Fire pits are a type of outdoor fireplace ideal for enjoying small fires in safety. There are two main types of fire pits -- sunken and free-standing. Many different kinds of materials are used to build these pits, and you must always take care to ensure that the area around the fire pit is shielded properly from the heat and flames of the fire.

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Firepits can be built from many different kinds of materials.

Iron

Iron is one of the most commonly used materials for fire pits. This is due to its natural fire repellent nature and its ability to hold up to high degrees of heat. Consumers can purchase pre-made iron fire pit rings. To install the pre-made ring, you must sink it into the ground to provide a barrier between the pit and the grass or vegetation around it. In addition, you can also purchase wrought iron fire pits that are free standing and do not need to be sunk into the ground.

Brick

Brick is a material used in many do-it-yourself fire pits. If you have bricks left over from your home or a renovation, these can be repurposed into use for a fire pit. If you don't have any bricks on hand, you can buy them at a home and garden center. Bricks work well to keep a fire pit's heat contained and they are also fire resistant. However, if exposed to excessively high temperatures for long periods of time, they can crack.

Stone

Stones such as flagstones or concrete slabs are also ideal for a fire pit. Because these are naturally shaped, it can be more difficult to place them into a pit and you will require mortar or dirt to make sure they fit properly and protect the surrounding areas from the flames. Like brick, stone can crack if it gets too hot. Shale and limestone are good stones to use for this purpose as they can resist high temperatures better than softer rock varieties.

Other Materials Needed

For greater safety, you can pour concrete into the base of a fire pit. This pad of concrete can then be circled with bricks, stones or iron. In addition, you will also need sand or mortar for bricks or stones. This is used to help fill in the cracks and make the ring of the fire pit more secure and stable.