DIY Outdoor Gas Fire Pit

Time to show our weekend project.  A galvanized tank turned outdoor gas fire pit.

Outdoor-Fire-Pit-and-Waterfall

From the get go, we knew we wanted a gas fire pit (no flying embers starting a fire, please).  After searching Houzz for inspiration, we decided we liked a longer, linear style.

Figuring out the housing was tricky.  Ben didn’t want a heavy concrete piece and wood wouldn’t work.  Finding a huge metal bin around here isn’t easy, unless you want a water/stock tank.  So a six by two by one foot deep galvanized stock tank solved our problems.  To get started, Ben ran a flexible gas line through a rigid pipe.  Luckily, our furnace and water heater are on the back side of the house, so punching through wasn’t terribly difficult.  Then he drilled a hole in the side of the tank for the gas to come in and a few more in the bottom for water drainage.

Outdoor-Fire-Pit-Tank-with-Holes

H burner kits, like this one, are available online, ready for install.

After talking to a guy at a local fireplace store, he suggested Ben make his own using black pipe.  Turns out, this way cost under 50 bucks and is completely customizable.  With the end caps still off, Ben drilled holes.

Outdoor-Fire-Pit-Drilling-Holes-in-H

Ours are all about 2 inches apart, the whole length.

Outdoor-Fire-Pit-H-and-Rock-from-Top

Outdoor-Fire-Pit-H-Holes-Detail

And here it is, before adding decorative top rocks.  There’s an exposed valve on one end, but a main shut off valve in the garage.  That way little hands can’t turn on the gas outside.  That Tarter sticker is gone now, too.  Not that I didn’t love the look.  Haha.

Outdoor-Fire-Pit-with-H

Having this valve makes the flame height adjustable.  Super low for ambiance or high for warmth.

Outdoor-Fire-Pit-Low-High-Flames

Until we decide on the top layer, we put a layer of limestone on.

Outdoor-Fire-Pit-with-Limestone

Because we have so much limestone, I want something with contrast.  The Houzz inspiration used large and small river rock, so that’s an affordable option.  Maybe black river rock?  Or steel spheres like these:

Of course, we’re still cleaning up and fixing the damage from the storm, so things aren’t looking finised…yet.

Backyard-with-Outdoor-Fire-Pit-and-To-Do-Points

The waterfall is clean and functional again and there’s a drainage trench along the hill to hopefully channel water down.  Muddy footprints cover the deck and we’re waiting for another truckload of limestone to cover the dirt and mud.  But we’re happy with any and all progress.  Especially when it’s fun and s’mores are involved.  Oh yes, we put the new fire pit to the test the day we finished it.  So, what do you think?  Do you have an outdoor fire pit?  Or top rock suggestions?

P.S.  We didn’t win at Apartment Therapy, but really, really appreciate your support and favorites.  Sherry, you’re the lucky winner of a custom Sit and Stay pillow set.

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20 thoughts on “DIY Outdoor Gas Fire Pit

  1. I LOVE this. I even showed my hubby so he can make us one. I want to cover mine with the tumbled river rock. Hubby says this is going to be his next project.

    1. Hello Troy!

      Sorry for the delayed response! The size of the holes will kind of have an effect on the flame size, but more than anything, it restricts the flow. I’d suggest starting with this size, and if you want/need to make the holes bigger, you can. 🙂

      Thanks!
      Amanda

  2. Great job we sre about to start a similar project for our back yard was just wondering if there was anything you would have done different now thst youve had yours for awhile

    1. Hi Anthiny!

      Ooh, good questions! Honestly, we really love it. Definitely drill holes in the bottom of your pit for rain to drain out. You might want to drill more holes in the H pipe, but I’d recommend starting with our spacing. It’s easy enough to drill more holes. I really want to change out the rock we have, to something darker/black because the lighter limestone rocks look burned. Also, we have a lot of limestone around this pit so a different color would help break things up. Of course that’s personal preference, but we’re really happy with the function of it, so as far as the tutorial goes, I don’t think I’d change anything. 🙂 Happy DIYing! I’d love to see your end product, if you don’t mind sharing photos.

      Thanks!
      Amanda

  3. I was just giving a bunch of bamboo which I planted and the fire pit is next. I have decided to build a long pit instead of round. Thanks for posting your project it helps a lot.
    After the fire pit I’ll be building the waterfall, outdoor cook top and the outdoor movie screen .
    Ohen I have it all finished this summer I thought I would invite all my neighbors over for monthly movie nights.

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