How to Build a Fire Pit for Less Than $100

Learn how to create a fire pit using paver bricks, pea gravel and a metal ring You can do it in an afternoon, with a little elbow grease and less than $100.

This simple fire pit design can be completed in an afternoon for less than $100. And, you'll still have money and time left to host friends for a bonfire and beer.

How to Build a Fire Pit
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Materials + Tools

  • shovel
  • level
  • retaining wall blocks (we used about 36)
  • metal fire pit ring
  • 7” square concrete pavers or fire brick for the bottom of the pit (we used about 15)
  • pea gravel to fill in the spaces (about .5 cubic feet)
  • all-purpose sand (one bag should do it)

1. Plan Location and Layout

A fire pit should be built at least 15 feet from any structure and close to a water source. Ideally, you’ll want it on level ground. That will make building it much easier and sitting around it more comfortable.

2. Determine the Size

The size of your fire pit will be determined by your metal fire ring. Place the ring and the retaining-wall blocks on the ground to figure out the size of the fire pit. Mark the outside of the circle with the edge of a shovel.

3. Dig a Hole

Move the retaining wall blocks out of the way and dig inside the marked hole. Make the hole at least 7” deep.

4. Line Hole With Sand

Add a 1” layer of all-purpose sand in the hole and tamp it down flat. You may want to use a level to make sure it's even all the way around.

5. Add Base Row

Lay the bottom row of blocks inside the hole. Place the outside of the block on the very edge of the sand.

6. Place Metal Ring

Place the metal ring on the sand inside the base row of blocks.

7. Insert Bricks Into Fire Pit Floor

Lay the pavers or fireplace bricks in the bottom of the fire pit. Cover as much area as possible.

8. Add Pea Gravel

Fill the gaps between the blocks and the pavers with pea gravel.

9. Place Remaining Rows of Blocks

Stack the outer blocks to your desired height. Stagger the seams of each layer.

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