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If you need an article that shows you the basics of building an outdoor masonry fireplace, stay with us. We can inform you of the basic steps to build your very own cinder block outdoor fire pit. 

It is not a huge undertaking and you won’t need a construction attorney or engineer to step in (not likely, anyway!) so give it a try. 

You will like this so much you might even consider a cinder block indoor fireplace. 

Safety First

Fire pits are fun, but they are serious stuff. Here are some of our best tips for staying safe: 

  • Make sure fire pits are ten feet from your neighbors’ yard at minimum. Aim for at least 20 feet. 
  • Never put the pit near low-hanging structures, tree branches or power lines. 
  • Put the pit on a surface that can’t catch fire. 
  • Never place it on a deck or grass. 
  • Do not light the fire pit when it is windy. 
  • Do not use a flammable gas or lighter fluid to start the fire, instead go for a fire stick with some kindling. 
  • Be sure you know what direction the wind is going and remove any flammable items downwind of the fire pit. 
  • Keep kids and pets away from the fire pit unless closely supervised. 
  • Consider a wire mesh screen to prevent fall-in accidents. 
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby just in case. 
  • Use a shovel and water to extinguish flames when you are done.

1. Materials

You can buy an outdoor fireplace kits, but we think it is much more authentic to build your own. Here is what you need to start up: 

  • Gravel
  • Masonry adhesive
  • Several cinder blocks

2. The Steps

Here are the basic steps to getting your cinder block fire pit off the ground. 

First, pick a location that you would like your fireplace. Be sure you choose a spot that will not cause accidents. For instance, your fire pit should probably go on a concrete patio, ground that has no dry grass or hay, or gravel. 

You can also put down a concrete pad. Be sure you place this at least 20 feet from any other objects, structures or your home. 

Also be sure there are no overhanging tree branches or other objects over the fire pit. 

3. Get Site Ready

Make a circular area on the ground of how big you would like your fireplace. 

Clear it out. 

Mark the area, make sure you make this at least 4-5 feet across so four people can sit comfortably around the pit. Add one more foot for each additional person. 

4 feet is the recommended diameter in these outdoor fireplace blueprints because cinder blocks get unstable when progressively used. 

4. Build It

Get rid of about 6 inches of soil that you marked off. Your first row of cinder blocks will be used below ground to steady the fire pit. 

Then add 3 inches of gravel to the pit bottom. This aids in draining. 

5. Using the Cinder Blocks

The next step in our outdoor fireplace plans free is to stack up the cinder blocks.

Set up the first layer of cinder blocks inside the circle and place them so inner corners are touching. Make sure the holes face up. 

Now place the second layer of cinder blocks atop the first, covering the space between the blocks in your first layer. Every three feet turn one of the blocks to a small angle so that you are creating a vent for air to go inside the pit. 

 If this fire pit is just for temporary purposes, then this is it; you are all done. But if you want this to be a permanent fixture, there is one more step to follow. 

6. Make It Permanent

Here is how you can make this fire pit a permanent fixture so that the outdoor barbecues, parties and gatherings will always have a warm place to sit and relax. 

Lift up the top row, one block at a time. Then apply adhesive in the shape of an S before you replace it. Allow adhesive to cure per the instructions by the manufacturer before you start making a fire inside that pit. 

You can improve on your cinder block outdoor fireplace by adding top caps to the second row of your blocks and use the masonry adhesive to ensure they are permanently attached. 

This gives it a polished and refined appearance and takes it from good to great. Top caps can be bought at your local home improvement store.

Ideas

There are many ways you can enjoy a fire pit. Here we have two ideas for a DIY fire pit, and then a suggestion for grilling.  Check out these ideas here. 

-Round Fire Pit: This is an elegant and reminds us of going to an outdoor patio or restaurant to eat. It is like sitting at a table, only different. Placing a few comfortable chairs around the fire pit is a sure way to get people to gather. 

-DIY Cinder Block Pit: This is a simple, square-shaped pit you can make in your backyard or for a friend. This one only needs some cinder blocks that you layer in two rows. It looks a little primitive, but it definitely keeps you warm and gives you a place to gather with friends. 

-Grilling: You can add a grill grate over your fire pit to make it even more fun. Imagine serving your friends and family some flame-grilled fish, steaks, hot dogs or even veggie burgers over the fire. It will taste great and delight them all. 

Wrap It Up

Summer nights with the kids, sharing beers with friends, sitting with your spouse and talking late into the night-these are all wonderful experiences that can be enhanced when you have a lovely fire pit to enjoy with the people you care about. 

We hope our how to guide helped out, and that you have many happy nights with your fire pit!