How To Build Your Own Backyard DIY Fire Pit

A Fire Pit The Perfect Addition To Your Backyard

The days of outdoor cooking only during the spring and summer months are gone.

Having a fire pit in your own backyard offers you the chance to cook outside all year around. Not only that, but it can also help you make full use of your backyard by turning it into an extra room for your home. With a fire pit, you'll have a great excuse to sit outside longer and utilize your backyard more often during the year.

Here at Fire Food Chef, we love any chance to cook on the fire, so we've made this fun and easy guide to help you build your own backyard DIY fire pit. This guide will cover what options you have in terms of style, appearance, function, safety and more. 

So let's begin!

The Different Types of Fire Pits

Human beings have been primed by evolution to feel a sense of comfort and security when gathering around a hearth or fire. A backyard fire pit can be a cook's place, but it can also be a place to come together to feel close to those we love.

With that said, there are some different ideas to consider when having a backyard fire pit. First, you'll want to decide if you're going to build your very own DIY backyard fire pit, or if you'd rather purchase one of the ready-made options on the market.

Whatever option you decide on, you'll want to consider the overall style and materials that you choose to use. For example, you may want a rustic look or a much more sleek and modern look. Think about your style and how your backyard fire pit fits in with other elements in your garden.

DIY Backyard Fire Pit Ideas

DIY Fire Pit Ideas

If you do decide to build your own backyard DIY fire pit, there are a lot of ideas out there to inspire you. Generally speaking, you can choose one of the following options:

  • In-ground fire pits.
  • Low-level fire bowl or hearth.
  • Table-height fire plinth/ fire bowl/ hearth.
  • Portable fire pits.
  • Constructing built-in seating around your fire pit.

Here are five different eco friendly backyard DIY fire pit ideas that could be considered when it comes to your material choice:

1) Clay or Ceramic Surround Fire Pits

In essence, a rustic, in-ground fire pit is just like a hole in the ground where you can build your fire. But by surrounding it with attractive, non-flammable materials, you can enhance your fire pit. A straightforward solution is to line up your pit and create an environment for it, using natural clay.

Alternatively, you might consider using pre-fired ceramic tiles or other clay ceramics to line your simple fire pit's edges.

2) Stone Surround Fire Pits

You can use stone to make a wide range of different built-in fire pits. A simple ring of stones might look lovely around a simple fire pit in the ground. But you can also consider tabletop options using dry-stacked or mortar stone. You can also use stone, maybe even rocks from your property, to create pathways and built-in seats around your fire pit.

3) Reclaimed Concrete Fire Pits

Concrete is a material for the production of a wide range of fire pits. However, to make your fire pit more eco-friendly and sustainable, you should consider using reclaimed concrete for work. This will reduce your carbon footprint and allow you to reduce waste by making sure that the material would otherwise be thrown away.

4) Reclaimed Brick Fire Pits

Sourcing some old bricks for this project will keep them out of landfills and create a safe surround for your fire pit hearth. You can also use bricks to make higher-level fire pits or use them to build pathways or built-in seating in the vicinity.

5) Reclaimed Metal Fire Pits

You can surround your fire pit with metal, too. Again, reclaimed materials will reduce the environmental costs of your project and reduce financial costs. For example, this cool steel fire pit can be made using a steel checker plate and rebar.

Try upcycling old metal drums and other containers to create some stunning metal fire pits for your garden – no matter what kind of backyard DIY fire pit you want to make. The added benefit of many of the metal fire pit ideas is that they can be portable – so you don't need to commit to a permanent fire pit installation.

Some Other Things You Need To Consider


How much can you spend on a backyard fire pit?

Costs could be as low as $100 if you're buying your own stones and digging a hole of your own or buying a simple unit at a big box store. It can certainly go up to a few thousand dollars, especially when seats are added.

Permanent or portable?

Do you want a fire pit built in — a focal point in the yard — or something lightweight and potentially portable, so you can take it where you want to gather?

