Step by Step Guide to Build a DIY Match Light Gas Fire Pit

We all love winters. The snow-clad pavements, Christmas decorations, winters sales and out of everything you get to spend holidays with your family and friends. The way we all spend our holidays has changed. Since we can’t step out of our house much often due to the pandemic, it would be lovely to have access to outdoors without compromising with safety. Having your outdoor area is more like a luxury than a necessity these days. With the right furniture and utilities, your patio is one of those areas in your home that can become your escape from monotony. Spending time outdoors on a quiet sunny afternoon is easy, but what about those chilly evenings when it's freezing outside? Just because it's winter does not mean you have to be stuck inside your room and let go of your quality time amid nature. A propane fire pit will make things easier for you. Investing in the right propane fire pit or building one on your own will ensure that your outdoors are warm and inviting all year round, regardless of the weather. 

Once you get your propane fire pit, it is easy to operate it.  In this blog, we will take you through the entire anatomy of building a manual DIY propane fire pit to enhance the utility as well as appeal to your patio. Let’s get started. 

Materials you’ll need

  • Fireproof building materials
  • Bricks or concrete stone
  • Heat resistant tile
  • Gas burner kit with control features
  • AAA batteries
  • Vapor barrier
  • Shovel and rake ( if you’re building on grass)
  • Mallet
  • Caulk gun

Getting started

Before you decide where you want to build the fire pit, clean the area and make sure there is no dirt residue which might get in the way of building your fire pit. Make sure that you have a nearby connection wherever you choose to build the fire pit. 

Don’t have a gas connection outdoors?

If you don’t have a natural line gas unit in your outdoors, make sure you get in touch with professionals and they will do the needful for you. You need to do this with the help of a certified technician and you also need to make sure that building the firepit is safe and legal according to your city norms. 

Where do you want to build a fire table?

Do you want to build a fire table in the garden or do you want to build it on a stone patio or a flat yard? Whatever you decide, there are different things you need to keep in mind for the respective methods. 

Pro tip: if you decide to build a fire table in the garden then you must choose a non-combustible base. This will help you to prevent the heat transfer to the below surface and start a fire. For decks and other surfaces, you can use bricks or Hardie Board. 

The placement

It is ideal that when you try building a DIY propane fire pit, it must have a minimum six feet distance between the sides and the burner area.  However, before you start building the firepit make sure to check your local city guidelines to ensure that you’re not violating any laws. 

A checklist of essentials before you get started

Once you’ve determined where you are going to build a fire pit, you can move forward and get into the technicalities. Below are some of the factors that you need to consider before you put on your DIY gloves. 

Gas supply

Needless to say, the gas you choose will be the life of your firepit. So make sure that you know your options so that you can make a well-informed decision. You can use either propane gas or natural gas. 

Natural gas: For natural gas, you will have to install a permanent gas line. The supply pressure of the water column should be set at 3.5”-7.5” and you will also have to regulate your BTU ratings. Using natural gas will be less expensive than propane gas and you will never run out of it but then again, propane comes with its advantages. 

Propane gas: liquid propane gas-based fire pit is easier to instal. It is easy to use and also portable. If you have a large propane tank in your outdoors then a propane fire pit can become a permanent part of your outdoors. 

Do propane fire pits put off heat?

If you’re looking for cleaner flames with less smoke than a propane fire pit is for you. This will be beneficial for you if you have limited space to instal the fire pit. The quality and longevity of the fire will highly depend on the burning media. 

Firepit enclosures

When you instal a fire pit, you will likely keep it burning for a while. This makes the exterior of the fire pit extremely hot. The fire pit enclosure will not just make the fire pit look aesthetically pleasing but it will also be highly functional. It will help you maintain a safe distance from the fire. You can either build an enclosure on your own or you can buy an unfinished enclosure. You can use masonry bricks to construct an enclosure on your own which should be large enough to cover the burner, gas and ignition. 

Firepit ventilation

Consider the ventilation in your fire pit similar to that in a room. A room with closed windows will feel suffocated and hot whereas a room with open windows and cross ventilation will be cooler and fresher. Similarly, the ventilation in your fire pit will allow excess heat and gas escape before these elements can heat up inside the fire pit. Ventilation in the base will provide fresh air to the ignition so that it can work efficiently. You should have at least two built-in vents if you are building a medium-sized fire pit. This will prevent any hazards like explosions due to overheating. 

Pro tip: make sure you instal vents on the opposite sides of the fire pit. 

Burner & pan

If your DIY outdoor propane fire pit kit did not come with a burner, then you’ll need to buy one. The burner will have a great impact on the way your fire pit looks. Burners come in various sizes, shapes and BTU capacities so you can choose the one according to your needs. Choose the burner wisely as it will determine the size and height of the flames. Your burner is of no use without a pan. The pan will act as a base for the burner which will hold the burning medium like lava rocks or gas logs. If your burner did not come with a pan, then make sure to buy a pan that is at least 3 inches larger as compared to the circumference of the burner. Make sure you have the sufficient gas line to promote good quality and long-lasting fire flames. 

Media

The main beauty of a fire pit lies in the natural flame pattern. To ensure this, you need to instal a media on top of the burner and pan. This will not only cover the burner and pan but it will promote the natural flow of the fire flames. You can go for volcanic stones, Creekstone clouds, river rock fyre stones and a lot of other options to choose from. If you are going for a more earthy touch you can go for lava fyre coals or wood stocks. For a contemporary look, you can go for fireballs or firestones. 

Ignition system

Might not seem like a lot at first but the ignition system is what’ll get you started. You can choose from manual or automatic ignition systems. Automatic ignition systems, although expensive, are very easy to use. You can even use it with a remote or your phone’s bluetooth. 

Bringing your DIY propane fire pit to life

Now comes the part where you’ll have to churn your brain to get everything right. Once you’ve got everything you are going to need to build a fire pit, now is the time to execute. 

Ensembling a manual gas fire pit

Installing the burner and control panel: place the burner over the pan and then move on to installing the control panel. If you are going to place taller blocks, make sure to go for a larger control panel that will fit incorrectly. You will need to cut the blocks as per the size of the control panel if needed. 

Banner support ring: once you have installed the control panel between the blocks, you'll need to place the banner support ring over it. This ring should be installed one block above the control panel. Installing a banner support ring will prevent the interiors of the fire pit from becoming extremely hot which can result in dehydrated blocks prone to crumbling. Hence, to ensure the longevity of the fire pit burner it is essential to instal a non-combustible banner support ring. 

Gas connection: connect the ground wire to the speaker box to ensure proper grounding and ignition. For this step, we’d suggest you some assistance from a professional as you need to make sure that all the gas connections are secured tightly to prevent any leakage. 

Create a durable surrounding: once the gas burner is installed and the gas connection is properly secured you can move ahead to pile on the remaining blocks to complete the fire pit surrounding. Cover the burner and the pan with your preferred fire media and voila! DIY propane fire pits are ready to use. 

If you feel the whole DIY thing is quite overwhelming for you, you can check out our collection of propane fire pit tables and save yourself all the hard work.