How Much Does It Cost to Build an Outdoor Fire Pit?
$300 - $1,400
$300 - $1,400
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Updated August 17, 2021Written by HomeAdvisor.
The average cost to build a fire pit is $700. The project can run as low as $300 to as high as $1,400. The rate for labor is $55 per hour or about $340 per job, and the price for materials is about $400. The average cost range of a premade, above ground fire pit is $300.
One of the first things that homeowners must decide when installing a fire pit is whether to buy a premade unit or build an in-ground fire pit from scratch. While premade models are certainly easier and faster to assemble, they're not always built to last. Usually these models come with a metal bottom that can rust and deteriorate quickly. A true fire pit has a concrete base, brick and mortar installed by hand and weep holes inside the walls to enable moisture to drain.
Homeowners who try to build their own unit with mortar and bricks are likely to have problems with moisture, ground settlement and other problems. Hiring a contractor ensures that the job is done right, and the resulting structure will stay attractive and stable for many years.
The chart below is for built-in ground units, not units bought at the store for placement on the patio.
|Stone or Field Stone||$300|
|Brick Paver or Fire Brick||$280|
The average cost of a built-in unit made of stone is $300. This material comes in a variety of shapes from rounded to angular, so homeowners can pick the shape that most appeals to them and best suits their landscape. They come in many colors ranging from brown to gray and are fine to use with charcoal or firewood.
To reduce costs, homeowners can look for locally sourced materials from nearby sources. The best stones are igneous and metamorphic because they are dense and non-permeable. Avoid sedimentary rocks because they are softer and can have air pockets, which could cause them to explode under the right conditions.
A brick paver or fire brick structure costs about $280. Bricks can crack from intense heat, so fire bricks need to line the inside of the ring. Standard pavers can line the outside of the unit. With this design, your firepit can withstand the heat of firewood, charcoal or gas-burning systems. Homeowners appreciate this material is attractive and continues to radiate heat well after the fire has died.
A block fire pit costs as little as $110. Blocks are inexpensive and large, so a contractor or homeowner can make a structure while minimizing materials. As a result, this is the least expensive material to use for construction. Use these to build a unit that burns gas, charcoal or wood.
A Nicolock unit costs around $500. Their bricks come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. These pavers can withstand wood, charcoal and gas-fueled fires.
Techno-Bloc Valencia units cost around $610. Like Nicolock, these bricks are a brand-name type of paving stone. Homeowners can use them to build a fire pit that burns gas, firewood and charcoal.
The cost of a typical Unilock stone fire pit is around $500. This brand-name paver can handle heat from firewood, gas and charcoal. Homeowners can choose between a variety of colors, sizes and prices to fit their needs.
A typical contractor will charge by the hour to install a fire pit and can finish the work in about four to eight hours. Therefore, the cost of labor typically runs from $200 to $480, depending on a variety of factors.
The larger the fire pit, the more materials and time are necessary to build it. A typical structure will range from 20 to 45 inches in diameter and will be between 12 and 20 inches high.
To find out the exact quantity of stone that any given fire pit will need, decide how large and deep the it will be. Then, using the dimensions of the paving stones you select, you can calculate the number of bricks you'll need for the project.
While some types of fuel (firewood) require only a fireproof bowl and paving stones with good drainage, other types (electric, gas) must connect to the system(s) in the home. Propane is independent of the systems in the house because it comes from a replaceable, portable tank.
|Firewood||$300||Contractor||Clean out ashes|
|Charcoal||$300||Contractor||Clean out ashes|
|Electric||$1,800||Contractor, Electrician||Pay electric bills|
|Gas||$600||Contractor, Plumber||Pay natural gas bills|
|Propane||$300||Contractor||Replace propane tanks|
A concrete or paver stone patio is a natural area to place a structure because it is a naturally fire-resistant part of the yard. Most homeowners have patio foundations laid before installing a fire pit. Although, paver styles sit on the surface of the patio. Then a high-heat furnace cement lines the inside of the structure. Homeowners working with a contractor to install a patio should discuss fire pit installation with the contractor to ensure it's factored into the paver patio cost and they don't face a surprise bill later.
