I removed the sod, and dug down into the earth about 6 inches to get a level base. I dug a sump in the middle, about 1.5 ft in diameter and an extra 1.5 ft down into the ground, given how much it rains here. I then poured a ring of quickcrete around the perimeter of the excavation to provide a solid base for the cement pavers.
Stacking the pavers vertically, one rung at a time, I used landscape adhesive applied from a chalking gun to cut down on the manual labor of mixing mortar mix. On each rung I put about a half inch gap between two of the pavers. This allows for air flow into the fire pit and helps keep a smoldering fire hot.
The cement paver caps from Lowes came square, without the pre-cut angels of the pavers, so I had to cut each one. This proved to be the biggest time sink of the project, but luckily I had picked up a diamond tipped blade for my chop saw, so that saved me a couple hours. I used my air compressor to blow off the chop-saw afterwards, but I’m sure the cement dust will not help extend the life of my tools.
To finish off the project I spray painted the inside of the fire pit black and filled the sump and bottom rung with washed gravel. I’ll be hitting the fire pit with my pressure washer tomorrow, once it sets up, to knock the chunks of cement dust off of the pavers. Looking forward to giving this a test run this weekend.
Next project… finishing our pergola! Getting the materials to the house was half the battle really, considering that even my Taco’s “long bed” can’t properly haul a 16ft board without it sea-sawing down the road. Now that I have all of the bolts and lumber here, I am hoping to make it another single day project.
Posted in: DIY