How to Build a Patio Firepit

This ain’t any old patio fire pit. This addition to our backyard cost $125 AND only took 30 minutes to put together. Not even kidding.

how to build an outdoor stone fire pit
So we finally got our stamped concrete patio finished this past Friday. Can I just say… I’m in love! I really wanted a corner fire pit but wasn’t quite sure if we could really pull it off. Then when we were at Ace Hardware this past week we noticed a little fire pit on display made from retaining wall rocks. 

stamped concrete patioThe best part? We could put it right on top of the patio and the rocks didn’t need to be glued down. I was sold.

To get started we chose the Living Accents 35 inch round fire pit. You want to make sure the bowl you choose has the big lip around the edge. Do NOT assemble when you get it home. Yeah, that’s the best part.

build an backyard firepitNext take the fire pit cover out of the box and start laying your retaining wall blocks tightly around it. Make sure the front of the stones are touching, but it’s ok if the backs have a little gap.

building a backyard fire pitFor the 35 inch bowl we ended up with 15 blocks around it. We also chose a tan color rock and threw in a couple gray ones. Yeah, you can hardly tell in these pics but there’s 3 gray stones in the first ring.

outdoor fire pit tutorialNext remove the fire pit cover and start laying your second row of stones. Make sure you stagger from the first row. Again it’s ok that the backs of the rocks aren’t flush. You’ll see why in a minute…

stone backyard fire pitSo then add your third row of retaining wall stones, again staggering. You can kind of see the two shades of stones a little better now. Totally not needed; just a little something to add character. Now you can make the fire pit as high as you want, but we decided to only do three rows. 

stone backyard firepitNow it’s time to work on the insert. Underneath the lip of the bowl were little brackets for where you would normally attach the legs. Well since we don’t need those, just grab a screwdriver and remove the brackets. This will help the bowl fit flush with your top layer of stones.

backyard firepit tutorialThen just insert the fire pit bowl into the ring of stones. 

fire pit tutorialAnd remember how I mentioned those retaining wall rocks not being flush in the middle of the ring? Well the fire pit lip covers most of that. Yep, problem solved.

stone backyard firepit tutorialThe last bit of the patio makeover was to fill in the gaps between our large natural retaining wall rocks and the patio edge.

stamped concrete patio with firepitWe grabbed a bunch of the Arkansas Pebbles from Ace Hardware to cover the space.

backyard stone fire pit

And then we sat back and admired our work…

how to build a patio fire pitI totally didn’t think we could do this for the price and the time it took. Fire pit cost us $125: $80 for the insert and $45 rocks (3 layers of 15 rocks) at $1 a piece. And the fire pit only took us 30 minutes to build. We got home from work at 6:15 on Friday and were done by 6:45. Then watching the Blues get whooped by the Blackhawks by 7pm.

build an outdoor firepitThe hardest part? Lugging the stones from our garage around the house to the patio.
No joke.

how to build an outdoor fire pit

building an outdoor fire pitWe still have a lot to do back here… need our sod delivered, some plants, and some furniture. 

backyard plans for outdoor firepitBut at least for now we can enjoy it back here.
I can’t wait for the leaves to grow to complete this gorgeous view.

outdoor fire pit tutorialSo, who’s got the marshmallows and graham crackers?
I’m pretty sure I’ve got the chocolate. I always have chocolate.

how to build an outdoor stone fire pit

 If you want to see more projects from the Ace Hardware team,
check them out HERE! 

AceBloggers2014

 I am a member of the Ace Bloggers Panel and Ace Hardware has provided me with materials for this project. I was also compensated for my time and this blog post. All opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Ace Hardware.
 

Comments

  1. Annie says

    Erin…..I love it!! I will pass on the marshmallows but maybe you would have a Hebrew National Hot dog for me? Actually, I will bring the hot dog stuff….LOL!

    I meant to tell you…I made your Reeses Peanut Butter Gooey Butter Cake a few weeks ago….delicious!!

    Enjoy!!

    Annie

  2. says

    We are working on our back patio now and I wanted a fire pit. I like the fact that it looks like it was built in. I am gonna give a try. Thanks for the detailed info!

  3. Jill says

    Hi Erin… I have a question… Can you tell me the size of the blocks that you used. Are they 10 inch or 12 inch. And where did you get them? I have looked at Home Depot and I want to make sure I bring home the right size. The 10 inch ones are $0.99 and the 12 inch ones are $1.48. Thanks for your help!

    • says

      We used the 10 inch blocks for 99¢ each. If you’re going to buy a fire pit bowl for this at the same time you buy the stones, I would ask them to take the wire cover out of the box so you can properly measure around with the blocks like I did. Otherwise just buy a couple extras! GOOD LUCK!!

  4. Michelle d says

    We made a fire pit very similar to this one a few years ago. We love it and use it often. I’d like to make a suggestion to anyone who makes one. When it rains, the bowl will fill with water. Unless you plan to empty it each time, drill a hole in the bottom for drainage. Otherwise it will rust quickly and will need to be replaced. We learned that the hard way.

  5. Jennifer says

    Pretty cool!
    But if there is no glue or anything to make it stick together, how stable is it?
    Thanks!

    • says

      Actually quite stable! The rocks are pretty heavy and the formation and insert help keep things in place. I really don’t have a lot of people bumping into though since it’s mostly filled with fire logs. If you want, you can always secure using outdoor Liquid Nails.

  6. Digna D. says

    Awesome! Thanks for posting this. We are getting a stamped concrete patio in a couple weeks and want to do a fire pit. This is perfect and looks so easy. Will bookmark for later.

  7. Carl says

    Great idea! So here’s my burning question: can you prop your feet up on the stones? Or do they shift with much force? I’d love something that also served as a footrest when not all fire-y hot.

    • says

      Use it as a footrest every single night when we sit outside. Never had one problem with shifting! I do recommend a fire pit cover if it’s rainy in your neck of the woods. I feel like I used to empty my pit weekly before I invested in one.

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