Firing Up the Fire Pit

Although winter is coming to a close, now is a great time to spruce up the yard with a firepit. There are still cool nights yet to come, and Asphalt Materials has the landscape products you need to create a cozy gathering place.

Whether you’re adding a firepit to a residential yard or a commercial property, make it stand out with the right materials. Also, be sure you know the recommendations for having a firepit in your yard.

Make It Sparkle

Did you know Asphalt Materials has several types of firepit glass to choose from? We also offer steel rings for your firepit insert, which can go inside one of our granite block rings. 

Adding flagstone or pavers around your fire pit not only adds to the aesthetic, but serves as a crucial safety feature as well.

Proper Pit Placement

If you live in a neighborhood with a Home Owner’s Association (HOA), it’s important to check the rules regarding installing a firepit. Whether it’s in-ground or portable, there may be regulations that prohibit use.

Ground Rules for Placing a Fire Pit

  • Install it on or in a level surface
  • Place the fire pit at least 10 feet away from vegetation or outbuildings (shed, garage)
  • Install a fire pit at least 10 feet away from the property line
  • Remove any branches that hang over the firepit
  • Place the fire pit at least 25 feet away from your home (local fire codes may vary)
  • Clear the area around the firepit (place stone, gravel, or sand around it)
  • Don’t use a woodburning firepit in a covered space, such as a patio with a roof
  • Don’t place a fire pit on a wood deck; opt for composite decking to reduce the risk of fire spreading
  • Elevate a firepit installed on decking to create a barrier between the deck and the bottom of the firepit
  • Always put a barrier between a portable firepit and grass

Did you know you can check for prevailing winds where you live to determine where smoke from your fire pit may typically end up blowing? Do yourself, and your neighbors, a favor and visit the National Resources Conservation Service website to help you pick the best placement to avoid having the wind blowing smoke into your house each night. Or, better yet, opt for a propane fire pit instead of a wood-burning one.

What Size Should a Fire Pit Be?

You’re welcome to custom-build a fire pit to any size, or purchase a pre-fabricated one to fit your space. In general, though, look for fire pits that meet the following criteria:

  • Between 36 and 44 inches in diameter (to the outer edge of the walls)
  • Between 12 and 14 inches in height (if above ground)

Best Materials for a Fire Pit

As asphalt and building material experts, we suggest using non-flammable and non-porous materials. Additionally, ensure the materials you choose don’t retain water so steam doesn’t get trapped in your fire pit structure.

Fire Pit Materials We Love

  • Concrete
  • Fire brick
  • Flagstone
  • Granite 
  • Masonry Brick
  • Tempered glass (fire pit glass)
  • Outdoor stucco
  • Outdoor tile

When your fire pit is constructed, the layers should be established as follows, from bottom to top:

  • Sand
  • Gravel
  • Lava Rocks
  • Fire pit glass
  • Paving stones/bricks/dirt (for the surface area around the finished pit)

Dual Function

Your firepit doesn't have to just be a pretty feature on your property; with a cooking grate, it makes for an outdoor grill or s’mores spot. 

If you build your fire pit to a height of 18 inches, its edges can comfortably serve as a seat for people cozying up around the fire.

What to Have on Hand

For fire safety, be sure you always have the right equipment nearby to extinguish wood-burning fire pits properly.

  • Water (bucket or hose)
  • Sand bucket
  • Fire-retardant blanket
  • Fire extinguisher (designed for Class A, B, and C fires)
  • Grill glove
  • Metal fire poker

After you extinguish a wood-burning fire, spread the ashes in the pit so they can cool evenly. If you have a gas-burning fire pit, be sure you’ve closed the valve or flipped the switch that supplies propane to your fire.

For inspiration, Asphalt Materials has a fire pit gallery that you can find HERE. Whatever your material needs are, let us know how we can help. We have a variety of products, and we offer recycling programs landscaping and hardscaping waste.