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Your backyard: Build your own firepit

Create your ultimate backyard escape by adding a firepit to it! Incorporating a firepit into your landscape is a perfect idea for entertaining, outdoor cooking or to help take off the chill from a cool night’s air. But whatever your reason, here’s the 101 on building your own firepit.

Poolside firepit

Keep it official

Most urban and rural governments have specific bylaws regarding firepits. These laws are created for your neighbourhood safety, so be sure to follow any and all rules regarding the building and use of your firepit. There may be permit requirements, specific times allowed for use or a designated measured distance from homes or other combustible structures, but a quick check will ensure it’s kept on the up and up.

Plan your space

Adhere to your city guidelines, then use your personal choice to help guide you. As a general rule, firepits need to be placed away from such fire hazards as decks, overhanging tree branches and siding, sheds and play centres, but let your common sense prevail, and keep your pit away from any possible fire hazard. Other things to consider when placing your pit are the accessiblity, space for seating and how well it fits in with the existing landscape.

Get building

  1. Mark your location.
  2. Dig out 12 inches of soil in the size and circle shape of your firepit.
  3. Add 4 inches of gravel and 4 inches of sand to the hole. Use a hand tamper to flatten each layer.
  4. Lay the first construction blocks in a circular pattern around the perimeter of the hole. This is the foundation of the firepit, so use a level to check that the blocks are even, then adjust if necessary.
  5. Squeeze a concrete adhesive over the first blocks, then place a second layer of blocks in an offset pattern to your firepit.
  6. Add a layer of gravel to the base of the pit.
  7. Continue to construct your firepit by adding layers of offset blocks, using adhesive between them until the pit is five stones high.
  8. To encourage airflow, leave a few narrow gaps between construction blocks.
  9. Add a grill to the top for outdoor cooking, and you’re done!

Have a safe firepit experience

  • Don’t leave your fire unattended.
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Don’t burn pressure-treated, painted or stained woods.
  • Avoid burning green wood, opting for dry wood instead.
  • Ensure your children and pet’s safety by keeping them away from the outside perimeter of the pit.
  • Completely extinguish your fire when done. Make sure the fire pit is cool to the touch before leaving.

More on your yard

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Tips for making a backyard gazebo paradise
Inexpensive ways to decorate your patio

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