Genius Tips For Building A Budget-Friendly Fire Pit

In recent years, fire pits have become very popular accessories for homes, cabins, camp houses, campsites, and pretty much anywhere people spend time outside in the evenings. Although they bring much in the way of relaxation and enjoyment, they can also be a bit on the pricey side. However, there are DIY ways to complete a fire pit for less money than prefab or manufactured models. So, whether you are looking to add value to your home or weekend getaway or just hoping to add a little ambiance to your outdoor living experience, rest assured there are budget-friendly ways to build a fire pit.

As an added bonus, none of these suggestions take any special skill or building experience. All it really takes is choosing the right spot to build a fire pit, investing a little bit in materials, and being willing to put in a few hours worth of work to have your own budget-friendly fire pit. If you need a little more detailed guidance, many home improvement stores, such as Lowe's, offer how-to instructions for a variety of fire pit projects.

Simple stone results in a natural looking fire pit

This is about as basic as you can possibly get. It really just comes down to clearing the ground of any flammable material such as grass, leaves, limbs, or twigs and stacking stones in a circle. Then, presto — a fire pit. This type of fire pit can be built relatively quickly (and virtually for free) in the field at a campsite, in the backyard of a suburban home, or anywhere in between.

To make a stone fire pit while camping, it is very basic and very easy to gather some nearby stones, clear the ground, and stack the stones in a circle. Digging a small hole in the middle of the circle provides a bit of depth and windbreak for the fire as well.

At a homesite, however, such a rudimentary fire pit may look a bit out of place. However, simple stone fire pits can be built in a more elegant manner as well. Selecting larger stones or stacking layers of stone can add to both the permanence and aesthetics of the fire pit. A well-constructed natural stone pit provides a rustic look, which some find quite appealing. If you gather the stones yourself, you can essentially create a free fire pit.

Pavers provide ideal material for fire pits

Utilizing pavers is another hack for building a budget-friendly circular fire pit. Essentially, the process of building a fire pit from pavers is the same as building with natural stone. The biggest difference is the uniformity of the pavers stones. This gives the fire pit a bit more of a finished look while retaining the rugged appeal. If you are stacking several layers high, the uniformity of the pavers also simplifies the task and makes the bit more stable. It is necessary to make sure the ground around the base is level before starting to stack the bricks, though.

The floor of the pit can be lined with pavers as well to help with heat distribution and make it easier to clean. You can also add a metal fire pit ring or fire bowl inside to protect the stones.

Pavers come in a variety of sizes, colors, and textures. Many people choose to match their homes or to use a brick that has a natural look. Regardless, all pavers are relatively inexpensive, with most bricks running a couple of bucks at most. Actually, a fire pit build is a great way to repurpose pavers that have been plucked from the edges of a flower bed or yard. So, whether they come from your yard or a neighbor's, gathering up pavers that are no longer needed for their original purpose can essentially provide you with free materials for your fire pit.

Build a budget-friendly fire pit with bricks

Of course, not everyone wants a circular fire pit. So, what if you want a budget-friendly square or rectangle pit? The simple solution is to build with square or rectangular bricks. Like pavers, individual bricks are relatively cheap and often can be found for free if you're willing to repurpose materials.

Many use the square or rectangle design to achieve more of a modern look. However, you can still achieve a rustic look with this shape pit by utilizing rough-hewn bricks. No matter the look you are hoping to achieve, the building process with bricks is pretty much the same as it is with pavers other than the shape of the pit outline.

A level base is an essential starting point when using square or rectangular bricks. Utilizing stepping stones or additional bricks for the floor will again help provide a stable, level base as well as make the pit easier to clean. You can use sand or mortar between bricks as you stack, but it is not necessary. Sheet metal flashing can be used to line the pit and protect the bricks. Additionally, for aesthetic purposes, many people choose to use a layer of flat bricks to top the pit walls.

Repurpose bird baths and kettles for unique fire pit

Sometimes, the easiest fire pit to build is one that takes no construction. For those looking for a unique-looking and functional fire pit, repurposing items such as bird baths, cast iron kettles, dutch ovens, boiling pots, washing machine drums, and other fire-proof items will accomplish that goal. Each of these items also achieves the goal of being an inexpensive fire pit solution.

Concrete or terracotta bird baths can be removed from their base and used as a fire bowl. These items can be used just as they are or set in a bed of stones, lava rocks, gravel, or bricks to give a more aesthetically appealing look. Likewise, cast iron kettles, dutch ovens, and pots can be set on the ground or hung on tripods to give a unique setting. Stainless steel or ceramic-coated steel washing machine drums can also be removed from the machine, stripped of excess parts, and painted with heat-resistant paint to create unique, budget-friendly fire pits.

Recycle tire rims for fire rings

People often think of creative ways to repurpose old tires, but what about the tire rims? Those, too, have a variety of uses even after their effective life for their original purpose has passed. One potential purpose is to be used as a fire ring, which is an essential piece of equipment to have when camping but also very useful for backyard fires.

Those looking to use it for toting along for campfire cooking simply need to clean it and paint it with heat-resistant paint. If you want an open flame, place the rim face down. However, by placing the rim face up, you can utilize the face of the rim as a cooking surface. You can also stack rims together and make a sort of chiminea.

You can also use a tire rim as a liner for a pit surrounded by stone, pavers, or bricks. For this build, you need to choose the size of rim you want — tractor tires can even be used for larger fire pit builds. Typically, when using a rim as a liner for a brick or pavers fire pit, it is best to remove the inside parts so you are just left with the outer rim of the wheel. Another option is to sink the rim into the ground, face down. Then, surround the ring with bricks, stones, or pavers to give it a finished look.