Fire pits are perfect for entertaining friends and family in outdoor spaces. Backyard fire pits make for great home improvement projects. There are two important aspects to consider when building a fire pit at home: Where to build it and where not to. Make sure you understand local regulations concerning the location of your fire pit and its construction before you tackle any backyard project.
Where to Build a Fire Pit
Investigate the local regulations that govern fire pit construction, including building material requirements. Furthermore, local regulations may also point to potential hazards that you may not have thought of. Find out if building a fire pit requires local council approval and inspection before and after construction, and if you need a fire pit permit. Furthermore, regulations should include a building code for where a fire pit can be built. This includes how close it can be to houses and boundary lines.
A fire pit, generally speaking, has an inner and outer wall which is then capped. Fireproof building materials such as fire bricks should be used to build the inside wall. For the outer wall, heat-resistant materials such as traditional bricks, masonry blocks, or stones can be used.
Building materials need to be non-flammable, non-water retaining, or non-porous. This means no plywood, compressed concrete blocks, river rocks, or pea gravel. Some of those materials could trap the steam, and as a result, cause an explosion.
Decide if your fire pit is to sit around or also to cook over. This can impact the location and ease of access. Having a metal fire pit near the kitchen makes it easier to cook on. Meanwhile, a stone fire pit further from the house is great for just chilling around. In either case, it should be located next to a water faucet. Alternatively, there should be quick access to an already connected garden hose.
The idea is to only build a fire pit once. Save yourself the hassle of adding extensions or alterations by doing it right the first time. Getting it right the first time looks much better and will add value to your property. Make sure the fire pit looks like it is meant to be on the property.
Gone with the wind
The wind is an ally of fire. Gusts can spread fires, and also take sparks and start a fire in an instant. Ideally, a fire pit should be built in an area that is sheltered from the wind. Avoid trees with low-hanging branches and areas with dense shrubbery. Refrain from building a concrete fire pit area close enough to the house that the smoke can enter.
Do your neighbors have a fire pit? If so, ask them what they like and what they would do differently. Also, contact a landscaping professional and ask for their advice before you build a fire pit.
Additional Reading:10 Fire Pit Ideas – Better Homes and Gardens
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