In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook builds a beautiful circular patio that features a chill-chasing fire pit.
Steps for Building a Round Fire Pit
- Remove grass from the patio area using a shovel or gas-powered turf cutter.
- Spread about 2 inches of crushed stone mixed with sand over the area, then smooth it out with a rake.
- Have a helper hold the end of a tape measure in the center of the patio area. Extend the tape out to the desired patio radius, then use line-marking spray paint to mark the outline of the circular patio onto the ground.
- Use a transit to set two aluminum screed rails into the stone-and-sand base. Tap down the screeds with a rubber mallet. Be sure that both screed rails slope 1½ inches across their length; that’ll ensure the patio will drain rainwater.
- With the screed rails in place, use a long screed to scrape the sand level with the screed rails.
- Pull out the screed rails and fill the voids with a stone-and-sand mixture.
- Start the patio by setting the center concrete paver in the very middle of the patio.
- Next, set the first row of patio blocks around the center paver.
- Continue setting pavers radiating out from the center. Use a rubber mallet to tap the pavers tightly together.
- At the outside perimeter edge of the patio, create a contrasting border by setting one circular row of light-colored pavers.
- Hold the pavers in place by installing flexible plastic edging around the perimeter of the patio. Secure the edging with 8-inch galvanized spikes.
- Layout the first course of pavers for the fire pit in the center of the patio.
- Then, remove one circular row of patio pavers, and set the first course of fire-pit pavers down onto the stone-and-sand base. Use the rubber mallet to tap the pavers level and even.
- Continue setting fire-pit pavers, making sure you overlap the joints from one course to the next.
- Pour a thick layer of polymeric sand over the patio surface, then use a push broom to sweep the sand into the paver joints.
- Run a gas-powered plate compactor over the patio surface to drive the sand deep into the joints.
- Next, set concrete pavers along one portion of the patio to form a curved seating wall. Overlap paver joints and use concrete adhesive to hold the pavers in place.
- Use pavers to build two columns, one at each end of the seating wall. Stack the pavers, using concrete adhesive to hold them together.
- Apply a thick bead of concrete adhesive to the top course of the pavers, then set a decorative stone cap on top of each column.