Welcome to my new series "Taming the Wild West"
This will be an ongoing series that cover our efforts to tame the back yard from a vast empty piece of dirt into a beautiful , enjoyable, and productive homestead. We call this the wild west because this is west side of town where the yards are bigger, neighbors are chickens, and city life is just yonder out of sight. We have moved here and the yard is still wild - so we need to "tame the wild west". We spend a lot of time around a fire - so it is fitting that this should be the first project we tackle - that way we always have someplace nice to relax after a hard day of working in the yard.
So excited about building our new firepit!!
When we first moved in, I was excited about the prospects of being able to build a fire whenever I want since my wife and I both love to sit around the firepit in the evenings and enjoy the cool night air. Where we were before, the yard was very small and we didn't really have the space to do it. We were limited to smaller confined fires in a small enclosed bbq. Now that we have more space to work with - it wasn't long before we etched out some space in our new yard where we could put in a larger permanent firepit.
Initially - we just laid some bricks down to mark the space that would eventually be the main pit. In the meantime - we simply made fires in the half circle of bricks we brought from our other house. They were being used as a retaining wall to hold in some dirt that our grapevine was planted in. We removed it and brought it to our new house and dumped them in the back yard. Rather than have a pile of bricks - I simply laid them out in a half circle and we began using using it right away.
This is the old fire pit - just bricks quickly piled up to give us an area. Here we are using it before it is ready - but works great and we have had more fires than I can remember.
We didn't plan to build it out any further until we got around to working on the backyard but there was a sale at the Home Depot and so we got the materials earlier than expected. Now that I had the materials, it was hard to refrain from putting it all together.
The first part was to clean up all the old ashes and coals from all our previous fires. I filled up 3 five-gallon buckets full of ash before I hit dirt. Then I had fill in the center with more dirt to smooth it out.
I added sand to it so we could spread it around and create a flat level surface to build on
We started with a star and circle formation making sure that all the bricks were level with each other.
Painstakingly, we set down each brick and leveled it to the previous brick - working our way around the pit.
Eventually, we got them all laid out in a circle.
Inspector Cinnamon comes by to take a look at our progress - you can see by the smile on her face that she is pleased with our work.
We then started the first course of stones to build it up to four bricks high
We now have the firepit completed and are ready to start the next part of it.
Once the pit was built - we wanted to put in some stepping stones provide a place to sit as well as for decor. We started by laying them out in the design we wanted. Here we have dug out the dirt around the pit so that we can lay down the brick pavers .
Cinnamon, like many other dogs, enjoys digging.. she just has better tools than most dogs ....
The pattern starts taking shape. The job goes slow because we have to level every single brick to the bricks surrounding it - it is precision works that takes a lot of time to get right -
We bury the bricks in the ground once they are placed and leveled - they will be level with the ground.
And here is what it looks like with all the brick pavers in place. A little over 3/4 of it is filled in and we still need to get some more brick pavers to finish the back of it to have a complete circle, but there plenty of space for seating still.
Then we sweep out the excess dirt and wet it down so that the dirt can sink into it and fill all the cracks and crevices
Just add a few finishing touches like the table, chairs and shade umbrella and you have yourself a nice picnic area / fire pit.
The dogs certainly enjoy the new addition
Getting prepped for the inaugural fire
The first flames of night
What good is a firepit without some ribeyes ?
Thank you all for checking out my blog - I really enjoy sharing these projects with you -
I hope you will continue to follow our journey as we continue to tame this piece of land and make it into our homestead.
Please be sure to check out my others articles on real estate, investing , and cryptocurrency ( and some other random dog stuff)
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