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Easy stuff to do. I did 3 last year with my buddy. We charged between $1000 to $2,500 but we did ours with real stone and blue stone caps. One we did was electric start no matches needed. It sucks I dont have pictures but I could always go back and take some pics.
They add a nice touch to the back yard but only higher end home will go for this luxury piece.
Well im an emt on my towns volunteer fire dept and if you burn w/ out a permit we show up w/ the big red trucks to put it out. You can get a season long burn permit for fire pits but cant burn construction debris.
I've been thinking the same thing after spotting a project in one of the home magazines. I plan to build one on the MN farm from limestone blocks salvaged from the old barn foundation.
As mentioned above, its a good idea to make sure the fire department is happy with the placement, size, and construction of the fire pit. After that, I would think its the homeowner's problem if they burn something they shouldn't.
The Market is there for the aggesive business person.
We have done a few pits and as long as you comply with the building code AHJ (local authoriy having juristiction) you should have no problems.
With Hardscape projects Time (labor hours are the most cost)
A fire pit should only take 2 men 8 hours to complete, any longer and you might want to rethink this venture. (if this is a motarless project).
Material need to build a nice comfortable sized pit:
16 face feet of stone= 48 total stones for two layers
approx 100 lbs of base material (we use limestone slag or run off)
approx 100 lbs of paver sand (fine)
approx 50 lbs of lava rock
caps are optional but make for a nicely finished job.
No Equipment required for an exisiting patio just wanting to add the pit, just a some hand tools.
As a rule dont go there bidding $8 per sq ft on any hardscape job. The going rate is between $18 and $24 per sq ft. and this depends on how much tear out you need to do. DONT LOWBALL with the trunck slammers @ $8 or $10 per sq ft.