Preparation is necessary for placement in the middle of the yard. Things to consider:
Location of nearby trees. No overhanging branches.
Presence of dry brush. Cleared of brush to prevent the spread of fire to other parts of the yard.
Slope. Yard must be level where the unit will sit
Drainage. Use this in a part of the yard where water pools or creates puddles to avoid sitting the bricks in excess moisture
Some save money on the cost of installation if they do it while installing a new patio. Those who seek to cook on their patio may benefit from investing in the installation of an outdoor kitchen rather than a fire pit.
A permit may be necessary depending on the type of fire pit. A standalone above-ground unit that burns wood or propane is unlikely to need a permit while an electric ignition or gas-burning unit likely will need one. Laws about who can get the permit and associated costs will vary from one community to the next.
Many homeowners choose to install other features that make the fire pit safer, more enjoyable and convenient for all.
Enclosure: average cost to install a patio enclosure: $15,400.
Fire glass: $50-$90 per 10-pound bags.
Safety screens: $30-$160.
Fire grates: $60-$80
Seating area: $2,500, depending on the type of seating and materials used.
Homeowners who wish to install a fire pit on their property can choose from a range of types.
Custom-built in-ground units with inserts are by far the most expensive type of fire pit. Custom-built products are always more expensive because they require the contractor to design a structure from scratch. Inserts like a gas burner and electric ignition are also costly because they must connect to the home's gas and electrical line. This type of product can cost $3,000 or more, depending on the size of the pit, type of inserts installed and other features.
The average cost of a kit is between $500 and $600. Many companies make prefab kits that a contractor or a homeowner with DIY experience can assemble. Some pre-made kits come with everything you'll need. Others allow the buyer to pick and choose components for a customized look.
Prefabricated kits that claim to come with everything often lack certain accessories (such as grate, screen) that homeowners want to make their fire pit safer or more convenient. Homeowners should read the descriptions of each kit carefully to ensure that it has everything they need to start.
|Belgard||$680||Weston||$380||Ashland||$220||Nicolock||$350||EP Henry||$1,200||Cast Stone||$200|
Unless otherwise specified at the time of purchase, the price of installation does not include the cost of labor. Some units come with a warranty included in the price. Homeowners can find out about the details of each warranty by checking it the time of purchase.
An above-ground unit that does not need assembly are often less expensive than models that need assembly. These products are often portable, easy to set up and far less sturdy than assembly-required structures. Some products are as simple as a metal bowl on legs, costing around $60 or $70. Others may have the look of a built-in fire pit and can cost a few hundred dollars. These units are typically available at home improvement centers.
|Fast-set concrete||$5 per 50-pound bag|
|Mortar mix||$6 per 60-pound bag|
|1/2-inch rebar||$0.75 per foot|
A homeowner who hires a contractor will not pay for these because materials are usually a line item in the contract and most pros will supply their own tools.
Homeowners hoping to hire a professional contractor can find the best person for the job by checking references and viewing pictures of earlier work. Homeowners should check a pro's licensure, insurance and bond before signing a contract. Awards and accolades from local organizations can also be a good indicator contractor quality. Contact contractors in your area to get your project done.
While DIY fire pit installation can cost a lot less than a contractor-installed, homeowners who plan to install their own unit must make sure that installation abides by local building codes. If the fuel type requires a connection to the home's electricity or gas, work with a licensed plumber and/or electrician for safe, up-to-code installation. DIYers are responsible for getting their own permits.
Incorrectly installed units may be a safety risk for anyone nearby. There are many ways that a fire pit can create safety hazards, including:
Soft stones can explode when used to line a fire pit.
The gas could leak, or the electric ignition could cause injury to the person using the pit.
A homeowner could become injured by moving heavy stones on his or her own.
A DIYer that performs an installation on his or her own could do so for as little as $200. However, that money could go to waste if improperly installed. A contractor who installs a fire pit will charge significantly more; although, the installation will be stable, safe and long-lasting. Homeowners who plan to install their own structure and who would like to find out more about the safety aspect can check firepit safety information online before getting started.