Fire Pit for Backyard Gatherings

Gardeners are nature lovers who typically favor sitting outside in the evenings when the days are longer. The porch or yard is our “5th room”… that place where we lounge contentedly, surveying the gardens and landscape we’ve worked hard to create in our little corner of Eden.

Chances are we all have fond memories of sitting with friends and family around a campfire. One way to extend that enjoyment is by bringing everyone’s favorite campfire into the backyard for cool evenings and roasted marshmallows.

Your Backyard Fire Pit — Build it or Buy it?

LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR: You can hire a landscaper to build one for you, if you have more money than time.

FIRE PIT KITS: You can buy a ready-made kit with everything you need, and have it delivered to your door for free with Amazon Primer shipping, then you set it up.

It’s surprising how many people are turning to the convenience of delivered-to-your-doorstep these days, but it makes sense. We’re using this more and more. From concrete and stone to steel, there are many styles and types of fire pit kits to choose from.

This is currently the number one selling fire pit on Amazon:

Best-selling-fire-pit-on-Amazon

There’s no need to go to the home improvement store and walk long aisles looking for stuff, load a shopping cart, check out at the register, unloading some of it onto the counter, load it back into your shopping cart, out to the truck, into your truck, then unload it again at home. Though some home improvement stores such as Lowe’s Home Improvement do offer “shop for you” services if you fax them your list, just check with yours to see.

Build a Fire Pit

DO IT YOURSELF: If you have the time and enjoy great weekend projects, you can make your own.

We really like this awesome fire pit swing set area! We can totally imagine many hours of enjoyment hanging out in an arrangement like this! #Wishlist!

swing_firepit

This fantastic hanging fire-pit porch swing project can be found on Instructables.com, by Hodgepodgerama.1)

Our cabin has one porch swing that’s always in demand, so people take turns using it. This hexagonal patio swing frame handles that issue, easily seating eight people in swings around the fire. The guy who created it, hodgepodgerama, said he should’ve make it five swings instead of four, which would accommodate 10 or more people.

Best Seller Porch Swing on Amazon

This lightweight wooden patio swing is currently the best selling 2-person porch swing on Amazon:

wood porch swing
Best selling 2-person porch swing on Amazon, by Jack Post company.

 

Make Your Own Fire Pit Porch Swing Set

So back to the awesome hexagonal porch swing structure and how to make it.

This idea was from H on Instructables.1)http://www.instructables.com/member/hodgepodgerama/

Materials:

  • 6″x6″x10′ pressure treated boards for the posts. Qty 6.
  • 6″x6″x8′ pressure treated boards for the beams. Qty 6.
  • Note: You can safely go as long as 10-12 feet with 6×6 beams but prices go up quickly and dramatically for benches over 5 feet long.
  • 2’x6″x8′ pressure treated lumber for the top braces. Qty 6.
  • 1/2×8″ galvanized lag bolts to attach the beams to the posts. Qty 24
  • 1/2″ galvanized washers. Qty 24.
  • 4″ deck screws to attach the beams to each other. Qty 24
  • 3″ deck screws to attach the braces to the beams Qty 24
  • Some additional 3″ deck or drywall screws to use for temporarily attaching braces. Qty….a bunch
  • 2″x2″x8′ white pine boards to use as braces, layout posts and anchors. Qty: 10-14.
  • 50-60 pound bags of concrete. Qty: 6-8
  • Paver base for drainage under the posts. Qty: 6
  • A 4 foot long steel re-bar to mark the center point.
  • Stain or water seal of your choice for the structure
  • Material of your choice for the fire pit
  • Landscape block adhesive to glue the fire pit together.
  • I used slate and pea gravel for a surround. Others have used pea gravel all the way out to the posts.
  • Topsoil to level the area as needed. Grass seed or sod to cover any remaining bare dirt.

You will also need:

  1. The swings. I bought 5 footers. I only bought 4 as I want to build something custom for the empty spot….some day. That was dumb. Go ahead and get 5.
  2. Galvanized or stainless eye bolts or swing hangers with locking nuts and washers, 7 inches. Mine have nylon glides, purchased from a swing parts supply place on-line. I wanted to go through the beams for extra strength.

Note: all of the galvanized items and hanger hardware is much cheaper on-line than it is at the local big-box. Shop around. Double check the swing description if you’re buying it online to be sure of what it does–and does not—include in hardware and chains. Most seem to include the chains but not the hangers. I saved about $50 on hardware that way

If you decide to build this yourself, you’ll want to go to the source of this project for step-by-step instructions and photos at Instructables.com.2)http://www.instructables.com/id/Hanging-Fire-Pit/?ALLSTEPS

If you do something like this, please let us know. We’d love to see your photos and may add them to this article!


Next is a video on how to make your own fire pit for just around $100!

Easy DIY Fire Pit

Here’s a great 5:11 minute video on how to make our own fire pit for just around $100!

Now remember, in anything you do, safety first. As Jeff H., a Gardens All Facebook fan commented:

“Just be sure to use high heat pavers and high heat mortar or you will need a doctor.”

Homemade Tire Rim Barbecue Grill

Okay, so more of a grill than a fire pit. But we’re including it because it’s pretty clever use of old tire rims. It’s just 4:38 minutes of video, by “Handy Man Extraordinaire”, Eric Norris.

Now Eric clearly has tools and skills that many of us may not have, but for those of you who do you’ll enjoy this. For those who don’t, it might still give you ideas and appreciation at Eric’s ingenuity.

Build A Fire Pit From A Broken Washing Machine

You don’t actually need the entire washing machine for this project – just the inside drum. You can build a great fire pit for the backyard and save part of that washer from ending up in the dump at the same time.

You will need to use a high heat paint and there is a bit of work involved, but not nearly as much as you may think. The washer drum gives you the perfect shape so your fire pit will be perfect and it’s really easy to create. Give it a glance and see what you think.

By Sarah & Joe on HouseAndFig.com3)http://houseandfig.com/2013/01/20/10-diy-one-hour-recycled-firepit/

Build A Fire Pit From A Broken Washing Machine

It’s advisable to always use a protective fire mat under any fire pit that’s standing on wood, such as this.
Next, IndianCaver (YouTube channel name), also saw some DIY posting on Facebook about using an old washer drum for a fire pit. He ends up making his own, so you have a photo and short 3-part video tutorial on how to create one.

Homemade Fire Pit from Old Washing Machine

Part 1

 

PART 2

 

PART 3

 

So he still needs to place legs on it, or you could prop it up on bricks in the meantime. You could probably get a grill from an old barbecue or stove too, to place on top for cooking.

Since some details were missing from the last video, this one by DoubleWide6 goes into great detail, and also adds legs.

Alright… alright… alright! Let’s get going!

References   [ + ]