Some of the most often-asked questions we get from homeowners as cooler weather approaches tend to revolve around outdoor fire pits: what type or style is best, which kind would work with our back yard, and are they safe?
Backyard fire pits have become increasingly popular over the years, as property owners realize how the element of fire can enhance outdoor living spaces, provide added ambiance, and serve as a natural gathering place for friends and family. In fact, fire pits serve to extend the use of your outdoor area beyond spring and summer, and well into fall and winter.
The bonus? Because outdoor fire pits vary so much in styles, sizes and structure, you can find one to fit almost any budget. Here are some factors to consider when deciding what type of fire pit you want:
Play by the rules
Check to make sure you understand your local ordinances regarding open fires on personal property. Some municipalities ban open burning of any kind.
Consider your budget
Fire pits can cost anywhere from under $100 to upwards of $10,000 (or more), and everywhere in between. Basically, the sky is the limit, depending on your vision and budget. You can dig and build your own or have one built as part of your landscaping design.
As you envision your fire pit, think about if you want it to be permanent or portable. Do you want a built-in structure that can also serve as a focal point for your yard? Or would you rather have a portable, lightweight option that you can move according to where you are gathering? Or do you want both?
If you decide on a permanent fire pit, there are lots of options, including DIY kits or basic designs that can be made with supplies from your local big box store. Professional, custom-built fire pits come in limitless designs, and can include built-in seating for as many or few as you want. Custom designs can also incorporate materials that compliment your home and existing design elements.
No matter which type of fire pit you choose, make sure you use appropriate stones and materials, while also choosing a style that is proportional to the size and shape of your yard. And while custom-built fire pits are more expensive, when installed by a professional, they will last longer and require less maintenance or repair.
Choose your fuel
Do you want the smells and sounds of wood as your fire pit fuel of choice, or do you prefer the ease of gas? Obviously, wood requires some effort to keep those flames burning – and to make sure they don’t escape. You’ll also need a healthy stock of firewood.
You might prefer the use of gas or propane for an instant fire, (sometimes even including a remote control starter), even if it’s not as hot as a wood fire. Some designs can actually incorporate both, if the added cost isn’t a concern.
Choose your location
Remember when we mentioned the importance of knowing your local fire ordinances? Most communities require fire pits to be a minimum distance from your house and neighbors’ yards. Some don’t require a permit if the fire pit fit is smaller than a specific size, while others might require a site inspection from local fire officials to make sure your proposed location is safe (away from structures, fences, overhanging branches, etc.). And, some communities have outright bans on open fires. Remember to check with local officials before you do anything.
Give us a call
Outdoor fire pits can be just the thing to compliment your outdoor living area and bring together your friends and family for endless hours of fun. We would love to help bring your landscaping vision to life. For a free quote or more information, give us a call at (317) 259-9222.