How to build your own Firepit | General

With the cold weather, you may be missing your evenings outdoors. You may have even considered a fireplace but were put off when you found out how much it will cost – and even so this still places you inside. In South Africa, we are blessed with warmer winters than elsewhere in the world, so having a chill in the air should not keep you in doors – especially if you have somewhere to unwind and make memories with loved ones. Today we look at how to build your own fire pit, right in your backyard, meaning you can still be outdoors this winter!


Building a fire pit can be a great addition to your outdoor space. Here's a general guide on how to build a fire pit:



  1. Check local regulations: Before you begin, check your local building codes and regulations regarding fire pits. Ensure that you are allowed to build one and if there are any specific guidelines you need to follow.
  2. Choose a suitable location: Select a safe and suitable location for your fire pit. It should be away from any flammable structures, overhanging trees, or shrubs. Ensure that there is enough space around the fire pit for seating and maintaining a safe distance from the fire.
  3. Gather your materials: Here's a list of materials you'll typically need:
    • Fire bricks or retaining wall blocks (heat-resistant)
    • Gravel or sand
    • Concrete or construction adhesive
    • Steel ring or insert (for added durability)


  1. Prepare the area: Clear the area where you'll be building the fire pit. Remove any vegetation, rocks, or debris. Level the ground using a shovel or rake.
  2. Lay the first layer: Begin by laying the first layer of fire bricks or retaining wall blocks in a circular shape. Use a level to ensure they are even and properly aligned. Place them tightly together, touching each other.
  3. Continue building layers: Add subsequent layers of bricks or blocks, staggering the joints to increase stability. You can stack them in a straight vertical alignment or create a slightly inward or outward slope for aesthetic purposes. Aim for a height of about 30-45 cm, but you can adjust this to your preference.
  4. Secure the layers: To enhance stability, you can use concrete or construction adhesive between each layer of bricks or blocks. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper application.
  5. Add a steel ring or insert: If you want to add extra durability and protection to the fire pit, you can place a steel ring or insert inside the pit. This can help contain the fire and protect the surrounding materials. Ensure that it is properly fitted and centered.
  6. Fill the bottom: Once the desired height is reached, fill the bottom of the fire pit with a layer of gravel or sand. This will help with drainage and provide a stable base for the fire.
  7. Test and finalize: Before using the fire pit, inspect it for stability and make any necessary adjustments. Test the fire pit by starting a small fire and observe its behavior. Ensure that it is safe, well-ventilated, and functioning as intended.


Remember to exercise caution when using your fire pit. Follow safety guidelines, keep a fire extinguisher nearby, and never leave the fire unattended.