There is nothing quite like a group of friends gathered around a fire drinking beer and telling stories of their adventures. The warm glow lights up the faces of those you love while you are mesmerized by the flickering of the flames. However, having the ideal structure with which to contain your fire is very important. There are dozens of ways to build fire pits, but there are definitely some basic characteristics that should be a priority.
So why is a fire pit important? There are several reasons. Fire pits can help contain your fire so that it does not spread or get out of control. They can help make cooking easier by giving you a structure with which to work. Fire pits can even hide your fire if you are being pursued or help you stay warm in your shelter after you have left the fire itself. Certain fire pits will continue to emit heat hours after the fire has been extinguished. All of these reasons make this structure important to consider.
The first question to ask yourself is what do I need the fire pit to accomplish? We will first look at your standard back yard permanent structure. The goal is to have a nice outdoor area where you can light a fire and entertain guests. First, pick a level spot with a minimum of a 15 foot radius clear of any other objects. Make sure there are no low hanging branches from trees. If you have a wood pile for your fire wood, you may want this area close to your pile or you may want to move your pile closer. This area should not have any low spots where water can collect, and should be somewhat sheltered from the wind.
Next, cut away any sod from the area in which you plan to build your pit. This will help you outline your dig area so that you can be sure you like the size. Normally a circle that is three to four feet in diameter is ideal. Next, dig down about a foot deep across the whole area.