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Let's Talk Firepits.....

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by White Gardens, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    So I'm working on a project right now that will require a fire-pit and three crafted flagstone benches.

    So, I have an idea on size, but I wanted to get a couple of opinions.

    First. When do you guys think a fire-pit gets "too" big. Basically what do you think the max size would be in out-side diameter.

    Second. Height and how high to make it. Part of me wants to make it seating wall height, but I'm wondering if that will be a shade high. I want to be careful also as I might make the benches the same height.

    Third. How far back would you set the benches from the pit. Basically not so close to get burned, but not too far away.


    Here is a pic. The shaded area is where the pit and 3 benches will be. Basically there could be a fourth bench, but that area will be left open so if you were sitting at one of the three benches you'll have an open view of the beach.


  2. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    Thats a tough one there being as you have room for a huge pit. I like my pits to be 42-48" minimum inside the walls. As for distance I like it so you can sit on seat with legs kicked out and your feet just shy of the wall. Maybe 36-42".
  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Yes, yes it is.

    I think the main thing is that I need to keep it in proportion to the rest of the project.

    Any thoughts on height?
  4. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    Every clients needs are different. We built this with our low flat tops at 18" in height. Kids and older people present.... We measured for the chairs they wanted to use and then added room for people to move away from fire, as well as walk around the chairs. So we had 5' between dry stone retaining wall and fire pit. I am a big advocate of plenty of maneuvering space around the fire pit so the wind doesn't make your work/project fail. The dry stone retaining wall also functions as seating. Choose your stone well so it doesn't crumble from hot spots against it. This design is also based on the client wanting to cook salmon on cedar planks in the fire. These boulders are cut, and polished Olivine. Olivine doesn't start to melt until 3200 degrees. We are lucky to have one of two quarries in North America, in our backyard.

    Borrowedground fpa.jpg

  5. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    I would cook a pizza right on that one rock. That is beautiful. As for height I like them low, and too high is bad, but you need to consider that on the water that wind will ruin the fun real fast if the walls are not above the coals. Seat height of 15-18" should be fine. Anything over 22 is probably too much.
  6. 2low4NH

    2low4NH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NH
    Messages: 1,890

    the pit should be about 12"deep but height of the unit should be no more then 24" off the ground. basicly sit in a chair and where your knee bends is the best height. the pit or fire box should not be to deep as it traps the heat inside
  7. amscapes03

    amscapes03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 398

    4Russl5........now thats an awesome fire pit! Love it when fellow contractors think outside the box and get creative. To bad the patio wasn't bigger, extending out maybe 4 or 5 feet towards the water. Looks like you ran out of space. Very nice work!
  8. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    Thanks. Not every client gives you this kind of freedom in their landscape as you know. The patio is 4' deep along the front by the water, and 5-6'(can't remember) deep the remainder 270 degrees around it. The clients couldn't afford more patio. It is big enough for 6 adults and a couple kids to hang out and 'slum it' around the Salish Sea.
  9. SmartWaterApps

    SmartWaterApps Inactive
    Messages: 37

    Nice work! This looks amazing.
  10. MajesticPaving2

    MajesticPaving2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Like so many others have said, this is all about personal preference. I think that anywhere between 12 and 18 inches is a good height for a firepit. Anything higher than that and you actually have to reach down to add more wood to the fire. Also, 12 inches is high enough to block any light breezes that might be blowing over and help divert some of that smoke up into the air.

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