Saturday, August 6, 2011

Backyard Fire Pit

Dan has wanted lots of things one thing since we moved in to this house - a fire pit.  We had discussed our projects agenda right when we moved in and we had decided that landscaping/outdoor work was one of those things that was going to wait until next summer.  Until I came home from a weekend away to discover Dan had worked extremely hard all weekend long to start creating that fire pit. 

We started with this:
 If you look at the right of that picture, you'll see all of the plants crammed in to a small space, along with an old wooden, rooting bridge. 

When I returned home after my weekend away, we were left with this:

In the back of this triangle was some extremely tall grass looking stuff that we had decided we wanted to get rid of.  Dan dug all of that out and left the plants for me to take care of.  Yes, in the mean time, he also created a "for now" fire pit for himself -right on top of the dirt/sand.

I moved the remaining plants from the triangle to along the back of the house.   It started out looking like this:

We move the edging out about 1.5 feet to give the plants a little more room

And moved all the plants

They look a little sad, but I'm hoping that next year they come back all bright and colorful again!

As you can see in the pictures above, the edging around the previous plants/bridge was a trianglish shape.  I wasn't fond of the shape, so we used some extra edging that we found behind our shed to make it a square.  And, here I go, failing to take "during" pictures again.  So words will have to do!  After digging out the square, we measured to find the middle.  Then we measured how large our fire pit was going to be and dug a circle that was mostly flat.  From there, we started placing our angled stones in a circle for the first layer.  This had to be the most time consuming part because we tried to pay close attention and make sure all of the pavers were level.  After the first level was down, the remaining two were simple, we just staggered the placement.  While I was stacking, Dan was digging out the middle of the fire pit a little bit and stacking up some of that dirt around the edges of the inside for extra support. 

When we moved in, we also had a sandbox in the middle of the yard.  Dan moved all of the sand from the sandbox over to the fire pit area. 

For now, this is our completed fire pit area.  My mom argued that sand would get messy, but as always, we wanted to do this project on a budget.   I'd say we did pretty good at creating a nice looking fire pit on a budget, here is the breakdown:

- Edging pavers: free, already in the yard
- Sand: Free, came from the sand box
- Wedge pavers: $40 from craigslist.  At Menards they are $1.50 a piece, we picked them up for $.50 a piece - that's one third of the price!  It took around 80 to create the pit.
- Wood to create the fire: Free - from craigslist

We are both very pleased with the way it turned out!


  1. You have a beautiful home, and that fire pit made it more perfect! The result is without a doubt very pleasing. That ‘triangle’ area looks a lot better with a fire pit on it than just tall grasses. I’m amazed that you were able to build a beautiful fire pit like that in a tight budget. =)

    Nohemi Tutterrow

  2. I agree so relaxing and almost free!! Enjoy it!!