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How to DIY build a fire pit for the garden

Fire pit

Fire has fascinated people for millions of years. The crackle of the flames, the scent of burned wood, the flickering of the flames and the sparks conjure up a very special atmosphere: The strenuous day can end in a relaxed atmosphere or a boisterous garden party can rise. Here is how to DIY build a fire pit for the garden

What could be better than sitting around a campfire in a social gathering and, like in old, good times, having a barbecue of sausage or bread on a stick ? With just a few simple steps, a grill is built: you only need a tripod stand and a grill, the swing grill is ready. So do not think about it for too long, and look out for an idyllic place for your fireplace in your own garden!

Build a fire pit for the garden: how to find the ideal place

If possible, there should be no trees , shrubs or shrubs in the immediate vicinity, so that sparks or embers can ignite nothing. In addition, you should leave enough distance to the neighboring property to avoid trouble.

Once the right place has been found, you can start. All you need now is a free weekend.

By the way: You can use the fireplace all year round: In summer you can enjoy delicious barbecue from the swing grill, in winter a convivial mulled wine round.

Build a fire pit for the garden: You need this material

For a granite hearth with a diameter of approximately 85 cm you need the following materials:

  • about 100 granite stones 8 to 10 cm edge length
  • about 200 granite stones 4 to 5 cm edge length
  • 4 bags of cement mortar 30 kg
  • 3 bags of sand 25 kg
  • 2 bags of gravel (natural stone) 25 kg

Tools: spade, cord, folding rule, hand rammer, mortar bucket, trowel, hand brush, gloves, sponge, spirit level, hammer, board and joint trowel.

Difficulty level: You will not need more than a weekend to build this fireplace, assuming the weather plays along. If you have never masoned, you need a little practice before. As long as the mortar does not set, you can re-align the stones until they are perfect.

Create a fire pit

Of course, there are many other ways to create a fireplace . For example, you can set up a  round and brick fireplace in your garden or combine different stones. It is particularly atmospheric when you set up more lights in the garden. 

Is a fire pit allowed in the garden?

Open fire is aroused mistrust. Especially when a forest or many houses are nearby. So if you want a fireplace in the garden , you should consider the following points:

  • Obtain approval:  Depending on the state or municipality, other regulations apply to open fireplaces in the garden. Therefore, ask before the construction of the city administration or the municipality according to the legal provisions. Often you will also find these on the websites of the authorities.
  • Speaking to the neighbors: According to the Federal emission protection law other persons may not be bothered by smoke or a disturbing smell. Therefore, it makes sense to talk to the neighbors before you build the fireplace.
  • Collect firewood: If you plan to collect wood for the garden fire in a nearby forest, be sure to get a permit for it.
  • Contaminated wood is taboo:  Never burn plywood or contaminated wood with tar or plastic, for example. This is prohibited and dangerous for your health.
  • Note the weather: In case of wind or strong drought, the fireplace in the garden will remain off. Increased risk of fire!
  • No accelerants: Do not use accelerants  like gasoline or spirit. The substances are explosive and can cause severe burns and fires.
  • Clear fire thoroughly: Always make sure to extinguish the fire correctly.

Fire pit on the terrace

A fire pit on the terrace is an atmospheric alternative to the garden fire . The most flexible solution for the terrace are fire bowls or fire baskets. They can be moved and stowed in the garage when they are no longer needed.

Fire basket and fire bowl

Depending on your taste, there are fire baskets and fire bowls in different sizes and designs. While the fire bowls are closed and the wood is in a fire- resistant shell, the fire basket has openings on the sides. These are needed to provide the fire with oxygen. However, embers can fall out of the basket. Therefore, you also need a refractory base here. In order to avoid sods or damage on wooden terraces, it is advantageous to use a refractory and heat-resistant substrate also for fire bowls. Here’s how to build a fire ring with a steel ring yourself.

However, as you will have to worry about flying sparks when sitting on the patio , you should keep a safe distance from flammable materials such as wooden or plastic garden furniture. Sparks also protect closely meshed grids. As a hood over the fire bowl or inserted into the fire basket, the wire mesh also protects against falling embers.

gerhardt-richter Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing, mechanics and construction.