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Backyard Fire Pits

Updated on September 17, 2011

Fire pits and fire rings can be a favorite place of enjoyment if you're careful. When my husband and I decided to add a fire pit to our backyard, our first decision was not where to put it but to ask the city if it was even allowed since we lived on the edge of town but were still within city limits. Once we learned it was okay we then determined the where. This is important because it helps determine what type of pit you will want to have or design.

The first pit we ever had together was our used, Weber grill. It was old, large, and round. We shortened the legs by cutting them way down (to about 10"). The fire pit we created back then was long before someone got the brilliant idea to create similar designs and make a fortune with them.

Anyway, we placed it way away from the house so as not to allow the smoke to enter our home as well as to avoid any potential fire hazards. We also chose a spot away from trees so as not to kill them with the heat and smoke as it rose, and sat it away from our wooden fence. We then added a few lawn chairs around it and we had our 'fire/conversation pit'. The kids loved it since it gave us all the feeling of camping, which we enjoyed very much. We often roasted wieners and marshmallows, and made lots of s'mores back then. The kids were also inclined to set up our camping tent in the backyard and sleep in it. They had sleepovers more often then and the neighbor kids loved it too. It started a few different trends of entertainment for our family.

Expanding Your Fire Pit Area

As our family grew larger we moved into a new home and wanted another fire pit. We also decided that we wanted this one to be a little more permanent. After checking with the city to get approval, we had new things to consider this time. We now lived on the 12th hole of a golf course and had a sprinkler system to contend with so we decided to make it an in-ground one that had a little more aesthetic appeal. We decided to start out simple and inexpensive at first figuring that we could always add things to it as we went, like a stone patio, etc.

With our new plan, we sought out a metal tire rim or ring. We lived in farm country so there were many old tractor tires and rings around and figured we could just visit the junkyard to see what was available. We found the perfect item rather quickly. It was the size and depth that we needed so we carefully chose a spot in the corner of our yard. We simply dug a hole and placed the ring inside. We placed some older Adirondack chairs around it. It was much nicer than the first one we had. We even added a place for chopped wood.

The kids have all grown since then, and my husband and I moved out of the house that sat on the golf course. Today, he and I live in a cottage and have one of those designed portable fire pits that you can purchase and throw on your lawn or patio. Our eldest daughter and her husband, and two of our other children also have a similar type of fire pit. We think we have started a trend!

Our oldest daughter and her husband are now adding pavers, boulders, and the like, all around theirs but we've recently decided to add a Pergola to our patio instead, yet overlooking the fire pit with all it's nicely laid out patio chairs. As I've gotten older, I've been a little more focused on having a fancy Pergola for relaxing and entertaining company than on my fire pit. However, we still use our fire pit often because it makes a great place for us to sit around and listen to my husband play his guitar while we roast weiners and make s'mores. I hope you enjoy yours as much as we have ours.


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      Jen 8 years ago

      GREAT information! I never would have thought of some those things.. Thanks!!