DIY Fire Pit: How To Make a Fire Pit In The Ground


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If you’re thinking about camping this summer, there are a few things you should have in mind before you even head out to collect sticks and kindling. For starters, you will need a level, flat surface on which to make your fire pit. Also, an area that is large enough for the fire pit to rest on the ground without being too close to anything – ideally somewhere with an open space around it that allows for ventilation and the ability of your campfire to roll over if needed. Learn how to make a fire pit in the ground with easy step-by-step instructions. Create an outdoor gathering space that will last for years!

If you don’t have a fireplace at home, then you won’t know how to build a fire pit in your backyard. In fact, even if you do have a fireplace, it’s always good to know how to make fire outside of the home in case of emergencies.

Tools Required:

1. Axe 

2. Saws (cutters)

3. Pickaxe

4. Drill for holes

5. 3/4″ Diameter Pipes

6. Square or Angle Grinder

7. Template of Ground (preferably with depth markings)

8. Heavy Duty Hammer & Stones

9. A Level (to check your fire pit’s levelness) [or sand]

10. Disposable Drinking Water Container

11. Shovel (for adding more wood to the fire pit)  Or ‘Funnel’ for putting wood in the fire pit to achieve a better flame, especially when using sticks and other things that keep falling off!  Capacity: You’ll need a minimum of 5-10 pieces of wood (for fuelwood).

12. Oil or Gasoline (for igniting the fire) [Never use gasoline if you are going to burn your fire pit in an indoor setting (smoke and flame proof laws in place)]

13. Wood Blocks (for keeping the logs off of ground. This is also optional.)

Materials Required:

1. Concrete blocks (minimum of 5 per fire pit)

2. Sand (for compacting the bottom of the concrete blocks)

3. Gravel (for compacting the bottom of the concrete blocks)

4. Rocks with flat surfaces (for leveling off gravel and sand for concrete block to rest on)

5. Cement/Concrete (to fill cracks/holes on rocks and dirt to help hold the fire pit in place)

6. Planting soil (for filling cracks of cement/concrete to help hold the fire pit)

7. Bricks (for using to create a grid system)

8. Stakes or pieces of wood (to keep the fire pit in place while it is curing or making)

9. Tinder-wood sticks and kindling (to start your fire)  [optional]

10. Lighter fluid (for starting/igniting fire with “Tinder-wood”)

11. Fire grate & Hooks 

12. Wood burning grill hooks  (for lighting the fire on top of grill hooks after it’s been ignited by lighter fluid or your own hand.

Building any kind of fire pit is easy – all it takes is some time, organization and proper tools. And for this article, we will be focusing on how to make a fire pit. Let’s get started!

How To Make a Fire Pit In The Ground:


Take a look at your tools and make sure you have everything ready. We will begin by cutting logs that are thick enough to last through the night and into the next day. You can use anything from 2 to 5 inches in diameter, but keep in mind that the size of these logs depends on how large you plan on making your fire pit.


You should first decide where you want your fire pit to be placed. If you have a fire pit already, then that part is easy. However, if you don’t have one, you’re going to need to decide where the best place is for one. You want to make sure that it is in a large enough area so that you can move around it easily and it isn’t too close to any trees or structures.


Using your tape measure and beginning at the end of the driveway (or where your fire pit will start), measure out how wide and long you want your fire pit to be. Make sure to measure down the driveway. Now, using the same tape measure, mark the end of the driveway by where you will begin digging with your shovel and make a new mark at that measurement. This will be where you start digging.


Now that you have marked your outer and inner portions of the fire pit, it’s time to dig! Start digging the hole for your fire pit in one direction – in our case we marked our location A – B (see picture). Use a shovel or trowel to dig out a nice, comfortable size cut into the soil so that it is wide enough for your logs.


Now that you have the hole dug, it’s time to shape the base of your fire pit. Using the same tools that you dug with, shape the base so that it is level and nice to look at. You can make it as big or as small as you want.

You are now ready for Step 6!

Step 6: BUILD THE LOGS THAT WILL CONSTITUTE THE OVERALL FIRE PIT STRUCTURE Remember those logs that we had mentioned earlier? They were cut to the appropriate height and width, based on how big we wanted our fire pit to be. Now it’s time to place them in the ground. Place 4-5 logs around your fire pit, leaving enough space so that you can move around comfortably. Make sure they are spaced equally apart and are not too close to any trees or structures that might get burned by the fire. It is important that you don’t place any logs directly on top of each other to ensure a safe and sturdy structure.


