How To Build Fire Pit - Liberty Landscape

How To Build a Fire Pit With Bricks (The Easy Way)

Can you imagine a cool evening in your backyard, beside a crackling fire, roasting marshmallows, and creating memories with family and friends? What if we told you that you can transform this vision into reality, and that too on a budget? Indulge us as we guide you on the easiest way to build a fire pit with bricks.

There’s something magical about gathering around a fire pit. It acts as the heart of your outdoor space, radiating warmth and creating a cozy and inviting ambiance. A well-built brick fire pit not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your backyard, but it also extends the time you can spend outdoors, even when temperatures drop.

In a nutshell, here are some of the steps involved:
– Checking local building regulations
– Choosing an ideal, safe location
– Selecting the shape and size
– Gathering all necessary materials
– STEM: marking out your intended location, laying the first course of bricks, and building up your fire pit

We at Liberty Landscape understand how building a fire pit can appear to be a daunting task, especially if you’ve never taken on a project like this before. No worries! We’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into this project and add a warm glow to your outdoor living space.

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Understanding the Basics

Before we start laying bricks and building our fire pit, understand some basics. We’ll cover the importance of choosing the right bricks, why fire bricks are the best choice for fire pits, the role of mortar, and the significance of a proper base for a fire pit.

The Importance of Using the Right Bricks

Not all bricks are created equal, especially when it comes to building a fire pit. Regular bricks, like those used in construction, can crack or explode when exposed to high heat. This is due to trapped moisture in the brick, which turns to steam under heat and causes the brick to break apart. Therefore, it’s vital to choose bricks specifically designed to withstand high temperatures, like fire bricks.

Why Fire Bricks are the Best Choice for Fire Pits

Fire bricks, as the name suggests, are designed to handle the heat generated by a fire pit. They are constructed from refractory ceramic material, which can withstand temperatures up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit without cracking or exploding. Moreover, fire bricks won’t be stained or ruined by consistent exposure to fire, saving you time and money in the long run.

The Role of Mortar in Building a Fire Pit

Mortar acts as the glue that holds your bricks together, creating a stable and secure structure. However, it’s crucial to use a heat-resistant mortar, also known as refractory mortar, when building a fire pit. Regular mortar can crack and crumble under extreme heat, compromising the stability of your fire pit. The refractory mortar, on the other hand, can withstand high temperatures, ensuring your fire pit remains intact and safe to use.

The Importance of a Proper Base for a Fire Pit

A proper base is critical to the longevity and safety of your fire pit. The base serves as a heat buffer, preventing the heat from your fire pit from damaging the ground underneath. It also provides a flat, stable surface for your fire pit, ensuring it doesn’t tip or shift over time. A good base typically consists of a layer of compacted gravel or crushed stone, topped with a layer of sand or pavers.

In the next section, we’ll guide you through the preparation phase for your project, including checking local building codes and regulations, choosing the right location for your fire pit, and gathering the necessary materials and tools. A well-planned project is a successful project! Let’s continue our journey on how to build a fire pit with bricks.

Preparing for the Project

Before we dive into constructing the fire pit, it’s crucial to properly plan and prepare. This phase is just as important as the actual building, ensuring that your fire pit is safe, legal, and well-positioned in your yard.

Checking Local Building Codes and Regulations

Before you start your fire pit project, check your local building codes and regulations. Different areas have specific rules about fire pits regarding their size, location, and the type of fire you’re allowed to have. Some locations may even require a permit.

As the saying goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry”. You don’t want to end up having to dismantle your fire pit or face a penalty because you didn’t do your homework beforehand.

Choosing the Right Location for Your Fire Pit

Next, you’ll need to choose the perfect location for your fire pit. It’s not just about where you think it would look best, but also taking into consideration safety and practicality.

The ideal spot is a flat area of land that’s a safe distance from your home, trees, and any other flammable structures. You’ll want to ensure the space is stable and won’t cause any issues down the line. The fire pit should enhance your yard, not become a hazard (Liberty Landscape).

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Gathering the Necessary Materials and Tools

With your location set, it’s time to gather your materials and tools. Here’s a simple list to get you started:

  • Level
  • All-purpose sand
  • Shovel
  • Pea gravel (or similarly sized gravel)
  • Metal fire pit ring
  • Concrete pavers or fire brick for the bottom
  • Retaining wall blocks (start with 36, more or less may work)

These are basic tools that you might already have. If not, they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to find at your local hardware store or online.

In conclusion, preparing for your project is an essential step in learning how to build a fire pit with bricks. It’s about ensuring safety, abiding by local regulations, and having all your tools and materials ready. With these steps complete, you’re well on your way to building a fantastic fire pit that you can enjoy for years to come.

