How to build a fire pit out of cinder blocks

Written by jennifer williams Google
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How to build a fire pit out of cinder blocks
Breeze block's materials contain the fire within the pit. (fire image by vaso from

Building with breeze blocks is a practical way to construct a fire pit in a back yard. The breeze blocks contain layers of gravel, lava rock and wood upon which the fire is built, and ultimately contain the blaze to ensure it stays in the pit. Breeze block is also a cost-effective building material, produces a stable wall around the fire pit, and provides adequate support for any decorative stone used on the sides and on top of the breeze block retaining wall.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Metal rod
  • Landscape spray paint
  • Hammer
  • Twine
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Rebar
  • Concrete
  • Mortar
  • Trowel
  • Flagstone

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  1. 1

    Place the 3-foot-round round fire pit and seating away from all structures, wooden fences and trees, and within an accessible distance to a garden hose.

  2. 2

    Drive a metal rod into the centre of the pit area with a hammer. Tie a piece of twine to the rod and attach the other end of the twine to a landscape spray paint can so that the length of the twine between the rod and the can is 4 feet.

  3. 3

    Spray the landscape paint on the ground as the paint can holder walks in a circle around the rod to map out a perfect 3-foot circle.

  4. 4

    Dig out the 4-foot round area to a depth of 1 foot and place breeze blocks, open holes facing up, end to end in a single-block layer around the perimeter of the dugout area. Position the blocks with their end corners touching so they are as close together as possible.

  5. 5

    Set a level on each block, one block at a time, and use the shovel and the hands to move earth around under the blocks to ensure the blocks are each level.

  6. 6

    Mix the mortar according to manufacturer's instructions and use a trowel to lay mortar down on the solid areas of the top of the blocks.

  7. 7

    Set a second tier of breeze block on top of the first tier, holes again facing up and positioned exactly over the first tier blocks' holes, end to end, corners touching.

  8. 8

    Apply another layer of mortar on the solid areas on the top of the blocks.

  9. 9

    Place one length of rebar down into each of the block holes and hammer it down into the ground until it is firmly seated in the ground and sticks up 4 or 5 inches above the second-tier blocks. Repeat this step to set the third tier of breeze block.

  10. 10

    Fill all the breeze block holes with concrete and allow it to set overnight.

  11. 11

    Apply a layer of mortar around the outside of the breeze block and set flagstone in the mortar, being careful that the flagstone reaches almost to the top of the tier blocks but are not higher than the top of the blocks, then fill in the joints between the flagstones with mortar.

  12. 12

    Apply one last layer of mortar on top of the third-tier blocks and cap the blocks with pieces of flagstone.

Tips and warnings

  • Look up the state laws and the local regulations regarding backyard fire pits for your area and incorporate any legal requirements such as setbacks, screening and the like, into the construction plan. Every state legislature has a website that usually links to the state's statutory code. Most local ordinances are available from the free online database

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