Spring Preview #2 - Fire Pit and Patio Wall

Yesterday we talked about replacing parts for a Weber Genesis E-310. Today's discussion is about our other 2013 outdoor project - adding a patio retaining wall and a built-in fire pit. 

Neither project is particularly difficult (or expensive). They just require an awful lot of heavy lifting.

First off, the Apple connection. As we noted last year, our patio was already wired for sound, thanks to our whole-home intercom system. 

Adding an Airport Express to the AUX input in the kitchen made the entire system AirPlay-capable. So now, we can be on the patio, controlling the music with our iPhones. (Ah... summer.) 

Retaining Wall

The retaining wall is pretty simple - we're going to be following the existing patio border, and creating something along the lines of the photo to the right. 

Because the wall will be free-standing, it won't actually be "retaining" anything - it's probably more accurate to call it a "seating wall". 

We'll be able to match our existing stones with stock from Home Depot or Lowe's, but we may shop around to see if a paver company can do better on materials. 

We need the wall to be sturdy enough to support a number of adults, without losing too much patio surface area. The real issue to be tackled here, is precisely how long and how high we want the wall to be.  Again - probably like the wall in the photo above - 4 stones high, interlocking, perhaps a wider capstone at the top. 

Built-In Fire Pit

The fire pit is a bit trickier, for two reasons. First, there may be permits involved, and city regulations will presumably govern how close to the house a fire pit can be. 

We have a very large tree that is somewhat near our patio - presumably, we'll have to be a certain distance from that, too. 

Secondly, the fire pit won't be located on the exiting patio. We're not going to give up the square footage. 

There's a portion of our patio that "curves in" toward the house, that would be *ideal* for a round fire pit along the lines of the fire pit in this photo to the right. 

We'll have to dig up a portion of the yard... but it's a low-lying part of the yard that was dead all summer anyway. No big loss. 

Here's a cutaway view from "This Old House", which shows what we're going to need to accomplish:
We're thinking that we'll also add some additional pavers around the outside of the fire pit, so that we can sit on both sides of the fire.  

This project should really get started quickly.... as in April. The summer will be on us in a hurry. 

1 comment :

  1. Nice work you did there, it looks really good. Maybe I'll try something like this some time myself.