Monday, May 24, 2010

making a simple firepit

When thoughts fill my mind over how to build a fire pit, I always break out in a smile because I know some folks can get very methodical about such things, formulating and designing costly ways to forge forth with elaborate plans for their dreams of building a personalized system.


Um, let's just say, the SIMPLER, the EASIER, the CHEAPER - the BETTER!

Our former home had a fire pit.

It was made by watching our determined children (who so desired a fire pit) placing excess paving stones around in a crooked circle, stacked three high and burning the grass inside of it before making our first fire.

One son became creative by stacking some of the same paving stones into small piles, one at each end to hold a small plank of leftover plywood, doing this twice to construct two seats.

Simple. Easy. And ridiculously cheap!

Okay, so it wasn't GREAT (kind of hillbilly or redneck like), but it sufficed, AND became the vessel for many long lingering and most wonderful moments.

In our present home, we wondered what we would do without our beloved fire pit here, how to build one without bringing along our beloved (and blackened) paving bricks (found out the new owners of our former home got rid of the pit, though I assure you, regrets for not hauling pavers in subzero winter weather are not on my mind right now, believe me)

So, we began anew... after all a new home warrants a new fire pit.

I immediately thought of placing a "wanted" request on Freecycle for a steel tire rim someone might be getting rid of.

I saw someone's post offering 50 free red bricks. Those kind would not be great for a fire pit. But, it speed started my cogs rolling...

After mulling about in the back of a lumber store, I found these below - curved landscape pavers with scallops toppers, just perfect for resting a hot skewer over. I went home with eight thinking it a start.

Our youngest son took the initiative to create a circular template with the pavers, checking out whether or not we had enough for the *perfect* size.

Apparently, according to him - we didn't.


Ten is all I would require, about 30.00 worth. Initially I had eight, and changed my mind to pick up two more later in the week.

Ten is what I had to begin the actual work bee, that is until one daughter dropped one and it smashed in half. And then, she dropped another and broke it in half also. Whoops!

Okay, so we were able to fit 9 in all, one with the halves back matching again, placed in a circular fashion to use as a cutting template for removing the grassy sod underneath.

Using a grass edger, our son cut around the custom design (wink), the pavers were moved out of position, the sod cut and removed to expose the dirt below and the pavers returned to their shape.

Backfilling around the outer edge, packing and pushing more dirt around the inside of the circular formation, we now have our VERY simple, VERY easy (except removing the sod wasn't fun!) and VERY cheap fire pit - even with two broken pavers, one used and one resting inside the circle for storage I guess(?) :)

Okay, so it's not something grand, but it's ours and it's usable - and might I also add - ready to gather people and memories for future evening gatherings.

We are going to be placing large round rocks from about the property along the outer perimeter, a to-do item on the check list to follow when it fits into our busy days.

For now - it will do (she says with a big wide grin).

I personally think its genius, love it, and think we hit the jackpot with this great custom planned idea.