How to Build a DIY Propane Fire Pit for Cozy Evenings

A propane fire pit is the perfect way to extend those cozy evenings outdoors. The warmth and ambiance of an open flame create a relaxing and inviting space for you to unwind alone or socialize with friends and family. Propane fire pits are also easier to use and maintain than traditional wood-burning pits.

Building your own DIY propane fire pit is a straightforward project that can usually be completed in one afternoon with minimal tools and materials. The end result is a beautiful and functional centerpiece for your patio, deck, or backyard. Follow this guide to construct your own propane fire pit tailored exactly to your space and needs.

Choosing a Location

When selecting where to build your DIY propane fire pit, there are a few key factors to consider:


Make sure to choose a spot at least 10 feet away from your home, trees, seating areas, or anything else flammable. Check local fire codes for any restrictions on open flames in residential areas. Avoid placing it directly under tree branches or roof overhangs.

Wind Exposure

Pick an area that is somewhat sheltered from strong winds, which can disrupt the flames. Partially enclosed spaces like courtyards are ideal.

Viewing Angles

Position the fire pit so that it can be easily viewed and enjoyed from seating areas or high-traffic zones. Face it towards views you want to highlight.

Surface Material

Select a flat, hard surface like concrete, stone, or gravel that can support the weight of the fire pit. Avoid grass, mulch, or dirt that can become fire hazards.


You’ll need access to a gas line or propane tank to fuel the fire pit, so a nearby external wall is optimal. Ensure adequate drainage if you will use a water feature.


Fire pits create light and sound that may disturb neighbors, so pick a private spot sheltered from adjacent properties by fences, foliage, or distance.

Once you’ve selected the perfect spot, it’s time to start planning out the fire pit design.

Designing Your Custom Fire Pit

One of the best aspects of DIY propane fire pits is that you can completely customize the design. Consider the following elements:


Fire pit shapes include circular, square, rectangular, oval, and freeform. Circular is most common and provides even flame distribution.


Standard fire pits range from 3-5 feet in diameter but can be scaled up or down to suit your needs. Bigger sizes allow for larger groups.

Wall Height

Typically 6-12 inches high to balance safety and visibility. Shorter walls increase accessibility while taller walls boost ambiance.


Choose durable, non-combustible materials like concrete, stone, brick, stucco, metal, or gravel.


Optional extras like benches, lighting, spark screens, glass beads, burners, accessories, and water elements. Get creative!

Sketch out some initial concepts, measure your space carefully, and finalize the design plan before starting to build. This will ensure the custom fire pit fits the location perfectly and has all the features you desire.

Gather Tools and Materials

One advantage of DIY propane fire pits is that they require minimal specialty tools and materials that are readily available. Here is a list of the basic supplies you will need:

Fire Pit Kit

Prefab square or circular propane fire pit burners and frames are available in various sizes at home improvement stores or online. These provide the foundation.

Exterior Building Materials

Such as concrete pavers or bricks to construct the fire pit walls around the burner. You’ll need enough to build to your desired height.

Crushed Stone/Gravel

One or more tons of pea gravel or crushed stone to fill in the center for drainage and stability.


Used to level and fill smaller gaps between wall materials.

Trowel, Shovel and Level

For grading, moving materials and checking for an even surface. A hand tamper can also be useful.

Drill and Masonry Bit

If using concrete or stone, a hammer drill is needed to make pilot holes for anchoring and gas lines.


For securing gas line connections.

Outdoor Adhesive

Use an exterior-grade adhesive or concrete binder to attach wall materials.

Gas Line/Hose

Copper tubing or a flexible gas line to connect the propane tank or gas supply to the burner.

Propane Tank

A standard 20 lb. tank is sufficient for most DIY fire pits. You can opt for a larger tank if desired.

Fire Pit Cover

A fitted lid or heavy-duty tarp to protect the fire pit when not in use.

Aside from these basics, you may also want to accessorize your fire pit with lighting, spark screens, log sets, glass beads, or other embellishments. Make sure any additions are fire-safe.

Prepare the Installation Site

Once you have all your supplies in order, it’s time to start the exciting process of building your own propane fire pit. Follow these initial site preparation steps:

Mark the Fire Pit Location

Use stakes and string to outline the diameter of your fire pit. This will guide the construction.

Excavate Ground

Dig down 4-6 inches to create a recessed foundation for your fire pit materials to sit flush with the ground.

Install Gas Line

Run copper tubing from the propane tank to the center of the pit area if possible.

Fill Bottom Layer

Add a 2-3 inch deep layer of crushed stone/gravel and compact with the hand tamper.

Level Surface

Check for an even surface using a long level in multiple positions across the circle. Adjust gravel as needed.

With proper site preparation complete, you’re ready to start actually building up your custom fire pit walls to finish it off.

Build the Fire Pit Walls

There are lots of possibilities when it comes to constructing decorative and functional walls around your propane fire pit burner. Follow these tips:

Place the Burner

Position your fire pit burner frame centered neatly in the dugout space.

