How to Build a Red Brick Firepit

Lisa East Hunter

More homeowners are starting to focus on their outdoor living spaces as a economical way to add square footage to their home without the cost and hassle of an addition. A red brick firepit is both visually appealing and the perfect addition to your outdoor living space.

Turn a pile of red brick into a great fire pit.

You don’t have to purchase an expensive firepit from a retail store. Build one yourself out of red brick and masonry adhesive.

  1. Clear out and level a space for your fire pit. Fire pits are typically about 36 inches in diameter. Your fire pit can be any shape you like. Smooth any uneven areas, using a hand tramper, until the dirt is compact and level.

  2. Dry-set one course of brick. Setting the brick without mortar will allow you to adjust your dimensions and move the bricks around. Mark the perimeter of the fire pit with a can of spray paint. Move the bricks off to the side.

  3. Dig a trench where you have spray-painted. Use a spade to dig straight sides, 8 to 12 inches deep, all the way around the fire pit. This trench will allow you to lay one course of brick below ground, making the fire pit more stable. Fill the trench with 6 inches of gravel. Spread the gravel evenly.

  4. Lay your first course of bricks on top of the gravel. Push the bricks firmly together, eliminating space between the bricks. Use a rubber mallet to tap them more closely together.

  5. Spread masonry adhesive to the tops of each brick. Adhesive can be applied with a caulk gun or a putty knife. Set the next course of blocks into the adhesive. Press firmly on the brick, setting it into the adhesive. Offset each brick. Staggering the bricks will make the fire pit more stable.

  6. Shovel 6 inches of gravel into the center of the fire pit. Compact the gravel with a hand tramper. Add more gravel until you have 6 inches of gravel in the center of the fire pit.

  7. Lay additional courses of brick, using masonry adhesive, until your firepit is the desired height. Make the firepit high enough to protect people sitting near it from sparks but not so high that it doesn’t put out heat. Most firepits are about 12 inches above ground.

  8. Tip

    Consider coating your bricks with a sealant to protect it from the elements and from soot from the fire.