Stained Quikrete WalkMaker Patio with Fire Pit
With just a few materials and some simple steps, you can transform any backyard or patio space with a wood-burning fire pit that’s perfect for all outdoor gatherings with your friends and family. These concrete fire pits are a great addition to your home that will serve as both a functional and charming landscaping feature. From s’more making, to campfire stories, and to warming up on a cold night, these fire pits are perfect for year round use in your backyard.
How to Build a Concrete Block Fire Pit
Step 1: Design Your Fire Pit
Before you begin building your pit, it’s important that you determine a shape and size that’s right for you. When taking the measurements for this project, be sure to take into account not only space for your pit, but adequate room for socializing and lounge-space in the surrounding area.
The standard style for most outdoor fire pits is a circular or rectangular shape, usually between 36” and 44” in diameter. This style will not only impact the look of your space, but will also determine which type of concrete blocks you should use. To avoid gaps and awkward spacing, circular pits are usually built using trapezoidal blocks, while rectangular pits can be made using standard rectangular blocks.
The best part about these fire pits is how versatile and unique they are! The concrete blocks offer a variety of customization, from color, to texture, and even shape. Using Direct Colors’ wide range of concrete stains and dyes, you can add a bit of color and warmth that will completely transform any outdoor space. These colorants are super easy to use, and a great cost-effective way to add just a bit more customization to this DIY fire pit!
Step 2: Lay Out the Blocks
To ensure that your measurements are correct, begin by creating a dry-lay of the blocks on the fire pit site. You may need to cut a block to fit the size of your pit; to do this, use a 3-inch chisel and a brick hammer. Make sure to score the concrete block on all sides, and place it on a hard surface. Hold the chisel on the score line and hit it with the brick hammer until the block splits.
Step 3: Prep the Area
Once all the blocks are lined up and cut to size, use a shovel to mark the outside of the pit, and move the blocks out of the way. Now, you should use your shovel to dig out the sides of your pit to be 12” deep. While digging, ensure that your pit is level, and check the sizing of your trench by laying a few bricks down. Adjust the size of the pit, widening or narrowing it as needed, and then remove the blocks you previously used for reference. Once you’ve done this, be sure to pack down the dirt using a hand tamper.
Step 4: Build the Pit’s Base
Now that you have the area prepped, it’s time to start working on the base of your fire pit. Fill the base with 5”-6” of crushed gravel. To make the gravel easier to compact, you can use a garden hose to wet it. Then, use your hand tamper to pack the gravel down, ensuring that it has created an even and level layer. Once you’ve done this, you can place your concrete bricks down once again into the base to make sure the gravel has been evenly distributed, and that the blocks are aligned to one another.
Step 5: Begin the First Layer
With the base completed, you’re ready to start your first layer of the pit! You can begin by laying down your first block, and then using a level to ensure it’s even. You can use a rubber mallet to push the block lower, or levelling sand to raise it. Continue this process with each block for the beginning layer.
Step 6: Build up the Walls
Next, place the second layer of blocks on top of your base row, staggering the joints of the blocks from the previous layer. To secure the blocks together, you can use a caulking gun and masonry adhesive, squeezing out a bead of adhesive in a zigzag pattern one block at a time. Use this process for all the blocks in your second layer, and then use a level once again to ensure the eveness between your two layers, before moving onto another layer. You can complete this process for as many layers as needed for the desired depth of your fire pit.
Step 7: Fill with Gravel and Insert Ring
Now that your block layers are complete, fill the fire pit with about 6” of gravel. This step will ensure the base of your fire pit is secure and sturdy, and will withstand weathering. Make sure to even out the gravel before you place the fire ring in the pit (fire rings often come in standard sizes, so be sure to account for this in your pit dimensions).
After you’ve completed these steps, the rest is up to you! There are plenty of ways to enhance your fire pit, such as placing pavers or rocks around it. These fire pits are perfect to pair with comfortable outdoor seating, for warm fire-side nights with friends and family.