Shimmering Glass Surrounds the Fire Pit in this Backyard Oasis

Glass pieces are a unique addition to this fire pit.

Why escape to the lake or cabin, when you can have a relaxing getaway in your own backyard? That was the mindset for the homeowners featured in this two-part series. As professionals with stressful jobs, this family was looking for something to help take the edge off – they wanted a space that would be inviting for friends and family to gather, and had a little something special to add interest to their yard. They decided a fire pit, and an outdoor pizza oven (which we'll discuss next week) would do the trick.

A few trees were felled to make way for the new fire pit

As construction got underway for the fire pit, we knew maintaining a wooded, North Shore, feel to the area was important, so we made sure to only clear out the minimum number of trees needed to make space for the new addition. We worked with the slope of the land to fit the stone seating area, made from North Shore Superior trap rock, into the hillside; this ensured that the hardscapes fit naturally into the land, and didn't feel out of place.

Concrete blocks were placed against a ring to form the base of the fire pit.

The construction of the raised fire pit first involved pouring a concrete footing, which was later covered in crushed gravel and compacted. With a firm foundation in place, we started adding concrete blocks around a metal ring to form the shape of the fire pit. Once the shape was established, we added a layer of mortar to the concrete blocks, let it dry for a while, and then scratched it to create a rough texture.

The Loon Lake Veneer stone pieces were added to the base of the fire pit.

When we were ready to start adding the Loon Lake Veneer stone, we troweled a layer of fresh concrete to the back of each piece before sticking it to the form. The rough texture on the previous layer and the concrete on the stone created a strong bond that holds everything in place. Once all of the stone pieces had been laid out, we finished the fire pit by filling in the joints, individually, with mortar, in a process called tuck-pointing.

The glass pieces were then added to the fire pit area to complete the project.

With the construction of the fire pit and seating area complete, the final steps were to add a layer of weed fabric over the compacted crushed gravel, and then, for the finishing touch, we filled the area surrounding the fire pit with four inches of multi-color recycled glass pieces.

The glass, which comes from New Mexico and is commonly used for this purpose in southern states, has been tumbled to prevent any sharp edges. It is a unique alternative to more traditional materials for surrounding fire pits. The glass is not only environmentally friendly, since it is recycled and repurposed, but is mesmerizing at night with the fire burning, and kids love to take a piece home as a fun souvenir!

Check back next week, as we'll be detailing the process of constructing the adjacent wood burning pizza oven. It was a challenging project that turned out great!

Copyright 2016
Yardmasters Landscapes, Inc.