Our backyards are our sanctuary and a place where many of us spend a lot of time. They are practically extensions of our indoor spaces and can contain many elements to enhance the outdoor experience. One of them is a fireplace. Built-in stone versions can create a spectacular focal point in the backyard. If you’re looking to install one in your home, here’s a basic step-by-step guide on how to do it.
Things to consider before building a stone fireplace
As with any home improvement project, it pays to do your research first if you plan on tackling it yourself. You want to make sure you know the ins and outs of the build, what and how many materials you’ll need to complete the job. You should note the following:
- Where you want your fire pit to go – is that the most logical and practical place for it?
- What the finished product should look like
- How many seats you need/want
- Safety – The fire pit should not be too close to the fence, house, overhanging trees or other structures overhead or nearby.
Keep in mind that you need to check if backyard fires are allowed in your location and it’s nice to notify your neighbors if they are in your area when you are going to have a fire as this can give them the opportunity to bonfire to wash any laundry that may be on the line and to close all windows near your property. You will also need to check with your local council whether or not you need planning permission to build the fire pit. If you do this, you must obtain a permit before beginning work on your pit.
What you need to build a stone fire pit
Here are some basic materials you’ll need to build a fire pit, and make sure you include any extras you’ll need to build the specific type you’re making:
- tape measure
- one level
- Spray paint or chalk string
- A rake
- A rubber mallet
When building a stone fire pit, you need to consider what type of stone will work best, both from a functional standpoint and what it will look like. The stone you choose must be able to withstand high temperatures from the flames.
How to build your fire pit
Mark the area
Using your spray paint or chalk line, mark where you want the proposed fire pit to be. This can be used as a guide to installing the original.
Prepare the area
Before you begin construction, you must first ensure that the ground has been properly prepared. The ground must be leveled, additional soil may be required if the area is sloping and requires building up first. The dirt should be compacted, then a layer base such as crushed stone should be added, spread evenly and leveled. Garden edging can be used to mark the perimeter if you want to prevent grass from growing into the fire pit area.
Mix and apply cement
Using your marked area as a guide, apply the cement in sections, laying the pavers as you go.
Lay your pavers
Laying your paving slabs before official installation gives you an idea of what they will look like assembled and if any modifications need to be made in advance to ensure a flawless finish. Lay the pavers one at a time in the same order as your final pre-lay pattern. Make sure each paver is level before moving on to the next. It is best to finish one layer of plaster before beginning the second.
Finish with a stone cover
To give your chimney a flawless finish, place a stone cap as the final layer of plaster. Fill in any gaps with cement as you go.
Additional extras to add to your fire pit area
You want your fire pit to be as comfortable and inviting as possible, right? Here are some ways you can do this:
Add built-in seating
Adding built-in seating is a surefire way to take your fire pit aesthetic to the next level. The constant seating draws people to the fire pit even when not in use. It can be used to enjoy a morning coffee or to meet up with friends for a drink or two.
As mentioned earlier, the emphasis on comfort makes the fire pit more inviting, and you’ll likely spend more time here. Sufficient outdoor cushions can make sitting more comfortable for long periods of time.
Heating rods can come in handy when you need to adjust logs. Rather than risk burning your hands or using a flimsy stick, stokers are much more reliable.
Fire pits are the perfect conversation hub
What better way to gather with friends and family on a chilly winter evening than with a fire and some marshmallows? For questions regarding Limestone pavers For your fire pit, turn to the professionals here at Bonita Stone. We are natural stone specialists and can help you choose the perfect pavers for your fireplace project.