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Manuela Carpenter Firepit February 19th, 2018 - 10:18:48
Once the stone lining was completed we used an excavator to place the large stone seats. Depending on the size of the stones they may have to be dug into the ground or set higher on gravel to give them an approximately consistent height. Bearing in mind that a comfortable adult seat height should be 300 - 400mm the stones need to conform to this measurement. By the time the concrete is poured and the paving laid the finished ground height will be 150mm higher than existing ground level, meaning that the rocks should stand 450 - 550mm above the ground.
Procedure: First, we excavated a pit approximately 1metre (3 feet) in diameter and 800mm deep. The ground we were working on was very rocky so we used a backhoe and it was difficult to carve a smooth hole as you can see by the photos. Next we dug a drainage channel from the bottom of the hole to a lower point beyond the extent of the fire area. This was essential in this circumstance due to the heavy rainfall and the heavy soil. If your soil is porous it may not be necessary to provide drainage to the pit. In the channel we laid the plastic drainage pipe and covered it with gravel. Because we wanted to line the pit with the 600mm granite slabs we placed extra gravel in the bottom of the pit to set the stones on upright in a circle.
If youre less than confident about your fire making skills, check out gas firepits. Yes, they do exist, and look as good as their wood burning counterparts. Being able to flip a switch, and light a match will bring your date close to you in a matter of moments, and doesnt require maintenance to keep it going. As we noted above, being able to successfully ignite a pile of wood is impressive. Buying a pit to handle wood fires is a great way to go if this is your style. You can show off your manly side to your date. Not only is a wood fire exciting, you dont have to settle for a flame size limit. A wood fire can be brought to blazing heights. You and your date can sit close while it dies down to burning embers.
Its a bit tricky to get the heavy slabs in an exact circle with a consistent height but its best to prop them up and backfill with the gravel so that each stone is buried 150mm leaving a 450mm deep pit. The top of the granite should be 200mm above the surrounding ground level to allow for the concrete slab and paving. You could cut each stone lengthwise along one edge to make them fit flush with each other but it isnt necessary. The bottom of the pit was then paved to make shovelling out the ashes easier.