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How Do I Safely Build a Fire Pit on a Concrete Patio?

Nothing beats a crisp fall evening in New Jersey. Being local to Bergen County, the Tribeca Masonry team is no stranger to spending long nights out on a concrete backyard patio just taking in the fresh air and night sky.

But when the nights get a bit too chilly for blankets to handle, an outdoor fire pit can add a vital heat source and new focal point to any outdoor space. If you already have a concrete patio, you can skip the store-bought fire pit and build your own for increased durability and less money than its manufactured counterparts.

Start With Choosing a Location

When installing a fire pit, one primary concern is whether or not the blaze and floating embers can be safely contained. While perforated metal screens can be placed over and around the pit, stray pieces of still-burning material can find their way onto the nearby lawn.

Concrete patios remove this concern thanks to their fireproof composition, making it the perfect spot to start building your pit. They also offer a better flow aesthetically as the layer of blocks making up the fire pit walls can match the concrete slab below.

It’s Not All Concrete Though

Backyard cooking stations offer homeowners chances to create a different feel. If you have or have seen them, you’ll notice that their construction creates a unique look while still having the same traditional grills and cooktops within.

For handmade fire pits, the same rings true. The outer rim of the firepit will be made of concrete with a metal bowl inside to house the fire itself. The contrast creates an aesthetic that merges the best of stone masonry work with sturdy steel construction. 

You can choose to have a wide lipped pit inside that sits on the top of the outer wall or a sleeker design that snugly fits inside while still sealing off the concrete patio beneath. The overall construction provides the heat protection you need to ensure your patio and fire pit combination has an extended lifespan. 

Now It’s Time to Start Assembling

Whether you choose to go with cement blocks or natural stone, the stacking process must be done correctly. Cinder blocks will be the easiest option as they have uniform sizes and flat tops.

A more design-forward option is stacking flat stones on top of each other. Looking more appealing than stacked blocks, the stone laying process is more time-consuming and expensive but ultimately pays off in the end for homeowners.

Prep, Stack, and Enjoy!

Have your choice of wall material handy, and place the metal bowl of your pit on the ground where you want it. Ensure there is adequate room around the pit so that guests can comfortably enjoy the fire without feeling the heat too much.

Next, create a ring around the bowl with the blocks. You’ll want to ensure that each one is placed as snugly as possible to its neighbors. Once you’re happy with the first layer, remove the bowl from inside as it’s no longer needed for guidance.

The second and third layers will follow the path of the blocks below but make sure to stagger them for each layer. This means putting the center of the second block in line with where two blocks meet below it. Not only does this increase sturdiness, but it creates a unique design that elevates the aesthetics of the entire pit.

So, are you ready to get the most out of every fall evening? The fire pit installers at Tribeca Masonry are here to help facilitate all of your outdoor living needs. From poured concrete patios to walkway steps, our team of veteran concrete contractors and retaining wall builders can create long-lasting features that enhance your home and patio design.