Henriette Firepit February 27th, 2018 - 11:04:06
Another thing that you will want to consider after you have bought your new copper firepit is a grill or a grate. Check your instructions before purchasing a grate, if your firepit wasnt made for cooking then you wont want to buy a grate. It doesnt make any sense to take chance with something like fire. If your firepit is made for grilling, your instruction manual will tell you the right size grate for your particular model. There are a couple of other things that you might want to consider buying to also go with your copper firepit. If you bought a set it should come with tools for the fire, but if it didnt you will probably want to purchase tools. You will want something that you can use in the fire if you need to stir the wood. Another nice accessory is a cover. Copper can withstand the elements, but wet ashes can be very messy and a cover can save you that hassle. Finally, some people like to have a rug to place their new firepit on. If you decide that you want to use a rug, make sure it is fire resistant. You dont want to take any chances.
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.
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.