Fire Pit Design – How to make it useful and unique

Fire Pit Design – How to make it useful and unique

A landscape feature that is growing in popularity, the outdoor fire pit is an obvious and relatively simple way to create a gathering spot in your yard that also provides a source of warmth and even a place to grill.  It can be as simple as a few rocks or blocks arranged in an informal ring to contain a bonfire, of course, but why not go the extra distance to make it a more permanent fixture?

We built this firepit (on the right) last summer, and although I have been commissioned to build all manner of complex structures out of stone over the years, this was the first firepit project.  My clients wanted me to design something that looked natural, original and even sculptural.

After a bit of visualizing and considering the wall and patio stone we would be installing, I got the idea to take a very large Basalt boulder, have it sawed in half at Marenakos and subsequently flamed (or thermalled) to give the cut faces a rough, natural finish.  Then I set the two halves flat-side-up in a cement footing and assembled ledgestone walls to connect them.  Firebrick was used internally to protect the rest of the masonry from heat damage over time.

via Martha's Vineyard Concrete & Masonry

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I tracked down some other fire pit ideas for your perusal.  Here is the basic design – virtually the same idea as mine above minus the boulders.  Simple, yet a far cry better than a ring of retaining blocks or rubble.

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via Bennett Bros. Stone

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The below-ground fire pit design is another way to go.  Though it does not provide a flat, raised surface to set things on, on a chilly night, the heat is more able to reach your legs and feet.

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via Roger Hopkins (rocksculptors.com)

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I am impressed by this stone sculptor’s work.  He has taken round granite boulders and crafted not only a gorgeous firepit, but stone chairs as well.  Excellent!


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via Mark Jurus and The Drystone Public Forum

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And finally, this mason has chosen a truly challenging and crafty method for his design.  Flagstones are laid vertically to form a perfect rounded bowl shape.  To see a pictorial documentation of his process, click on the photo.

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Ah, on a sunny day like today, Spring feels like it is right around the corner.   Cheers!

Mark Shepherd    www.ShepherdStoneworks.com

Bringing the finest in Stone Masonry to the Greater Seattle Area.

Natural stone walls, patios, steps and rockery of all sizes.

Mortared stone veneers, fireplace surrounds, and interiors.

Integrated landscape design and installation.

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