Want to learn how to build a gas fire pit? This article will guide you how in 9 easy steps.
Enjoying the benefits of having a fire pit is not all that glamorous as it may seem. There are certain procedures that can be a little bit cumbersome especially if you are not the type to rough it outdoors or you do not have enough time to actually go around preparing an elaborate set up for a campfire party.
Building the fire in a fire pit requires gathering the wood and stacking them accordingly to be able to start a kindle and get the fire going. Then, you have to attend to the fire to ensure that you stoke it regularly so it does not die out. Sometimes, you just don’t want to go through all these before being able to relax and enjoy a warm, cozy camp fire setting.
Good thing you can actually build a gas fire pit which will make everything easier and more convenient. You can enjoy an outdoor gas fire pit as it provides the same floating and flickering of the flames which also provides warm, relaxing heat and ambiance that you look from a wood-fueled fire pit.
DIY gas fire pits is not particularly difficult or complicated to install most especially if you purchase a free-standing, pre-manufactured fire bowl or gas fueled firepit that requires minimal assembly. This is the fastest way for you to enjoy a camp fire and all you have to do is flip a switch to turn it on. However, if you want to have an in-ground, more permanent fixture as your fire pit, you can also build one outside which can run on gas.
Before you start going through the process on how to build a gas fire pit, here are some things that you should add to your checklist.
Identify which type of fuel you want your gas fire pit to run on.
Liquid Propane Gas
Using this type of fuel means that you are actually attaching your fire pit to the natural gas line of your home. This usually works for the permanent type of fire pit structure since you don’t have multiple gas lines running underneath your property that you can access at any given spot.
You will need to hire a professional or licensed gas plumber to install a gas line and hook it up to your fire pit in case there is no gas line available in your area or in the part of your property which you want to build your fire pit in.
STYLE OF ENCLOSURE
You have to consider what type of enclosure or body your fire pit will have. This enclosure is where you will house the burner, gas and all components you need for ignition or lighting the fire. You have the option to build your enclosure out of masonry bricks or purchase a fire pit kit.
DIY fire pit kits is usually the go-to option when building a gas-powered fire pit from scratch. It comes with all the components you will need as well as an unfinished enclosure or masonry bricks that you can put on top of the other by yourself.
The gas fire pit kit will usually feature an enclosure with a welded steel frame, Hardie Board shell which you can finish with concrete pavers, stone, tiles, brick or metal. You can choose its color or texture to match your existing outdoor furniture or backyard décor as well.
FIRE BUILDING COMPONENTS
A burner is definitely the integral part of your DIY gas fire pit. This is used to burn the gas as well as being responsible for the size and height of the fire you want to produce. Burners are available with a wide array of shape, size and materials. You can purchase it individually or get a fire pit burner kit which already contains the necessary parts to assemble your gas fire pit burner system.
Different burners also feature different BTU capacities. A regular gas fueled fire pit requires about 40,000BTU or heat output to warm you and your guests comfortably as you sit around your fire pit. If you want it to be hotter, opt for the 50,000 to 60,000 BTU burner.
Most gas fire pits use a burner pan only as an option but, it is highly recommended since it will help support the burner. Burner pans also come in different shapes and sizes. It is a base plate placed beneath your fire pit burner in order to prevent the gas from sinking into your fire pit. It can be attached or unattached to the burner and it also holds the medium to cover or provide the backdrop to your flames.
Burner Cover or Flame Backdrop
You need something to hide or cover your burner so the flames appear to be floating or naturally burning as if you are burning wood. Gas fueled fire pits usually require lava rocks or fire glass which can also act as decoration or design to your fire pit.
Heat-tolerant materials such as lava rocks or fire glass come in various colors and sizes so you can customize it to match your aesthetics. Most consumers choose fire glass compared to lava rocks since they absorb and release heat more effectively, producing more heat.
Connectors and Fittings
Your gas fire pit will also enclose or house connector and fitting components so you will be able to route the gas to your burner. It requires gas regulator, valve, orifice and of course, the connector hose with fittings which is a small, flexible pie that attaches the gas valve to the burner.
Flame Ignition Type
The beauty of a gas-powered fire pit is how easy you can create or start a fire so do not forget to consider the ignition system you want to use to start as well as control the fire. You can light your fire pit manually or use a remote-operated or automatic system.
