How to Build a Fire Pit Out of Leftover House Brick
A backyard fire pit is a gathering spot for outdoor entertaining, especially in the evening or on chilly nights. Leftover bricks from your home offer a building material option for a homemade fire pit. For a safe pit, you need fire-rated bricks lining its interior. Other types of brick used for projects around the home are possibilities for the exterior. Planning out the fire pit's size and shape ahead of time allows you to determine if you have enough leftover bricks to complete the project.
Contact the local building department to determine if fire pits are allowed in your city. Find out the specific building regulations for fire pits if they are permitted. Keep these requirements in mind as you design and build the structure.
Identify the location for the fire pit. Choose an area away from other structures that could catch fire.
Design the size and shape of the fire pit. With bricks, a square or rectangular fire pit is the easiest construction method since the bricks are straight. Base the size on how many people you want to fit around the fire pit. Mark out the area with spray paint to guide the building process.
Dig out the marked area to a depth of 12 inches, making sure the ground is level when you're done digging. Fill the area with paver sand to create a base for the bricks. Tamp it down to compact the material.
Lay the first row of bricks to create the outside perimeter of the fire pit. Use a level to make sure the row is level both side-to-side and front-to-back. A tap with a rubber mallet helps level out bricks.
Squeeze masonry adhesive on the top of the bricks to lay the next row on top. Alter the layout of the second row of bricks so the joints don't line up. Continue building up the walls of the fire pit, alternating the joints and checking the level as you go.
Make a lining inside the outer brick wall using fire-rated bricks. Turn the bricks on end so the outer smooth edge faces in toward the fire pit. Slide the bricks right next to one another so there are absolutely no gaps. After completing the bottom row, continue building another row on top to line the entire interior of the fire pit.
Pour a few inches of gravel into the bottom of the fire pit. This helps keep the bricks in place and protects the ground from the heat.
Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.