The Chicago area has already been hit with sub-zero temperatures as well as several snow falls which has many homeowners staying inside until the spring season. However, Chicago area residents can still enjoy their yards during the winter with a backyard fire pit. Fire pits are a great feature to have in your lawn and they can be used for outdoor gatherings all year long, even in the winter. If you decide to install a fire pit, you should research all relevant local codes and guidelines first and choose a place to install the fire pit that is clear of flammable materials such as trees, shrubs, and buildings. Once you are ready to install a fire pit, follow these steps.
- Before building the fire pit, make sure to gather all the materials you will need from the hardware store. These materials generally include masonry glue, mortar, capstones, and a steel ring as well as stone or cast concrete blocks or bricks for the wall of the pit. Concrete and stone blocks are available in many styles and colors and some have angled sides for making round walls. This variety allows homeowners to get creative with the look and design of their fire pits.
- Once you have gathered the materials, you can begin the installation by mapping out the boundary of the fire pit in your lawn. Dig out a trench along the established boundary of the pit that is 12 inches deep and fill the first six inches up with gravel. Start laying the blocks for the base of the wall in the remaining six inches and build your way up. Building the base of the wall underground will provide the fire pit with better drainage and protection from ice and snow.
- As you layer the blocks on top of each other to build the wall, use masonry glue to hold them in place. Make sure the wall does not exceed a height of more than one foot above ground.
- After building the wall of the fire pit, you can protect the interior of the wall by installing a steel ring. A steel ring is optional for a fire pit but it is also the most effective way to protect the brick or stone of the wall from being damaged by the flames.
- The final step of the building process is to install capstones along the top of the fire pit wall. Capstones are also optional but the right capstones can really enhance the look of a fire pit. Be sure to use mortar to hold capstones in place.
If you believe your yard or landscape can be improved with the addition of a fire pit, follow these steps to build and install one of your own. Fire pits can provide a warm escape from the winter cold and they are also nice for cool spring and summer evenings. Start gathering the materials for your fire pit and be sure to check our blog for more winter lawn care tips from Green T Lawn Care.