One day it happened: We had gone under the homeowner, and our dream of a fireplace was to become reality. But before we started building them, we had to make some decisions. In which corner of the garden should she stand, how big should she be, what stones should we build her from - and what would that cost us? All that I wanted to clarify before. I did research on the net, but the information I needed was not that easy to find. So I decided to write my own guide. This article is the result.
- Ready-mixed concrete: 4 to 5 sacks (25 kg each)
- Mortar: 5 to 6 bags (25 kg each)
- Torstahl (Rebar): 10 bars of 50 cm length
- Sandstones (flat): approx. 700 kg
- Refractory bricks: 50 pieces
- safety goggles
- Work gloves
Dimensions: About 1.50 meters in diameter and a good 50 centimeters high - a pretty big fireplace. Adjust the numbers to the conditions in your garden.
Costs: about 500 euros
After the place was marked, we knew where we had to pour the foundation. Frankly, we have probably made a mistake: we just did not dug deep enough and will probably feel the consequences someday. We thought that 20 centimeters would be enough - later I read that the foundation should be up to one meter deep, otherwise it might not be winter proof.
After filling, however, I let the concrete become a little firmer. Meanwhile, I sorted the stones: big stones on one side, flat on the other. If I fell into the hands of a stone that I wanted as a foundation, I put it aside. The small wall around our hearth should be made of stones of different heights, but the bottom row should be flat. I chose stones with slightly curved shapes so that I could better form a circle out of them.
Tip: If you have an influence on the choice of stones - for example, in the quarry - choose as flat a specimen as possible, then you will have less trouble with unevenness.
If I had the stones arranged so that I liked them, I put them a little to the side. I took good care to keep the order exactly. This layering of the stones was the hardest part of the job, it took me a lot of time. My recommendation: Do not go too perfectionist.
Tip: If you like me and you do not have time for several days in a row, watch your lawn. He suffers from the stoned stones, so store the material in a more suitable location.
In this photo, the fireplace is missing only the final row. Into the inner circle I set the refractory bricks and fortified them. In doing so, I made sure to release ventilation holes. There were three narrow openings at the end, which should provide for air circulation. I would save this point today, if I had to build a fire pit again. The tip with the ventilation holes is heard again and again, but at a fire pit of this size, an additional air flow is not necessary.
Now I should mention that it took me a lot of effort to get to this point. My muscles were well trained afterwards. If you put off this idea, perhaps consider that with the home-made fireplace. 700 kilos of stones are not completely without - especially not when working at ground level. And that's exactly why you'll find painkillers in my list of materials ...
Tip: If you buy the stones, you'd better take a few more than you might need. It is important that you have enough choice.
Tip: For us the big fireplace fits exactly to our garden. But always keep an eye on the total size of your garden in the planning phase so that the spatial dimensions are right.
Tip: It is best to think beforehand about where the excavated soil should be stored. There may be more to this than you might expect.
At some point we might be able to replace the gravel with a more beautiful material, but at that time our budget did not allow anything else. Fine gravel does not have the best reputation - I have often read that it sticks to the shoes, is dragged into the house and is not so easy to keep clean. But the gravel has not made any problems for me yet. The distance to the house is far enough, so he does not get into the apartment. In the summer, I only wear sandals that he does not adhere to. And what is blown on the stones in autumn, is quickly removed with a Laubpuster.
In the future, our fireplace should be a little more homey. I plan to plant a few shrubs, and wildflowers in shades of yellow, orange, red and purple will make the area even warmer and more inviting. In addition, we want to demarcate the gravel area with a ring of sandstones to the outside.
And now I'm looking forward to the campfire stories my friends tell me while the fire is crackling in the background. We really enjoy this fire pit!
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