You probably don’t need anyone to remind you of the multi-sensory benefits of a fire pit or the way it can transform the ambiance of your outdoor space. You can hear the crackle, see the glow, feel the warmth, and smell the distinctive aroma — as well as taste the distinctive flavor of your favorite campfire foods! So let’s start creating your new fire pit!
Fire Pit Options
Once you’ve taken the necessary steps to plan for your fire pit, you’re ready to start looking into the options available! Fire pits can range from completely free, DIY projects to elaborate landscaping designs. One major factor in the direction you choose will be whether you prefer real wood or propane gas. While only real wood offers that fabulous crackle sound and the aroma of smoke, that option also requires a constant supply of fire wood and leaves more of a mess. Once you decide on the fuel type you want to use, you need to decide whether you want something permanent and built-in or something portable.
Real Wood Fire Pit Recommendations
If you go the old school, built-in, real wood direction, the DIY route is a possibility. You can purchase bricks designed for fire pits from your local hardware store or landscape supply, or use large rocks to which you have access. You’ll want to consider the other materials used for your home’s exterior and elsewhere in your outdoor space as you choose which bricks or stones to use. Simply dig out a 2-4 foot area and place stones around the circumference of it. When choosing wood for your fire, avoid pine or cedar, which often “pop,” throwing sparks.
Portable Fire Pit Suggestions
A built-in fire pit will obviously be dug out of the ground, providing a fire-proof surface. However, if you choose to use a portable fire pit instead, it could technically be placed on any kind of surface. With safety in view, though, you want to choose a fire-resistant surface, preferably one made from natural materials, such as concrete, gravel, stone, or brick. Of course, you would never want to position it on a wood deck, which could easily ignite if sparks fell onto it. You can purchase a lightweight, portable kit from any hardware store: some copper or stainless steel fire bowls can be used with gas or wood. Heavier, cast iron bowls are better at radiating heat but aren’t as easy to move. A fire table raises the base of the fire to a height similar to that of a coffee table, and options that include chimneys can add great visual appeal too.
If you want a custom, built-in fire pit, you can hire a landscape professional or contractor to design and build it to blend in with your home and the surrounding landscape. Regardless of the options you choose, safety should always be at the forefront. Positioning metal chairs or a low stone wall 2-3 feet from your fire pit can provide safe surfaces on which to sit.