How to Build a Backyard Firepit...
Fire pit ideas - a campfire for our family..
We found the perfect spot for the fire pit - away from the house and deck, not interfering with the "sports field" portion of the yard, and not too close to the woods, but close enough to feel like a real campfire.
It takes a village to build a retaining wall...
We needed to level the area in order to have a safe campfire. The s'mores would have to wait...
My first step was to find someone who knew how to dig out a space in order to make it level, so I found a teenager whose summer job was to dig spaces and make them level! He and my son spent 2 hours digging, which produced a pile of dirt and a muddy, level area. The knowledgeable teen said a retaining wall was needed.
Building a Retaining Wall...
My son and I went to Home Depot where he decided we needed 80 blocks for our 5.5' x 9' area and 3 tubes of adhesive. I think the toughest part of the project was hoisting the individual blocks onto the cart, moving the blocks into the minivan, hauling the blocks out of the minivan and then moving them into the backyard. I broke a few nails! Be sure to wear gloves when handling concrete blocks! (And don't forget to ask for your military discount at Home Depot!)
In just 2 hours, 4 teenage boys built a retaining wall, added mulch to the ground, and completed the fire pit!
They did a great job!
Thank you, RB, RS, ZC, JB, JM, and JR!
You all know by now that very little is done around here without a thought to whether it is "good for the environment". We thought about using pavers to line the fire pit but decided against it. I even looked into permeable pavers, but they seemed hard to come by, and tough to install, so mulch is the current compromise.
There is also a lot of bare earth exposed from all of the digging needed for this project. We considered planting grass seed but thought Hostas would look lovely. However, Hostas are a non-native species from Asia! Native critters aren't familiar with plants and animals from other parts of the world - they didn't evolve together, so they rarely use these species for food or shelter. Since non-native species don't have any local predators, they out compete native species thus reducing food and shelter for the critters that normally live here.
We are going to plant ferns - they are shade tolerant, like hostas, deer don't munch on them, and they are native species!
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