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Hello,

I am building a new natural gas fire pit in my backyard that will be installed in the center of a new paver patio. My wife and I went to our local hardscape supply store to order the materials. Our plan was to build a custom-sized stone fire pit based on BellaVista Stonegate Contemporary stones:
639474

Then we saw a manufactured stone veneer panel system that she absolutely loved. I spoke to one of the salesmen from the store about building a pit using the veneer and concrete blocks. He told me that it is much more complicated and that the veneer requires a concrete footing, complete with rebar and the expertise of a mason to put it in. I have a carpenter/handyman who was going to assist me with the paver patio and fire pit construction (and a licensed plumber to handle the natural gas components). My wife is willing to settle for the original plan, but would greatly prefer the stone veneer look. I want to find out if the veneer is a feasible alternative.

The square fire pit's dimensions are 60" and 24" high. The total surface area for the veneer is 40 square feet. The paver patio will consist of 16" x 16" x2.5" pavers that will be sitting on a 3" bed of compacted class 2 road base topped with 1" of masonry sand. The plan would be to build the fire pit out of concrete blocks that are 10" x 10" x 16" that would simply sit on top of the pavers. I live in San Diego near the coast and the temperature rarely drops below 45 degrees in the winter and almost never drops below freezing. We do of course have the occasional earthquake.

Q1. Is there any way to make the above installation feasible without a concrete footing? Especially since the installation is relatively small and short?

Q2. Would I want to use concrete blocks with a smooth surface finish or blocks with a rough texture and exposed aggregates? I suspect the rough would be better for the adhesive.
639475


Q3. What if the concrete blocks were not simply held together by mortar, but also had their hollow centers filled with concrete (see above)?

Q4. Would it help to increase the depth of the masonry sand and/or compacted road gravel base?

Q5. If the concrete blocks must have a concrete footing, how thick a footing is required, and does it really need to include rebar?

I thought I found a solution in synthetic stoner veneer panels. The installation seemed easy (adhesive, caulk, and screws – no mortar with large easy to cut panels). But I have read that these lightweight panels made of foam are not very durable and can be easily damaged by impact. Any thoughts on this?

I Would greatly appreciate any input on this!!

P.S. I planned on having a single 16"x16" paver left out of the middle of the patio. This opening would be filled with pea gravel and will be for the natural gas line from the ground and would also allow for drainage into the ground. Is this sufficient for drainage?
 

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Hello,

I am building a new natural gas fire pit in my backyard that will be installed in the center of a new paver patio. My wife and I went to our local hardscape supply store to order the materials. Our plan was to build a custom-sized stone fire pit based on BellaVista Stonegate Contemporary stones:
View attachment 639474
Then we saw a manufactured stone veneer panel system that she absolutely loved. I spoke to one of the salesmen from the store about building a pit using the veneer and concrete blocks. He told me that it is much more complicated and that the veneer requires a concrete footing, complete with rebar and the expertise of a mason to put it in. I have a carpenter/handyman who was going to assist me with the paver patio and fire pit(like this) construction (and a licensed plumber to handle the natural gas components). My wife is willing to settle for the original plan, but would greatly prefer the stone veneer look. I want to find out if the veneer is a feasible alternative.

The square fire pit's dimensions are 60" and 24" high. The total surface area for the veneer is 40 square feet. The paver patio will consist of 16" x 16" x2.5" pavers that will be sitting on a 3" bed of compacted class 2 road base topped with 1" of masonry sand. The plan would be to build the fire pit out of concrete blocks that are 10" x 10" x 16" that would simply sit on top of the pavers. I live in San Diego near the coast and the temperature rarely drops below 45 degrees in the winter and almost never drops below freezing. We do of course have the occasional earthquake.

Q1. Is there any way to make the above installation feasible without a concrete footing? Especially since the installation is relatively small and short?

Q2. Would I want to use concrete blocks with a smooth surface finish or blocks with a rough texture and exposed aggregates? I suspect the rough would be better for the adhesive.
View attachment 639475

Q3. What if the concrete blocks were not simply held together by mortar, but also had their hollow centers filled with concrete (see above)?

Q4. Would it help to increase the depth of the masonry sand and/or compacted road gravel base?

Q5. If the concrete blocks must have a concrete footing, how thick a footing is required, and does it really need to include rebar?

I thought I found a solution in synthetic stoner veneer panels. The installation seemed easy (adhesive, caulk, and screws – no mortar with large easy to cut panels). But I have read that these lightweight panels made of foam are not very durable and can be easily damaged by impact. Any thoughts on this?

I Would greatly appreciate any input on this!!

P.S. I planned on having a single 16"x16" paver left out of the middle of the patio. This opening would be filled with pea gravel and will be for the natural gas line from the ground and would also allow for drainage into the ground. Is this sufficient for drainage?
Hi! Hope that you're doing fine! How did you solve it finaly? Faced with similar questions, now thinking about a portable copper fire pit, just because it's easier.
All the best!
 
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