You’ve bought your property, and you’re ready to get started on the Barndominium! You’re excited to show off the space where you’ll build your project. You want to invite friends and family to see the land, explain the plan, and give them a feel for why you think Barndo Life is going to be so great. But how do you start?
One word, FIREPIT!
When starting our own Barndo experience – our first step was to start and finish our own “Get Out Quick” – Phase 1 Barndo Operation. The first portion of this was to design our “Get Out Quick” Barndo then do some necessary land clearing, dirt work, and infrastructure (water, electric, & septic) work to make sure we could complete Phase 1.
We designed a 30 x 50, three bay, garage-shop Barndo. It was a great space. We built a bonafide, oversized three-bay garage. The third bay was part shop and part covered porch. We did some remarkable things with that space too, but that is for another post.
The bottom line was that as we got this space ready and wanted to share it with friends, we realized that it just was not quite big enough. So, rather than trying to cram everyone into the smaller indoor space, we moved our entertainment ideas and space outside!
About 100 feet from the garage-shop Barndo, we created a space that would be perfect to build a firepit.
We dug a circular fire pit area about six feet in diameter. After lining the pit bottom with gravel so water could drain, we dropped a six foot diameter, steel water trough into the hole to frame the pit (remember to punch holes in the bottom of your trough so it too will drain in the rain). We lined a portion of the outside of the steel pit that was above ground (about one foot of the steel trough is above ground) with trapezoid shaped, landscaping stones. This was a nice touch that makes your pit look bigger and backs your guests away from the fire a little bit for safety! All of this was in a space surrounded by 70 – 80-foot-tall pine trees that frame the overall firepit area.
Then remember the land clearing phase we mentioned, well – we held on to some of the brush and trees we cleared. That now turned into kindling and firewood. Yes – we used our own wood from the property, so we did not have to pay extra to get the fire or the party started!
We moved our grill and ice chests to this area for easy access to the food and drinks. Finally, we called some friends and hosted our first BYOC – “Bring Your Own Chair” – Party!
Our firepit parties were always a blast. My husband would grill burgers and hotdogs. We would pack the coolers with ice-cold beer, sodas, and water for our friends. There would be some great country music or Motown playing in the background on our portable, blue tooth speakers. The finishing touch, we wrapped 10 – 12 of those tall pines trees with string lights to add ambience. The whole experience was amazing! Our friends loved the area and were eager to enjoy another BYOC with us.
I remember our first firepit party. We hosted about 10-15 people who all showed up around 5pm. My husband had the food ready as everyone set up their chairs to sit around a nice fire. We ate and drank, caught up on each other’s lives, enjoyed the music, and ate and drank some more. As the evening continued, we turned on the lights on the trees to help brighten the pit area a little more and provide a friendly, inviting glow. The party that night did not end until close to midnight after we had finished off our smores.
No one wanted to leave, but we all knew that it was time for bed. Our BYOC pit parties have become a staple at the Creek House, and we wouldn’t want it any other way!
But for the record – we have now added a seating area to the pit. This consists of 12 Adirondack style chairs (with cup holders), six small side tables to set food and drink on, and a couple of footrests – so our guests can sit back and kick their feet up. If they forget their chairs or if we decide to do a last minute firepit party after they arrive – we’ve got everyone covered.
We also added a picnic table with umbrella to be our food support area; we can stack up those paper plates, dixie cups, trays of food, and condiments. Our party logistics are covered.
One other thing you can do is constantly change the firepit furniture surroundings. Sometimes, well set up some indoor furniture around the firepit just for special party… to add more style. The next day that furniture is back in the house or back on the side porch. But while its around the firepit… it lets us step up the pit party style a notch!
Although we dug out an area for our firepit, you don’t have to do that. You can also just lay out an area of circular stones right on the ground and go for it! All you truly need is a clear area that is safe enough for a fire to burn, some tasty food, and great friends.
If you want to add to the environment like we did – a table, music, and a few lights on the trees can make your BYOC party even better!
The best part about the firepit is that your Barndo doesn’t even have to be built yet!
Although most of our BYOCs included lawn chairs from home, some of our friends used their tailgates as their preferred seating. Your firepit party is 100% customizable and can be set up in less than a day. There is nothing like it and all your friends will love it!
Sometimes the best entertaining areas are the simple ones like the firepit! Go ahead, build yours today and enjoy it for a long time to come!