- Match lit ignition – start a fire by simply turning on the valve of your gas supply and hold a lighter or a matchstick over the burner as you slowly turn on the gas. Adjust flame height by turning the valve.
- Push-Button ignition – when you push the button, a spark is sent to your burner via a probe to light your fire pit. It does not require electricity to use.
- Automatic ignition – requires an electrical connection so you will need a professional electrician to install a power line to route it in your fire pit or buy a battery powered system. You can start, control your fire pit via wall switch, remote control, Bluetooth app or a smart home system.
Automatic ignition is quite expensive but is considered the safest and fastest way to light a gas-powered fire pit. It also has a flame-sensing pilot feature that monitors the fire of your fire pit and shuts off the fuel supply in case your fire ever goes out.
9 Easy Steps on How to Build a Gas Fire Pit
Once you have these integral parts of building a gas fire pit on hand, you can now begin with the step-by-step process of building one.
- If you are building your gas fire pit in the ground, make sure that you remove all the grass, root and sod. Clear an area of about 40” in diameter then remove about 2” of soil in that area. Level the soil and before adding an inch or two of paver base.
- After placing the paver base, you will need to install a vapor barrier. This is needed if you are building in the ground or on top of a paver patio since it will protect your gas burner kit from moisture that comes from the ground. However, if you are building on a concrete slab, a vapor barrier is not necessary.
- Lay your first ring of hardscape block circle. You can use a retaining wall block or tumbled radius pavers or similar materials. Ensure that you have at least a diameter of 32”-37”. You can use a rubber mallet to level your circle or enclosure.
- Lay your next ring of concrete block on top of your first ring but make sure to leave space for your control panel. If your fire pit has a vent, make sure to leave space for a vent block as well. You gas burner kit will have specific instructions so make sure to read thoroughly.
- Once all you blocks are laid and fitted properly, you can begin to apply concrete adhesive on it one at a time. Press down and apply pressure firmly as you replace each block back into the ring.
- Place and assemble your burner on top of your concrete structure. Again, consult your burner kit for proper instruction and necessary connections and ratios.
- Place your third layer of concrete blocks and adhere it.
- Once all your blocks are in place, allow the adhesive to cure before you add your media of lava rocks or fire glass. Cover the entire burner area with at least 2 inches so you can get that floating, flickering, dancing flame effect.
- Sit back, relax and enjoy as you effortlessly light your new DIY gas fire pit!
Always consult your area about policies and rules when using fire pits of any kind. Gas fire pits are smokeless and odorless so they are less intrusive than the wood burning type. Still, it is to your benefit to make sure you don’t get in trouble with the law for having an open flame burning in your backyard. Do not forget to go through your fire safety hazards as well so you can enjoy your new DIY gas fire pit all-year round, worry-free!
Advantages of a Gas Firepit
- Hassle-Free – A gas fire pit, whether permanent or portable, propane or natural gas, is easy and fast! If you don’t like keeping stocked up on firewood, if you despise going through reams of newspaper or other kindling to get your fire started, if you hate cleaning up ash after a night around the fire, well then a gas fire pit is for you! Just like lighting a gas grill, a gas firepit only takes seconds to light, does not require firewood and leaves no messy ash.
- Warmth and Ambiance – You get the warm fire and the great ambiance of an outdoor fire pit, without the hassle. If the heat and the setting are what is most important to you, then a gas firepit is ideal for you.
Disadvantages of a Gas Fire Pit
- You Can’t Cook on Most Gas Fire Pits – If on the other hand you like to cook over a real wood fire and wood embers, a gas fire won’t work for you. Most gas pits are not for cooking. This is one less option these fire pits have compared with the versatile fire pit grill.
- No Wood Smoke Aroma and Crackling and Popping – Part of the ambiance of an outdoor fire pit is the wood smoke aroma and the sound of a wood fire. For some, this is absolutely required for an outdoor firepit. However, if these parts of a fire aren’t as important to you as the heat, then a gas pit is definitely for you.
So if the disadvantages don’t bother you, if you just want an easy source of heat and ambiance to enjoy this summer, pick up a gas firepit and have a great time!
Hi, I’m Adam and I’m a HUGE fan of Food and Cooking.
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