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Replacing the Fire Pit

September 12, 2015

A few years ago I bought a small metal fire pit from one of the home centers. We have enjoyed sitting around a campfire on summer evenings. It's always a good excuse to get outside, roast some hot dogs, or do a little cooking in foil packets. Unfortunately, after a few years of fires the old metal pit was not looking very nice. Despite drilling some drain holes in the bottom, it frequently filled up with water and eventually starting rusting through. On a recent trip to the home center my wife found a new fire pit she liked so we decided to replace our old one.

Out with the old, in with the new

When I bought our first fire pit, I just used some spare paver stones to build a simple perimeter frame in the yard. Then I filled the center with gravel. Unfortunately, the new fire pit was not as big around so it didn't fit on the perimeter pavers like the old pit did. I decided to dig out the gravel in the center and fill it with pavers.

I had a lot of damaged and partial paver stones from a previous project. I needed to cut a bunch of pavers for this project anyway, so this was a perfect way to use the leftovers. I opted to build concentric rings in the middle, instead of a simple running bond layout. It meant a few more cuts, but it didn't require as many full pavers.

This was a fairly simple project. I just dug out the old gravel, tamped the base, leveled a thin layer of sand, and started laying in my pavers. I used polymeric sand to fill the gaps and lock the pavers in place.

We enjoyed several cookouts around the fire before the weather turned cold in the fall. The new fire pit has several drains so it doesn't fill up with water when it rains. The openings in the side also give off a lot more heat, something we always struggled to feel with the old fire pit. We're already looking forward to fires next summer.