In this update I take you through the process of adding a fire bowl to your pool area, this post is a follow-up to my blog about building swimming pool as an owner-builder. The first step was to get a couple of planters from a local nursery that were 28 inches in diameter. I then water-proofed the planters with water sealer and then painted them with indoor/outdoor matte white finish.

Back when we were building the pool I dug a trench behind the pool area to run the gas line to where I planned to install the fire bowls. I also ran a two inch white PVC conduit from the gas line through the concrete of the pool area right to the spot where the fire bowls were going to sit. All this was pre-planned and done in advance – so if you’re building a pool in your backyard, plan ahead to where you want to add fire bowls or other features that may require a gas line/fuel source.

Most of the planters you find come with a three-quarter inch hole at the bottom for drainage, so running the PVC conduit through them worked out really well. Once we got the fire bowls in place and painted, I ended up running gas lines to them and used a no-whistle hose line, a flex hose that’s similar to what you’d find in a fire pit. If you use a flex hose (like a yellow one for an appliance) those tend to have a whistle to them, so keep that in mind when installing it on your fire bowl.

The next step was to fill the fire bowl with sand and top it off with a cement board and layer of DG (decomposed granite). A final layer fire glass on top of everything completes the look. I fired up the bowls to test them out and the results, especially at night, were stunning. I was very pleased with the fire bowls and the effect was exactly what I was hoping for. I think they look great.

Before putting all this together I was looking at different options for fire bowls and I found that every build offered by pool manufacturing companies were quite expensive. The advantage of going with a professional installation job is that there’s some automation involved so, for example, you could sync the fire bowls with the app and have them turn on and off like they do with the pool lights or the pool equipment. But realistically, I don’t plan on using these fire bowls very often. I’ll only be using them whenever I have people over so I don’t mind having to come out here and manually turn them on every week or two.

Here’s a quick summary of all the parts I used and how much they cost:

  • 28-inch terra cotta pots bought at the local nursery = around $100 each.
  • 18-inch fire rings = $60.
  • Bag of fire glass = $40
  • Couple of bags of sand and DG (decomposed granite) = $10-$15
  • Whistle-free flex glass line = $20

Fire Ring I Used (Affiliate Link)
Gas Hose (Affiliate Link)
Gas Valve (Affiliate Link)
Fire Glass Home Depot – 10 lb. Cobalt Blue Reflective Fire Glass

If you’re using propane or natural gas, then you’re going to have to factor in the cost of getting gas or getting your fuel source to the fire bowl. I ran a conduit when we did the pool concrete and because I knew I was going to add fire bowls at a later date.

So, I think for a couple hundred dollars, I’m really happy with the end result! Adding a feature like a fire bowl is just a nice feature that really enhances the pool area at night.

If you haven’t already check out my blog on building the pool and check out all my other DIY posts.