I'm fortunate to have a great view over some fields at the bottom of my garden, and I plan to create a patio/barbecue/fire pit area so that I can make the most of it.
At risk of this becoming just another home improvement blog, I have set myself an additional challenge to differentiate it from all the other "I built a firepit in my backyard" projects all over the internet.
The challenge I have set myself with this project is to aim for 'zero-ish waste'. That is, there's inevitably going to be some waste, but to minimise it to the extent that there's no skip or trip to the dump required - to keep the waste minimal enough that it will go in the regular household bin collections. That means lots of re-purposing and re-using of what's already there - stuff that was left behind by the previous owners.
The fence that is currently at the bottom of the garden is in good condition, so I don't intend to remove or replace that, however at sitting-level, it's just high enough that it blocks the view. So the plan is to create a raised patio, so that eye-level when sat down is not obstructed.
Being a large household project, it was more important than ever for me to be able to communicate the project idea and plan to my partner, so I spent some time planning it out in OpenSCAD, to produce this 1 min animation.
The area that the patio will occupy originally contains a greenhouse, and some slabs that have been laid around it.
This will create a solid base without the need to dig foundations.
Fortunately, the slabs are all an even 60x60cm (or 2x2ft), which makes a convenient grid from which to base the design and measurements.
The plan is to leave the right-most column empty, where a planter will be put. The slab in the left-most, plus two slabs from the other side of the garden where the shed is, will be used to square-off the corner, effectively making a 6x4 square patio (12x8ft)
With this solid base created, concrete blocks will be placed to raise the new patio. Gaps will be left between the blocks to minimise the number that we need, with the space filled with any rubble left over from the build.
Slabs taken again from the other side of the garden (they are currently a base for the shed), will be moved over and concreted on top of the concrete blocks to create the raised patio.
Finally, the firepit rings are a purchased kit (sold as quarter circles). We will adapt them slightly so so that the circular wall sits at both ground level and on the patio.
Unfortunately there was an unforeseen obstacle in the the fire-pit kit we were going to use was on a lengthy back-order, and we'd be unlikely to get one this year.
But still, the plan makes a good jumping-off point for a new plan.
To be continued...