Generally, when it comes to built-in design, you want to match the materials in the garden or house. A backyard DIY fire pit job can be carried out, and materials can be assembled or personalised with the help of a professional landscaper or contractor.

There are similarly different options for portable fire pits. Some bowls are usually lighter in copper or stainless steel, but the heavier cast iron bowls do a good job of radiating heat.

Fuel Type: wood or gas?

While alternative fuel types, such as gel fuels, wood or gas, appear to be the most common choice. Those who favour a true outdoor scent usually prefer to burn real logs, but that requires a constant firewood supply.

One solution is to use gas or propane for a fire — while it may not be as hot as a wood fire, and you may not get the same crack and burn. It may even be powered by a remote switch.

The surface on which you would like to set your fire pit

It is best to set up a portable fire pit above a natural surface such as concrete, stone, gravel, brick, slate or a fireproof composite. Putting it on a wooden deck can be dangerous if the embers fly. A permanent fire pit is usually built on a gravel base in the backyard.

Setting up your backyard fire pit

Where you choose to set up your backyard DIY fire pit will depend on any applicable local regulations and your garden's layout and design. Many communities require a distance of at least 10 feet from your home and neighbours' yards. Some don't need a permit if the fire pit fits within the set size requirements; others require a site inspection to ensure that your proposed location is safe (away from fences, structures, overhanging branches). Check with local officials before attempting anything.

Creating the right vibe and get the most out of your backyard fire pit

Consider installing outdoor lighting near the pit to set the mood. Make it subtle so as not to destroy the campfire atmosphere. Energy-efficient LEDs can be connected to a nearby outlet. Consider seating arrangements, too!

Safety first!

Of course, safety should always be an important consideration with having a backyard fire pit. It would be best if you thought about safety not only when you choose the location of your fire pit, but also when you think about how you're going to use your fire pit.

The fire pit should always be built in a way that does not pose a safety risk. Non-flammable materials should surround the fire, and the fire should never be allowed to spread. The tips described below all take fire safety into account.

  • Before lighting a fire, check the direction of the wind.
  • Do not use flammable fluids for lighting or lighting purposes.
  • Do not wear flammable clothes (like nylon) or loose clothing.
  • Avoid using softwoods like pine or cedar, as they can "pop" and sparkle.
  • Know how to dispose of ashes safely.
  • Ensure that the first pit is at least 10 feet from property of a neighbor
  • Keep a safe distance from fence, trees, or other inflammable substances.

Backyard Fire Pit Cooking Safety Tips

You'll also want to keep safety in mind, especially when cooking outside over an open flame. Here are some tips to help when cooking over a fire pit:

  • Don't leave a fire unattended.
  • Teach children about fire safety, and never leave them unattended by the fire.
  • Make sure your pets are not in a position to harm themselves around your fire pit.
  • Use only cooking appliances made for an open flame.
  • Wear gloves to avoid splinters, burning your hands on hot handles, etc.
  • Consider adding built-in seats, so that movable seats can not be moved.
  • Do not add anything toxic to the flames. Stick to burning wood or charcoal only.
  • Avoid the use of toxic firelighters. Choose natural, sustainable options only.
  • Before retiring for the night, always make sure your fire is completely out.

With a Backyard fire pit, you can cook outside whenever you want!

There's something special about cooking outside over an open flame. It gets you closer to nature and reconnecting with something more primal within yourself. If you love outdoor cooking as much as we do, a fire pit offers you the chance to enjoy this activity whenever you want in the comfort of your own backyard. Plus, you'll have a great excuse to sit outside longer and utilize your backyard more often all year round. 

We hope that this guide was helpful in preparing you with the know how needed to building your own backyard DIY fire pit . Until next time Fire Food Chefs!

Be sure to check the building codes in your area before constructing a DIY backyard fire pit to get the proper specs and regulations. Choose a place away from your home and away from any low-hanging trees or other structures. Take precautions when digging holes, so you're not hitting utility lines.

About the Author William Clay

William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.