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Henriette Firepit February 27th, 2018 - 11:08:06
Your first step is, of course, to choose where your firepit will go. Pick an area that doesnt present a fire hazard and that will be comfortable for you and your guests to sit and relax. If, for example, you know one part of your yard is prone to mosquitoes, you would certainly want to avoid that spot. Just think practically, and you should be fine! When youve decided on the size and location of your pit, mark it using chalk or paint. If there is sod in the area, youll need to remove it, and you should also use a pre-emergent herbicide in order to prevent grass from growing in that area again.
For others, usually the men who envisage beer and burger evenings, they want to take the whole kitchen outdoors. Some really enjoy the whole barbeque experience and love to regularly entertain their friends and family. It doesnt really matter which category you fall into as there are so many different models of backyard firepits, you can find one that is suitable. If you have a lovely big patio and use it as an outdoor living area, you may prefer to build an ornate outdoor fireplace. Some of these structures are even more elaborate than indoor fireplaces. Depending on the style of the structure you may need to employ a structural engineer particularly for a more elaborate design. If buying or building backyard firepits be careful to choose a design that looks good even when it is not lit. You want something that you can enjoy in the evening but not one that blights the look of your garden.
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.
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.