Autumn leaves are falling!
Apart from meaning more work out in the garden, this harbinger of Winter cold to come is a reminder – now is a great time to create a fire-pit!
With less than a month until winter, its a good time to consider putting in a beautiful decorative stone backyard / outdoor fire-pit.
Forget the leaves, there’s still time for more enjoyable landscaping work to take on in the next few weekends whilst the weather’s relatively warm!
You don’t need your scout badge to cobble together large stone into a ring border to create your typically campfire. Our video shows, the problem here with your basic ‘neanderthal’ fire pits is of course dirt, mud and the appearance of military ordinance having been detonated in your back yard.
Thankfully building materials and Fire pits have evolved! If you are to commit to a backyard fire pit, its easy and cost effective enough to make a decent effort, by excavating and laying down your colour-choice of beautiful 10-14mm decorative stone from your local landscaping yard.
To top it off – why not bind that stone together to create a beautiful smooth and stable surface that is eminently more useable – think chairs, plates, beers, stable walking surfaces and no loose stone. With PourOn, its possible to avoid installing garden edging, if the area is excavated and infilled with gravel level with the ground.
Planning your Firepit
Sunken ‘Pits’ or flat ‘Pads’? The extent of work involved is dictated by the area you’ve decided to use to build a fire pit.
As a safety measure, Fire-pits need to be in a clearing away from trees overhead where branches overhead can suffer from the heat and smoke and worsts case potentially catch alight if constantly being desiccated by smoke. This often means an open patch of grass away from trees.
If you want the surface to finish flush with surrounding grass then you you need excavate soil first and there will be time and cost preparing this with a decent base.
If the area is already heavily compacted dirt, stone or decomposed granite type surface, you could simply drill together a treated pine frame and infill this with your decorative gravel to a depth of 40-60mm.
To create a more permanent, decorative feature piece like the firepit shown above, we recommend the type of excavation and preparation work required when installing a garden pathway which is detailed here.
A ‘pit’ implies excavating a hole in-ground and lining this with fire bricks (high heat/crack resistant clay typically used to line pizza ovens). Whether you want to cut a steel 44 galon drum in half or you want to create a masonry monumental masterpiece, we would let the reader pick there poison
For the purposes of this blog we do recommend going with a readily available cast iron fire bowl with a lip large enough to be supported by pavers and held off the ground.
Binding Decorative Gravel
Why limit this area just one season dedicated to fires? By creating a paved fire ‘platform’ it can be used year round for tables and chairs, pizza ovens, barbecues in summer. And the raised fire pit can be removed rather than
This is why preparing a sound base for a fire pit pays off – practically the same as process for creating a pathway base. An alternative to excavating is shown in the example below, where retaining blocks are used to create a border for the compacted base and the final 40-60mm of resin bound decorative stone.
Following this guide to establish a sound base means you avoid any future ‘subsidence’ (or sinkage) that may lead to cracking of the rigid StoneSet top layer in the future StoneSet is ideal for Fire pits on many levels!
Is the resin fire-safe?
It should be noted that the pit with wood and flames should not be made of the resin bound stone. More generally, the resin bound gravel is not a flammable risk and sparks for example are not a hazard with the dried Pour’On surface.
Some other examples of why Pour’On is ideal for creating decorative stone fire pits.
- Resin bound stone is so easily shaped! no complicated cutting pavers to shapes and sizes to fit circle borders like shown below
- Its retains the natural setting of being outdoors around a fire
- Stone will resistant that harsh heat and embers and
- Porous stone is easily hosed down – Ash stains are quickly pressure cleaned off
The latter is the supply of resin AND a 20kg bag of dry, clean decorative 6mm stone. Using the smaller stone of DIY kits tend to give you a longer lasting bind when there is significant, daily foot traffic. For example a patio or pathway.
The websites not only offer a full overview of the product, but each have a self-serve estimator and ecommerce shopping page, where you can get an idea of quantity and even proceed to order the products you are after!