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  • Writer's pictureJhon Jair Grisales

DIY vs Professional Chimney & Fire Pit Construction

DIY vs. Professional: Pros and Cons of Custom Building Chimneys and Fire Pits

Are you wondering about DIY vs professional chiminea and fire pit construction? This post will weigh out all of the pros and cons of both! Read on to get all the information you need to make the best decision on the topic.

DIY vs professional chimnea & fire pit construction

You’d like to build a chimineas or fire pit to warm your new patio, but you’re not sure what the difference is between them and whether you should try to build either yourself or hire a professional. After you do some research, here’s what you find:

What are Chimineas and Fire Pits?

A “chiminea”, from the Spanish word for chimney, is an unattached stove-type structure with a front opening where you can cook or heat a space. You can stack fuel, typically kindling, into the round base vertically that forces smoke upward so it doesn’t bother your environment. Their shape is typically bulbous, although there are variations. 

A fire pit is a short cylinder, closed on the bottom and sides but open on the top. Unlike the chiminea which is tall, this low structure allows the smoke to fill up its surroundings. They are typically made by creating pits in the ground or using metal, and they can allow for large flames if desired. 

Should You Choose a Chimneys or a Fire Pit? DIY Vs. Professional

There are some important things to keep in mind when comparing these two options. Considering the following will allow you to decide which is right for your landscape.


Safety: Chimneys are hot to touch and remain warm even after the fire has been extinguished. Pieces can fall off that are burning and scorch the ground. Since fire pits are more open, they have many security concerns. You’ll need a screen if you’re concerned with flying debris, and if the pit is raised, tripping over it can occur, so that needs to be addressed. As with any open fire, safety is critical, and smoke and debris can quickly pollute the surrounding region.


Convenience: You should find using a chimneys simple. It may require sand and rocks at its base to support your fire. But that’s all it takes to realize the warm benefits of a chimineas. Fire pits are also very simple to use. You only need to ensure you have the correct fuel, stacking up kindling and lighting it. Various accessories for your fire pit can make it simpler to work and a more pleasant experience overall. 


Cleanup: You’ll need to clean debris from your chimneys to keep it working well. You can just scoop it out or use a blower to scatter the debris through the top. A fire pit is easier to clean since they’re open. If it’s not attached, you can just dump it in a receptacle, but if it is, you can scoop out the debris easy.

Should You Hire a Professional Mason or Do It Yourself?

If you’d like to construct a chimneys, you’re going to need a lot of skill and equipment. If it’s made out of clay, you’ll need a potter’s wheel and pottery skills. Since they’re so large, it is difficult even for experienced throwers to get their arms into the structure to pull the clay upwards, outwards, and then back inward again to form the neck of the chimneys. You could try your hand at making a metal one, and there are videos you could try to follow, but you’ll need welding tools and skills. Then, you need to fire it in a kiln large enough. It is better if you want a chimneys to either purchase one already made or hire a professional to build it for you.

Now, fire pits, on the other hand, are much more straightforward to construct. You’ll need to play the location and layout, determine its size, dig the hole for it, line the hole with sand, then add a base row. After that, you put a metal ring on the sand inside the base row of blocks. You can lay pavers or fireplace bricks in the bottom of your fire pit, covering as much area as possible. Then, you can fill in any gaps with pea gravel, and stack the outer blocks to your desired height, staggering the seams for each layer. It’s up to you with your knowledge of your time and skill level whether you want to take this project on or hire a professional, but it’s much more doable than building a chimneys.

Hire MCE Masonry & Landscaping For Professional Hardscaping & Masonry

Hire MCE Masonry and Landscaping for professional hardscaping and masonry services. We offer a variety of services and are New Jersey’s top landscaping and hardscaping contractors. Some of our other services include pavers and walkway design and construction, stone wall construction and lawn maintenance.

We Now that you have the information, you can decide what you want to build and who you want to do it so you can have a feature that will bring warmth and cooking capabilities to your space. You should now have a better idea about DIY vs. professional chimineas and fire pits and we wish you all the best.

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