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How to Build a Fire Pit for Under $100

We build our fire pit for our yard three years ago and have loved it ever since.  It is our primary outdoor BBQ location, a practical place for burning yard waste, and a gathering place for friends.  I love having a cozy fire to sit around, and it makes even an ordinary weekend feel like a vacation.  Besides, does anyone really hate toasted marshmallows?

Before you begin, check the fire pit laws in your area and make sure you know if you'll need a permit to burn.  Many parts of the country have burn bans during certain times of the year, so know the laws in your area.  Be fire smart!

Our fire pit was very simple to make and cost less than $100.  For the amount of enjoyment and time we spend at the fire, it's been a great investment.  We purchased concrete wall blocks for around $2 each and used them to form the ring around the fire.  There are 35 blocks in our ring, with __ on each of the three levels.

The middle of our pit is just dirt.  DO NOT PUT CONCRETE UNDER THE FIRE as it will EXPLODE!!!  My husband has been around a fire on a concrete slab when it blew up.  Not a good idea!

We added a barbecue swivel grill to our fire pit, which has been a great asset for cooking.  It swings over the fire when we want to use it and swings away from the flames when we need to add wood or make marshmallows.  Following after my parents' recommendation, we have an extra BBQ grate over our permanent one, so we can move it around and adjust which parts of the grill have more or less heat.

If you need a tutorial on how to start a campfire, there are several ones online.  You can buy fire starter helpers to make it easier.  Fire wood can often be purchased at grocery stores or from local wood cutters. You can also burn yard waste from fallen branches or bush trimmings.  You might even be able to get a friend to bring you wood if you promise to cook for them!

Of course, if you don't want to build a fire pit from raw materials, you can buy one that's already assembled, which would also be a great option if you want to move your pit around throughout the year.  As I said previously, we love our Barbecue Swivel Grill for cooking up a family dinner, and I recommend you grab a pair of Fireproof Gloves for the chef to keep his hands safe and happy.  Of course, Barbecue Cooking Tools are super helpful to cooking over the flame and most have long handles to keep your hands away from the heat.  For toasting marshmallows, nothing beats a long metal Hot Dog/ Marshmallow Fork.  For those who want to do a little campfire cooking exploration, I highly recommend a Pie Iron for Cooking mini pies, grilled cheese, potato packs, and more.

For hanging out around the fire, we like to use our Camping Chairs.  You can purchase other seating if you want (we also have benches made from logs), but we like that the camping chairs are easy to move around for lawn maintenance (or smoke problems) and can double as useful seating at parks and campsites.  We've found a Plastic Serving Tray to be very helpful for carrying food and supplies from the house to the campfire and gives us a place to put the cooked food off the fire.

Now, it's time to decorate and personalize your outdoor space!  You can put fun Fire Pit Signs around your yard and add a silly String of Lights for extra light.  Dress up your fire with these nifty Colored Flames and sneak in some science for the kids.  Oh, and for mosquitoes, we love the Thermacell products (read more here).

Obviously, I'm not responsible for your safety if you decide to make a fire pit after reading this blog post.  Be smart.  Have water for dumping on the fire.  Teach your kids to stay way from the ring and teach them how to stop-drop-and-roll.  Set firm rules about who can light the fire and when, who gets to add things to the fire pit, and how to behave around it.  We have some kids who aren't even allowed to see how the fire gets lit, because they don't have the impulse control to not try to start the fire themselves without supervision.  Fires are great, but they can also be dangerous.  Stay safe!

Oh, and remember to put your fire DEAD OUT when you go back inside.

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