DIY Brick Fire Pit For Only $80

My mother asked me to build her a brick fire pit that she had found on Pinterest. I love DIY so I said yes and immediately started researching ideas.  After reading several Pinterest posts and watching a ton of YouTube videos, I decided I was ready despite having no previous experience! I decided to write this post because I didn't see any fire pits like the one I built while I was scouring the internet for ideas. 



Disclaimer: I am neither a writer nor a professional fire pit builder. I just wanted to share my experience so take it for what it is and be nice. 

With some broad ideas in my head, I went to Menards because my research showed that their bricks were much less expensive than the bricks at Home Depot or Lowe's. I was walking through Menards' outdoors department... looking for inspiration... when I noticed their displays. I fell in love with one of their displays and decided to try to recreate the look:



I love the two tone design! I simply counted how many bricks were in the top row and multiplied by 3... duh... to determine how many bricks to buy. I also decided to get two bags of leveling sand and three bags of gravel for underneath* and around the perimeter of the fire pit. Everything was under $80 before tax because the bricks were on sale! 

Materials:

(*I have learned thanks to comments, that you should not use gravel)


The employees at Menards were very helpful and never made me feel like I didn't know what I was doing... even though I didn't! They gave me scrap cardboard to lay the bricks on in my vehicle. They also loaded my car up with the several hundred pounds of bricks!



Driving home I definitely wondered... What did I get myself into! Oh well, no turning back now.



After unloading the bricks... talk about a workout... I laid out where I wanted the first row to be.



I cut around the perimeter with a spade. I cut it a little wider because I wanted to have a small border of gravel around the fire pit. I just eyeballed about 6 inches. Obviously, you can make it wider or cut right next to the bricks depending on what you want. Some tutorials marked the perimeter with spray paint but I felt this was easier.



I dug out the area that I marked just a couple of inches deep. Again, you can dig deeper if you prefer. Luckily, the ground was already pretty level. In hindsight, I probably should have checked that first.





Next, I poured the leveling sand in. The sand was only about half an inch deep with the two bags that I purchased. I just wanted a base for the bricks to rest in but you could go deeper if you'd like.





I leveled and packed the sand down with a 2x4 that was about the same length as the diameter. I swirled it around the circle and then checked different positions with a level on top. It wasn't perfect but it was good enough!



Then the fun part! I laid the first row and walked on top of them to press them into the sand. I checked several spots with the level and pushed bricks down and added more sand under others until I felt it was level enough.




I decided to add the interior gravel before adding the other rows because the bag was really heavy! I stepped and jumped on the gravel to set it into the sand. There's a tool for this but I didn't have one. Plus, it's much more fun to jump around!



I added the next row of bricks by centering the wedge bricks over the rectangle bricks. For the third row, I duplicated the position of the first row. I poured another bag of gravel around the perimeter and then I was done! I didn't end up using the third bag of gravel.



Of course, I had to immediately build the inaugural fire and boy was it beautiful. I really enjoyed building this little fire pit and hope that I inspired you to build one too! In the future, I would like to buy a fire ring to put in the middle like the Menards display had and add a circular brick patio around the fire pit.





Update 12/13/2020
Dimensions: Approximately 2' 4" (inner diameter) x 3' 10" (outer diameter) x 10-1/2" H
Menards recommends using a 28" Fire Ring but we never added one.
This firepit has been standing for the last 3.5 years without any problems.  

*After reading the comments, I realized that I should not have used gravel, but we never experienced any problems with it.

My Mother has moved this year and I'm excited to announce that I will be building a new firepit for her new yard. So stay tuned for my non-expert attempt at creating an even better fire pit!






Comments

  1. Good job, Daniela! Enjoyed reading and will attempt for my daughter's place! Thanx!

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  2. Your blow by blow was very helpful and inspiring. Now I know I can do it! Thank you!

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  3. So what and how do you clean out ash

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    1. Hmm, perhaps start with a pitch fork to get the bigger pieces out and then use a small shovel. Somehow sifting/ shaking the rocks out.

