sitting by a fire when there is a slight chill in the air?
Well, you don’t have to be Bob Vila or even Bob the Builder to have a functional fire pit.
Sure all of those internet pictures and ideas look AMAZING, but fall is soon approaching and I don’t want to dip into my holiday shopping money to have a fire pit.
Cool weather is soon approaching so let’s get started!
DIY Fire Pit Instructions- Getting Started
- You want to locate an area that is a safe distance from your house, structure or brush
- Make sure you won’t be digging where any; cable, phone, water, or electrical lines are buried.
I live in South Carolina and we have a Call Before You Dig phone line.
The companies come and mark your lines for free so you know where to avoid digging, the last thing you want to do is cut your neighbors’ internet cable
- Water Source.
Every outdoor fire needs to have a water source close by, many laws require it.
If you do not have an outside faucet close, run a garden hose out to your fire pit and keep the water on when burning wood.
- Check the laws about outdoor burning.
Some places that are prone to fires prohibit outside burning, call your local fire department for the laws and regulations in your area.
In our county, a burn permit (which is free) is required for all outdoor burning.
I call an automated number and enter my information, it’s a very easy process.
- Decide how big you want your fire pit to be (I went with a 4′ diameter).
The instructions below are how to build a cheap, easy, fast, fire pit like mine.
If you want a fire pit the Jones can be jealous of, Pinterest has many exuberant and grand ideas with price tags to match.
Me? I’m frugal and impatient so a cheap and fast project is more my style.
Materials you will need for your DIY Fire Pit:
- Spray paint or chalk powder
- Galvanized Tin (18″ wide x 12.5 ‘ long for a 4ft diameter fire pit) or other flexible metal safe for fire use
- 2 bags (.5 cu ft) of gravel, lava rock, or other drainage material/stone*
- Brick or concrete edging
- Drill, screwdriver or grommet gun
- Self-tapping sheet metal screws (I used 5 screws) (Cost less than $1.00 at the hardware store)
Estimated project time: 1 -2 hours (depending on how fast you dig)
Price: Mine was Free because I already owned the materials. If you don’t have the materials on hand approx cost should be under $20.00
* I used two bags of all-purpose stone because I already had some left over from a project.
If you have to buy stone, I would recommend lava rock.
You can purchase lava rock at your local home improvement store for less than $10.00 a bag
Where to buy or find galvanized tin?
We live in a mobile home and replaced our roof some time ago so I was able to re-purpose the leftover tin. I realize not everyone has leftover tin roofing lying around so here are some suggestions where you could find the material for cheap or free with a little searching.
- Craigslist adds under heading Materials or Free
- Freecycle at www.freecycle.org
- Call your local roofing companies.
Many companies and contractors have to pay to remove their scrap material and are happy to give it away.
- Recycling center.
Make sure you ask the attendant for permission before going dumpster diving. Did you know that was illegal? I didn’t, but I do now (don’t ask)!
- Construction sites.
When driving by a construction site and ask to speak with the General Contractor or Foreman on the job and tell them what you are looking for, they may be able to help. They are happy to offer for free in most cases
- Mobile Home Manufacture.
You can ask if they have a strip of old roofing available if there is a charge I’m sure it’s not much
- When all else fails you can place an ad in the paper or online describing what you are needing and let them come to you. I have obtained many of items I was looking for this way after exhausting all my resources.
Getting started with your DIY Fire Pit
- Secure the ends of your tin/metal together using a little bit of tape, clamps, clothespins, extra pair of hands, whatever you have to hold it together while you add the screws, forming a circle and overlap the ends about 2″
- Install a screw at each end seam, one in the middle and then the last two in-between. You now have your fire pit ring!
- Place your fire ring on the desired location and take your spray paint or chalk powder and outline the outside of the ring.
- Remove the ring and dig your hole depth to match the width of your tin. Ours is 18″ wide so I dug the hole 18″ deep. You also want to dig your hole a little wider than your outline.
- Once your hole is dug and the ground is somewhat level (hubby would use a line level here, I jumped up and down on the dirt until it felt balanced)
- Place your fire ring on the hole and adjust the dirt accordingly (remove more where needed).
The fire ring should fit in the hole loosely and not buckle anywhere.
- Once in place add your rocks to the bottom
- Use the shovel to backfill the dirt around the fire pit to close any gaps between the soil and ring.
Stepping on the dirt as you go to compact it.
- Place; bricks, stones, broken concrete pieces, landscaping edging, or other non-flammable material around the top perimeter.
If you do not have the materials, follow the same steps suggested for tin with the exception of Mobile Home manufactures
- Last and final step, add wood, build a fire, grab a seat and enjoy!!!
The outdoors are calling you!