Blanco County News
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Installing a Fire Pit
Paragon C&D Builders / Vallone Real Estate
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 • Posted May 5, 2011 1:45 PM

Creating a cozy backyard stone fire pit can be simple and you don’t need to hire a contractor.  However, most contractors will be glad to build it for you.  First, decide what style you want, whether you want a circle or square, what kind of stone, location, and if you are willing to do it yourself.  Next, follow these simple steps to create your own special fire pit.  This example is for a circle, but the concept would be the same for a square or any other shape you chose. There are many other ways to build a fire pit and other materials to be used.  

Choose a location. Select a location that’s away from any combustibles, such as bushes, sheds, low-hanging branches, etc. 

Lay out the fire pit. Starting at the center, paint a five-foot diameter circle using a string as a compass. Tie one end of the string around the can of spray paint, then the other around a stake at the center of the pit. You’ll also need to paint a three-foot diameter circle for the actual pit, and a 12-foot diameter circle for the seating area.

Dig the footer and pour concrete. With the location laid out, dig out the footer for the inner and outer walls of the fire pit, digging between the three-foot and five-foot circles, about five to six inches deep. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, mix the fast-set concrete in a wheelbarrow and fill the ring with concrete. Make sure the top is level and smooth. Wait for the concrete to set.

Separate your stones while you wait. While the concrete is setting, you can use that time to separate your stones into face stones, and a few for cap stones. The cap stones will be used to make the top of the fire pit wall, so keep the flat, smooth stones for the caps. The rest of the stones will make the wall. 

Start laying stone. Start laying the stone in a ring, following the outer edge of the footing. Once the first complete ring is done, lay a ring of fire brick (on their edge, so they stand three-inches high) around the inner ring of the pit. 

Continue the stone. Continue laying rings of stone on top of others. Continue laying courses of fire brick, as well. Keep everything level by choosing stones that fit. If they don’t fit, cut them. Try to avoid laying diagonal and vertical stones; they look bad and cause instability in the wall. 

Fill the wall. Once the stone and fire brick are at the height you need, fill the void between the fire brick and stone walls using scrap stone and mortar. You’ll want the wall to be totally solid before you cap it.

Place the cap stones. Lay the cap stones on the top of the wall, laying them out in dry-stack to make certain that everything fits. Cut individual stones to fit, if necessary. Once you’ve got a good fit, mortar the stones into place. 

Seating Area. For the seating area, dig out the grass in the area inside the 12-foot circle you painted, and lay down landscape cloth. Fill the area with gravel. 

There is nothing better than gathering around an outdoor fire and sharing stories or roasting marshmallows. Adding the ambiance of an elegant fire pit makes any backyard or area so inviting. If you want to have one built, any builder can help you design and build it for you.  Just give them a call.  

Information for this article was taken from

For all your real estate and building needs or questions, call Debbie at 830-833-4249 or 713-818-6658, or send an email to debbie@vallonereal 

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