building-a-fire-pit into your backyard landscaping design along with a patio and water feature will create a place for outdoor living. Couple it with comfortable patio furniture and marshmallow roasting sticks and you've created a place for real excitement. Much more fun than watching television.
I have found that a chair or rock about 3 feet from the edge of the hearth will enable you to put your feet up and still sit in your chair comfortably. The flagstone blends naturally into the lawn and transitions the patio into the lawn gently. It's easy to maintain the lawn and there is no hard line between the grass and patio.
This photo can help with the perspective and size we build. Typicaly the inside diameter is 3 feet and the outside is 5 feet. We line the inside and bottom of the pit with real fire brick. These absorb the heat an keep the masonry from breaking down.
Some folks like to have a real fire, while others like to just turn a valve and have a gas fire. I would have to say that I prefer the real thing because the smell of the fire is just another of the senses that is involved. The outdoor campfire experience is something that everyone remembers, and some of us long for. In this example we created an area surrounded by crushed rock to surround the fire and it is off to the side of the back patio.
Another reason for building-a-fire-pit is to enjoy the art of Dutch oven cooking. Here's Bob again making dutch oven pork ribs. These fire pits are great for dutch oven cooking. The 12" wide hearth works as a counter top space to set the lid or cooking utinsels. and there is plenty of room for 3 ovens.
Use the pit for starting the charcoal and then place the Dutch oven inside the pit. The fire brick remove any concearns about excesive heat.
Some fire pits burn natural gas, so there is no need to have firewood on hand, but you can still roast marshmallows and enjoy the ambiance of the flame rising out of lava rocks. For the gas plumbing on this fireplace, we tapped right into the gas meter with a 1" line for the fire place and barbque. Boy I'll tell you thats the way to go when you're building-a-fire-pit, no shortage of gas pressure here. These flames shoot up 6' when we turn the valve all the way open. Of course the homeowner has complete control of the gas flow with the adjustable gas shut off valve.
An even better idea is to surround the fire pit with lawn. Imagine hanging out in the summer by the fire with bare feet on the lawn. You just need to ensure that there is excellent drainage in the fire pit itself if it's in the lawn, so it doesn't collect water.
This is the fire pit at my parents house. No pavers on this one, the lawn serves as the patio here. It's still lined with fire brick but we used those pre cast blocks from home depot for the outside finish. We set them on a reinforced footing and glued them together with construction adhesive, and after that installed the fire brick on the inside with the same adhesive. For the finishing touches we placed the cut stone cap on top with masonry mix. I tried to save money, but by the time we finished building this style of fire pit they could have had the regular style for the same money.