Looking for instructions on how to dig a fire pit? This buyer’s guide is perfect for you! It contains everything that you need to know about buying the right shovel, digging the hole, and building your own backyard fire pit. There are even pictures of some completed fire pits so that you can get an idea of what it should look like when it’s finished.
This guide will help answer all your questions about what materials are needed, where should it be located in relation to other items in the yard or home, and how deep should the hole be dug. It also includes pictures that illustrate these points as well as diagrams that can help make things easier for those who don’t read very well.
What is a Fire Pit and what are the benefits of having one?
A Fire Pit is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, throw some friends and family over for an evening of fun.
- They provide warmth on those chilly nights as well as being able to cook your food if you’re having a barbecue or just want to have smores!
- They can be used for entertaining guests or just relaxing.
- They are a great way to spend the evening with your loved ones.
Keep reading for our guide on how to dig one!
Planning your Pit
The first thing you need to do is decide what size pit are going to dig. This will help you figure out how much material you’ll have to move, and whether or not the site has room for this project. If it’s too small, your kids might get bored waiting for their marshmallows; if it’s too big, you’ll end up with a lot of unused space that you could have used for something else.
- The second thing to consider is the location. Is there an electrical outlet nearby? Will it be easy to run power from your house, or will you need to bring in water? Are there any natural gas lines near where you want the pit located? These are important things to think about beforehand.
- The last thing you have to decide is what material you want your pit made from, and how much effort you’re willing to put into it. The more involved the project becomes, the higher quality results will be achieved as a result of that additional labor input. For some people this isn’t a big deal, but for others it can be a deterrent.
- Now that you have your site chosen and the dimensions roughly planned out, it’s time to start digging! Depending on how deep of material you need to move around will affect what kind of equipment you should use. The first thing is whether or not there are any underground power lines near your pit site.
- A few rental companies offer backhoe services for this kind of thing, but some people prefer to do it themselves with their own equipment. Using a shovel or pick axe is certainly possible if you don’t mind the labor involved in moving all that material, and it can be very satisfying work even though it’s difficult and time consuming.
- If you’re looking to make the project go more quickly, it might be worth renting a backhoe or buying one if you think you’ll use it on other projects in the future. Since there isn’t much difference between brands of equipment like this, getting something with some horsepower (measured in cubic centimeters) and loader forks is a good idea.
- -Now that you’ve got your pit dug out, it’s time to decide what kind of materials you want to use for the walls and flooring. Many people choose natural stones because they are aesthetically very pleasing in addition to being durable, but these can be hard on equipment if you need to dig them up from a quarry.
- Others choose to use clay bricks which are easier to move around and can be laid straight into the pit without leveling or mortar, but they don’t look as nice in most cases because of their uniform shape and size. The good news is that you have options! It’s best to think about what style will work best for you and your situation.
- Last but not least, it’s time for the finishing touches! Add a handle of whatever you want to throw on there – even if it’s just rocks or driftwood. This is what makes the pit different from any other fire place in your yard. It will be something that everyone at the party can enjoy, and maybe use as inspiration for their own projects!
- Now that you’ve got your pit dug and filled to the brim with whatever materials make it unique, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy a fire. If everything went well, this will be one of the best investments in backyard fun anybody has ever made! Enjoy those marshmallows, and let the fire burn long into the night.
Choosing a location for your Fire Pit
Dig up the desired location and remove any rocks, roots or other objects that you find. Be sure to use a square shovel since they help ensure your fire pit is perfectly shaped when it’s done. If at all possible, choose an area with soft soil so digging will be easier than if you were in rocky terrain.
- Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep the size of your pit. Since you’ll be lining it with stones, know that they can range in weight so for this reason it is important to dig such a depth where once all said stones are set down there will still be enough soil to cover them up without leaving an exposed pit.
- Use a hose to fill the hole with water and allow it to sit for at least an hour or two, depending on how much time you have available before construction is set in motion. This step will ensure that your stones are firmly in place once they’re laid down so there won’t be any sliding.
- Pour in water and allow it to settle for an hour or two before proceeding with the next step, which is digging out a trench around the perimeter of your pit that will form channels for inserting rocks into place after they’re placed inside. Doing this well ensures that there won’t be any cracking once all stones are set in place.
- Use a garden hose to fill the pit with water for one hour or two before continuing on with laying down your fire rocks, which should be done using concrete. Make sure there is enough space between each rock so you can get your matchbox to light them up easily and not have any issues doing so.
- You can choose to line the inside of your pit with sand or leave it blank for an aesthetic look. The choice is yours as there are benefits and drawbacks both ways, but keep in mind that if you opt not to use any lining material at all then be sure to take special care when placing rocks so they don’t crack when in place, which can happen fairly easily if they aren’t supported.
- You will need at least two bags of mortar or concrete mix to get the job done properly and enough water for it all to set up according to instructions on your respective brand’s packaging. Make sure you have everything ready before mixing and pouring as it sets up fast and hardens quickly.
