Thursday, December 4, 2008

Let's build a basic gas fire pit

42" x 18" match lit fire pit

Where do you start? The fire ring! Good for you. You have already decided on the burner size. That will have a bearing on the pit diameter. Most of the fire pits I have seen are octagon shaped, but square ones, rectangles, and even straight line shapes are common. Take the one above, for instance. The 42 inches is measured flat side to flat side.

There are a couple of things to consider when sizing the pit. Allow at least 4 horizontal inches between the fire ring and the capstones. This will prevent the heat from the flame from discoloring the capstones. If the flame is too close it can even cause the capstones to crack. Translated, that means that for a 24" ring the inner diameter of the capstone opening should be at least 32 inches. The ring should, also, set about four inches below the top edge of the pit to protect the flame from wind.

The pit height depends on taste. Do you see your guests propping their feet on this or maybe leaning on it and placing a cold one on the edge? You might want to consider a larger pit if this will happen while the fire pit is burning. There is nothing wrong with increasing the distance between the burner and the edges of the pit. Height can be excessive, though when sizing the fire pit. There is a point where the fire pit begins to look like a smokestack. That is not all that attractive to me. Again, selecting the height of you fire pit is strictly up to what appeals to you.

Next blog: The hardware

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