A fire pit can add so much to a yard. Whether you\u2019re looking for a rustic feature or a source of outdoor warmth as the seasons change, you can find it all with a fire pit \u2013 and you don\u2019t even need real fire to achieve it.\n\nWhile building a custom fire pit is still a popular option, several types of fire pits have recently hit the market and now allow even those who can\u2019t fit a pit into their yard to enjoy the benefits of a warm fire.\n\nLet\u2019s walk through a few potential fire pit ideas and then learn how easy it is to build your own pit.\nFire Pit Ideas\nThe rustic brick or stone fire pits of yore are now joined by several more modern models that fit in any yard. If you\u2019re hoping to build your own fire pit but it simply won\u2019t work in the space available, check out these other convenient options:\nWood Burning Fire Pits\nWood burning pits are the most common model because they replicate the campfire experience: warmth, smoke, and even the opportunity for occasional s\u2019mores.\n\nYou\u2019re likely to find these structures as a wood-burning grill, outdoor fireplace, or as a DIY fire pit. We\u2019ll cover the steps for building your own wood burning fire pit later in the article.\n\nWood burning pits will typically require more maintenance than other models both because of the design and the need to buy and store wood for the fire.\n\nWood pits can also be built to your custom specifications \u2013 step-by-step instructions will be provided at the end of the article.\nGel Fuel Fire Pits\nIf you\u2019re looking for a fire pit but aren\u2019t worried about using it to cook or enjoying the rustic, smoky smell, then a gel fuel pit may be a suitable option.\n\nThese fire pits are also ideal for small spaces because they\u2019re easy to move and can even be found in tabletop size models.\n\nIn fact, you can even find indoor versions of these fire pits.\nPropane Fire Pits\nPropane fire pits provide a convenient option for a fire pit if you don\u2019t have the time or space to build your own.\n\nThese can be portable or a permanent fixture in outdoor living space. If you see a table fire pit, you\u2019re often looking at a propane model.\n\nPropane pits are great because you can still heat a space or cook on them, but they don\u2019t offer the fire aesthetic some look for. Additionally, you\u2019ll have to buy and store propane, but you need to buy and store any fuel source when building a pit.\nNatural Gas Fire Pits\nA natural gas pit allows you to take the concept of the propane fire pit a step further by creating a permanent structure with constant access to a fuel source.\n\nThese are easily the most costly fire features not because of the cost of the build or monthly cost of natural gas but because of the installation of a natural gas line. You\u2019ll also need to consider the permanence aspect: you\u2019ll never be able to move the pit without also moving the natural gas line.\nTypes of DIY Fire Pits\nYou\u2019ve got a few options for building DIY fire pits.\n\nThe most commonly built ones are made of stone pavers because they\u2019re cheap and sturdy. These are also the most common DIY kits available in the store for building your own pit at home. \n\nHowever, brick fire pits are also common and still relatively simple to build.\n\nThe steps required to build a fire pit depend on whether you\u2019ve chosen to build a stone or brick fire pit with brick requiring a greater investment of both time and money in materials. However, it\u2019s possible to go over the basic steps for building your own pit here.\nHow to Build a Masonry Fire Pit Without a Kit\nBuilding a masonry fire pit is a fairly straightforward process. In fact, greater emphasis is placed on planning the fire pit because once it\u2019s appropriately placed and measured, all you need is a bit of labor to get it up and running.\n\nHere are the steps in order. Simply integrate whatever materials you\u2019ve decided to use in the instructions below.\nPlanning\nIf you\u2019re building from scratch to create a custom fire pit, the planning phase will take the longest.\n\nThe most important thing to think about when planning and designing the feature is how you anticipate using it long-term.\n\nDo you want a simple pit built into the ground or a pit designed to match existing outdoor features? Maybe you want something so simple that going back to a DIY kit is the best solution.\n\nWhatever you decide, make sure it\u2019s in line with your vision for both the use of the pit and how you foresee your outdoor living space changing over the years.\n\nThe second element of planning is finding the best space for the pit. You may envision a very particular spot, but your dreams may not be a suitable place for a fire.\n\nHere\u2019s where you should always avoid building the structure:\n\n \tUnder low-hanging branches or limes\n \tUnder power lines\n \tNear or over a septic tank\n \tNear or over a wellhead\n \tNear or over a leaching field\n \tNear or over a property line\n\nCheck with your local city council or fire department to see how far away from your neighbor\u2019s property line the pit must be to avoid conflicts.\nChoose Your Size\nA good size fire pit will be 36\u201d to 44\u201d in diameter, providing you with enough room to safely build a fire within the circle while also achieving a nice size fire.\n\nA three-foot fire pit is best because you\u2019ll get a good size fire but you\u2019ll still be able to sit close enough to one another to chat.\n\nTo see what size circle best fits your space, take your stones and build a circle with them prior to digging the pit or removing any other pavers.\n\nMeasure the dimension to ensure you rebuild the correct size once you\u2019ve dug the hole.\nDig the Hole\nWhether you\u2019re building in a grassy area or within an existing patio, you\u2019re going to need to dig a hole.\n\nStart by either removing the existing pavers or slabs from the area in the shape of a rough circle. Once the circle is created, you\u2019ll dig a pit between 8\u201d and 12\u201d deep as a minimum.\n\nYou\u2019ll also dig a pit that\u2019s 3\u201d wider the minimum diameter of your fire pit, so you\u2019ll dig the pit to be 3\u20193\u201d in diameter. The extra space accounts for the bricks or stones included in the pit.\nLine the Hole\nThe difference between a dangerous bonfire and a relaxing evening by the fire is placing fire-retardant lining in the hole.\n\nHow you line the hole depends on how large and how permanent you\u2019d like your fire pit to be.\nOption #1: Stone Lining\nThe simplest option is to line the bottom of the pit with gravel and the sides of the pit with stones (or even brick). You\u2019ll then line the gravel on the bottom with additional stones.\nOption #2: Cement\nAdding a concrete footing will provide more stability for the walls of the pit, but it will make the pit more permanent.\n\nTo create a cement lining, you\u2019ll first create the forms required for pouring the cement. You can purchase the forms or make your own with scrap hardboard laying around. Two forms are needed: a 36\u201d circle for the pit itself and a 48\u201d circle for the outer wall.\n\nPlace the forms in the pit and follow the manufacturer\u2019s directions when pouring the cement. Let the concrete set for at least 12 hours (ideally overnight) before removing both forms.\nBuild the Walls\nThe process involved in completing step 5 depends on whether you\u2019re using stone or brick to build the pit itself.\n\nIf you\u2019re using firebrick, then you\u2019ll build the walls using mortar, working with four bricks at a time.\n\nHowever, you don\u2019t need to build such a sturdy structure when using stone. With stone, you have the option to cut space in the dirt for the stones (or bricks) before dry stacking the layers on top of them, using quick-dry cement as necessary.\nBuilding a Fire Pit is Easy\nYou don\u2019t need technical know-how to build your own fire pit. All you need is a few readily available materials and a solid plan for the build. Within a day, you could have your very own fire feature and a source of memories of pleasant evenings for years to come.\n\nDon\u2019t have the time or space to build your own fire pit? Not a problem. From table top fire pits to portable pits, there are plenty of options available regardless of your space. You don\u2019t even need wood for many of them.\n\nHave you built a fire pit in your yard? What tips do you have for finding precisely the right position for your pit? Share your tricks for cozy evenings in the comments below.