Build Your Own Garden Fire Pit In 5 Easy Steps

Winter has arrived and for most parts of Australia this has brought about a fairly rapid transition into colder weather. Although the idea of nights spent in the garden may sound immediately appealing, adding an attractive fire pit to your outdoor space can make winter evenings in the garden a wonderful experience.

A fire pit is an easy and inexpensive project that even a novice at DIY can complete with a few hour's work. Here are the five simple steps that will help you to construct a safe, functional and attractive fire pit in your garden.

1. Choose your location

You can locate your fire pit in any area of your garden as long as it's in a clear space. Make sure that it isn't too close to any buildings or trees that could catch alight from spitting embers. It's also wise to locate it away from the boundaries of your garden so that smoke is less likely to cause a nuisance for your neighbours.

2. Clear the area

You'll need to strip the area of any grass or mulch that could catch alight. Strip the chosen area back to bare dirt and remove any dead foliage, sticks or timber from the vicinity. As well as clearing the spot you'll place your fire pit on, you'll also need to clear a safe radius around the perimeter of around a metre or two, depending on how large your fire pit is going to be.

3. Add a cast iron plate or fire basket

Although it's possible to light a fire directly on the ground, you'll have better results if you use a cast iron plate or fire basket. These items will help to keep your fire ablaze by allowing air to circulate beneath the fire and feed the flames. As the cast iron heats up, you'll also have a fire pit that produces more radiant heat for keeping the cold at bay.

4. Create a fire surround

A fire surround looks attractive and it also serves a functional role. It will help to keep the ashes and coal contained and provides a physical and visual barrier to prevent people from stepping into the fire. The simplest option is to use a circle of large stones or split sandstone flagging.

5. Lay down gravel over the cleared area

The final step is to add a layer of gravel to the entire area that you've cleared. This provides a more solid area to walk on and will prevent your fire pit area from becoming a mud pit during rainy periods. Any gravel will work well, and your choice depends on how much you want to spend and the final look you'd like to achieve.

All of these building materials are available from your local landscape supply company. After you've got the materials, a small amount of labour will see you sitting back and enjoying the warmth of your own fire pit in no time.