One of the agreements my wife and I had with us moving into a new neighborhood was the understanding that we would have a firepit. The good news was it did not take much convincing since I had built one at our old house complete with reflector.
We searched for something that would fit the requirement of being open and still allowing an aesthetically pleasing yet functional tool that we would be able to not just enjoy but utilize. One of the ones we started leaning towards was a 3’x3′ square with another eight inches of fake stone that would serve as a table ledge. Although portable, there was still something missing.
It finally hit me when I realized I could not find one that I completely liked. “I’ll build it!” While everyone was excited, my dear wife reminded me that we now lived in an HOA Community (I will save that discussion for a later time with more alcohol) which meant it could not be “redneck-ified”.
I thought about it and looked at several features we liked in kits and packages realizing that if I bought them as is, it would cost me between $200 and $250, if I was lucky. My other option was to purchase one that could hold a bundle of twigs and produce less heat than my Bic lighter. No thank you.
I went to both the stone store and Home Depot. After still not finding what I was looking for, I went to my favorite home store, Lowe’s. I priced several types of stones for the firepit and was coming in at just under $100. After rounding the corner, I saw some stones I really liked. They were rough shaped with smooth sides for stacking and to top it all off, they were on sale.
Originally the stones were around $5 each and Lowe’s new everyday price was $3 each. However, when I went to the register for the 32 chunks of grayish rock, they rang up at $2.25 each making them under budget by almost $30. Now to load them and take them home.
The Jeep growled at the load as if it was made for carrying such booty in the rear bed. It gripped the ground and sped off without as much as a hiccup. After unloading, I was thankful for the outdoor associate loading them in the back with the forklift (another reason why this is my favorite home store).
I picked the perfect spot that was kind of secluded in the backyard by being surrounded by brush and trees as well as ensuring it was fairly flat so I would not have to do much work. After verifying the spot, I did a rough placement so I could determine the layout and size prior to digging up grass.
I dug out the pit portion and replaced each rock ensuring that it was level. This keeps the remaining ones from sliding off and ensuring that I could take the walls higher if I chose to.
The last step was turning the end stones in order for it to flair out for a keyhole fire. I added a grate that I found in the forest after someone left it while camping. I had to do a little cleanup on it and an old grill grate will work just as well.
As you will see in the video, I think it turned out well. I have placed a couple of fires in it and so far it is working out exactly like I had hoped. Now we wait for the weather to be a little cooler so we can build more fires and enjoy it with a nice bourbon or whiskey.
The next step is to put up a tarp for a shelter to work on my dirt-time. Enjoy.
Use your instincts to survive