DIY Concrete Fire Pit – Outdoor fires can be used for warmth, cooking, roasting marshmallows and general entertaining when you have friends and family visiting. Installing concrete fire pit offers convenience and safety and may be required by local ordinances regarding open fires. The pit will keep sparks from straying, create a barrier between you and the fire and serve as an accent to your house and property.
Steps for DIY Concrete Fire Pit
- Contact your local utility company or dial 811 to reach the state one-call utility survey service to schedule the marking of any buried pipes or utility lines on your property.
- Mark the outer edge of your fire pit by placing a wooden form designed for molding concrete in the area where you plan to install the pit and spraying around it with spray paint.
- Dig out the fire pit, making the hole at least 8 inches deep and 2 to 3 inches larger in diameter than the area marked. Make the hole deep enough that when your concrete forms are placed in it they are even with the level of the surrounding ground.
- Place the concrete form you used for measuring into the hole and secure it with wooden stakes, then place a smaller form inside of it so that at least 3 to 4 inches of space is between them to hold concrete. Make the forms level, lifting portions slightly and attaching them to your stakes with a screw to if necessary.
- Mix and pour the concrete for your fire pit wall, filling the area between the forms about half full. Lay a rebar ring on top of the concrete to add strength to the wall, then fill the forms the rest of the way and smooth the concrete.
- Allow the concrete to set overnight and remove the forms. Partially fill in the soil around the fire pit, leaving at least a 2- to 3-inch deep depression around the wall.
- Build an above-ground lip around the pit to contain the fire and reduce hazards presented by the open pit. Use additional concrete, large heat-resistant stones, firebrick or similar materials and secure them with heat-resistant masonry. Fill in the rest of the soil around the pit once you finish the lip.
- Pour 3 to 4 inches of gravel into the bottom of the fire pit to allow rain and water to drain easily.
- Allow the concrete and masonry to set for at least one week before starting a fire in the pit; failure to do so may result in cracks.
Things You Will Need for Building DIY Concrete Fire Pit
- Round concrete forms
- Spray paint or other marking spray
- Shovel or other excavation tools
- Wooden stakes
- Screws (optional)
- Bag concrete
- Rebar ring
- Concrete float or other smoothing tool
- Heat-resistant stones, firebrick or other fire pit lip materials
DIY Concrete Fire Pit Tips
- Run a gas line to your fire pit before you start pouring concrete if you wish to make a propane or natural gas fire pit. Hire a professional to run the line and install all necessary components if necessary to ensure that it is safely installed and doesn’t present a fire hazard.
- Use tubes or split bricks during construction of a concrete or brick lip to create ventilation holes so sufficient air reaches the fire.
- Mounting hardware for a cooking grate or pit cover can be installed while building the fire pit lip.
DIY Concrete Fire Pit Warning
- Never leave a fire unattended. Keep a bucket of water nearby to put out the fire and ensure that it is completely extinguished before leaving the fire pit. Do not allow children to play around the pit, regardless of whether a fire is burning; even without a fire, your fire pit presents a fall hazard that could result in injury.