DIY Fire Pit and Patio

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This DIY patio and fire pit from Robert is called "The Tribal Council Area" and was reprinted by permission. See the steps needed to make this impressive patio area and outdoor fireplace.

Source: Fire Pit & Patio Project - Imgur

Step 1

I first measured and marked the layout for the patio fire pit. This is where the pool was for several years.

Step 2

I made a homemade water level, which does the same thing as an expensive laser level, but this one was built with scraps.

Step 3

Let the digging begin! I dug down 7 to 9 inches, depending on the level of the sod.
I then dumped crushed stone in the area, then leveled and compacted it so the depth of stone averaged about 5 inches.
For the next layer, I added 1 to 2 inches of sand.

Step 4

I then divided the area up like a pie and leveled one section at a time. The level of the sand determines the final level of the patio, so getting it right was very important.

Step 5

I ran string from stake to stake on the level lines I made earlier. I then set a steel pipe in the sand under the string and shifted it up or down to the level I needed. After tamping down the sand, I used a board to screed the excess sand from the top.

Step 6

Once the sand was leveled, the fire pit was ready for pavers. I used about 700 pavers. First, I started with the fire pit stones, and then I added a ring of pavers. I was careful to make sure they were laid in a true circle. Note that the center stake has been replaced with pipe so that a guide string can rotate freely around it.

Step 7

I continued outward, laying the pavers and leveling the outer edge by hand. I quickly learned that you must check the angle of every single paver to be sure it has the right orientation.
Next, I brushed some sand into the cracks to keep them from moving too much during the next few steps.

Step 8

I placed edging around the outside, and then leveled up the fire pit. Then, I glued the center pavers together. The fire pit blocks were about $1.50 each.

Step 9

I hosed out a lot of the coarse sand that was between the pavers, making room for the good stuff. I then applied a very fine paver-locking (polymeric) sand. It has a flexible glue that is activated by moisture, which lasts several years. I used the same stuff on a patio in the front of my house about 4 years ago, and it's very resistant to weed growth & washout.

Step 10

Four weeks and about $1,200 later, we had our new fire pit & patio! The patio itself only cost about $800, but the patio furniture and plants were about $400.

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