Henriette Firepit February 21st, 2018 - 11:16:28
Once youve figured out just what to do with the hole, lets look at some decorative edging. Again you can opt to just leave the sides bare. Leaving a gaping hole in the ground probably isnt the greatest idea, someone could trip and fall into the pit. So here are some edging options going again from least to most expensive. Use the dirt that you excavated from the pit to build a berm around the edge of the pit. Like with leaving the hole unlined, youll have to worry about wash out. The next method is to place large rounded stones around the perimeter. The stones can get expensive but youll only need a couple dozen to finish off the edge.
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.
Seat distance from the firepit is critical. Too close and the fire will be too hot; too far away and the heat wont reach you. You can vary the distance with each seat but we found that for a pit 800mm in diameter the seats should be about 1m away from the pit. This allows people to walk in front of each other around the fire. Once the rock seats are in place the next job was to pour concrete around the pit and around the bottom of the seats so that the outside line of concrete joins all the stones about halfway. The back of the rocks protrudes out into what will become turf.
If you are the do it yourself type and have the yard space, you can dig your own permanent firepit, lined with brick or natural stones. Plans for these type of pits are readily available online. Of course, you may not want to deal with the extra work involved in finding and hauling wood to burn in your outdoor fire-pit. If so, you might want to consider a natural gas, or propane model. On final note. Fire is nothing to play with. Make sure you take proper safety precautions and obey all regulations. Some jurisdictions place restrictions and may even prohibit outdoor fires of any kind.