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Things to consider when installing a fire pit in your back yard

Few things in life can match the cozy feeling you get from the mesmerizing flames of an outdoor fire on a cool evening. Think about roasting marshmallows and warming your hands around mugs of hot cocoa. You can create that inviting experience by adding a fire pit to your back yard. Then, simply set the scene with comfy chairs, soft music and a few close friends sprinkled around.

If you are thinking about adding a fire pit to your backyard escape, there are a few things to consider before you get started.

Is it OK to have a fire pit in my backyard?

It is OK to have a fire pit in your backyard as long as you are aware of safe practices and local bylaws regarding recreational fires. In general, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • The fire must be a safe distance from any combustible surface. Usually, this means that the fire must be twenty-five feet from any structures such as your house, shed, vehicles or decks.
  • If your backyard is heavily treed, make sure there are no branches extending over the fire.
  • Consider how the fire affects your neighbors. Will smoke or sparks make their way into their yard or open windows? Your fire should be at least 10 feet from the property line.
  • Check the wind conditions. If it’s a windy evening, don’t build a fire. It simply isn’t safe for you or your neighbors.
  • Keep the size of your fire manageable. Fires should be no taller than three feet high and three feet wide. Anything larger poses a significant fire threat.
  • Make sure your fire is tended to and supervised by an adult for the entire time that it is burning.
  • Check the local bylaws for having outdoor fires in your community.


What is the best fire pit?

The best fire pit is made with concrete stone pavers such as Brussels Dimensional Stone or Lineo Dimensional Stone wall products from Unilock. Or choose a pre-made kit from Unilock like the Sunset Fire pit complete with grill and insert, and available in round and square styles.

Can I make a fire pit out of concrete?

Yes, you can make your fire pit out of concrete. Creating a concrete fire pit from scratch can be time-consuming and cumbersome because you need to construct forms for the poured concrete first. Then wait until the concrete hardens. An easier way to enjoy your fire pit sooner is to use concrete paver products or an all-in-one kit like Sunset Fire pit from Unilock. It comes complete with Brussels Dimensional Stone wall, a fire pit insert and grill.

 Can I roast marshmallows over a propane fire pit?

Yes, you can roast marshmallows over a propane fire pit. What would an outdoor fire be without roasting marshmallows?! That’s all part of the fun! You may be wondering if propane gas is harmful, but when it’s burned, propane produces no harmful substances – so food cooked over it is safe to eat. Being outside provides excellent ventilation, which means you’re not inhaling harmful fumes. And finally, marshmallows aren’t greasy. They won’t spark or pose a problem if they are accidentally dropped into the flames.

 Will concrete pavers explode in a fire?

Concrete pavers will not explode provided your fire pit has a metal insert. A metal insert is non-combustible. It keeps the heat in the center and prevents the wall material from drying out after extended exposure to heat. The metal insert also helps to preserve the shape and structural integrity of your fire pit.

Do you have to dig a hole for a fire pit?

Yes, you have to dig a hole to create a level foundation for your fire pit. You will need to excavate about eight inches of dirt from the ground where you will be building your fire pit. Pour about two inches of sand into the excavated area. Tamp down the sand to compact, level it, and add enough gravel to fill the excavated area. Then build your fire pit on top of the prepared base.

What is the best stone for fire pits?

The best stone for fire pits is any concrete stone paver and wall products from Unilock such as U-Cara, Brussels Dimensional Stone, Lineo Dimensional Stone and Pisa2. Any of these products can be used to construct your fire pit.

Definitely avoid sandstone, limestone, pumice, and river rocks because of their porous nature and tendency to hold water. When wet rocks heat up, the trapped air and water expand very quickly and force the rock apart, sometimes causing it to explode.

How much does a stone fire pit cost?

 The cost of a stone fire pit depends on a lot of different factors such as the size of your fire pit, and the products used to construct it. A Unilock Authorized Contractor can help you determine a budget. Or, if you are looking to build it yourself, connect with a Unilock Dealer.

Do you need special stones for a fire pit?

 No, you don’t need special stones for a fire pit – but you do need a metal insert to protect the shape and structural integrity of the exterior walls. If you’re purchasing a fire pit kit, make sure that it comes with a metal insert.

What should I put under my fire pit?

The only thing you need under your fire pit is a level base that has approximately 8 inches of gravel.

Now that you know the basics of building a fire pit, head over to the Unilock dream section of our website for inspiration. With our excellent paver products and ready-to-install fire pit kits, you can be basking in the warm glow of your outdoor retreat in no time.

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