- Place the rocks in a specific order, alternating between those that are larger and smaller so you can fill voids properly without leaving any gaps or holes where flames could escape once your fire pit is lit. Fill these spaces with small stones that match the size of each void space to ensure the pit remains sturdy and doesn’t collapse.
- Allow your fire rocks to dry for at least 24 hours before using it, which is recommended so they won’t shift or crack when you place them in use. Once they are ready you can dig out some soil from the bottom of each stone with a trowel and light up the pit for a relaxing evening with friends around an outdoor campfire.
You can choose to use natural wood or charcoal briquettes if you prefer, though it is recommended that you opt for something more eco-friendly in order to keep your fire pit safe from contaminants such as chemicals which could be harmful when inhaled.
Use a cover to keep your pit safe when not in use so it doesn’t get dirty or filled with debris, which can impact its longevity and performance overall. Keeping it stored on concrete is best if you have the space for this, otherwise find an area where there won’t be any dirt or rocks that could scratch it.
Digging the hole
The first step to digging a fire pit is deciding where you want it. You should have an idea of what size you would like your fire pit before starting the process, but if not then measure out the space that will be occupied by the firepit and start there. If you can’t decide on how big or small to make your hole, err on the side of big. You can always make it smaller, but if you start out too small then your firepit will never be as deep or beautiful as you would like it to be.
- It is important that once you have decided where to dig your pit that you mark off the space with string and sticks, making sure not to disturb the foundation of your home or any other structures around it. For safety reasons you should also mark off where utilities are located in order to prevent hitting them while digging.
- A method that is often used by people who have no experience with digging holes, especially large ones, is renting an auger bit from a local hardware store and using it to dig the hole. Just make sure you know what size and strengths bit will fit your project best, as different bits are designed for different types of soil and projects.
- After deciding where you want to locate it, preparing the area is one of the most important parts about digging a fire pit correctly. Not only does this help prevent injuries, but it also prevents the fire pit from sinking into the ground after you build a base.
- The first step to preparing an area for digging is removing any debris that might be in its path, which can prevent your project from being successful or safe. This includes tree roots and anything else planted near where you want to dig up dirt, because you don’t want to accidentally damage these things.
- After removing debris, you should level the dirt before digging your fire pit. This is one of the most important parts of making sure that your firepit looks beautiful and professional when finished. If you do not remove any rocks or roots from where you are going to dig up dirt, then you might end up with a crooked or uneven firepit.
- You can check the level of the dirt by using a carpenter’s level, which is more accurate than visual inspection. Place it across the area that will be dug and make sure everything looks even from one side to another as well as vertically. If some parts are higher than others, then you should take some time to remove dirt from where it is lower and put it in the areas that are higher.
- If you have an area with perfectly flat ground near your house or other structures, then this will be a great option for digging because there won’t be any need to level out the soil.
- After you have chosen a location and leveled the dirt, it is time to start digging. You should begin by placing stakes all around where your firepit will be located so that you know its exact size and shape. After staking off an area of about two feet out from the edge of your pit, use either a spade or shovel to begin digging.
- Dig a few inches in from the edge of your firepit, making sure you are not going too deep and hitting rocks or roots that might cause problems later on. After removing dirt from an area about two feet wide, use a shovel to scoop it into buckets so that you can take them away when you have finished the project.
- If you have a good size hole that is deep enough, then it should be safe to use an auger bit from the hardware store as described above. Use this to dig down into your dirt and pull out rocks or roots that might get in your way later on while building up a base for your firepit. This method can also be used to dig deeper into the soil if you are building a very large fire pit.
After digging your hole, it is time to fill it in with dirt that will act as its base when finished. You can either use loose earth or several bags of premixed concrete mix available at any hardware store for this step. Do not place any items in the fire pit until all of your base materials are safe and dry.
Choosing a design for your Fire Pit
To answer this question, you must first decide on the size of your Fire Pit. For a small fire pit, as pictured above, you will need to dig about two feet deep and four feet wide. If it’s for cooking or roasting marshmallows only, then digging around one foot down should be sufficient. You can dig the hole first and then purchase a fire pit to fit inside.
It’s also important to choose what type of material you want your Fire Pit made out of, whether it be steel or granite. There are benefits for both types but which one is right for you? A stainless-steel Fire Pit like the one above will last longer, are easier to clean, and will not rust. However, this type of Fire Pit is more expensive than the other options.
A cast iron or steel fire pit can be a great choice if you want something that’s less maintenance while still looking fabulous in your backyard. They also come with an affordable price tag but they have higher temperatures, are more likely to rust, and are heavier. If you have pets or small children then this is not the best choice for you as it can be dangerous if they accidentally knock over the fire pit.
It’s also important that choose a design so your Fire Pit fits in with its surroundings. For instance, do you want something modern and contemporary like the one above or something more rustic and natural looking? You can also choose a design that’s made of metal such as steel, copper, aluminum, or wrought iron.