Now it is time to stack the logs. You can either put one on top of the other, or you can criss-cross them, which will be more aesthetically pleasing. However you stack them, once you are done, make sure that they are level with each other and not too close to any trees or structures. This is important because we do not want anything catching on fire.


Now you have to check your work. Go back and make sure that the structure is sturdy and not made up of too many logs that are close together. You don’t want to build your fire pit too big or small, because it all depends on how big you want it.

Step 9: TEST IT OUT! Try lighting your fire pit with a lighter, match or any other device that can light a fire. Make sure it’ll last through the night and into the next day. After making sure it will, you will be ready for a nice night around the campfire!


Can you just dig a hole for a fire pit?

If you plan on doing this with a manual auger, then yes. However, if you plan on using a drill or any other automatic tool to dig the hole for you, the answer is no. The reason is because it will disturb your waste line which can be very dangerous and expensive. Digging a hole for a fire pit is not very hard work, so don’t spend money on an auger (if possible) if all you are looking to do is dig up dirt.

How big should my fire pit be?

Ideally, the fire pit should be at least 4 feet in diameter and 1 foot deep; however, it depends on how much wood you plan on burning. If you plan on burning less than 3 pieces of wood around the fire pit then it would be okay to make it smaller; if you plan on burning more than 3 logs at a time around the fire pit then make sure that the fire pit is big enough so that you can comfortably move around it.

Any tips for starting/keeping a fire going?

Yes! First, when lighting your wood, make sure that your logs are slightly damp and are not too close together. Once your pile is ignited by lighter fluid or by hand, place a grill over top and once the coals start glowing ensure they are hot enough (with your hand) before cooking with them. Once you are done cooking and you want to extinguish the fire, be sure to use water; anything else may cause the wood to burn up and turn into a lot of smoke.

How do I prevent large amounts of smoke from coming out of my fire pit?

There are a couple of ways that you can prevent smoke from coming out of your fire pit. First, make sure that the logs have enough water in them so that they don’t burn up too quickly. Second, make sure that your technique for keeping the fire contained is effective enough.

What are the advantages of having a fire pit?

Having a fire pit is great because it allows you to move around your campsite freely and easily. The logs will burn for a long time and will add ambiance to your campsite. It also provides warmth for you and those around you, which is great for the cold winter nights. Plus, it’s fun to have an open conversation around the campfire!

Can I build a fire pit on dirt?

Yes you can! As long as you have a good set of skills, you will be able to build a fire pit on dirt. First, take your time and make sure that the hole is wide and deep enough for the logs to stand on their own. Also make sure that the logs are not too close together or too far apart (in between 1-2 feet). The best part is once the fire pit is complete you won’t even know it’s on dirt because it will be easy to cover up with gravel or rocks.

Do I need a permit for my fire pit?

If a local law prohibits it, then yes. Usually all that you need to do is call the Fire Department and ask if there is any laws, restrictions or permits you need.

What are some advantages of having a fire pit in my backyard?

The best advantage a fire pit will have in your backyard is that you can have fun while creating memories with your family and friends. Campfires are great ways to spend time with those you love and don’t forget the marshmallows! Another advantage of having a fire pit in your backyard is that it will help warm up the whole house. If you live in an area where temperatures reach below freezing point, consider purchasing a fire pit for when winter comes knocking on your door.

Does a fire pit need drainage?

No, a fire pit does not necessarily need drainage; however, it is important that it allows the water to run freely. One way around this is placing your fire pit on top of bricks or concrete blocks, which will allow the excess water to flow down into the ground below. The best place for your fire pit is to place it on a deck or between two trees so it doesn’t get in contact with any grass or plants.

What is the best material for my fire pit?

The best material for your fire pit is stone, which includes slate, natural stone and ceramic tiles. These materials are not only great for fire pits, but for gardens and walkways as well.

How smoky will my fire pit get when I use it?

If you properly manage the fire, your fire pit will not get too smoky. However, it is important that you don’t place too many logs into the fire at a time. It is also important that you keep the logs slightly damp so they don’t burn up too quickly causing lots of smoke to come out of your fire pit.

Final Thoughts:

Although this will take some reconnaissance and planning ahead, building a fire pit is fairly easy. However, you can make your fire pit more appealing to your guests with the addition of rocks or a fireplace. Whether you decide to build a fire pit or not – it’s best to have one in your backyard, especially if you enjoy spending time during the summer out-doors!

Do you know how to make a fire pit? If so, leave us a comment below and let us know how. Also, if you’re interested in other outdoor tips and info that we have posted on How to Build a Fire Pit with Bricks, check out 12 steps to making a Stunning Garden fireplace!


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