Dry Fit the Materials

Arrange the concrete pavers, bricks, stone or other materials without adhering them first.

Create the First Row

Apply adhesive to the gravel base and attach your bottom row of wall material in a circle.

Check Alignment

Verify the first row of bricks or other material is level and aligned properly before adding more.

Add Additional Rows

Lay each new row, staggering the seams and gluing into place. Let adhesive fully cure before the next row.

Leave Space for Gas Controls

As you build up the wall, don’t block burner controls. Leave gaps if needed.

Finish the Top Edge

The rim can be flat or you can angle the last row inwards slightly to finish it off.

Fill Interior Base

Pour crushed stone into the center open space to provide drainage under the burner.

Insert Burner

Place the prefab burner assembly on top of the gravel base in the center.

Take care to keep the fire pit walls as even and securely adhered as possible. Well-constructed walls not only look great but also safely contain the fire.

Install Gas Line and Burner

With the structure of your DIY propane fire pit complete, the final major task is installing the gas line and connecting it properly to the burner system.

Connect Tank to Shutoff Valve

Attach the propane tank to a shutoff valve using gas-rated fittings. This allows you to control fuel flow.

Run Line to Fire Pit Center

Lay flexible copper tubing or stainless steel gas line from the valve to the middle under the burner.

Attach Elbow Fitting

Use a 90-degree elbow fitting to route the gas line up vertically into the burner connection.

Secure Gas Line

Anchor the gas line in place at regular intervals so it doesn’t shift. Avoid kinks.

Apply Leak Detector

Spray leak detector solution on all connections and fittings to check for tight seals. Fix any leaks detected.

Test Burner Ignition

Once all connections are secure with no leaks, test lighting the propeller and make any flame adjustments.

Proper gas line installation provides safe, reliable fuel delivery to your propane fire pit burner. Always refer to the manufacturer instructions as well.

Finish the Fire Pit Surroundings

Put the final touches on your DIY propane fire pit with these optional finishes:

Fill Gaps

Apply sand between narrow wall material gaps for a flushed appearance.

Add Gravel/Stone

Spread pea gravel or crushed stone around the outer fire pit walls for a polished look.

Install Flat Stones or Pavers

Arrange stone or concrete pavers around the pit walls to create a patio surface.

Plant Landscaping

Surround the fire pit with gravel, plants, flowers, bushes or other landscaping.

Add Seating

Arrange chairs, benches, stools or log rounds around the perimeter of the fire pit.

Include a Spark Screen

Attach a mesh spark screen over part of the fire pit to prevent embers without obstructing flames.

Install Fire Pit Lid

Use a fitted heavy-duty cover to place over the fire pit when not in use.

Add Lighting

You can install low-voltage LEDs or tiki torches to illuminate the space at night.

Take time styling the area around your fire pit with plants, materials, seating and lighting to get the look and functionality just right. Now it’s time to start enjoying your new space!

Operating and Maintaining Your Propane Fire Pit

Follow these usage and maintenance best practices to get the most out of your DIY propane fire pit investment:

Open Tank Valve

Open the propane tank valve all the way before lighting to allow full gas flow to the burner.

Ignite Safely

Light with extended lighter while standing back to prevent burns. Some systems have auto-ignition.

Adjust Flame

Regulate the flame to about 8-12 inches high for best ambiance and efficiency.

Supervise Carefully

Stay nearby and alert when the fire pit is lit. Never leave an open flame unattended.

Position Seating Properly

Arrange seating at least 5 feet back and give adequate clearance around the pit walls.

Have Extinguishing Agent Nearby

Keep a fire extinguisher, bucket of water or bag of sand within reach in case flare-ups occur.

Inspect Components Regularly

Check for leaks, blockages, breaks, debris accumulation or other maintenance issues periodically.

Wipe Down Surfaces

Use a damp cloth to wipe soot, dirt and debris from the burner, walls, and surrounding surfaces periodically.

Weatherproof Components

Keep the propane tank, burner, and gas lines covered and protected from rain, snow and ice in winter.

By regularly cleaning and inspecting each fire pit component, you can maintain a safe and attractive centerpiece for your outdoor space for years of use and enjoyment.

Troubleshooting Common Propane Fire Pit Issues

If problems arise with your DIY propane fire pit, there are a few quick troubleshooting steps to attempt before calling in professional help:

Burner won’t light

  • Check propane tank level – refill if empty
  • Inspect gas line for kinks/blockages
  • Reset burner controls
  • Change batteries in ignition switch

Irregular flame height

  • Adjust air mixture settings on burner
  • Clear obstructions or debris around components
  • Detach and reattach gas line fittings

Weak flame

  • Open propane tank valve fully to increase gas flow
  • Remove dirt or cobwebs from burner orifice
  • Check gas line for leaks preventing adequate fuel delivery

Flame won’t stay lit

  • Refill propane tank if low on fuel
  • Position burner away from high wind zones
  • Check gas line connections are tight


  • Flames are burning inefficiently – adjust air mixture
  • Material deposits – wipe burner and walls clean

With a few minor troubleshooting tweaks, you can often resolve propane fire pit issues yourself. If problems persist, reach out to the manufacturer or licensed professional for assistance.

