Henriette Firepit February 21st, 2018 - 11:13:11
Just like the kitchen indoors, an outdoor firepit is a magnetic gathering place for people at a party or family get-together on a cool evening. In this article I have described how to lay out and construct a permanent stone firepit. You can of course just have a bonfire with some deck chairs around it but a formal fireplace will provide more safety plus add value to your property. Materials: · 4 - 8 Large stones (600mm deep) with at least 1 flat side for fireside seats. Sandstone is perfect but basalt works well also · 10 granite slabs 600 x 300 x 80mm.· 25m2 random limestone or sandstone· 1m3 of 20mm drainage gravel· 90mm agriculture pipe (plastic perforated pipe covered in geotextile material)· 2.5m3 concrete· cement· brick sand.
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.
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.
When you buy a new copper firepit there are some safety issues that you will want to follow. One of the most important things to keep in mind is the weather. If your area has issued a fire warning of any type you wont want to start a fire outdoors. In dry areas it is better to be safe than to be sorry. If there is no fire warning remember also that you need to keep your fire under control. Make sure that your fire doesnt get too big, and keep a screen on the firepit so that there wont be any burning embers or ashes flying away from the fire.