A long time ago (…like a year or so) I made this blog post about how I made a fire pit in the back yard for around $60. And it was a good post, and it was a good fire pit. But then at some point I deleted all our blog entries
A lot of people pinned that entry to pinterest, so I’m re-posting a streamlined version of that post so those links won’t be broken anymore. Later this year I’m going to do a firepit update post and a fire pit revamp post. Stay tuned for that!
Easy Fire Pit for About $60
What you need:
- 8 Cement Blocks from Home Depot or Lowes (16″ x 8″ x 8″) $9.20
- 8 Flat Cement Cap Blocks (16″ x 8″ x 4″) $11.68
- 4 2ft x 2ft Flat Square Patio Stones or Pavers ($34) optional
That’s $54.88 plus tax! These prices are from Lowe’s web site from stores in my area.
All you need to do now is find a nice flat spot to put down your 4 big flat pavers to form a 48″ x 48″ square for the base of your fire pit. I put mine in a gravel courtyard, so it was pretty easy to move the gravel around with a rake to level it out. You may consider adding gravel or sand underneath the pavers to help level it without trying to scrape at the ground. The pavers will have a little bit of space between them when in place. You can put a little sand or gravel in the cracks for a more finished look if you want. If the pavers have a little bit of wobble to them, it’s OK. They will settle under the weight of the remaining building blocks over time.
Next you take your big cement blocks and simply arrange them in a square, centered on the big square pallet you just made. Top that square with your cap blocks, making sure to overlap the spaces between the blocks where they are butted up against each other. This just makes it a little more stable. Take a look at how the cap blocks are placed in the first photo if that doesn’t make sense. You could put a little bit of mortar or something between the blocks to hold them together, but I didn’t. You’ll have to straighten them up a little bit here and there but they stay put pretty well.
It’s that easy!
Tip: Turn one of the base blocks (say, on the side facing away from the house) on its side so that the holes are exposed (the holes will be oriented horizontally instead of vertically). This will allow some air to enter into the fire pit at the base. I’m not sure it’s entirely necessary, but it would seem that more air could get to the base of the fire this way.
On my first go, I made this firepit with 2 levels of large blocks plus the cap blocks. It was WAY too tall. This fire pit is the perfect height as long as you aren’t trying to do some crazy hillbilly bonfires. That’s what big metal barrels are for.
There was concern from some readers that these blocks aren’t fire-rated or something, and that they will absorb moisture then explode when exposed to heat from the fire. I have not experienced this in over a year of use, and we have had some fires in this thing that were way bigger than this fire pit is made for. What DID happen is a few of the blocks cracked in half. We didn’t even notice it happen; It may have happened upon cooling after a fire, I’m not sure. If I remember correctly, it was only the cap blocks that cracked, none of the larger ones. Also, I just noticed that these blocks are “Fire Resistant” per Lowes web site. I don’t think they could call them fire resistant if there was a risk of explosion. However, feel free to prove me wrong by doing some experiments with water, cement blocks, and fire and get one to explode. I want to see the video