Safety First When Enjoying Your Fire Pit

While propane fire pits are safer and more convenient than traditional open flame pits, it’s still crucial to make safety the top priority whenever using or maintaining your DIY fire pit:

  • Never leave a lit fire pit unattended, especially around children
  • Keep adequate distance from walls, foliage, furniture and other combustibles
  • Do not use near structures in windy conditions
  • Have a fire extinguisher or water hose nearby
  • Avoid wearing flammable/flowing clothing around the pit
  • Ensure embers are fully extinguished before leaving the area
  • Allow ashes and coals to fully cool before handling
  • Carefully supervise children and pets around the fire pit
  • Check local burn restrictions and fire codes
  • Exercise caution adding any fuels other than propane
  • Inspect for damage after high winds or storms
  • Store propane tanks properly when not connected

Placing safety at the forefront will allow you to enjoy cozy evenings around your DIY propane fire pit responsibly and prevent potential hazards.

Get Creative with DIY Fire Pit Designs

If you are feeling inspired to build your own custom propane fire pit, don’t be afraid to get creative with shapes, materials, and special features. Here are some unique design ideas to spark your imagination:

  • Incorporate water features like ponds or fountains around the fire
  • Use cast concrete or carved stone for artistic wall textures
  • Add custom metal lettering spelling out a name or phrase
  • Shape the pit in a unique freeform or geometric design
  • Use fire-rated glass beads or stones for colorful flames
  • Leave gaps in the walls for ventilation and visibility
  • Integrate creative seating like built-in benches or stools
  • Use lighting strategically placed to highlight the fire pit
  • Select a bold exterior paint color for concrete wall blocks
  • Combine multiple wall materials like stone and brick together
  • Add accessories like log racks, tool holders, or side tables

The possibilities are truly endless when constructing your own DIY propane fire pit. Starting with a basic prefabricated burner kit, you can let your creativity run wild to build a one-of-a-kind signature fire pit tailored to your style and space. Have fun brainstorming ideas and themes – your dream fire pit is waiting to be imagined and created!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about building and using DIY propane fire pits:

How much does it cost to build a propane fire pit?

A basic DIY propane fire pit can be built for $300-$800 depending on the size and materials used. Prefab burner kits start around $150.

What tools do I need to make a propane fire pit?

Standard tools like a shovel, drill, level, tape measure and wrench are sufficient. A hammer drill, masonry blade and tamper are also useful.

How long does it take to build a propane fire pit?

Once you have all the materials and site prepped, construction can be completed in 1-2 days. Allow additional time for curing concrete or mortar.

What can I use for the fire pit walls?

Non-combustible materials like stone, brick, concrete block, metal, pavers, stone veneer, stucco, and poured concrete.

How thick should the fire pit walls be?

4-6 inches thick is typical. Non-load bearing walls can be a single brick/stone thickness.

Can you convert a wood-burning fire pit to propane?

Yes, a wood-burning fire pit can be retrofitted to propane by installing a conversion burner kit in place of the original wood grate.

How much clearance do you need around a propane fire pit?

A minimum of 5 feet overhead and 2 feet horizontally is recommended between a propane fire pit and structures or combustibles.

Should I cover my propane fire pit?

Yes, always cover a propane fire pit when not in use to protect components from weather damage.

How often should I maintain my propane fire pit?

Inspect components at the beginning of each season. Wipe surfaces down monthly and clear debris from the burner as needed.

Constructing your own custom propane fire pit is an incredibly rewarding DIY project! Follow this comprehensive guide to build an inviting and stylish fire pit tailored exactly to your space, needs and design vision. Let the fun outdoor memories begin around the warm glow of your new fire pit creation.


A DIY propane fire pit is the perfect way to upgrade your patio and extend those relaxing evenings outdoors. This comprehensive guide covers all the key steps involved in successfully planning and building your own custom propane fire pit entirely from scratch.

With strategic planning, gathering the right tools and materials, proper site preparation, attentive construction, and safe use, you can create a stunning propane fire pit showpiece that provides joy for years to come. Not only is building it yourself economical, but you also get to tailor every aspect like size, shape, features, accessories and materials to your exact style and space.

Propane fire pits provide a convenient, contained open flame that is infinitely easier than dealing with wood fires. By correctly installing the gas line components and adhering to basic safety guidelines, your DIY propane fire pit will provide cozy ambiance and warmth for solo relaxation or social gatherings any time of year.

The sense of pride and accomplishment that comes from designing, constructing and completing your own custom fire pit is extremely rewarding. Follow this guide to build your dream outdoor space focal point from start to finish. Let your creativity shine by dreaming up a unique shape and adding special details that reflect your personality.

In no time, you can be hosting friends and family