If You Want Something Done Right, DIY: Family Fire Pit
Over the next three months, your backyard is likely going to play host to quite a few long nights. Even though the days will be longer and the sunlight will cling to the horizon for as long as it can, the shade of sunset is inevitably going to try to make you move your party inside. Luckily, there are many easy options to add light and warmth to your backyard. Don’t let the sunlight dictate when your evening ends.
One way to add both illumination and elegance to your backyard is with outdoor and patio lighting. If you do not already have fixtures, this task can sound daunting. However, bringing patio lighting to your backyard can require a lot less effort or expertise than you realize. For instance, path lights along the edge of a walkway require almost no installation: just push the pointy end into the ground! Not only can well chosen lamps provide the perfect subtle accent to your lawn or garden, but they will help provide light for your guests where is it most critical.
If you want to go with something that has a little more function and a little more flash, consider a patio heater. Once again, this solution to your lighting and heating woes may be more within your reach than you thought. And no, I am not suggesting that you try to tilt one over and wheel it away from the patio of your favorite neighborhood restaurant. (They make great heat but lousy getaway vehicles) You are sure to find a style that fits your backyard motif from one of the many at Home Depot.
One backyard addition that is becoming more and more popular is a fire pit. Like anything else, a fire pit can become a very involved project if you have the time, resources, and expertise. However, it is very easy to put up a perfectly functional and family safe fire pit without having a contractor's license.
Start by choosing the location of your fire pit, obviously. You want to choose a place with a dirt or sand base, and that is free of any covers or overhead branches. Flatten the area, and arrange bricks or cinderblocks into a circle the desired diameter of your pit. Then, build up the walls to a safe height, and spray fire-retardant seal along the inside of the pit walls. Finally, throw in a couple of logs and some kindling, lighter fluid and a match! (All supplies available at your local Home Depot) All of the fun and atmosphere of a campfire in the convenience of your backyard.
In addition to adding to the landscape of your backyard, there are a lot of family activities that are perfect for your fire pit. Of course, you can always roast marshmallows and make s'mores. You could even get crazy and cook a hot dog over your backyard campfire. But why stop there? I recommend on investing in a grill grate. This nifty little (not little, really) item lies over the mouth of your fire pit, and turns it into an open flame grill. What could be more perfect for making a fun family dinner on a summer night?