Fire pits offer a great opportunity for socializing outside the home, bringing together friends and family alike to converse and perhaps contemplate the stars. As such, if you are thinking about how to build a fire pit without mortar on your property, you can look forward to a cosy place to bond with yourself or with others on cool and hopefully clear summer nights.
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CHECK LOCAL REGULATIONS
Fire pits are obviously fire hazards. It is incredibly important therefore to rely on the local fire planning codes in your area to inform you of how to construct your dry laid fire pit. The susceptibility to bush fires of the location in which you reside can determine the approved height and surrounding landscaping of your fire pit.
CHOOSE A SENSIBLE LOCATION
The how to dry lay a brick fire pit is just as important as the where. Having obtained the necessary approval, it is your responsibility to ensure that the location of your fire pit is ideal. Make sure that your fire pit is not located under any overhanging trees, or close to flammable structures or the home itself. Also take a trip to your local weather station to obtain wind data, which will inform you of the direction of the prevailing wind. This will best inform you on how to construct your dry laid brick fire pit in such a way that smoke is not blown into your house through the doors or windows.
STAKE OUT THE SHAPE AND SIZE OF YOUR DIY FIRE PIT
Marking out the area is one of the paramount decisions required when thinking about how to build your brick fire pit without mortar, as it should reflect the local fire codes in its dimensions. Using marking paint, temporarily draw out the footprint of your fire pit, taking note especially of the number, and in the case of a circular fire pit, the shape of the bricks in your first course, as some of them may need to be cut. When considering how to assemble your dry laid brick fire pit note how close people need to sit in order to chat comfortably. That said, a length and width (or diameter) of 35 – 43 inches or 87.5 – 107.5 cm is will suffice.
EXCAVATE THE MARKED OUT AREA
After marking out your fire pit, proceed to dig a trench of between 7-11.5 inches (17.5 – 28.5 cm) having the width of a single brick, digging deeper for a sloping terrain. When considering how to build a circular brick fire pit without mortar realize that you will have to compensate for the curve by digging a wider trench. Lay the first course of bricks in the trench and notice how they fit. When building a circular fire pit, note the bricks you may have to cut as well as their shape. Do this by scoring the brick where you want to cut it all the way around the brick. Go on to place the brick on a hard surface, then using a chisel and brick hammer, split the brick along the score line. Proceed to cleaning out any jagged edges with the tail of the brick hammer to facilitate a perfect fit when it comes time to lay them.
LEVEL THE TRENCH
After ensuring that all the bricks fit snuggly in the trenches you have dug, remove them and begin to level the trench by pouring a layer of sand of about 2.5-inches (6.25 cm), remembering to compact it. After ensuring that the sand is level, pour in a layer of gravel to further reinforce the sand in the levelled trench which will support the first brick courses. You must note that the first laid brick course must fall within the trench, below the ground level, as such it is important to pour your gravel layer accordingly.
BEGIN LAYING THE BRICKS
When thinking about how to build your brick fire pit without mortar, remember it is more important when dry laying bricks to be as accurate as possible. Lay the first course according to your initial marked out plan, and having correctly cut and shaped the bricks, fit them snuggly into their allocated slot. Before laying the second course, it is important to check that the first brick course is even, using a spirit level. Once this is confirmed, the next course is laid in such a way that the joints are staggered. If laid with the joints in line, the structural integrity of your fire pit will be compromised, making it susceptible to collapses. Also, when you are deliberating how to dry lay your brick fire pit, understand that you will have to leave intermittent gaps between bricks, as this will allow smoke to dissipate without creating a smoke mess. Once you’ve built your fire pit to the desired height, go on to pour gravel into your fire pit, creating an evened out base within it. When thinking about how to build a brick fire pit without mortar, for the sake of the durability of your bricks, you can insert steel sheets formed to fit the inside of your fire pit which will protect your bricks from drying out prematurely. Even though steel sheet metal fire rings tend to be costly, they will ensure the greatest protection for your bricks in the long run, making your fire pit more durable. Ensure that your sheet metal has about 11/2– inch (3.75cm) internal offset from the inner side of the brick wall, and sits even with your top most brick course. You may go on to fill the 11/2-inch gap between your steel sheeting and brick with gravel to further protect your bricks, however, realize that this may interfere with the escape of smoke, so it is important that you to consider this before proceeding
Once your fire pit is complete, you can enjoy the warm glow of your labour as you chat with your loved ones under the night sky.