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It's the perfect time to add a firepit to your backyard. In fact, outdoor fireplaces and firepits are the most requested design feature when people consider landscaping around their homes. Many people remember enjoying a warm campfire in their youth and want to create a similar experience in their backyard.

You want your firepit to be warm and inviting, but it's also essential to ensure it's safe and durable. This guide will tell you all you need to know about preparing the ground for a firepit. 

Check Local Laws and Regulations for Campfires

This is the least fun aspect of building a firepit, but it's a necessity. You don't want to put the time and money into the project only to discover you can't light your campfire. 

Fire laws for firepits vary by location, and most towns and cities will have their own regulations around campfires. Most cities allow the use of small firepits as long as they follow the guidelines and regulations provided. 

It's common for there to be regulations about how close the firepit can be to other houses, buildings, and landscape features. Many areas also limit the size of fire pits to 3 feet around and 3 feet high. 

You'll also need to check for burn advisories before you light your campfire. During periods of drought or high winds, many areas will enact a burning ban. This may limit large fires or extend to campfires, bonfires, and firepits. 

Positioning the Firepit

The first thing you'll need to do is decide where your firepit should be located. The ground where the firepit is installed should be faily level. It should also be at least 15 feet from any house and at least 10 feet away from property lines, sheds, trees, and bushes. Don't place the fire pit under power lines or trees. 

If you have the perfect spot for your firepit, but the ground is not level, you can level the area using sand or dirt. Check out how people have used landscaping to build a firepit into areas that had a slope using retaining wall block and some fill. Once you have an idea of how your backyard will look you can find a contractor  (if needed) to help make your firepit dreams a reality. 

Avoid Flammable Materials Near your Campfire 

Of course, you'll want to avoid flammable materials when building your firepit. Temperatures can easily reach 1,000 degrees. You'll also want to avoid materials that hold moisture as well. Pea gravel and compressed concrete blocks should also be avoided. These materials are porous, allowing moisture to become trapped inside. When the material heats up due to fire, the moisture will turn to steam. This can cause the material to explode creating a potentially dangerous situation. 

Prepare the Ground Around Your Campfire Location

To prepare the ground, begin by measuring the area where your firepit will be. If you plan to have the firepit below ground, you'll need to dig a hole the size of the pit. A depth of 8 inches is recommended. If you want an above-ground pit or plan to use a fire pit ring at ground level, you'll still need to do some prep ahead of time.  

Remove any grass or weeds from the area. You can choose to use dirt as the base of your firepit.  You can also add a layer of sand and then a fireproof material. Gravel, Lava rocks, fire pit glass or silica, paving stones, or bricks are all safe options. We have a blog about using sand in your firepit if you are considering that option. 

Which one you use really comes down to aesthetics. If you choosea fire pit insert, the ground won't be visible. The choice of materials won't affect the appearance of the fire pit. 

However, if you choosea fire pit ring, the ground will be exposed. In this case, you may want to select an attractive option for the base. Silica is an excellent attractive option.  

Firepit Insert vs. Firepit Rings

How you prepare your ground for a fire pit will depend on which type of firepit you choose. Our firepit insert set comes with an ash catcher and doesn't come in contact with the ground. However, a firepit ring is a steel ring that contains the fire. Using a firepit ring will require you to clean out the ashes in your firepit from time to time. 

Walden Backyards Legacy Fire Pit Insert Kit provides everything you need to create a safe and clean firepit, except for the blocks for the outer ring if you want to make it a more permanent looking structure that is built in. 

If you are looking for a simpler option, the Legacy Fire Pit Ring is perfect. This option is more similar to a traditional campfire. The steel firepit ring will contain the campfire safely, and it can be placed directly on the ground. If you need to move your firepit, this is the best option. 

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