How to Build a Beautiful Communal Fire Pit Area
The Yard Life Team creates a beautiful communal fire pit for new homeowners.
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“So, this is my favorite part of the yard. You obviously have this beautiful San Francisco beach view.”
“So, this is that fire pit concept that you showed us earlier. We’re super excited about that.”
“Back here is the area that she was talking about where your fire pit’s gonna be because you guys want to entertain in a warm way.”
“What we are going to start with is we are gonna demo this area, but we will demo the plant in such a way where we can reuse them, and let's get to work.”
“Alright, so that looks pretty good. We did a nice, good cleanup. Let’s mark the area. We’re gonna have our circle here. So the next thing I'm gonna teach you guys is we’re gonna do a technique called cut and fill. You see this part of your patio here is a bit higher than there, so I just wanna get in there.”
“And just kind of toss it over there?”
“Yeah, just really level out that land there. Yeah, you guys are troopers; I appreciate it.”
“Well the next thing I wanna do with you guys is mark out the circle again. So, he’s gonna circle around, and I’m just going to stand in one spot.”
“We ended where we started so that’s always a good sign.”
So the next thing we are gonna do is outline. We’re gonna put those cobblestones right on this circle here.”
“This will help retain the gravel from spilling out of the patio; it’s a separator for the gravel that we are gonna use for the patio surface and the soil on the other side of the rock.”
“Okay, cool. This is really coming together.”
“Yeah, look at that; we’re halfway done.”
“I love it. I think it fits so nicely in with San Francisco, and the whole concept of repurposing is great.”
“Yes, that’s awesome; I’m so happy.”
“Alright, Mandy, last one, keystone, see if it fits.”
“I’ve got it right here, need a nice small one to fit in this space.”
“So, the last thing we need to do here you guys is to just get all the stones level and secure. You see how this one is that much lower than this one? We’re gonna wiggle that one down, and we're gonna add a little sand underneath here to build this one up. Voila? They're sitting at the same grade.”
“Okay, you guys, this looks fantastic. Go ahead and get the landscape fabric laid down. It manages the weeds from coming through.”
“How much overlap should we have?”
“Just about 3 inches, please.”
“Okay, that was pretty simple.”
“It’s not that hard.”
“Alright, let’s get some gravel.”
“The only thing we wanna be careful of, you guys, when we’re laying this down is that we watch the fabric so it doesn’t fold up.”
“And we’re going to keep going until it’s about 4 inches deep, and you’re gonna notice it’s gonna come up right under this cobblestone so it doesn’t spill over.”
“Good job, you guys.”
“That is great.”
“So we’re ready for the fun part; we’re going to go ahead and bring the fire place and the chairs in.”
“Wow, we have a firepit!”
“This looks awesome.”
“Let’s take a break, you guys.”
“With a little instruction, it actually is pretty simple. We got this done as a team, and it was really fun.”
Watch as the Yard Life Team, with help from the Brown family, builds a beautiful communal fire pit area for the backyard. They use cobblestones to create the border and a 4-inch layer of gravel to fill in the area. To complete the space, they add a prefabricated fire pit and furniture. The end result is a welcoming, attractive communal fire pit area that has become the cornerstone to the Browns' dream outdoor living space.
- Check for building restrictions. Before starting, check building codes for your area to learn about any size restrictions, location restrictions, or other regulations.
- Choose the spot. Pick a spot that is away from your house, overhead power lines, low-hanging trees, and other structures like sheds and wooden fences. Be sure to choose a space large enough to accommodate the fire pits and seating area.
- Clear the area. Remove any debris, plants, grass, and weeds in the selected spot. If you want to save any of the plants to move elsewhere in your landscape, carefully dig them up without damaging the root system.
- Lay out the space. Mark out the area using a rake handle or marking paint. For guidance, most fire pits areas are 3 to 4 feet in diameter. Once the area is marked off, remove or add soil as needed to make it level.
- Create the border. Use cobblestones to form a ring around the edge of the fire pit circle. Make sure each stone is level and secured firmly in place.
- Add landscape fabric. To help keep weeds down inside the area, lay down landscape fabric and secure it with landscape pins. If multiple pieces are needed, make sure they overlap by at least 3 inches.
- Fill the area with gravel. Carefully add a layer of gravel on top of the landscape fabric, making sure the fabric doesn’t fold up. The gravel should come up to just below the top edge of the cobblestone border. Smooth it with a garden rake.
- Add the finishing touches. Finally, place your fire pit in the middle and add chairs around it. Then, sit back and and enjoy!