How to Build a Simple Fire Pit

| February 9, 2013 | 0 Comments

This great video from Lowe’s shows you how to build a simple fire pit, the easy way, using stacked concrete blocks (dry method, no mortar required) and a prefabricated outdoor fire bowl inserted in the center. A great DIY project for the beginner.


Simple fire pit construction by Lowe’s


  • Building a simple fire pit in your backyard is indeed ‘simple’ and easy: Anyone can do this! This is one of the easiest methods I have found for the do it yourselfer .
  • Bored with your backyard fire pit? If you get tired of this homemade fire pit, you can easily demolish it as this method uses no mortar. You can then reuse the pavers elsewhere.
  • You can choose not to use the metal bowl but the concrete surrounds instead. You can also remove the bowl and attach grill accessories for cooking.

Cons: None

Skill Level Required: Beginner

Number of People Needed: 1 or more

Time required : Set aside a day (Remember Murphy’s Law though, things can go awry!)

Fire Pit Supplies:

  • 24 inches diameter or larger prefabricated steel fire bowl insert with a lip and a spark screen (any shape round or square is appropriate, just follow the perimeter shape of the fire pit).
  • Retaining wall concrete blocks for supporting the fire bowl.
  • A level to make sure sides and top of wall are straight and plumb.

Before You Build:

  • Before building, determine if you can use a fire pit in the first place! Call your City Hall and local HOA first for permission. The City and or Fire Hall will have rules and regulations for building a fire pit. They will also tell you what maximum size u can use. Each community has different standards. Some communities will not allow fire pits on the side or front yard. Obtain any permits if required.
  • Determine your location. There will be a minimum distance required from all combustibles such as your house, a shed, trees, decks and fences (you will find this in your City ‘s rules and regulations). Ensure it is on a noncombustible surface and away from overhanging branches. If you don’t have non combustible surface such as concrete, stone, pavers or gravel you will have to build one or just place on a dirt surface.
  • Ensure it is on a noncombustible level surface and if you need to build a patio, check this link.
  • Determine the prevailing wind direction. Try to locate away from a windy spot and/or put up a wind barrier such as a fence if needed.
  • For more details on placing your fire pit, see this post.

Setup Procedure:

  1. Place the spark screen on the surface where you want the center of the fire pit.
  2. Layout the first row of pavers around the screen. Stack them tight against each other so the joints fit tightly.
  3. Stack the second row of wall blocks but offset the pavers so that the wall will have structural integrity. You will stack up to 6 rows depending on what the paver design allows.
  4. Stack the pavers until you have a wall up to 24 inches in height (NOTE: check you City regulations for height and width requirements!) You also don’t want to exceed this height so that you can enjoy the heat of the fire pit at your feet.
  5. Insert the bowl, the grate then place the spark screen purchased with your fire bowl on top.
  6. Voila, you are all done!
  7. Don’t forget the chairs. You need about 2 feet from the edge of the wall for clearance.
  8. Get some food and drink, invite some friends over and start the fire!
  9. Last but not least, here are some tips on how to start a fire in your wood burning pit.

Safety Materials Needed:

You will need these items when you put your fire pit out.

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Sand with shovel
  • Bucket
  • Garden Hose
  • Poker to pick up the spark screen lid.

Warning Tips:

  • Never use river rock that you obtained yourself as they retain water and may explode!

Some Final Thoughts:

I am sure that building a simple fire pit is now easier than you thought. This project from Lowe’s certainly demonstrates how to build a simple fire pit, easily and inexpensively. Thanks to Lowe’s for this great idea!

Here is a quick recap…

Filed Under: How To Guides