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Henriette Firepit February 27th, 2018 - 11:20:07
Regardless of the type of firepit used, safety precautions are important. History shows that at one time a fire watcher was chosen to prevent the fire from going out or from spreading. In modern times it is also necessary to be vigilant. Keep the firepit away from dry leaves or other burnable items. Make sure someone is always in attendance, and observe local no burn days. Do not allow the smoke to irritate the neighbors or cause air pollution. The blessing of free standing firepits is that they can be moved to the most convenient location. Do not use them on a windy day, and keep children away from them. Be sure to cover them with their screen to prevent sparks. You can also purchase covers for them to use in inclement weather or for storage. Dont burn trash or scrap lumber in a firepit; use only wood or compressed logs. Dont overload the firepit. Keep a fire extinguisher or a hose close by. Due to the increase demand for firepits, they are becoming a "must have" for outdoor fun. You and your guests will enjoy sitting around a firepit on many summer or fall evenings.
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.
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.