SUNCREAT - Feb. 18th 2024

Buying a Pre-made Fire Pit vs. Building Your Own Fire Pit: Which Offers Better Value for Money?

As the spring evening approaches and the desire for outdoor gatherings increases, many homeowners contemplate adding a fire pit to their backyard oasis. Fire pits are not only functional for providing warmth but also create a cozy ambiance perfect for socializing with family and friends. However, when it comes to acquiring a fire pit, the decision between buying a pre-made one or constructing your own can be daunting. In this article, we will delve into the factors to consider when weighing the value for money between purchasing a pre-made fire pit and building one yourself.

Cost Comparison:

One of the primary considerations when evaluating the value for money is the cost associated with purchasing a pre-made fire pit versus building one from scratch. Pre-made fire pits come in various styles, materials, and sizes, with prices ranging from as low as $100 for a basic model to over $1000 for a high-end design. On the other hand, building your own fire pit allows for customization and control over expenses, as you can choose cost-effective materials and tailor the design to fit your budget. While the initial cost of materials for a DIY fire pit may be lower than purchasing a pre-made one, it's essential to factor in additional expenses such as tools, labor, and time required for construction.

Cost of DIY Fire Pit:

Embarking on an outdoor fire pit project can be both challenging and creatively fulfilling. When considering a DIY fire pit, here are some cost factors to ponder:

1.Material Costs

Acquiring materials like metal, bricks, or stones for constructing a fire pit can constitute a significant expense. Different materials come with varying price tags, depending on the design chosen.


Stone is among the most commonly used materials for building fire pits due to its durability and ease of manipulation. However, it's crucial not to haphazardly gather stones from the backyard, as using inferior-quality stones can pose risks of fire pit injuries to your family. Ideal stones for a safe fire pit must be non-porous, dense, resistant to high temperatures, and have smooth edges. Some top choices for fire pit stone include:

●Granite: Attractive, durable, and easy to work with, granite also boasts heat resistance and non-porosity.

●Basalt: Similar to granite but more affordable, basalt is also durable with a smooth surface.

●Limestone: Easy to work with and heat-resistant, although not as durable as granite or basalt.

●Bluestone: Optimal for aesthetically pleasing fire pits, bluestone offers exceptional durability and density suitable for fire pits.

Stone is one of the pricier fire pit materials, designed to ensure durability and heat resistance. Consequently, they require minimal maintenance or replacement over the years. The average cost of a 36-inch diameter stone fire pit ranges from $350 to $3010, depending on size and stone type.


Concrete is affordable, readily available, and easy to work with. It's also durable and resistant to crumbling under high temperatures. However, special design and reinforcement are necessary to enhance concrete's heat resistance. Prolonged exposure to extreme heat can cause concrete to lose much of its structural strength, eventually leading to cracking. Commercially designed concrete fire pits typically incorporate gravel, stones, cement, and sand to bolster their strength against high temperatures. Building a concrete fire pit is cheaper than using stones. The average cost of a 36-inch diameter concrete fire pit ranges from $200 to $1000, depending on design.


Most backyard fire pits are constructed using bricks, which are deemed suitable for fire pits due to their ability to withstand thermal shock caused by temperature variations. When building a fire pit, there are two types of bricks to consider: regular bricks and fire bricks. Regular bricks are the most commonly used bricks for building fire pits, made from clay and shale. Regular bricks have a firing temperature between 1500°C to 2000°C (815.56°F to 1093.33°F). They are cost-effective, with the cost of 500 standard red bricks ranging from $175 to $450 per pallet. However, they are not suitable for regular use as they cannot withstand sustained thermal shock. Exposing these bricks to continuous thermal shock can lead to cracking and eventual collapse. Fire bricks are made from refractory clay, alumina, and silica, rendering them highly resistant to heat. The firing process of fire bricks occurs at temperatures above 2000°C (1093.33°F), making them sturdier and more heat-resistant than regular bricks. However, they come at a higher cost due to the firing and hardening process, making them expensive but worthwhile for use in fire pits.


