How to Build a Sunken Seating Area and Fire Pit in Your Garden

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There is nothing like a real fire. It brings out the primitive fascination in all of us. A garden that has comfortable seating and a good fire pit will be used in the evenings much more than one that hasn’t.

We are going to take a look here at how you can create your own stunning sunken seating area with a central fire pit. It is a simple project that most people can have a go at because it doesn’t require any special skills, just a willingness to try. Read on and see if you could fit one into your garden.

Measure the Hole

The sunken seating area can be any shape you like, but square or rectangular will be easier to pave than one with curves. If you have bought the paving slabs already, measure the hole so that they will fit without the need to cut any of them. That saves a lot of work. Mark the area with string and wooden pegs.

Excavate

Excavate the hole using a spade to a depth of two feet. Of course, you can dig deeper if you prefer, but you will find that even a hole this deep takes much hard work. Remove the dirt, you can use it elsewhere in the garden.

Foundations

Dig a further trench around the edge of the hole for the concrete wall foundation. Make it eight inches wide and four inches deep. Mix the concrete to one part cement, one part gravel, and three parts of building sand. Fill the trench and level it off.

The Walls

The seating area will have walls around the edges; up to ground level. Lay the bricks of your choice with a mortar consisting of one part cement to five parts building sand. Build the walls to a couple of inches above ground level and then cap them with cement capping stones. It gives the walls an attractive finish and defines the seating area.

The Floor

Put down a layer of sand and hardcore two inches thick and compact it well. Then lay the paving slabs on a thin layer of sand.

The Fire Pit

You can buy an ornamental fire pit or make one of your own using the same bricks with which you constructed the walls. Unlike coal, firewood needs no air supply from below to burn, so the pit is easy to build. Make it any shape and just a couple of brick courses high, to contain the fire.

Seating

The best solution for seating is to use some good quality furniture, but you can make a wooden bench around the edge of the seating area if you wish. Fix the back of the bench to the wall and support the front with timber uprights.

Because the fire pit isn’t very deep, you only need to construct one step to make access easy. If you make it deeper you must provide a series of steps.

I hope you like this project; it only takes a couple of weekends to complete, but it transforms your garden. Give it a try, you will be amazed at what you can achieve.