Sunday, September 6, 2015

DIY Sunday: Fire Pit Gravel Patio

Good Evening!

I meant to get to this sooner today, but we had a fun day as a family. We enjoyed coffee on the new patio (click here for the patio post) and then went to check out a friend's barn that is being torn down. We are hoping to score some cool barn wood for a wall in our basement aka the "man room." We also have a potential headboard solution if everything works out. (Spoiler...it will be insanely cool!) Then we went and ordered new interior doors (so excited!!) and got paint for our bedroom. All in all a pretty laid back day. Well it's a laid back for me at least. My husband would have just liked to watch the Twins and napped.

Two weeks ago I was rushing to finish our fire pit area before we had people over. We just finished the patio, but I wanted somewhere to put a fire pit. I love sitting around a fire, drinking a beer and laughing with good friends. It was pretty much how I spent all my summers in college (and it rocked!).

I didn't want to spend a ton of money on this area, and I am happy to say the entire project took about $150. It was a super quick project that took an afternoon. That's not bad for all the materials and the fire pit itself. The chairs were free curb side finds. (Check out the post on their rehab here)

Fire Pit Gravel Patio

Materials

No Dig Edging (We used 2 packages)
Extra Stakes for Edging
String
Landscape Fabric (We used 6 foot wide fabric)
Gravel (We used about 20 bags total) or Sand
Fire Pit 
Hammer
Utility Knife
Optional: Bricks for under the Fire Pit

Cost: $150.00
Time: The entire project took only a few hours.

Directions

1. Level & Lay Landscape Fabric

The first thing you really need to determine is how big your pit is going to be and the shape. I went through some different ideas and my Facebook followers help me decide on a circle connected to the patio. Revolutionary I know. Our fire pit area has a diameter of 14 feet. You will want the area relatively level. I didn't get too worked up about making it perfect since I could fill in the low areas with more gravel, but you don't want huge humps either. 

You will want to lay your fabric in a larger area than your anticipated size. You can cut away excess fabric after your edging is down. Since I knew the stakes in the edging would hold down the fabric, I didn't staple it down. I just put something heavy at each end to keep the fabric flat. 

2. Install Edging

I knew I wanted my design to be a circle, and I wanted it about 14 feet wide. So I decided where center would be and put a stake in the ground with 7 feet of string attached to another stake. You could use extra edging stakes or scrap wood (I used scrap wood ). As I put the edging in, I used this set up as my guide. I also used my own judgment to see if it was looking like a smooth curve. I did move a couple of stakes here and there to make it look better. 


Also, if you plan on doing curves, you should plan on getting extra stakes. I got about 16 extra stakes over what came with the edge pieces. I had some stakes left over, but I just used them to keep the fabric down if it was buckling anywhere. 


After the edging is installed, use your utility knife to cut away the excess fabric on the outside of the edging 




3. Dump Gravel

I had some bricks left over from the patio so I quickly put those down to put the fire pit on top of. Totally unnecessary, but it did make it look more finished. After that, we dumped gravel and then spread it around the area. You could alternately put down sand if you want a beach feel. Sand was the original plan but then I remembered that I hate sand. I added some sand initially and then put gravel on top. We have bought some more gravel since these pictures were taken.



4. Add a Fire Pit & Enjoy

I grabbed an inexpensive fire pit from Walmart and put it together in a half hour or so. I may install a stone fire pit next year or after this pit gets shabby, but at 50 bucks I couldn't beat the price! It's also nice a deep fire pit for all the big logs we have stacked in our yard.

I am really happy how this project turned out and it already was a blast. I can't wait for the fall weather to enjoy it even more!






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