In the next section, we’ll dive into the step-by-step process of building your fire pit.

Building the Fire Pit: Step-by-Step Guide

Building a fire pit with bricks can seem like a daunting task, but with the right steps and guidance from our experts at Liberty Landscape, it can be a manageable and rewarding DIY project. Let’s break down the process into simple, easy-to-follow steps:

Marking Out the Fire Pit Dimensions and Digging the Base

The first step in building your fire pit is to determine its size and location. Once you’ve chosen a flat, safe spot away from flammable materials and overhanging branches, mark out the dimensions of your fire pit. We recommend a pit diameter between 36 and 44 inches for a comfortable and functional fire pit.

Next, dig a pit about 12 inches deep. This will serve as the base for your fire pit and provide some insulation from the ground heat.

Pouring the Footing and Adding Rebar for Strength

After digging the base, create a sturdy footing by pouring a concrete mix into the pit. This will provide stability and prevent the sides of your fire pit from cracking over time.

For added strength, bend the rebar into half circles and embed them into the concrete. Make sure the rebar doesn’t touch the sides of the forms. Let the concrete set up overnight before proceeding.

Setting and Mortaring the Fire Bricks

The next step is to line the inside of your fire pit with firebrick, also known as refractory brick. This type of brick is capable of withstanding high temperatures and will prevent your fire pit from cracking.

Apply a thin layer of refractory cement on the footer and set your first firebrick. Continue placing the bricks and applying the cement until you’ve completed the circle. Remember to check the level as you go along.

Creating Draw Holes for Oxygen Flow

To maintain a good fire, your fire pit needs a steady flow of oxygen. To create this, leave gaps in the firebrick at four opposite points around the ring. Fill these gaps with half bricks and prop them up until the mortar sets.

Lining the Outside Walls with Face Brick

After setting the fire bricks and creating draw holes, it’s time to build the outer wall of your fire pit. Using regular bricks, start laying them around the firebrick lining. Make sure to stagger the joints for added strength and stability.

Finishing the Top Lip with Brick Caps

Once the walls of your fire pit are complete, finish it off by adding brick caps on the top lip. This will give your fire pit a clean, polished look.

Filling Gaps and Striking Joints for a Smooth Finish

Finally, fill any remaining gaps with mortar and strike the joints for a smooth finish. This not only improves the appearance of your fire pit but also increases its durability.

And there you have it! By following these steps, you now know how to build a fire pit with bricks. Building a fire pit is not just about creating a warm and cozy space for your family and friends. It’s also about enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your backyard and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Next, we’ll cover how to care for your new fire pit and provide some safety tips.

After the Build: Curing, Maintenance, and Safety Tips

Now that you’ve learned how to build a fire pit with bricks, it’s important to understand how to maintain it. Correct care will ensure the longevity of your fire pit and keep it safe for use.

Allowing the Fire Pit to Cure

The first step after building your fire pit is to allow it to cure. Curing is the process of hardening and strengthening the construction. If you’ve used mortar in your construction, it’s crucial to give it time to dry completely before you light up the fire. This process can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. During this time, avoid any contact with the fire pit to prevent any damage or displacement of the bricks.

Regular Maintenance Tips for Your Brick Fire Pit

Maintaining your fire pit involves regular inspection and some simple cleaning methods. Over time, bricks and mortar can wear away due to the heat and weather conditions. Regularly check for any signs of wear and tear or any loose bricks.

As part of your maintenance routine, clear out ash and debris after each use. This will prevent buildup and ensure your fire pit is ready for the next use. Also, consider covering your fire pit when it’s not in use to protect it from the elements.

For more detailed maintenance and troubleshooting common issues such as soil erosion, mulch decay, or sand and gravel displacement, you can refer to our guide on how to care for landscaping materials.

Safety Precautions When Using Your Fire Pit

Safety should always be a priority when using your fire pit. Always keep a close eye on the fire and never leave it unattended. Keep a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water nearby in case of emergencies.

Avoid using your fire pit on windy days as sparks can fly and start a fire. Furthermore, ensure that the fire is completely extinguished before leaving the area.

Lastly, remember to respect your local fire safety regulations and restrictions. Some areas may have specific times or seasons when open fires are not permitted due to high fire risks.

In conclusion, building and maintaining a fire pit with bricks is a rewarding project that enhances your outdoor living space. With these tips from our expert Nathan Amor at Liberty Landscape, you can enjoy your fire pit safely and keep it in excellent condition for many years to come.

Enhancing Your Fire Pit Area

So, you’ve mastered how to build a fire pit with bricks, and now it’s time to elevate the ambiance of your outdoor space. Let’s dive into adding seating around your fire pit, crafting a landscape to complement it, and integrating your fire pit into your overall outdoor design.

