Autumn is finally here, and if you want to enjoy the Muskoka night skies by the comfort of a fire, you may be considering installing a fire pit. If you want to build a fire pit on natural stone, you must first ensure that the base is safe for a pit. You should also research heat-resistant products and pay attention to what types of aggregate and mortar work best with each other. Using the wrong type of stone can result in a smoky fire.
As professional landscaping contractors in Muskoka, Parry Sound, and the surrounding areas, we’ve helped install countless beautiful backyard and cottage fire pits. Read on to learn more about the basics of building a fire pit.
Removing and Redoing the stone Base
When building a fire pit on natural stone, you’ll need to consider several factors. First, it’s important to protect the natural stone. While fire does not destroy it immediately, it can easily be damaged by high temperatures. It can also crack after prolonged exposure. Second, repairing a cracked stone base can be time-consuming and expensive.
When building a fire pit with natural stone, you must take into account the fact that the weight of the fire pit can cause the soil underneath to shift. Therefore, it is recommended to use a footer to prevent soil from shifting. Once you’ve laid the stones, you can start building the rim of the fire pit.
At Schlager Excavating and Haulage, our landscaping contractors in Parry Sound and Muskoka take care of this detail, cutting your stone in a circular shape in the middle of your new patio. From here, we fill it with sand for your new fire pit’s base—no need to worry about the stone cracking. Another popular option with our clients is using a fire bowl on the stone, elevating the fire so that it does not affect the stone.
It’s best to use stone blocks with flat tops so that you can stack them one on top of the other. A fire pit that is surrounded by a rim made of natural stone or natural stone blocks is a more durable option, and a fire pit can last several years if it’s constructed on a stable foundation.
Steel Fire Ring Protects Natural Stones From Heat
When building a fire pit on natural stone, it’s important to consider the fire ring. Putting a steel fire ring around your natural stones protects them from the heat that will come from the fire, and it will protect the natural stones from damage. However, you should be aware that these rings come in limited sizes and shapes. Custom sizes are available, but they will cost more.
In addition to the fire ring, you should also purchase a fire pit ring insert. Fire pit ring inserts usually have walls that are 6-12 inches high, providing protection for the masonry. They are constructed of high-temperature resistant carbon steel and come in different thicknesses.
Air Channels Under Walls Allow for Less Smoky Fire
A smokeless fire pit does not generate smoke and has two walls with air channels underneath them. These channels allow extra oxygen to enter through the fire ring. The extra oxygen burns off-gassing molecules, which otherwise would produce smoke.
It can be a time-consuming and labour-intensive process to get your stone fire pit patio just right. Proper care must be taken to construct a fire pit that is free of cracks and is safe for all users—if improperly constructed, natural stone can expand and crack when it is exposed to heat. As professional hardscape and landscaping contractors, Schlager Excavating and Haulage has served the Muskoka and Parry Sound regions since 1986.
When you purchase a fire pit or fire ring ahead of time, our experts can design your patio entirely around the new centrepiece.
Hardscape & Landscaping Contractors in Parry Sound, Muskoka & the Surrounding Region
We’ve helped our customers transform their landscapes and install beautiful natural stone fire pits and for a customized backyard or cottage patio. Get in touch with our team at (705) 732-1802 for more information on how we can help you build the perfect fire pit!