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Building a Fire Pit for $0

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This spring, I started talking to Stephan about wanting a fire pit in our back yard.  We have a nice lawn swing back there that we never use, first because there have been terrible mosquitoes there in past years (which we’re taking care of through a mosquito ring in our old, unused cistern where we think they have been breeding), and second because there is no other draw back there.  So we’ve been discussing a fire pit.

Stephan had said that he wanted a portable one so that we can move it as needed.  And that was okay with me.  But then he got the wild idea to just dig one.  I asked why he changed his mind.  “Well, because the portable ones are expensive,” he said, “and I think we’ve got everything we need to build one for free.”

When we bought our house eleven years ago, there were all these pavers used for… well, I don’t remember.  Something.  And over the years, we’ve moved them around and used them for various projects.  He thought they would work well for the sides of our fire pit.

So we got started.  First we had to dig the hole.

This was a bigger job than you might think because there were tons of huge tree roots that we had to chop through.

And then once we thought we had it all dug, we realized it needed to be bigger in diameter, so we had to keep digging.  This was by far the biggest part of the job.  Also, I want to make it known that although the photos show Stephan doing all the digging and chopping through tree roots, I did my share, too.  So there.

Next, Stephan placed the pavers upright around the inside of the hole.  We had tried to make the sides straight, but they weren’t exactly, so I added some dirt back in behind the tops of the pavers as Stephan held them upright.

We also added some dirt back into the bottom of the hole to hold the pavers in place.

Stephan put one large hexagonal paver in the bottom of the pit, and he was planning to add other broken pieces of paver in the bottom as well, but then he wasn’t sure that was needed, so he left the broken pieces out.

I then raked all the extra dirt from the hole around the pit, to help hold the pavers in place and to make it look pretty.  And I made Stephan take a picture of it so there would be proof that I did something!

It was finished, and ready for a fire!

Stephan got the fire going.

Then we cooked some brats over the fire for a wonderful dinner.


We thought we had some grass seed around, but we don’t.  We’ll need to get some to plant in the dirt around the pit, but that will be our only cost!  (And the grass wasn’t growing so well around there anyway, so we may have bought seed regardless.)


About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

3 responses »

  1. Good job! It’s wonderful to be able to do a project without investing any $$
    And looks like you’ll get plenty of use out of your fire pit. Next time we come, can we make s’mores?!

  2. Aunt Kim, you could make s’mores and then you could eat them too, since we don’t really like ’em. We’d rather call them “s’nones”

  3. We think we need to add some Quikcrete (sp?) to the bottom of the pit to help hold the stones in place. They are a little bit wiggly.


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