Monday, December 1, 2014

Building firepits

I am not a huge fan of cold weather, but there are definitely perks that can come from it.  The best thing about the temperatures dropping is bonfires!  Nothing beats talking around a fire with friends and family roasting marshmallows for some good ol’ s’mores.  In honor of how much Matt and I love bonfires, this week’s blog post is about the fire pit we built at our rental (which I’m super jealous of – we don’t even have one at our house).  Here is our lovely fire pit we built last month! 

We had an awkward hole in the flagstone patio in the backyard since we took out the un-level, poorly constructed fountain that was previously there.  It was a no brainer what we should put in its place – a bonfire pit!  Before picture of the hideous hole and backyard:

Since we wanted to match the same landscaping décor we had throughout the yard, we went with the mixed red/charcoal Windsor stone concrete retaining wall block found at Home Depot for $1.80/piece.  Plus, as I am signed up for all Home Depot Garden Club e-mails, they constantly send out coupons for $5 off of $50 or $10 off of $100 for Lawn & Garden purchases.  I highly recommend you sign up for these deals if you enjoy saving money (I hope everyone enjoys saving money…)!
Bonfire pits should typically have an inside diameter of 36-44".  Since we were retrofitting a fire pit in a pre-existing hole, we lucked out that our pit was the perfect size.  First, we had to dig at a minimum 12”x12” deep hole in the center of the pit for drainage and then tamped the dirt.  Next, we filled with drainage rock and leveled the rock for the retaining wall blocks to be placed. 

Once again, we tamped.

Then we placed the first row of blocks around the edge making sure each block was level front to back and side to side.  Leveling blocks on rocks is not fun...  

Kept building up the rows to desired height.

As a last note, we also made sure there were ventilation spaces on the bottom row for air flow.

Now we are ready to enjoy this cool weather (and s’mores ;)).  As a little perk: Try using Reese’s instead of Hershey’s.  It’s delicious!

Check out Mending the Fence and Grass is Always Greener for how we built the fence and laid sod!

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