Henriette Firepit February 27th, 2018 - 11:09:34
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.
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.
The reinforced concrete was poured to a depth of 100mm, allowing the firepit lining stones to protrude 100mm above it, with a slope of 1:100 away from the pit. Letting the concrete cure for a week, we then laid out random limestone pieces to gauge the best arrangement. Random stone comes in varying thicknesses and sizes and takes a great deal of patience to lay properly. You can simply start laying and choose matching pieces, filling in the many small gaps with small pieces but we prefer to shape the stones so that gaps are consistent and the small pieces are minimal. Once the stone was shaped and mortared down the gaps were grouted with mortar, coloured to match the stone. The final thing was sealing the limestone with a good quality stone sealant. And there is your party feature! When you light a fire and let it burn for a few hours the limestone patio begins to heat up and radiate to the surrounding seats making a very cosy spot on a cool autumn evening.
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.