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  4. Hi Daniela, I’m inspired. Thanks! Mine will be in this summer for sure!!!

    Why would you add the ring? It seems like that would keep the heat inside and going up instead of out and to your guest.

    Curt

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  5. My sister and I just built this along with your help. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  6. Loved your post and it was very entertaining :) did you use any kind of adhesive to keep the top layers attached to the base layers?

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    1. Better late than never, I did not use any adhesive. Thanks for your comment!

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  7. How big was the finished product?

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  8. I also think you did a great job. I saved this to my list of thing to do. Thanks!

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  9. Very inspiring. You did a great job. Beautiful. If the fire gets too hot, will it crack the bricks?

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    1. Yes, they will crack. We’re going to be replacing ours soon because of this. Ours was only two rows high and, oddly enough, only the top layer cracked & broke. I’m thinking the metal fire ring might help with this problem.

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  10. Thank you. Im building one in northern Michigan this fall. Very similar to yours oddly enough šŸ¤”šŸ˜

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  11. Awesome! Great work Daniela! Will add this to our backyard project soon with the help of our landscape architect's coach plan! :)

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  12. Thanks Daniela! Just completed this and was super easy and looks fantastic!!

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  13. Looks good, but you should use granite stock at the bottom. Regular stone and/or sand can explode if it gets too hot...

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  14. How big is the diameter of this pit?

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  15. Great. Going to build one tomorrow. Thanks

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  16. Awesome!! Thanks so much for this. This is exactly what I want to do and I want to do it myself. You ROCK . . . get it . . . YOU ROCK!!! šŸ˜„

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  17. Just bought all the materials yesterday to copy this fire pit. Will start building later today.

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  18. What was the diameter of the fire pit?

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  19. Built the same pit only with grey stones. Exactly the same process and we love it Took about 3 hours maybe

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  20. Besides using rocks...… You rock!

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  21. What is the size of the circle? The diameter inside and out?

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  22. You did a Great Job Daniela, and buy yourself I assume, what an inspiration!

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  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  24. This is great I will show this to my daughter she wants to get a fire pit in her yard and she wants us to do it, I believe we can handle this. ��

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  25. For everyone asking about the diameter.
    Chadron Planter Ring 10-1/2"H x 2' 6"I.D. x 3' 8"0.D. 19862256228

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  26. Thanks for the inspiration. Gonna try this design this coming weekend.

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  27. Daniella, it looks fabulous. Do you know what the inside diameter is?

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  28. What size is this fire pit? I'm wondering because I need a 36' inside circumference.

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  29. I have ALWAYS wanted one....and I love this one and I'm a good ole Farmers Daughter and have the tools....so I am going to surprise my husband!

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  30. Hi,please can anyone tell me if the paving blocks withstand the heat? I really want to do this but here in UK they cant commit in the DaiY store to say if they can take the heat?

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  31. Hi,please can anyone tell me if the paving blocks withstand the heat? I really want to do this but here in UK they cant commit in the DaiY store to say if they can take the heat?

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    1. All I know is 3 years later these bricks are fine! I hope that helps!

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  32. If you use the metal insert, you have less stress on the blocks and it shouldn't be a problem.

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  33. Hey girly thanks for all the info,I starting and hopefully finishing our pit this coming weekend and hopefully eggnog and smores around the pit on CHRISTmas Eve waiting on Santa to land for so much needed R&RšŸ˜Š

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  34. This is great I will show this to my daughter she wants to get a fire pit in her yard and Stop scratching your head because with Solo Stove you’ll get the most amazing and durable fire pits.

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  35. Great Job! I'm about to build one when this Artic Blast leaves us down here in the Texas Hill Country!

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  36. Hi I'm sorry you probably already got this question but I can't find it in the comments. Why were you not supposed to use gravel?

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    1. I think because it can pop or something?? I never had any problems.

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  37. Daniela, love your fire pit project.

    Going blind after research, and cost.

    Going to complete mine this weekend.

    Thank you.

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