Monday, May 05, 2008

Manly-Man Firepit

Recently, my 11 year-old got it in his head that we needed a firepit. For the summer, you know. So we can put up the tent and camp chairs and go camping in the backyard and make hotdogs and s'mores on a daily basis.
After some internet research (no, we do not live in the city limits and yes, we can legally have a firepit, it must be 25 feet from all structures which makes the only option smack-dab in the middle of the yard, and various how-to-build-a-firepit websites), he and daddy went for it.

  1. (row 1 of pics) First, they scored 2 SUVs-full of used cement blocks on craigslist for $50 and spent an afternoon driving, loading and unloading them.
  2. They went to the local hardware/garden store and bought 5 bags of gravel for $4 each.
  3. After marking out a 3-foot diameter circle, they laid out the blocks and determined the size of the hole to dig. They dug it 10 inches deep, with a 2 foot French drain in the center.
  4. They laid out the blocks and water-blasted them to get the clumps of dirt, millipedes and dead squooshed earthworms off.

  5. (row 2 of pics) J filled the French drain with gravel (this is to aid drainage so there's no standing water in the firepit, even when we pour water to douse the fire)
  6. ... then filled up the pit with a few inches of gravel ...
  7. ... and it looked like this!
  8. J started to place the blocks around the pit - it took 14 to make a solid circle.

  9. (row 3 of pics) J dry-stacked the blocks, alternating the alignment.
  10. When he was done, it looked like this! Pretty professional, huh?
  11. Then he chopped up some logs...
  12. ... And christened the firepit with its first bonfire and marshmallows!

What a nice project for $70 and a few afternoons! They're so excited! Oh, and the really cool bonus? They have so many extra cement paver blocks that I have enough to pave the paths between my raised garden beds - something I've wanted to do since we moved in!


Kim Carney said...

I love it! so envious ;) will have to come see it in person

Ali said...

Very, very cool. Just don't show my pyromaniacs. In a few years maybe.