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How To DIY A Fire Pit & Pea Stone Patio, Start To Finish

At long last the nice weather has arrived in a big way to Massachusetts!! I’m loving walking around the yard and seeing what’s starting to sprout up – are you as excited as me that spring is here?

Over Easter weekend, we cleaned up the yard a bit and at the end of the day, turned all the branches and twigs the winter had bestowed across the lawn into a roaring fire, and enjoyed our new outdoor space.

DIY pea stone patio with a built in stone firepit.

 

This time last year I was scheming on how to create this pea stone patio and build a fire pit. I have always loved pea stone patios, and envisioned one off of our deck since we first bought our house, surrounded by tall blowing seagrass and hydrangeas – a little outdoor room for hanging out with friends and family under the stars, with music on and a fire blazing and everyone actually having conversations instead of looking at their phones 🙂

 

The landscaping is going to be a work in progress over the next couple of years, but the patio and fire pit dream finally came to pass with a little help from our kids, and we have been loving this little spot so much!!Stone veneered fire pit using a cast cement kit from Stone Farm

This was a DIY from start to finish, with no prior experience at tackling most of these tasks, and I chronicled each part of the project over the course of several months. Today I thought it would be helpful to share all the steps involved with links to tutorials for each of them, in the event you are considering installing your own stone fire pit and pea stone patio this year!

Note that the steps might seem out of order because I got ahead of myself and ordered the pea stone before the fire pit was done. In retrospect I would have waited and had the pea stone delivered at the very end.

 


HOW TO DIY A STONE FIRE PIT & PEA STONE PATIO, START TO FINISH

PREPARING THE SPACE FOR YOUR PATIO

REMOVE SOD

After I spent hours trying to remove grass to make way for the new patio, my son and I rented a sod cutter machine and a tiny little trailer, figured out how to use it and got the job done swiftly.

Rent a sod cutter instead of trying to remove grass with a shovel.

Renting a sod cutting machine is not that expensive and makes removing grass so much easier.

The machine cuts underneath the grass, which can then be rolled up and used elsewhere (I gave the sod away on our town’s Facebook yard sale site.)

A sod cutter rental makes removing grass much easier than doing it by hand.

When the sod is all removed and the area cleaned up, you’re ready to roll!!

Removing grass with a sod cutter for a patio installation.

BUILDING THE FIRE PIT

INSTALL STONE VENEER TO THE FIRE PIT BASE

I used a cast cement fire pit base from Stone Farm Living, typically used by pros, to create this built-in fire pit. We had seen fire pits using these bases at a stone yard and really loved the finished look.

Cast cement built in fire pit base from Stone Farm Living.

 I bought real stone veneer at a local stone yard. The manager and guys that worked there were SO helpful, and gave me lots of advice and tips for a newbie mason. Read all about that here.

How to install stone veneer to a cast cement fire pit base.

BUILDING THE FIRE PIT

INSTALL FIRE BRICK AND LINE THE BOTTOM OF THE FIRE PIT

Fire brick is a special kind of brick that can stand high heat without cracking and will help your fire pit to last for many years with little maintenance.

How to install fire brick inside a fire pit.

You can line the bottom of the pit with fire brick too, but we opted to use regular play sand, which has proved to be very easy to clean up.

Play sand can be used for the base of a fire pit.

BUILDING THE FIRE PIT

CREATE AND INSTALL CAPSTONE

To finish off the fire pit, add a stone top. I figured out a DIY way to do this and we love how it came out.

See how these stones were cut and installed to create the fire pit capstone.

FINISHING THE PATIO

INSTALL GARDEN EDGING AND PEA STONE

The last step in this project is to line the patio area, edge it with metal edging or stone, and then spread pea stone.

laying landscape fabric for pea stone patio

Metal edging doesn’t look so pretty in and of itself, but it makes a world of difference in the lines of your patio and garden. Once the landscaping grows in and the garden beds are mulched the metal edging disappears.

DIY pea stone patio

 

Check out the tutorials for every single last detail on how to DIY your own pea stone patio and stone fire pit.

 

UPDATE | Check out how this DIY patio has progressed into 2019 as the landscaping has grown in and we finally got some permanent furniture for the space! It’s truly one of our favorite parts of our home that our whole family helped to create.

DIY pea stone patio and fire pit

If you have any questions that I haven’t answered in the tutorials, let me know!

 Pin this post for later!

How to install a pea stone patio and build a stone veneered fire pit, from start to finish.

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Debbie - Mountain Mama

Monday 24th of April 2017

Wow, what a great job you did, I am super impressed!! That was a big project to tackle yourself - kudos to you and your kids, Lisa!

Lisa

Tuesday 25th of April 2017

Debbie thank you so much! It was very laborious but so exciting to see it all come together. The kids used it all throughout our snowy winter and I'm happy to have a place the teenagers all want to hang at!

Jennifer Griffin

Monday 24th of April 2017

What a great resource, love having all of these projects in one spot! Your firepit area couldn't be more lovely, I'm sure you all will enjoy it for many years to come!

Lisa

Tuesday 25th of April 2017

Thanks Jennifer! Like you we're dreaming and scheming about landscaping next. This time of year I'm always so motivated but come July I won't want anything to do with weeding gardens :)

Karen

Sunday 23rd of April 2017

Really beautiful! what a wonderful space for you to share with family and friends.

Susie

Thursday 20th of April 2017

Totally amazing! What a transformation. Love it so much. Hope you enjoy it to the moon and back. Susie from The Chelsea Project