Cinder block fire pit – DIY fire pit ideas for your backyard

by Kremy


Cinder block fire pit is a low cost DIY project which will give you a gathering place in the backyard and you can spend a lot of fun time organizing a bonfire or just enjoying the game of the flames. Cinder blocks are a good construction material and can be used for various purposes – one of the most popular ideas is building a cinder block retaining wall, cinder block planters, cinder block benches, indoor and outdoor furniture. We shall focus your attention on cinder block fire pit ideas and will give you some useful guidelines and construction tips.


Cinder block fire pit – transform your backyard




Cinder block fire pit will transform any yard or garden. A fireplace creates an atmosphere of warmth and friendliness, or simply become a relaxation area to relieve stress after a hard day. What could be better than enjoying fresh air and watch the flames? However, when it comes to choosing an outdoor fireplace, the options are so many and the variety of ideas is so big, that people find it difficult to decide what to choose. Outdoor fireplaces come in different styles and designs – from rustic stone fireplaces to sleek to modern gas fireplaces. In addition to the huge number of outdoor fireplace options, the growing popularity of DIY fire pit projects adds more and more ideas for materials, styles and designs. To make it even more complicated, you have to choose the type of fire pit burning – gas, propane, wood – and each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Taking so many decisions, keeping in mind numerous factors, taking into consideration shapes, appearance, materials, safety, labor, construction, pipe installation, styles or designs can become so stressful that you’d just leave the idea of having a fireplace in the backyard. Perhaps, this is one of the main reasons why homeowners are turning to the simplest, easiest and budget friendly DIY fire pit ideas and prefer to save themselves the trouble of taking so many decisions. After all, the fire pit is the oldest fireplace design and when something has worked for thousands of years, there is no doubt that it will work in the 21st century.


How to build a cinder block fire pit –step by step instructions



When you want to build a cinder block fire pit you have to make a quick trip to the craft store, do a little physical work and you can have a picnic by the fire at the end of the week and bring all the family together. To build a fire pit of cinder blocks you will need the following materials:

  • Cinder blocks
  • Sand or gravel
  • Shovel
  • Rake

How to build a cinder block fire pit – Step one:


When you want to build a cinder block fire pit you need to decide where exactly you will place your fire pit and define its place. Some people prefer to construct it near the house, other choose a place near the garden wall or a corner of the garden, some people prefer to make it a focal point and place it in the center of the patio area. Think carefully where you will be most comfortable to sit and consider wind and rain protection, if necessary. Think of the size and shape of your cinder block fire pit – round, rectangular, small or big. Either way, you have to observe the safety rules and prevent fire hazard. Make sure you choose a place which is at least 9-10 meters from trees or buildings, including homes, sheds, or garages. The average size varies from 90 cm to 1.5 meters in diameter and approximately 40-50 centimeters in height.

How to build a cinder block fire pit – Step two:


Once you have chosen the best spot for your cinder block fire pit, you have to think whether you want a temporary or a permanent design. You can build it directly on the ground. A temporary fire pit is a the simplest possible construction and it will take you, probably an house or so, to place cinder blocks in a circle, add wood logs and enjoy the fire. It is best if you remove about 10 cm (4-6 inches) of soil and arrange the cinder blocks. Holes in the blocks should face the sky.


When you want a bigger and permanent fire pit, you need to mark the size of the fire pit with pegs and rope, dig out about 10 cm (4-6 inches) of soil. You can fill the center with a layer of sand or gravel to prevent accidental fire. Lay the first row of cinder blocks below ground. This gives a greater stability to the construction. Add a second (and third) layer of blocks to reach the desired height of the fire pit walls. Position blocks in a way that they straddle the seams between blocks in the row underneath. Use mortar to seal the blocks together. A fire-rated mortar will guarantee long-lasting results. Let the mortar cure for a week before using the fire pit.

Step three:


Once you have constructed your cinder block fire pit, you could think of a finish from flat, fire-rated concrete cap blocks, for example. If you want a specific appearance you can add bricks or tiles to achieve the desired effect. If you are attracted to a plain look, leave the fire pit without any finish.


Add a grill if you want to do some fire pit cooking, bring benches and chairs and you are ready to enjoy your new backyard cinder block fire pit and romantic magic of the warm days of the year.


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