Adding Seating Around Your Fire Pit

Once you’ve built your fire pit, the next step is to create a cozy and welcoming seating area around it. This can be as simple as putting up a few lawn chairs or as elaborate as constructing built-in benches. The seating arrangement should be comfortable, inviting and, importantly, safe. Ensure you have a safe distance (typically at least 10 feet) between the fire pit and your seating to prevent any accidental fire hazards.

Landscaping Ideas to Complement Your Fire Pit

Creating a landscape around your fire pit can dramatically enhance its aesthetic appeal. From planting lush greenery and vibrant flowers to installing decorative stones and gravel paths, the options are endless. For instance, gravel offers a rustic and natural appeal and is a smart choice for areas prone to flooding and heavy rains, as it won’t prevent the ground from absorbing water. It’s also a popular choice around fire pits and for walkways.

Consider adding a garden feature or a water element like a fountain or pond. These can not only beautify the space but also create a soothing ambiance. Our expert, Nathan Amor, can provide personalized advice and design services to help you create the perfect landscape to complement your fire pit.

Incorporating Your Fire Pit into Your Overall Outdoor Design

Your fire pit should not be an isolated feature in your backyard; instead, it should blend seamlessly with your overall outdoor design. Consider its positioning in relation to other elements like your patio, garden, and outdoor kitchen.

For instance, if you have a patio, align the fire pit with it, creating a visual and functional flow between these spaces. A fire pit can serve as a focal point for your backyard, so plan your landscape design in a way that leads the eye towards it.

In conclusion, enhancing your fire pit area is all about creating a harmonious, inviting, and safe environment. It requires careful planning, creativity, and an understanding of how different elements can work together. With the right design, your fire pit can become the heart of your outdoor space, where you, your family, and friends can gather, relax, and create lasting memories.

At Liberty Landscape, we’re here to help you every step of the way, from learning how to build a fire pit with bricks to creating an outdoor space that’s uniquely yours.


In this guide, we’ve walked you through the entire process of how to build a fire pit with bricks. From the initial preparations like checking local ordinances and choosing the right location to the detailed step-by-step construction process, we’ve covered every aspect to ensure you can successfully create your own stunning fire pit.

We’ve also highlighted the importance of using the right materials and tools and shared tips on how to enhance your fire pit area with thoughtful landscaping and seating arrangements. The key to a successful DIY project lies in meticulous planning, using quality materials, and taking the time to do it right.

Don’t be daunted by the task at hand. Building your own fire pit is not only a fun and rewarding DIY project, but it also adds a functional and beautiful feature to your outdoor space. Imagine the cozy nights spent around the fire, roasting marshmallows, sharing stories, and creating unforgettable memories with your family and friends.

Having a fire pit in your backyard is more than just about having a warm and inviting space. It’s about creating an environment where moments are cherished, bonds are strengthened, and where the essence of outdoor living is truly appreciated.

As you embark on this exciting project, we at Liberty Landscape are here to guide and assist you. Whether you need advice on choosing the right materials, ideas for landscaping around your fire pit, or professional help with your overall outdoor design, we’re just a call or click away.

Now it’s your turn to create your own personal campground, right in the comfort of your backyard. So go ahead, gather your tools and materials, roll up your sleeves, and start building! There’s a beautiful, warm, and inviting fire pit waiting to be brought to life by you.

For more tips and advice on creating stunning outdoor spaces, explore our creative outdoor space designs and backyard patio ideas. Happy building!

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Brick Fire Pit FAQs

Can you use regular bricks for a fire pit?

Yes, but regular bricks may crack under high heat. Fire bricks are safer and more durable for fire pits.

How do you build a fire pit with bricks cheaply?

Stack bricks in a circle, no mortar needed. Use a second-hand source for cheaper bricks. Remember, safety first!

What do you put in the bottom of a fire pit?

Put sand, gravel, or lava rocks at the bottom. They improve drainage and reduce heat transmission.

How many bricks are needed to build a fire pit?

This varies by size, but a typical fire pit may require 20-40 bricks for a single layer.

Should I put sand at the bottom of my fire pit?

Yes, sand absorbs heat and prevents the fire pit from getting too hot at the bottom.

Does a fire pit need holes in the bottom?

Yes, holes are needed for drainage and air flow. They help keep the fire burning smoothly.

How deep should a brick fire pit be?

Aim for 6 to 12 inches deep. This ensures a good fire while keeping it manageable.

What is the best brick for a fire pit?

Fire bricks are the best. They withstand high temperatures without cracking.

How high should a brick fire pit be?

18 to 24 inches is ideal. This height keeps the fire contained while allowing heat to radiate.