A backyard fire pit is a fantastic addition to any home and a great way to entertain friends and family during any occasion. It’s particularly useful for those who live in cold areas but still want to enjoy the outdoors.
My wife and I are planning on building a backyard firepit sometime this year and wanted to know more about it. If you’re a fan of doing things yourself, building a backyard firepit may be something that’s been on your radar for quite some time now. But before you do, be sure to consider the following 10 things.
1. Make Sure Your Fire Pit Is Permitted
First things first. Depending on where you live, you may have to have your potential fire pit approved before you get started on it. This is because not all areas allow people to have them. If caught with a fire pit in an area where you shouldn’t have one, you may face some serious consequences.
Other places simply don’t permit fire pits because they could be a fire hazard for yourself as well as your neighbors. Be sure that if you are living on a property you are renting, you check with your landlord or the owner of the property before you make any permanent decisions.
If you don’t take the time to check and make sure that your fire pit is permitted, you may end up wasting money on materials you won’t even be able to use. Save yourself the time and money and have it approved first.
2. Put Safety First
When using a fire pit, you will obviously be dealing with fire. Because of this, you need to be careful about where you put your fire pit. If it’s too close to a low-hanging tree or any type of flammable material, it could be a potential risk.
You should always have a fire extinguisher handy and an emergency plan ready in case a fire does break out. It might seem like a lot of precautions to take over a fire pit, but you can never be too careful, especially when it comes to fire.
The video below from Backyard Scape does an excellent job highlighting the most important precautions and safety tips you should consider before using a fire pit.
Although building your own fire pit might be more cost-effective than hiring someone to do it for you, you’ll still have to set a budget. You must take into consideration the materials you’ll need, how big you want the fire pit to be, and where you plan on building it.
Many hardware stores offer premade fire pits that may end up being less expensive than buying the materials separately and building it on your own. Aside from the materials needed to build the fire pit itself, you may also want to include other amenities into your budget such as patio chairs, charcoal, and anything else that might go hand-in-hand with owning a fire pit.
4. Choose Whether to Make it Permanent or Not
Some people tend to move around a lot, which means they’ll want to take their fire pit along with them wherever they go. In a situation like this, you want to think about whether or not your fire pit is portable.
You can always purchase a portable fire pit that can easily be moved from place to place. However, if you choose to build an underground fire pit or one that involves heavy materials, you won’t be able to move it around with as much ease as you would a portable fire pit.
This is something to consider, especially if you are someone who doesn’t own the property you are living on or plan on building the fire pit in.
This is also an important consideration for the overall plan of your backyard, especially if you are thinking of installing a swimming pool.
5. What Type of Fuel Will You Use?
There are several different types of fuel that one can use with their fire pit. This includes wood, gas, or propane. The type of fuel you choose to use will determine what type of fire pit you need to build.
If you build a fire pit to use primarily with wood for example, you will need to make sure that you have a steady supply of firewood around. Otherwise, you won’t be able to enjoy your fire pit as often as you’d like to.
A gas fire pit can be purchased at a hardware store so you won’t have to worry about building your fire pit from scratch. However, you will need to budget in the propane you’ll need to be able to use it.
6. Measure the Area
Many people go into their fire pit excursion without properly executing their plan first. It’s important that you take all the necessary measurements in the area where you plan on building your fire pit.
With this information, you will have a better idea of the size of the materials that you’ll need. It will also allow you to plan around the fire pit and get a better sense of how much space you have to build around. The last thing you want is to start construction on your fire pit only to find out halfway through that it won’t fit the way you want it to.
7. Decide on Materials
The type of materials that you choose to use in your fire pit is another important topic to consider before you start building your fire pit. Some materials are easier to find than others, while some may be much more expensive to use.
Stones and brick for example, are probably the most cost-effective material you can use when building your fire pit. The only downside to this is that you won’t be able to move your fire pit or take it with you if you decide to move.
Stainless steel and copper tile are both material options that you can consider when building a fire pit. While they look much nicer than brick or stone, these materials may put you well over your budget because they can be pretty costly. Of course, it all depends on how big you plan on making your fire pit. The smaller the fire pit, the less material you’ll have to use.
8. Pick the Right Location
Your fire pit shouldn’t be placed just anywhere. Ideally, you want it in a large, open space far away from anything flammable. Most people choose to put their fire pits in areas where they tend to host company. For example, near a pool or patio.
Be sure not to place a fire pit near a place where small children play because they could easily get into trouble if they aren’t being supervised.
9. Decorate Around it
A fire pit isn’t complete without a cozy lounge chair or string lights nearby. While you don’t have to add in any extra décor to complete your fire pit, adding in a few finishing touches will make the area much more inviting. Not to mention it will keep all your guests comfortable.
10. Weigh Your Style Options
Fire pits come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. The last thing you want to do is go into building one without having even the slightest idea of what you want it to look like. Most traditional fire pits are circular, but you can always think outside of the box and create a square-shaped fire pit or even one in the shape of a star.
The shape and style of your fire pit will also help you determine what kind of materials to use when building it.