We love to BBQ in Britain. Even when it’s a little bit overcast, nothing will stop us from whipping out the firelighters and kindling, and slapping a few patties on the grill. What’s more, having access to a fire pit all year round is ideal for adding warmth to those social nights, or hosting a spontaneous BBQ without the hassle of scrapping for the last disposable one.
At Case Farm, we believe in DIY and therefore, we have put together this guide to help you build your very own fire pit in just a few simple steps!
Things to remember when building a fire pit
There are a few details to consider before building your fire pit to guarantee you get the most out of it.
Your fire pit will quickly become the key focal point of your garden, and you’ll want to establish what you’re using it for before laying down the foundations. You might, for example, want to leave space around the pit for chairs, or have a dedicated space near it to hang tongs for BBQing.
Place it at least a few yards away from trees, shrubs, and buildings, since burning wood can crack and burst, shooting sparks into the air and increasing the chance of fire spreading.
It is important to make sure that your fire pit is the right size, if the area is too small it will struggle to keep a fire going. Think about what you want to use it for, whether you plan to put a grill over it for BBQing purposes or you simply want to heat up those summer nights – the size will affect this.
Make sure you have the right tools before starting construction of your fire pit, you’ll need to do it properly to ensure the foundations are laid for the best performing, and safe, fire pit. Keep in mind that tools can go rusty if not treated properly: read our guide to preventing tool rust or check out our custom tool foam and see how you can protect your tools.
How to construct your firepit
The best way to build a long-lasting fire pit is to use regular bricks, if possible, get some new bricks so that you don’t have to worry about removing surplus concrete from the edges. They will work best if they are all the same size and shape.
Start by positioning the bricks where you want the fire pit in the garden. Depending on the size of the firepit, your measurements might be different, but for purposes of this guide, our fire pit will be four bricks wide (190mm x 4 = 760mm).
Start by placing down four bricks in a row, then place an additional brick at a right angle on the end. This will form the inner row of the fire pit. For the outer row, place five bricks down adjacent to the inner row, but be sure to start the placement half a brick along from the start of the inner row. Repeat this process until you have a complete square compiled of two rows.
Mark your turf
With the bricks in place, use a spade to mark out the turf underneath the outside edge of the bricks. Remove all the bricks and dig out a layer of turf, to about half the depth of a brick (roughly, 45mm), you can make sure this is level and flat by using a spirit level.
Dig and build
To help drain rainwater, in the centre of the hole you’ve just made, dig a further 30cm deep hole about 20cm wide and fill with small stones. When this is complete, place the bricks back in their original position, using a mallet to keep them firmly in place.
Repeat building the bricks up in the same pattern until you have at least four layers. This should start to resemble a fire pit now, and you’re almost ready to start cooking! When all the bricks have been laid, scatter the remaining turf with small stones and gravel.
Light her up!
If you know how to start a fire, ignore this part, but if you’re still umming and ahhing, stick around.
Using recycled newspaper and kindling, scrunch up the paper and stack small parts of kindling around the paper in a triangular fashion. Light the newspaper in several spots and watch the fire start! As the fire grows, add larger pieces of kindling and firewood as necessary.
Don’t miss out this summer, and be the envy of all your friends with your very own fire pit! Check out our blog section for more guides and information from the exciting world of DIY!