Creating an Outdoor Fire Pit

Fire Pit 10
When building our house, we chose our lot based on the beautiful wooded view.  Unfortunately, that view came with a steeply sloped back yard.  We knew that with a little creativity, we could figure out a way to make our sloped yard functional.  Last summer, while watching the kids play in the woods, I noticed this:
a small amount of flat space at the bottom of the hill.  I mentioned to my husband that it would make a great place for a fire pit.  We added the project to the summer list & Mark got started right away!  In the picture above, he has already begun finding creek stone from the creek bed & started getting the ground level.
The first official project was to build a small retaining wall.  We decided to give this wall two functions.  First, it would prevent erosion & secondly, it would act as a bench for seating.  We ended up using landscaping timbers to do this pretty inexpensively.  (During Memorial Day, Home Depot had them on sale for $1 each!)
The next step was to build a French drain, since this area sits at the bottom of a hill & needed to have drainage.  A French drain is a pipe with holes in the top of it, which allows water to seep into it & then channels the water to where you want it to drain.  To do this, Mark dug a trench & added the drain.  Then, he added a layer of gravel above it to further help with drainage. 
Installing a French Drain
We Mark then covered the area with crushed limestone.  Then, he traced out the area where the fire pit would be & added the creek stone, which would become the patio.  After purchasing the pavers, Mark built the fire pit by stacking stones in a circular shape.  (He grabbed a free brochure next to the pavers, which gave directions, dimensions, & the amount of pavers needed.) 
We then added pea gravel to fill in the gaps between the creek stone. 
Here are some pictures of the finished product:
Creek Stone Patio
The Adirondack chairs came from Lowes & were about $20 each.  I think they give a nice pop of color to the area.
Fire pit
Fire Pit 13
Retaining Wall with Tiki Torches
Natural Steps
I waited too late to get some night shots, but here is my attempt at one showing how the area looks all lit up…
Fire Pit at night
The above definitely doesn’t capture how cool it looks with the tiki torches lighting the path at night.  Oh well, I tried!
Creek Stone Patio
We just love this area of our yard now!  It feels like we are camping in the mountains, far away from suburbia!

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