Creating the ambience of a campfire with a fire pit is one of the hottest trends in backyard recreation.
Jim Jarvis of Weatherford, Texas, owner of an online fire-pit accessories company, says the trend was sparked by the clay chimeneas that started showing up in Mexican import stores a few years back.
Alex Bandon, multimedia editor of This Old House magazine, helped show readers how to build a fire pit from cast-concrete stone for about $500 in the September issue. "People are turning their yards into outdoor rooms, and a fire pit is better than a barbecue because it's generally circular, which makes it very social."
For directions for the do-it-yourself fire pit, go to thisoldhouse.com, click on "magazine," September issue, then "homeowner's handbook."