How to Build a Fire Pit on Grass
Fire pits are a great feature to bring the outdoor living or camping experience to your yard. Contrary to popular belief, building a fire pit on grass is quite easy. However, there are different factors that you need to take into account, so it’s important to pay attention to the whole setup to avoid burning your lawn.
To build a homemade fire pit on grass, you need to identify its proper location, dig a pit of about 10 inches deep, fill it with gravel or sand, line the perimeter with stones, and then start your fire in the fire pit.
You will also need to take some precautionary steps to ensure the fire doesn’t scorch the grass. We have discussed how you can build a homemade fire pit on top of your backyard grass easily and safely.
We will also share important tips to ensure the fire pit doesn’t kill the grass underneath and around it.
Can you put a fire pit on the grass?
You can build a fire pit on top of grass. However, there are several issues you need to keep in mind. First, you need to consider the type of fire pit you want: charcoal, wood, or gas. Then the other concern is damage to the grass.
Wood and charcoal fire pits will certainly scorch a bit of the grass area. To avoid this, you must place a mat or a barrier underneath the fire pit. On the other hand, you have more control with a gas fire pit.
Also, an elevated fire with a screen is a great safety option. You will also need to rotate the fire pit routinely to avoid heat compression and preserve the grass. Now before proceeding to build a fire pit on your lawn, there are a few things you need to do first.
Check your local laws.
Before even building a fire pit in your yard, you must ensure it’s allowed. Your local government, homeowner’s association, and house deed may restrict home pits’ size, location, material, and fuel type or forbid them altogether.
So first, contact your municipal’s planning office and homeowners’ association and review your house deed to ensure you comply with all the rules and obtain any necessary permits for a fire pit installation.
Once you have the permit to build your fire pit, you need to find a suitable location for the fire pit. Choose an area at least 10 feet away from any tree, fence, or building structures. The fire pit place should also be away from direct wind.
Ensure nothing is hanging above the fire pit, even tree branches or wire lines. If you have a small or crowded yard, you may not be able to install a proper fire pit on it.
How do you build a fire pit on top of the grass?
Building a fire pit is quite easy as long as you observe all the necessary precautions to ensure that your fire is steady and safe.
You will also require some farm tools and a bit of muscle. Follow the detailed guide below to build a proper fire pit on top of the grass while ensuring minimal damage to the grass.
Things you’ll need
- Colored spray paint
- Digging tool (shovel, mattock, spade)
- Landscaping stones or bricks
- Gravel or fire pit rocks
- Rubber mallet
- Masonry adhesive
- Metal ring(optional)
Find the perfect location and out lien the fire pit
- A circular fire pit is best as it allows everyone to sit around it at an equal distance away from the center. Mark the spot you want to be the center of the fire pit, then nail a stick on the mark with the mallet.
- Tie a string to the stick and make a loose knot so that the string can turn easily.
- Use a tape measure, measure two feet on the string, and mark it.
- Hold the string straight and go around the circle’s center while marking a circle on the grass. You can make the circle as large as you want.
- If you have a metal ring, secure it around the center of the fire pit to find your circle. Then spray outside the metal ring to mark where the bricks will lay.
Measure and dig the fire pit
- Make a hole for the fire pit on the grass. Dig about 6-10 inches deep with the sides gently angled out, like a soup bowl with a flat bottom.
- Trim off about one foot of layer of grass around the perimeter of the fire pit.
Fill your fire pit
- Pack the inside of the fire pit with gravel until the gravel is level with the ground. The gravel will ensure that water doesn’t settle at the bottom of the fire pit when it rains. Alternatively, you can use sand, concrete slab, lava glass beads, or hard rock.
- Filling the fire pit’s base with natural rocks, sandstone, and river rocks is not ideal because these materials are more likely to crack or explode under high heat.
Build your fire pit frame
- Place the fire pit rocks along the top of the perimeter of the ring. Use a rubber mallet to stamp each rock into the soil, so they don’t shift. The general rule is that your fire pit brick wall should be 12-14 inches high.
- If you have a metal ring, place it in front of the perimeter wall to ensure the stones are up against it.
- Place the second row of rocks, then apply some masonry adhesive on the bottom of each rock and stagger their placement. This means the middle of each rock should sit on the end seams on the row beneath it.
- Then use the mallet to even and tighten the rock position. Then repeat the same process with the third row.
Build a fire.
- Place some dry firewood in the center of the fire pit, pour some lighter fluid on the wood, and light. The dry wood will help prevent smoke.
What can you put under a fire pit to protect the grass?
If you want to place a temporary fire pit on the grass, you most likely want to preserve the state of your grass. If this is the case, you can place a few things under the fire pit to protect the grass from burning or catching fire.
DIY heat-resistant surface.
You can place basic materials which are non-flammable and heat resistant under the fire pit. They include hardboard of cement, concrete, paving bricks landscaping tiles. These materials will absorb much heat, thus insulating and shielding your grass and deck from the fire pit heat.
Protective fire pit mats
There are a number of protective fire pit pads and mats designed specifically for use under a fire pit to shield the grass from heat damage. These fire pit mats are heat-resistant materials to ensure your fire doesn’t burn the grass or other surfaces.
What to put in the bottom of a fire pit?
There are several materials you can use for the bottom of a fire pit. They include:
- Lava rocks
- Fire pit glass
- Paving stones
- Concrete slabs
These materials will protect the bottom of the fire pit bowl. If you’re using a portable fire pit, it produces a lot of heat that needs to be absorbed. These materials will absorb the heat and distribute it evenly throughout the fire pit’s base.
If you don’t add anything at the bottom of the fire pit, the heat will be concentrated in a specific area, causing the metal at the bottom to wear down or the grass to burn. Therefore, the sand will act as an insulator and prevent one specific fire pit area from deteriorating.
As you can see, you can build a fire pit on grass without worrying about burning the grass or starting a fire. Building a cheap fire pit in your backyard is easy with a few materials from your local hardware.
Ensure the fire pit is away from anything flammable such as trees, shrubs, or building structures. It would also be best to place a heat-resistant mat underneath the fire pit bowl to avoid damaging the grass.