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The Home Depot

Ultimate Guide to a Backyard Fire Pit

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Fireplace & Chimney > Ultimate Guide to a Backyard Fire Pit
Ultimate Guide to a Backyard Fire Pit

Backyard fire pits are growing in popularity – and with good reason. Fire pits can be used in the summer and the winter. They provide a place where you can congregate with family and friends. You can eat good food, enjoy the weather or just look at the stars.


If you want a fire pit in your backyard, it’ll take a little bit of legwork, but the benefits far outweigh the work you will have to do. If you are at a loss about where to start, we are here to help! Read on to find the ultimate guide to a backyard fire pit.

  1. 1.Figure Out Where you Want to Put It

    Figure Out Where you Want to Put It

    Walk around your property and figure out the best place to put your backyard fire pit. You’ll want somewhere that is relatively flat so that you’ll have an even surface to work with. Take into consideration how close to your house you want it and what else is already taking up space (like a garden, patio or play set) in your yard. This is also a good time to determine the kind of fire pit you want, and what you want to use it for. Will it be larger, for entertaining large parties and lots of family members? Or are you looking for something small and intimate.

  2. 2.Fire Pit Materials

    Fire Pit Materials

    Your decision on what materials you’ll use to construct your fire pit will be determined by your personal taste, availability of the materials and your budget. Some fire pits are made of brick, others metal, and some are made of stone. Do a little research to figure out what you want your fire pit to look like and how much you want to pay for it.

  3. 3.Preparing the Area

    Preparing the Area

    There are some things you will have to do to get the area you have selected ready for your fire pit. You’ll have to clear it of trees and bushes. If you will be pouring cement, you’ll have to get rid of the grass, too. If the area is already being used for something else – like a patio or garden – figure out where you will relocate those things. If your fire pit is near your neighbor’s property, you may want to have the area surveyed so that you don’t go over into land that isn’t yours. Find out if your city or town requires any kind of building permit for fire pits. If they do, make sure you take the necessary steps to get that well before construction begins. Finally, check with your neighborhood’s homeowners’ association (if there is one) to find out if there are any guidelines barring you from building a fire pit in your backyard.

  5. 4.Who will Construct It

    Who will Construct It

    Fire pits come in lots of different makes, models in styles. They can be very simple or very complex. Will you want to include seating? Will your fire pit be part of a larger patio structure? Will there be cooking elements? A chimney? If you want to keep it really simple and basic, you could construct your own fire pit out of some bricks or cinderblocks. However, if you want something that will be attractive, safe and stand the test of time, you should consider hiring help to build your fire pit.

  6. 5.What will Fuel your Fire?

    What will Fuel your Fire?

    Part of deciding what kind of fire pit you want is determining what will fuel the fire. You can chose from gas, wood or coal for your fire pit. How much do you want to pay to use your fire place? The kind of fuel you use will result in different flavors in your food. If you know you want to cook with your fire pit, this is something you should take into consideration. Also, how readily available are the materials you will need to fuel your fire pit? Can you get them close to your home?

  7. 6.Think About Safety

    Think About Safety

    There are some safety guidelines you should follow when operating a fire pit on your property. Remember to keep small children and animals away from the fire pit while it is in use. When you are done using the fire pit, make sure to extinguish flames completely. It is also a good idea to keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher on-hand while you are using the fire pit in case of emergency. Remember that if you do catch on fire it’s important to stop where you are, drop to the ground and roll to try to smother the flames.

  8. 7.What About Seating?

    What About Seating?

    How much seating will you need for your fire pit? If you plan on entertaining, you’ll need to think about large benches and tables nearby. Some homeowners opt for large rock or cement structures with built-in seating. If you are building your pit just for you, you’ll want something smaller, but you can still get something nice. Check out attractive outdoor furniture options at a home improvement store near you.

  9. 8.What’s your Budget?

    What’s your Budget?

    Do your research and have some idea of how much you want to spend before you begin your fire pit project. It would be awful to begin a project like this and have to end up throwing more and more money at it. If you are working with a contractor to build your pit, make sure they give you a written cost estimate up front. You may want to shop around and compare prices before you settle on the person or company you want to work with. Give yourself a variety of options to choose from when decided what you will use to construct your fire pit. Figure out what materials last the longest to get the most bang for your buck.

  10. 9.Fire Pit Extras

    Fire Pit Extras

    Think of some other accessories to make your fire pit area feel like part of your home. That could mean a cover for your fire pit, a screen, pokers or a grill. It could mean adding attractive outdoor furniture or even blankets so you can snuggle up with your loved ones and enjoy the pit even when the weather is cold.


    There are lots of great reasons to put a fire pit in your backyard. They provide an opportunity for you to bond with friends and family and enjoy the great outdoors. Get started planning your fire pit today and you’ll be enjoying s’mores under the stars before you know it.

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