A fire pit can add a whole new dimension to the outside of your home. Outdoor fire pits can make a modest back yard the best indoor hangout spot. Lighting a fire can even turn an evening outdoors into an event.
There are many options for backyard fire pit design, from a wood fire to a gas fire to an above ground fire pit to several elaborate fire pit designs. You can build it yourself, buy it from a store, or have it built by a contractor. There are lots of great ideas for backyard fire pits.
What are the benefits of an outdoor fire pit?
- A fire pit provides light and warmth to extend the part of the year when you can use your yard for gatherings.
- A fire pit is a great gathering place for family and friends.
- You can make your fire pit look the way you want!
- The fire pit pulls everyone into the back yard and away from the TV screen.
- A fire pit increases the value of your home.
Image source:Alderwood landscape architecture and construction
How to make a fire pit
Choosing a fuel source
The first thing to decide for your backyard fire pit design is what type of fuel source you will use for it. This affects the design requirements not only for the fire pit but for your entire garden as well. Base your fire pit ideas on your fuel source.
A wood fire pit is very traditional and creates a campfire smell. It’s a very cheap option that costs around $ 1.50 per fire. You need to have a place to store and light dry wood so you can start the fire and feed it.
Getting the fire going takes a little effort, as does keeping it going. You need to make sure it is at least 10 feet from any structure for safety.
A gas burning fireplace can run either liquid propane like gas grills or natural gas. Using a propane tank makes the fire pit more portable if the entire setup isn’t too heavy. It usually costs you around $ 2 if you start the fire.
It can be placed anywhere as long as you follow local rules and regulations. You need to regularly clean the burner openings and vents. Plugging the fire pit into your home’s natural gas line will save you money over time, especially if you regularly make an outdoor fire.
Image source:Sun Valley Landscaping
Of course, a gas fire also has other advantages. A two-hour fire costs approximately $ 5. They’re actually more environmentally friendly than wood-burning fireplaces. When people sit by the gas fire for a while, their clothes and hair don’t smell of smoke.
Without smoke, a gas fireplace will not cause problems for people with breathing difficulties. There are no ashes to clean up and no sparks to worry about. You can also turn a gas fire pit into a fire pit grill if the fire pit has the right rating.
Fire pit size
Next, you should figure out how big the fire pit should or should be. For a wood fire pit that you will go on for a while, you’ll want a larger or deeper fire pit. Smaller or shallower fire pit shells can also be kept running for a while, but you need to have plenty of wood on hand to keep it going.
Also consider how many people you would like or expect to sit by the fire pit. You want to make sure everyone is comfortable and that conversation is easy to have. This is also important for figuring out how many seats you want to accommodate.
Image source:Hsu McCullough
Your city or neighborhood likely has several regulations about the size and structure of backyard fire pits. You may need fire extinguishers a certain distance from the fireplace. Be sure to check the legal requirements before you start building a fire pit. Otherwise, you could face high fines.
Materials and structure
Once you know the basics, now is the real time to get your outdoor fire pit ideas sorted. You should choose materials that will complement your landscaping and that will handle local weather well during the seasons.
A brick hearth is a very traditional permanent hearth. It looks great sitting outside of a country house or outside of a modern home. Brick can withstand a lot of weather – houses are built from it – but make sure it’s properly laid. A round fire pit looks very traditional and most brick fire pits are circular.
A metal fire pit can be very modern or very rustic.
It all depends on the design and the type of metal used. Weathered metal and corrugated iron go perfectly with western landscaping. A square stainless steel design looks both very modern and very cozy.
Image source:Rick O’Donnell architect
A home-made fireplace opens up many possibilities. You can make it out of concrete or even have the ring made out of stacked stone. It should complement your existing home and landscape. The fireplace will automatically be a focal point of your backyard.
A mobile fire pit might be the best option for the weather and the way you use it. A fireplace sunk into the floor has built-in seating and serves as a windbreak. You may want to get a fire pit cover to prevent rain and debris from building up in the fire pit.
You may want to include a steel liner in the fire pit regardless of what you plan to make it from. This liner makes it easier to clean wood fireplaces. It also prevents excessive amounts of heat from being absorbed into the stone while reflecting the hearing for the people sitting around the fireplace.
A fire pit is an excellent addition to your landscaping. With so many design options, a fire pit can be built or purchased to fit in any style for any type of gathering. It will be an excellent outdoor focal point for any event.