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HOW TO BUILD AN OUTDOOR FIRE PIT
The above video is a great how to video on building a fire pit, although the uploader has disabled video embedding. click here to watch it on youtube.
Open fires are a great way to socialize outdoors, and firepits make this even easier and safer. A firepit can be built easily at home, but first you must always check that a firepit is allowed to be built in your area. Fire pits may be built in Calgary, although they must follow some guidelines which can be found at the municipal website.
You may buy an already built fire pit such as steel bowls which you can move around the yard, or build a more permanent fire pits using stacking stones or concrete blocks to build the walls. The location for your fire pit must be somewhere open, close to your woodpile, and away from houses, low tree branches, or anything that may catch fire. Keep wind direction in mind so that smoke isn’t always blowing into your windows.
Positioning your fire pit
You must never build your fire pit on wooden deck, although you may build one on a deck if there is stone underneath or an existing patio with paving stones. You may also build one on a base made by digging out 12 inches of soil, and filling it with gravel and sand and patting it flat. For your fire pit, you will need a steel bowl that has a lip around it so that the edges be placed on top of the pit walls and stones that are angled on the side to create the fire pit’s circular shape. Assemble the bowl first. Place the screen cover on the floor so that you have something to build around. If you aren’t using a steel bowl, use a fireproof ring with a lip so you can add a steel grille at the top.
Building your fire pit
Position the first layer of your concrete blocks to form a circle around the pit. After a couple of layers, and your base is not on a stone floor, shovel in some gravel at the bottom of the pit. Periodically adding gaps in between the stones create better air flow for the fire. Your fire pit should be no more than 20 inches tall if you aren’t using a steel bowl. Put on the steel bowl or grille, and you’re done!