Outdoor Fire Pit – DIY or Pro Built?
Having your own custom barbeque grill on your patio the dream of many a homeowner and for good reason! The exquisite taste of Mother-nature herself gives an irresistible flavor to barbeque, making it an extremely sought-after pastime for many. The first roadblock, however, to having good times during barbeque sessions, is the apparatus you have at your disposal.
Without convenient, easy-to-use barbeque equipment, the joys and pleasures of barbequing can become all but drudgery in no time. Trust me, I’ve been there and know that things get old real fast when it’s consistently and significantly more work than play! A barbeque on a breezy Sunday afternoon with your friends and family is supposed to be fun and relaxing, not frustrating to hell leaving you never wanting to do it again!
Having old, shoddily-built DIY barbeque pits have several potential drawbacks – yours may have some of the following as well:
- Too low for your height. This causes you to strain your back or pull a hamstring whilst crouching over flipping onion rings.
- Not big enough, whether the grill-size or burning sector. A grill area that’s too small for your needs leads to a barbeque traffic jam and guests go hungry. And if the burning sector is too small, the fire dies too quickly, requiring (too) frequent stoking and reloading of firewood.
- It just looks bad! This happens when it’s either so darn old that it’s falling apart, or it wasn’t built well, to begin with, and thus looks significantly older than its age.
- It’s in the wrong place. Whether you are at fault or not, the proper emphasis wasn’t placed on location and you now must reap the consequences of having an ugly barbeque pit in the middle of your front yard. – Ugly or pretty, location is important!
DIY Barbeque Pit
There may be other drawbacks but these are some of the main ones. So what can we do to prevent these things from happening? Well, you can start by applying some of the following guidelines when constructing your own DIY barbeque pit!
- Make sure that not only the stones you use are fire-proof, but your mortar is as well. This is extremely important!
- Plan your pit out well before-hand and don’t “wing” it. You can’t just “unscrew” brick and mortar like you would a shelf, so it pays to do it right from the start.
- Determine the location AND orientation of your DIY barbeque grill before-hand as well. Take into consideration things like the sun, shade, prevailing wind, your neighbors, any nearby trees that could be adversely affected, accessibility from your house, seating provision, etc.
- Ensure it reaches a sufficient height. Do yourself a favor and don’t make the same mistakes others have. Besides constantly having the smoke in your face, there’s almost nothing that will make you hate barbeque more than having to crouch like Quasimodo for long periods of time!
- Unless you can swear you’ll never have guests over, go ahead and make it a double grill. Better too much space than not enough in my opinion. You don’t have to build a fire for both if you don’t need to, and it may come in handy someday.
- Build a solid foundation if you’re going to build a standing custom barbeque grill. We don’t want it toppling over in front of the guests!
- Make provision for easy access to the ashes. It behooves you to not wall your burning sector off on all 4 sides as this will make ash disposal a nightmare! Leave the front open so you can scrape or sweep the ashes out easily – or build it so the front wall can be removed.
- The grill should be removable. This might be common sense but I’m gonna say it anyway. Don’t embed your grill into your barbeque set with mortar. It needs to be removable for maintenance and to provide better accessibility for cleaning.
I’m including a video of a very simple but nice-looking DIY-style, custom barbecue pit construction project for more information and visual aid. It shows how easy it can be if you just have the right materials and know-how to do it.