Metal, such as steel or aluminum, is versatile, inexpensive, and sturdy, making it suitable for fire pits. However, it's not as durable or heat-resistant as steel. If you desire a lightweight and rust-resistant fire pit, aluminum is a viable choice. The cost of a 36-inch diameter steel fire pit ranges from $250 to $1200, depending on design. One significant issue with using steel for constructing fire pits is its susceptibility to rust when exposed to water and oxygen. To prevent this, steel must be treated with rust-resistant paint or powder coating. Although the coating process increases costs, it's worthwhile for prolonging the fire pit's lifespan.

2.Tool Costs:

If you lack the necessary tools, such as power cutters or welding equipment, you may need to purchase or rent them, adding to the overall cost.

3.Labor Costs:

If you decide to hire professional workers to construct the fire pit, this will be an additional expense.

4.Design and Planning Costs:

If you need to hire a designer to formulate a design plan for the fire pit, this is also a cost to consider.

Purchasing a ready-made fire pit may be a more convenient option. When considering buying a fire pit, factors to consider include:

  • 1.Purchase Price: A wide variety of fire pits are available on the market, ranging from simple metal bowls to elaborate ceramic designs. Prices depend on the material, size, and brand.
  • Accessories and Add-ons: Some fire pits may require additional purchases of accessories such as fire pit covers, grills, etc., which can add to the overall cost.
  • Transportation and Installation: After purchasing a fire pit, you may need to pay transportation costs or hire professionals for installation, which are expenses to consider.
  • Long-term Cost Considerations: Although initial costs may be cheaper than building from scratch, long-term costs can be higher as these fire pits require regular maintenance and replacement.

Time and Effort:

Another crucial aspect to consider is the time and effort involved in acquiring a fire pit. Buying a pre-made fire pit offers convenience, as it requires minimal assembly and installation. With just a few simple steps, you can have a functional fire pit ready to use in no time. In contrast, building your own fire pit entails more time and effort, from planning and gathering materials to construction and installation. Depending on your DIY skills and availability, the process of building a fire pit from scratch can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. However, the sense of accomplishment and personalization that comes with creating your own fire pit can outweigh the investment of time and effort.

Customization and Design:

One of the advantages of building your own fire pit is the ability to customize the design to suit your preferences and complement your backyard aesthetic. DIY fire pits offer endless possibilities in terms of shape, size, and materials, allowing you to create a unique centerpiece that reflects your style and personality. From rustic stone to sleek metal, the choice of materials for your DIY fire pit is limitless, enabling you to achieve the desired look and feel for your outdoor space. On the other hand, pre-made fire pits offer limited customization options, with designs predetermined by manufacturers. While there are various styles available to choose from, finding the perfect match for your specific needs and preferences may require extensive searching and compromise.

Durability and Longevity:

When evaluating the value for money, it's essential to consider the durability and longevity of the fire pit. Pre-made fire pits are manufactured using high-quality materials and are often designed to withstand the elements, ensuring long-term durability and performance. Additionally, reputable manufacturers may offer warranties and customer support for added peace of mind. However, the durability of a DIY fire pit depends on the quality of materials used and the construction technique employed. While some DIY fire pits may rival their pre-made counterparts in terms of durability, others may require regular maintenance and repairs to ensure longevity. Therefore, it's crucial to invest in high-quality materials and follow proper construction guidelines to maximize the lifespan of your DIY fire pit.

Safety Considerations:

Safety is paramount when it comes to fire pits, regardless of whether they are pre-made or DIY. Pre-made fire pits are typically tested and certified to meet safety standards, ensuring they are safe to use when installed correctly. Additionally, manufacturers may provide safety instructions and guidelines for proper use and maintenance. In contrast, building your own fire pit requires careful planning and adherence to safety protocols to prevent accidents and injuries. From choosing a suitable location to using fire-resistant materials and practicing proper fire management, there are several safety considerations to address when constructing a DIY fire pit. While DIY fire pits offer the flexibility to implement safety features tailored to your specific needs, it's essential to prioritize safety above all else to prevent potential hazards.

In conclusion, the decision between buying a pre-made fire pit and building your own fire pit boils down to personal preferences, budget constraints, and lifestyle considerations. While pre-made fire pits offer convenience and ease of installation, DIY fire pits provide customization and creative expression. When weighing the value for money, it's essential to consider factors such as cost, time and effort, customization options, durability, and safety. Ultimately, whether you choose to purchase a pre-made fire pit or embark on a DIY project, the goal is to create a warm and inviting outdoor space where cherished memories are made with loved ones around the flickering flames of a fire pit.