Cozy Cabin Chic: Transforming Our Log Cabin Rental with Style

Part 2: Let's Build Our Own Fire Pit. How Hard Can it Be?

A series of blog posts showcasing DIY projects at by your Hemlock Hill Cabin hosts, Rachel + Peter.  We aim to enhance the rustic charm of our log cabin while providing renters a home away from home while they visit the scenic mountains of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. 

The moment we set up our portable metal fire pit, scavenged from the side of the road, we quickly realized its convenience wouldn’t suffice for long. Our yard, perched on a hill, rendered the fire pit and chairs anything but level. It was especially annoying when drinks and food would slide off the table. We knew this would not be okay for our guests.  It was time for our next project!

When we received a quote that estimated it would cost 12-15k to construct a proper rock fire pit area, we were in shock.  It occurred to Rachel that we’re able-bodied people, maybe we could just order the materials and build it ourselves?  When I pitched the idea to Peter: sourcing the rocks ourselves, renting a bobcat, leveling the land, and doing it DIY style. It took some persuasion, but Peter eventually came around.

We procured a bobcat, and 16 tons of rock including small river stone up to 1/2 ton boulders from Woods Masonry in Boone.                                         With all the supplies piled up in our driveway there was no turning back now.  

Despite it being May, it was a particular cold and dreary.  Barely passing 40 degrees and cold drizzle made for a tough working environment.  Peter familiarized himself with the bulldozer’s controls before tackling the hill. We dove in, clearing the land. With sheer determination, Peter single handedly used a crowbar and the mechanics of the machine to load boulders on to the lift.  Peter maneuvered boulders onto the lift and gently settling them in place, single-handedly crafting a retaining wall at both ends. 

These large boulders worked well for edging the parking area at top of the steep bank.  

It took some time to learn the levers and controls, but in the end we worked well together!

***

Once positioned, we laid down small river rocks to form the fire pit’s floor with short retaining walls on three sides. Despite cramped fingers and aching backs, we persevered, finally completing the task.

We carefully relocated the moss we displaced, nestling it into the crevices between the rocks. All the while, we shuttled the excess dirt to a dumping site deep in the woods.

We can’t wait to welcome you to Hemlock Hill Cabin!

xo – Rachel + Peter

Our next blog post will be about our DIY rock facade project

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