You may want to check out pictures online before you start digging your hole so you know what type of Fire Pit is best for the size and material you want.
Installing the Liner and building it up with Rocks
- Installing the liner and building it up with rocks, bricks or other materials as desired.
- Installing a fire pit can be a very rewarding experience, and it is important to take the proper safety precautions. Here are some tips on how to dig the perfect Fire Pit:
- Make sure you have enough room around your intended installation site for moving materials and equipment. In other words ensure that there will be no obstacles or obstructions such as plants, trees or sprinklers.
- Before digging into the ground make sure to contact local utility companies and ask about any underground pipes or wires that may be in your intended installation area. This way you can avoid accidentally hitting a gas line, electric cable or water pipe during excavation.
- Make a detailed drawing of your proposed installation site, including your intended Fire Pit location and its dimensions.
- Mark the boundaries of where you plan on digging with stakes or flags to avoid accidentally damaging other landscaping features such as sprinkler systems once you begin excavation.
- Plan how much soil will be removed before beginning any work; this way if there is too much it can be removed gradually rather than all at once.
- Once you have determined how much soil will be excavated, mark the area with string so it can be measured accurately after digging begins. This also helps to show where curbs or other features should go when finished.
- Using a post hole digger or shovel and spade, dig down several inches or more depending on the depth of your intended Fire Pit.
- Once you have dug to a desired level, place landscaping fabric, such as weed barrier cloth over the area and secure it with stakes so that no soil can escape back into the hole when adding additional layers.
- Next add some gravel or washed stone to the bottom of your intended Fire Pit so that it can be level and sturdy.
- Add sand or landscaping fabric to cover the gravel base, as well as any other layers such as bricks or stones you may want to use.
- Once everything is in place begin filling up with soil until you have reached ground level again. Pack down the soil and use a level to ensure your Fire Pit is completely flat across its surface.
You may want to add some grass seed or other groundcover if desired, then water well until you reach desired moisture level for beginning fire pit usage. If using rocks around the edges of your Fire Pit be sure there are spaces between them so that embers don’t escape and start a fire on the ground.
The materials used to build a fire pit are not harmful to the environment.
- You can use brick, stones or natural landscaping rocks as your base for a beautiful design that will withstand rain and harsh weather conditions. It is important that you choose the right material so it won’t crack over time from exposure to water.
- There are no harmful emissions when using a fire pit.
- A wood burning fireplace emits carbon monoxide and other pollutants into the air while it is operating, but not so with an outdoor fire pit. Because of its design where there aren’t any flues or chimneys for exhaust to escape through like in indoor fireplaces, there are no harmful emissions when using a fire pit.
Some states have restrictions on use of wood burning fireplaces that don’t affect outdoor fire pits.
- Dig in an open area away from trees, bushes and grass that could catch fire.
- Put up a fence around the pit to prevent injury or burns.
- Have plenty of water nearby as well as some sand (to smother flames).
- If you are digging at night, have a flashlight or lantern on hand.
- Make sure you are wearing sturdy clothes and shoes.
- If your fire pit is metal, make sure to keep flammables away from it as heat can damage them or set them on fire.
- Use the right tool for digging a hole that’s deep enough but not too big – this will prevent injuries.
- We recommend a square shovel to dig a deep hole that is the right size for your fire pit.
What size should the hole for Fire Pit be?
The diameter of your pit should be around three feet. The deeper you go, however, the more intense and focused the heat will become. Just make sure that it’s large enough for people to move around in comfortably! Some pits are also elevated off the ground (more on this below).
Will a Fire Pit keep my family safe?
Of course! A fire pit is designed to contain the flames from your wood, so it’s completely safe. In fact, many people consider them an entertaining space as well as a safety measure because they create such a lovely ambiance. Not only will you be able to cook your food over the flames, but you’ll also be able to enjoy them with friends and family.
How do I build a Fire Pit?
Fire pits are relatively easy to assemble! It can help if you have some building experience under your belt, but it’s certainly not essential. The basics of a pit include the bowl, which you’ve already got from your fire pit kit. The fuel grate goes at the bottom to protect the flames from burning out of control and ruining everything. This is where you’ll place kindling and logs, depending on whether or not you want an open flame! Finally, there will be something to cover the pit. This can be small rocks, tiles or pebbles – anything to keep your wood burning and the flames contained!
What should I put in my Fire Pit?
Well, it depends on what you want from your fire pit experience! If you’re looking for an open flame for cooking purposes (think hot dogs, marshmallows and the like), you’ll need kindling. This is usually small twigs or branches that are placed over the grate first to start a fire. If you want your pit for ambiance only (and not cooking), then just place some logs directly onto the grate!
A fire pit can create a great centerpiece for your backyard or garden, but you have to dig the hole in the right way. By following this guide, you’ll be able to dig out any type of fire pit with ease and without damaging yourself or landscaping around it too much.
Never forget about safety when digging holes!