Henriette Firepit February 25th, 2018 - 11:44:42
Regardless of the climate, people seem to love to gather around an outdoor fire. Its something that just seems to in our makeup as humans. Whether it is a summer bonfire or a nice warm campfire on a chilly fall or winter night, we love the warmth and smell and ambiance of an outdoor fire. Given that we live in a modern society, its not always safe or practice to build an old-fashioned campfire in your backyard or patio. That is where the relatively new invention of the firepit comes to the rescue. You have probably seen a fire pit or two, whether in a neighbors backyard or at you local superstore. Like many things in life, the price and quality of outdoor firepits varies greatly. You can easily find one for under one hundred dollars, but then again, you can also spend several thousand for a really high-end model.
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.
So, on the different designs. One of the most common is a large bowl, usually metal, but sometimes ceramic, set on legs. You just set this up where you want you fire and you are good to go. Added features can include wheels, covers, screens and even grills for cooking. A nice twist on this design is the fire pit table, which adds are table-like ring around the outside of the pit. You can think of these as an outdoor table with a fire-pit built in. You have probably also seen a chiminea, which is more like a self-standing fireplace. These generally only have only one or two openings, rather than being open all around. While the classic chiminea is made from ceramic or terra cotta, they also come in copper or cast-iron.