How To Build A Fire Pit

Watch the How-to Video (Square Fire Pit)
Watch the How-to Video (Round Fire Pit)
Print Project Instructions
Tools & Materials
Project Estimating

Enhance your home with a beautiful fire pit using the AB Courtyard Collection. With this flexible system you can build a fire pit in a weekend without any special tools and without splitting blocks. To build on soil, you must create a foundation pad.

Step 1: Determine the Location

Determine the location of your fire pit. Then lay out the first course of blocks to find the size of your fire pit and establish where the sod and soil will be removed to construct the base. In this example we used 28 AB York blocks to construct each course, making the diameter 81 in. (2.0 m).


Step 2: Build the Foundation Pad

Mark the location of the blocks with a shovel, remove the blocks and sod, and dig a level trench that is 3 in. (75 mm) deep and 7 in. wide (178 mm). Fill the trench with crushed rock and compact using a hand tamper.

NOTE: The soil beneath the foundation pad must be a good quality compactable material. If soft soils are encountered, they will need to be removed and replaced with additional crushed rock. A good foundation will ensure a stable wall for years to come.


Step 3: Level the Foundation Pad

Place 4 AB York blocks at the cross points of the circle. Use a straight 2×4 and a level to check the entire trench for level. Make adjustments as necessary by adding or removing crushed rock.

Step 4: Construct the First Course

Place the base course of block on the foundation pad, checking each block for level from front to back and side to side before placing the next block. This will ensure a level base course.

Step 5: Build the Second Course

Stack the next course of blocks, making adjustments as necessary. Once the second course is installed, remove any sod or vegetation from the center of the fire pit area. Lay in approximately six 50 lb (23 kg) bags of clean rock within the circle to cover the bottom of the fire pit. Then using a shovel, rake smooth.

Step 6: Install the Decorative Rock

Install decorative rock to line the interior of the fire pit (optional). Then place metal fire ring in the center of the fire pit area.

Step 7: Finish the Wall with Wall Caps

Finish your fire pit with Wall Caps. Once all the caps are installed, secure them in place with a bead of masonry adhesive on both sides of the raised rings (Optional).

Your project is complete. Just add some wood, fire it up, and enjoy your beautiful backyard fire pit.


Materials Needed:

  • 56 AB York Blocks
  • 28 Wall Caps
  • 2 Tubes of Masonry Adhesive
  • 10 – 50 lb (23 kg) Bags of Crushed Rock*
  • 6 – 50 lb (23 kg) Bags of Decorative Rock*
  • 1 Metal Fire Ring

Tools Needed:

  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Wheelbarrow
  • A 2×4 for Leveling
  • Work Gloves
  • Dead Blow Hammer

Quantities will vary depending on the required depth of crushed and decorative rock.