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How to build a sunken fire pit

Updated April 17, 2017

A sunken fire pit is a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy sitting around a campfire in the evening. Unlike an above-ground fireplace, which can be costly and requires regular maintenance, a sunken fire pit can be created with a small budget and is cost-effective to maintain. A sunken fire pit can provide years of enjoyment for you and your family, and it can be built with a few simple tools and a bit of know-how.

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  1. Pick a location convenient to your backyard. Choose an area that has room for plenty of people to sit and is free from overhanging branches and shrubs.

  2. Mark the centre of your sunken fire pit. Measure out an equal distance from the centre in four directions, and mark those spots as well. For an average-size sunken fire pit, measure out 18 inches from the centre.

  3. Dig to a depth of about 12 inches. In the centre of your sunken fire pit, dig another hole about six inches wide and fill it with a material such as gravel or small stones for drainage.

  4. Cover the bottom of your fire pit with at least two inches of sand.

  5. Surround your fire pit with a row of rustic river stones, or pavers from a building supply store. Keep a supply of fresh firewood, covered against the elements, nearby.

  6. Tip

    Make your sunken fire pit level by using a carpenter's level.

    Warning

    Check for any buried wires or cables before you dig.

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Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rocks
  • Gravel
  • Sand

About the Author

Dan Ames has been a professional writer for nearly 20 years and has won national and international awards for creativity. He received a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin and has been published in a variety of magazines, journals and websites, including eHow and Pluck on Demand.

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