How to Build a DIY Fire Pit the SAFE Way

August 06, 2019

How to build a wood burning stone fire pit on top of a concrete patio.

I'm always super excited about the fall season! We're even more excited about cooler temps now that we have our new patio in the works.

I shared how the patio looked the day of installation a couple weeks ago: 
Large concrete patio with round fire pit seating

I've been working my tail off getting it set up -- we LOVE it and have already spent so much time out there. 

One big project I had to hold off on was the DIY fire pit. They advised we wait a bit because it is so heavy. I could barely stand holding off because we had some really cool nights that would have been perfect for it! (And of course as soon as I got it done it got hot again.)

We got a quote for a small stone retaining wall around the circular fire pit area as well as a fire pit with stone that matched our house. The quote came back at almost DOUBLE what the PATIO cost. Lordt. 

Soooo we decided to do it ourselves with a kit and it was crazy easy. It doesn't look custom, but it does the job -- burns wood. ;)

DIY fire pit kit Menards

It is 3 1/2 feet wide and was only $150. WAY better! It comes with the stones, glue and the metal ring. I figured it would be easy to build, but it was even easier than I thought! I'll share some specific tips at the end of the post, but here are the basic steps. 

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I put the ring together first, and centered it on the hole the construction crew added for the pit: 
How to build your own (safe) fire pit

I realized after I was done that it wasn't centered at all but OH WELL. 

Our concrete company included that small hole so they could add a drainage pipe -- brilliant! Any water drains out to the back of the patio. If you are considering a patio with a fire pit, I highly recommend this! 

The instructions called for 20 stone wedges on the first ring, but I only needed 19. If I had added one more I think it would have been too wide for the metal insert: 
DIY outdoor fire pit tutorial

Quick tip -- when I started that base ring of stones, I was butting the sides up to each other completely, which made for too small of a ring. I had to pull them out quite a bit and only place the long ends against each other so it made the circle bigger. Hope that makes sense!

This kit only calls for three levels of stone -- the second level is centered over two stones so they are staggered instead of right on top of each other. 

The final ring goes back to the same as the first: 
How to install a DIY fire pit

As you can see, I didn't get the centering just right. It's OK. :) After the third layer of stones, you add the metal ring back in and you're almost done! 

We added three bags of pea gravel to fill in the hole in the concrete and then up to the bottom of the metal ring :
DIY outdoor stone fire pit

We bought the grate for the firewood here

That's it! The total cost was $160 for the set and the gravel. It's plenty big, but if we find we want something grander in the future, we can just purchase a bigger metal ring and then add more stones to make it wider. 

Here are a few tips if you want to try this project on your own! 
  • Per the instructions, you shouldn't burn a fire directly on concrete, hence the gravel addition.
  • A metal ring is necessary when building a fire pit -- the stones can crack or explode if in direct contact with the fire.
  • We added enough gravel so that none of the stone was showing inside -- they are all covered with either the gravel or the metal ring. 
  • If you aren't starting from scratch with a new patio, you can use a fire pit heat shield or mat to help ensure the concrete doesn't get too hot over time. 

We later added another set of stones to make the fire pit a little taller. We added more pea gravel when we did this so it covers the stone at the base of the pit inside:
round fire pit patio with chairs

Have you built your own fire pit? Any fun treats or meals you make over the fire? This ring comes with an option for a grilling grate, so we may add that later on. 

**See the finished patio with fire pit in this post!

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  1. Wow, the fire pit looks good! Wish I had an outdoor space to do this too! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. awesome, sarah! you always find the best deals on quality products! id buy one of these kits in a heartbeat. but its not shippable at 895 pounds. :-)

  3. I really appreciate the round grate, I hadn't looked for one yet.

  4. We are going to be doing a fire pit area in our yard in the future. I like the idea of a kit for ease of construction. Thanks for the post.
    Have a lovely day.

  5. So fun! We built our house at the same time you were building yours and had the builder install a patio in that exact shape! Love it! We currently have a gas fire place but my husband would LOVE a wood burning one instead! Thanks Sarah!

  6. I love your backyard/patio/fire pit area! We are currently planning the landscape design for our backyard patio. On your fire pit, is it wood burning? Or did you run a gas line?

  7. How big is the whole round area that the fire pit is on?


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