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Old 09-19-2011, 03:59 PM   #1
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Question about building a paver-stone firepit.


I have a bunch of pavers and I would like to make a firepit. They sell a nice trim ring with cook top nearby. I found this video and the project seems simple enough. My question though, is that the guy in the vid says something that seems way off to me...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR-Em...eature=related


He says, you need about 1 ton of gravel and 1 ton of sand!!

Isn't that a little much??

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Old 09-19-2011, 04:06 PM   #2
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Question about building a paver-stone firepit.


You could build it right on dirt if you wanted to. Gravel can violently explode when it gets hot so I'd be careful with the gravel. Keep in mind that the stones depicted are only concrete and in time they too will crack and give up a little at a time. The concrete will also hold some moisture but should dry as the fire warms up.

Those things are pretty nifty if you understand they don't have a lasting life-span.

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Old 09-19-2011, 04:22 PM   #3
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Question about building a paver-stone firepit.


Thanks Bud... I really have no great expectations here as I was given about a 165 of the stones shown here for free, and I have that exact trim ring as well as a grill top that fits over it.



I just didn't want to go broke buying sand and gravel... I have no issue with a couple inches of each, but seriously. two tons??

I think Maybe dig the soil down the diameter of the pit, and add a small 12"D sump hole in the center. Put about 2" of gravel and then start the first course, add a couple inches of sand and then finish it off with blocks.
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:28 PM   #4
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Question about building a paver-stone firepit.


The sand is basically for stability but isn't totally necessary.
The rock is for drainage but also isn't totally necessary.

Think about it. After a few fires the rock will fill with ash that can't be removed. In time the ash will somewhat solidify and fill all the voids in the rock. At some point the excavation will fill with water anyway an no longer perk as rapidly as it once did. If you build it on the surface it will drain. If you dig it down it will hold water.

I have one that lasted me about five years before the concrete stones became so damaged that they toppled on a regular basis.

If you realize it is probably going to have a short life you can always rebuild it if necessary. The steel will easily out-live the stones. Unless of course you super heat the steel regularly and warp it beyond recognition.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:05 PM   #5
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Question about building a paver-stone firepit.


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The sand is basically for stability but isn't totally necessary.
The rock is for drainage but also isn't totally necessary.

Think about it. After a few fires the rock will fill with ash that can't be removed. In time the ash will somewhat solidify and fill all the voids in the rock. At some point the excavation will fill with water anyway an no longer perk as rapidly as it once did. If you build it on the surface it will drain. If you dig it down it will hold water.

I have one that lasted me about five years before the concrete stones became so damaged that they toppled on a regular basis.

If you realize it is probably going to have a short life you can always rebuild it if necessary. The steel will easily out-live the stones. Unless of course you super heat the steel regularly and warp it beyond recognition.
Are you saying just clear away the grass and start laying stones? Interesting. Every single thing I've seen online has some kind of gravel/sand combination when not building on a patio. You say yours is build right on the ground and you have no issues with drainage?
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:15 PM   #6
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Question about building a paver-stone firepit.


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Are you saying just clear away the grass and start laying stones? Interesting. Every single thing I've seen online has some kind of gravel/sand combination when not building on a patio. You say yours is build right on the ground and you have no issues with drainage?
Well sure! What kind of drainage issue could there be? It rains and the rains immediately run out the sides at ground level.
It snows and the snow melts and the melt immediately runs out the sides at ground level. No perking, no waiting.

When you go camping do you take sand and gravel with you so you can build your campfire?

Quote:
Are you saying just clear away the grass and start laying stones? Interesting. Every single thing I've seen online has some kind of gravel/sand combination when not building on a patio. You say yours is build right on the ground and you have no issues with drainage?
Don't even clear the grass if you don't want to, your first fire will clear the grass.

Quote:
Are you saying just clear away the grass and start laying stones? Interesting. Every single thing I've seen online has some kind of gravel/sand combination when not building on a patio. You say yours is build right on the ground and you have no issues with drainage?
Not every single one. This one doesn't. You aren't building a foundation for a rocket launcher, you are building a small pit to contain a little campfire a few times a year. You tell me why the sand and gravel and the cost thereof is necessary.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:19 PM   #7
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Question about building a paver-stone firepit.


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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Well sure! What kind of drainage issue could there be? It rains and the rains immediately run out the sides at ground level.
It snows and the snow melts and the melt immediately runs out the sides at ground level. No perking, no waiting.

When you go camping do you take sand and gravel with you so you can build your campfire?



Don't even clear the grass if you don't want to, your first fire will clear the grass.



Not every single one. This one doesn't. You aren't building a foundation for a rocket launcher, you are building a small pit to contain a little campfire a few times a year. You tell me why the sand and gravel and the cost thereof is necessary.
Damned if I know... I wouldn't be asking if I knew

I really know nothing in the way of landscape and stone and the like. Obviously, I don't believe everything I see online, but after seeing several sites by private people and also by DIYnetwork, Lowes, etc... say the same thing over and over about gravel for drainage and sand to protect underlying roots from the fire, it sort of stuck. Hell, if you are saying it can be done easier and cheaper, I'm all ears.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:27 PM   #8
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Question about building a paver-stone firepit.


Protect what underlying roots? Hell you are going to build a fire and super heat the ground below repeatedly. What do you think is going to want to grow there any time soon?

Do you think maybe those "sites by private people" got their idea from a home center? A home center that wants to sell all of the products they can. Same goes for the DIY Network...did you ever read the credits at the end of the programs and see who sponsors those programs. Those programs are produced by puppets and idiots and the sponsors have vested interest in their idiocy.

You do whatever you want and spend however much you want to afford but after it is all done and the money is spent and you are sitting around the fire with a hot dog on a stick enjoying your accomplishment just think you could have also had "S'mores" too if you just hadn't spent all that money on sand and gravel.

Last edited by Bud Cline; 09-21-2011 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:49 AM   #9
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Question about building a paver-stone firepit.


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Are you saying just clear away the grass and start laying stones? Interesting. Every single thing I've seen online has some kind of gravel/sand combination when not building on a patio. You say yours is build right on the ground and you have no issues with drainage?
if there is no issue with this then it is really a good idea.
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