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-   -   Back yard fire pit ideas? (http://www.houserepairtalk.com/f103/back-yard-fire-pit-ideas-12086/)

TomS 09-08-2011 11:36 AM

Back yard fire pit ideas?
 
I am looking for fire pit ideas, or more specifically what to put on the ground around the fire pit ring. We have a low and damp back yard where the pit will go. We considered putting in a paver patio which would give us a solid surface but see we would really only use it occasionally for the fire pit so that seems like a bit over kill.

I have the steal fir ring but we are debating what if anything to put around it. Seem like the grass will die off and turn to mud. We have thought about throwing down some bark or small gravel. What considerations or ideas can you suggest?

BridgeMan 09-08-2011 01:44 PM

Sounds like you need to build up the grade a bit, to get rid of the dampness. I think pavers would be a good idea, especially the heavier, fake stone types, in an effort to make a welcoming setting that you and your guests will enjoy using. Make the area large enough for people to gather around on, larger than just the fire pit.. Don't use bark, as it can smolder and burn for a long time after the fire pit is out.

TomS 09-09-2011 06:41 AM

One of the things I am trying to avoid is a large and costly project for something that will only get occasional use. One of the reasons I started to look for other options other than pavers is the effort to remove a lot of soil and build up the proper base.

I have thought about flag stone or one of the fake stone versions and then laying it with out any base at all. If it heaved a little from frost I could just lift it and re-level a bit. Both those versions still seam to get expensive.

I considered loose pea gravel but can see that getting kicked into the yard. Im not sure if there would be a more decorative version of a packable base so that I could lay pavers over the top at a later date if I decide to upgrade?

BridgeMan 09-09-2011 08:24 PM

You may regret trying to do something on the cheap, and winding up with an eyesore that neither you nor your guests will ever want to use. And a problem with using a "packable base" is having the fines stick to everyone's shoes when just slightly damp, and then being tracked into the house, etc. Better to use an inexpensive washed rock, with lots of fractured faces--it will be more likely to interlock and firm up than rounded rock ever will.

dcacinverter 11-26-2011 03:12 PM

You could use pea gravel without worrying about it getting kicked out as long as you build some sort of retaining wall. You could make it out of any number of things and you can probably make it look pretty good.

KimC 05-20-2012 02:56 PM

Idea
 
Not sure if it is practical, but our neighbor found a bunch of rock down by a creek just down the road and brought it home and buried it so it was even with the ground around it. Then they planted grass in between the stones and it has a really nice rustic look to it. The stones are all flat and flush with the ground and so far the grass is doing well. If you were worried about the grass dying off you could use gravel...but you might be surprised how well the grass around it can do (at least we have been in our backyard).

BMartin9000 08-10-2012 11:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KimC (Post 73041)
Not sure if it is practical, but our neighbor found a bunch of rock down by a creek just down the road and brought it home and buried it so it was even with the ground around it. Then they planted grass in between the stones and it has a really nice rustic look to it. The stones are all flat and flush with the ground and so far the grass is doing well. If you were worried about the grass dying off you could use gravel...but you might be surprised how well the grass around it can do (at least we have been in our backyard).

This is a good idea

wyattfisk 09-05-2012 05:26 PM

Personally, I placed mine in the center of my backyard on a round patch of bark. I surrounded the bark with decorative stones to create a stark visual divide between the bark and the grass, and I laid some stepping stones from my concrete patio out to the ring. The result was a pretty cool "island effect" that really made the whole thing pop. The most important thing about it though, for me, was the fact that it was super cheap - I had a ton of bark and small decorative stones left over from an earlier project, and I found good stepping stones for free on Craigslist! Not sure what sort of budget you're dealing with, but personally, if you can make something "cheap" look really good, then I say more power to you!

slownsteady 09-19-2012 08:05 AM

Bark is just too combustible, stone is a better idea. Pea gravel won't make a good base for chairs & stuff because the legs will sink in, and your guest will have a hard time getting comfortable.

Remember to take into account the cost of solving problems with cheap materials - sometimes the solution isn't cheap at all. And if you have to redo in a year, then that's gonna cost more money.

And finally, just how wet is this area? Maybe the best answer is to provide better drainage before you even start.

notmrjohn 09-20-2012 09:43 AM

Build up the area with clean fill dirt. set the fire ring, set an outer retainer, steel or really rugged plastic landscape edging, concrete or brick edging blocks, flagstone, river rock, something that will stay in place. Depending on distance from fire ring (and termites), landscape timbers or rail ties. Fill area between rings with Drainage rock, Bridgeman's "washed rock, with lots of fractured faces--it will be more likely to interlock and firm up than rounded rock ever will." larger than pea gravel and less trackable. Avoid bark, termites, but more importantly, can smolder unseen for days then burst into flame. Check for roots under fire ring, also can smolder unseen, actually travel along root underground, spring up in unexpected place. Happy s'mores making!


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