This is by far the most difficult project I have done in our backyard. The labor was not difficult part. Finding all the information on how to build such a simple circular pit took a lot of research. Most sites dedicated to backyard pits are about building elaborate pits that require lots of time, money and skill comparable to a mason. I wanted a simple pit for burning weeds, shrubs and roasting the occasional marshmallow. My criteria was simple: be level, build it in under 4 hours, cost less than $100, and be removable. This meets all those criteria and it isn’t too bad looking.

**Materials:**

Calculator

Stake

String

Spray Paint, flour, or marking chalk

Gloves

Shovel

Pea Gravel

Level

Rake

Leveling Sand

Stackable interlocking retaining wall bricks (we used 57)

**Directions:**

1. Choose a location for your fire pit that isn’t close to trees, buildings or anything that could catch fire from a spark. A level location is best, but the design can accommodate a slight slope as well. Be sure there aren’t any underground wires, cable or pipes in your chosen location. Call 811 before you dig!!! Also, check with your city hall about fire pit ordinances in your community you may be prohibited by law from having an in-ground pit.

2. **Determine the amount of materials you need.** Get your calculator because here comes the math:

To determine the **square feet in the area of your circle** use this formula:

Diameter* in feet x Diameter in feet ÷ 4 x 3.14 = Square feet in your circle

Example: My pit is 6 feet across so I used the formula: 6ft x 6ft ÷ 4 x 3.14 = 28.26 sq. feet

To determine **the amount pea gravel** you need use this formula:

Square Feet in circle x base thickness in feet* =___ ÷27 =___cubic yards x 9 =___cubic feet

Example: It is a good idea to add a 1-2 more feet so you don’t come up short in materials so I rounded to 30 sq. ft. for my circle area and used the following formula: 30 x .32 (4 inches of pea gravel) = 9.6 ÷ 27 = .3555 cubic yards x 9 = 3.2 cubic feet. My bags of pea gravel came in .5 cu. ft. so I bought 7 bags

To determine **the amount of sand** you need use the pea gravel formula but change .32 to .16 (2 inches of sand)

To determine **the number of bricks** use the following formula:

3.14 x diameter in feet = circumference^ ÷ length of brick in feet = number of bricks needed for one row around

(multiply by 2 for 2 rows subtract one brick from each row you build up)

Next divide the circumference by the length of the brick you choose.

Example: 3.14 x 6 ft = 18.84 ft around my pit ÷ .64** (8 inch bricks) = 29

*Diameter – length across a circle

**Base thickness for inches is determined by multiplying the number of inches by .08

^Circumference – distance around a circle (3.14 x diameter = circumference)

3. Drive a stake into the ground where you want to put the fire pit. Tie a piece of string to the stake and cut it at half the distance of the diameter (radius) of your intended pit size away from the stake.

4. Scribe a circle all around the stake and mark the line with spray paint, flour, or marking chalk.

5. Remove the grass inside the circle and dig out the hole to a depth of about 1 foot (keep the sides as straight as possible).

6. Pour in about 4 inches of pea gravel. If your fire pit is on a slope you can level the bottom out by adding more pea gravel to one side. The pea gravel will help the fire pit drain. Use the level to help you.

7. Add about 3 inches of sand on top of the pea gravel – the sand will help prevent any fire from spreading to roots under your pit.

8. Place your first row of bricks **inside the pit on top of the sand**. They will be anywhere from 0-2 inches higher than grass level. Stack the next row of bricks on top.

Note: Dry stack the pavers to make it easy to replace any that might break. Don’t use adhesive to hold the pavers together; it can melt and give off fumes that could be toxic.

Yet another great post here ~ thanks so much for sharing. Firepits are so comforting, and they help build community too! I’ve just launched my new blog about living more green and have included you in the blogroll of great WordPress places to visit, hope that’s ok with you! http://peopleexcitedaboutcoexistence.com/ Cheers! Gina

Sorry I didn’t respond in a more timely manner, I didn’t see your comment. I appreciate the blogroll mention!

I wish this were legal in my city! I would dearly love to have a fire pit, a chiminea, anything to roast marshmallows over.

Reblogged this on Scott Pavelko Diary and commented:

Fire pits are very nice addition to anyones home. I always decorate my fire pits with some specialized wallpaper for a much better look. ,.:*`

Have a great day!

http://www.caramoantourpackage.com

Very good advice about calling 811 prior to digging. It is a great service and one that should be utilized every time you are going to be digging.

Great post. With a 10 acre garden I think I might find a place for it. Meanwhile, I’m using your calculations for measuring a brick path inside a circular bed where I’ve planted 100 box plants for a new client and couldn’t figure out how many bricks I needed. Wish me luck in my maths.

Good luck! I hope it works for you!

Fire pit for the lazy: barrel from a broken washing machine. At night, the light pokes through the holes and looks really cool. Great repurposing idea too!

That would be cool! Thanks for stopping by.

That is AWESOME!!!

Do not use pavers as they can pop and launch chunks at people when they heat up.

Thanks for the warning. I’ve had my pit for over 5 years and so far I haven’t had a problem maybe it is big enough that the pavers don’t get that hot?

Thanks for the warning. I’ve had my pit for over 5 years and so far I haven’t had a problem maybe it is big enough that the pavers don’t get that hot?