If you live in the Midwest (especially), you know that you need a fire pit to get through those cold winter nights. But getting it built by a professional can run you a small fortune. Fortunately, however, this is one of the easiest do it yourself projects you can think of! While you may not be able to make it as fancy as you like, there’s certainly a way to make it very functional. Here, then, are our tips and tricks for building your own fire pit.

• Make sure you get the correct stones before you begin the project. Many fire pits are made with landscaping blocks, or field stone. Any non-flammable rock will serve just fine.

• Dig a drainage ditch in the hole – make it approximately 2-3 feet deep, and fill it with gravel. This will help drain rainwater from your pit – the drainage ditch is an all-natural sump pump.

• The quickest way to build a fire pit is to dry-stack the stones. This, of course, is only advisable if the stones themselves are stackable.

• Before you start any fire, soak the stones with warm water. This will prevent any embers from getting out and causing a fire.

• You can buy the ring and grate from any hardware store. To save a few dollars, get some metal from a salvage shop and have a welder make the ring and grate for you.

• A stone mason can custom-make any fire pit your heart desires, as well. Some fire pits even have tables built into them!

• It’s absolutely imperative to remember that fire pits ARE NOT for cooking. They are NOT barbecues.

Do you have any ideas for a fire pit? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! Or, if you’re ready to get started on your own fire pit, we can certainly help you materialize some ideas!