Who doesn’t enjoy sitting and looking at an open fire? Not only is it therapeutic, but it radiates warmth when you are outside while watching the sunset. Now that summer is over, and fall is in the air, the evenings feel cooler and darker. But you can still spend time in your backyard. One way to continue to enjoy fall and extend summer is by using a fire pit.
Fire pits are an often requested feature to beautify a backyard. Fire pits are a place to bring family and friends together and enjoy a spot for crisp, moonlit nights with toasted marshmallows.
How do you choose a fire pit? What are the benefits, and what safety tips should you consider?
When choosing the right fire pit, consider the basics like available space, budget, and, most importantly, local regulations. Other factors play into the cost of a fire pit. These include size, material, gas or wood, construction by a professional, and seating. Fire pits come in all varieties and sizes to fit well in your backyard. Our designers work with the client to create the perfect fire pit to fit a family’s new pool.
Choosing between gas or wood fire pits
Here is a question every homeowner should ask themselves: Wood or gas? Some homeowners prefer to burn logs. If that’s the case, it takes a sizable supply of wood. Others prefer conveniences like a natural gas or propane pit for an instant fire at the touch of a button. It does not crackle or smoke, and it’s not as hot as using wood. Whatever the homeowner wants, it comes down to budget. From our experience, we recommend a gas fire pit.
Types of fire pits
There are a variety of fire pits, and they are an eye-catching feature in a backyard. When homeowners plan what they want for their backyard, it’s good to focus on durability. We strongly recommend an integrated design, which means a custom fire pit based on specifications.
Metal fire pits are very popular with many families. Metal fire pits are easy to match the style of your garden or are even small enough to be placed on your patio. It comes in many designs, from simple to ornate. Steel is the most prevalent metal to build fire pits, followed by copper or iron combined with stones or tiles.
Brick fireplaces are often homemade and durable structures built from the ground of refractory bricks surrounded by more decorative bricks. You cannot use regular bricks for the interior wall, as they would crack under intense heat. Brick fireplaces also need a solid base supporting the bricks’ weight.
Masonry and Stone
Similar to masonry fireplaces with their sturdy structure and like brick fireplaces with their benefits of a more authentic feel – stone fireplaces can bring a natural landscape to your backyard. Stone fireplaces come in various colors and cuts and will not fade. Stone fireplaces can be left polished or rustic and are cold or rain resistant. For stone fireplaces, it’s best to use gravel or lava rock for the base.
Always Be Careful
A fire of any kind, regardless of its size, requires a high level of safety. To stay safe, here are some tips recommended by the National Fire Protection Association:
- Verify the wind direction before lighting a fire pit.
- Don’t use lighter fluid, gasoline, or other flammable products to start or restart a fire.
- Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing near the fire.
- Avoid using soft wood that can throw sparks and firecrackers like pine or cedar.
- Keep children and pets away from the fire.
- Dispose of ashes safely after the fire is out.
Remember that safety comes first. If a homeowner lives in a fire-prone area, close the fireplace as required by the homeowner’s insurance company. Contact an insurance agent to learn how a fire pit may affect your insurance coverage.