Building a fire pit in your backyard or patio is the best way to set yourself apart from the rest. It’s patio season, and it may just be time to get your hands dirty with a new DIY gas fire pit project that is easy to make for all skill levels!
Gas fire pits can be built on grass or concrete or even patio pavers installed. A simple DIY gas fire pit should take approximately three to five hours to make, which makes it a great weekend project for you and your family!
Why spend an insane amount of money on a fire pit when you can build your very own fire pit with your family’s unique touch? In this article, we cover the materials and tools you will need to get started as well as a comprehensive step-by-step guide to build your fire pit and answer some FAQs. Let’s blaze through this so you can start your DIY project!
What You Need for a DIY Gas Fire Pit
- Concrete wall block
- Gas Burner DIY Fire Pit Kit and Control Panel (you can buy this online or in stores)
- Lava rock (or other filler recommended for use with gas fire pits)
- Exterior-grade concrete adhesive
- 1-2 AAA batteries for igniting the burner
- A vapor barrier (if you are building it on grass or pavers)
- Caulk gun
- Shovel (if you’re building on grass)
- Adjustable wrench
- 7/16” wrench
- Electric screwdriver with Phillips head bit
Step-by-Step Guide to Build a DIY Gas Fire Pit
Having all the materials and tools at hand, you are now ready to start building your own DIY gas fire pit! If you are a beginner in DIY projects, remember to take your time and relish each step.
Here is a step-by-step guide to building a DIY gas fire pit in a few simple steps:
1. Plan where to build a gas fire pit
You want to make sure the location is ideal and decide how you want to supply gas to this location. If you want to run a natural gas line to the unit, you have to get it installed by a certified gas tech before you start this DIY project. You want to also make sure you check your city regulations to ensure you build your fire pit legally and according to code!
2. Make your markings
If you’re building your fire pit in the grass, mark a circle with a 40” diameter and remove the grass and roots with a shovel. Remove 2” of soil within the circle. Level the soil where you are going to build your fire pit and add 1-2” of paver base to it. Make sure the paver base is packed and use a level throughout the entire process.
3. Install a vapor barrier (This step is only if you are building it on grass or pavers)
After you install the paver base to the grass, you need to install a vapor barrier to prevent moisture damage and protect your gas fire pit. If you are building on concrete, you don’t need a vapor barrier!
4. Lay the first ring of concrete wall block
Lay the concrete wall blocks in a circle. Use something like retaining wall blocks to hardscape blocks. A 32” – 37” diameter is recommended. You can use a rubber mallet to secure the blacks and make sure they are level.
5. Place next ring of concrete block – leave room for the control panel
Next, place the second ring of concrete block, leaving a space to insert the control panel. Make sure the concrete blocks have enough space to allow air to flow between them, under the burner. Your kit will come with specific instructions in the manual so you can follow that accordingly!
6. Apply concrete adhesive to blocks
Once you have the concrete blocks positioned and spaced appropriately, you can start the adhesive process. Remove a single block and apply the concrete adhesive to each side. Place the block back on the ring and apply firm pressure. Repeat this process for each block in the ring.
7. Assemble burner and place on top of concrete block ring
You can now put together the burner and put it on top of the concrete ring. Make sure you have 1” of overlap to secure the ring. Again, check the manual to your Gas Burner Kit for proper assembly and connection instructions.
8. Lay the third and last layer of concrete block
Once you secure the burner, you can lay the third layer of the concrete block around it, repeating the same adhesive process.
9. Let adhesive cure
Let the adhesive settle for a few minutes. During this time, you can gently add lava rock to cover the entire burner area by about 2 inches.
10. Light it up!
Now it’s finally time to light up your new fire pit! Flick the on switch on the control panel, huddle around with your family and friends and enjoy the night!
FAQs About Fire Pits
Q: What do you fill a gas fire pit with?
Fill the burner with about 2-3 inches of lava rock or fire glass. If you want a more traditional look, use lava rock. But if modern is more your aesthetic, go with fire glass! Make sure to use only filler that is appropriate for a gas fire pit as other rocks may explode or crack when exposed to heat – so read the front carefully before buying!
Q: Should you vent a natural gas fire pit?
Proper ventilation is necessary for any fire pit – whether it’s propane or natural gas. You can either create a vent under the control panel or space your concrete blocks so that there is some space in between to vent hot air.
Q: Can you put a gas fire pit on a wood table?
Gas fire pits can be safely placed on a wood deck or table – as well as on concrete, grass, or paver patio. While it all depends on your outdoor design and theme, make sure to create proper ventilation, and you’re good to set up anywhere. The operation will be easy with the control panel.
Q: How tall should a gas fire pit be?
A fire pit above ground should be about 12-14 inches tall or just a few inches shorter than the height of a patio furniture seat, which makes it the perfect height to enjoy the fire. Following the guide above and setting three concrete rings should work efficiently!
Q: Are gas fire pits warm?
Unfortunately, gas fire pits do not put out as much heat. It radiates off a reasonable amount of heat to create a cozy environment, but it would struggle to make you feel warm if used outdoors on chilly evenings. Another plus is that it doesn’t give off any smoke or flying sparks, making it safer and more enjoyable than wood-burning fire pits.
Q: Can a gas fire pit get rained on?
Technically, a gas fire pit can withstand rain for an extended period. But it will start rusting, and the gas burner will malfunction from excessive moisture if you don’t protect and clean your gas fire pit properly.
While it can handle nature and rain, make sure you protect and clean your gas fire pit after every use to keep it running smoothly for years to come!
Q: Why did my fire pit explode?
Concrete blocks and other materials used in DIY fire pits can, unfortunately, trap water inside. When it’s heated up while moisture is stuck inside, it can cause an explosion. To prevent this, make sure you install a vapor barrier when building your fire pit, create proper ventilation and cover it up firmly when it’s not in use.
Gas fire pits allow family and friends to gather around, get warm and cozy, share stories and create a lifetime’s worth of memories. Many choose to buy an expensive gas fire pit or fire table, not even considering the possibility of making one themselves.
DIYers know the significance and value of building things themselves. A gas fire pit is one of these things and can easily be built in a few hours if you have the necessary tools and materials. Finding DIY methods to build and fix things around your house will cut your expenses in half and leave you feeling fulfilled and proud of your skills!
If you were wondering how to build a DIY gas fire pit in a few simple steps, hopefully, this article answered that and all the other burning questions you had.
DIY doesn’t have to be so hard! Exciting times are ahead, so have fun and make sure to enjoy the process!