The crackling sound of burning wood, the somber orange glow visible from a distance, the warmth from the fire that keeps you warm and comfortable for hours during chilly winters – these are a few things that you will enjoy if you have a fire pit in your backyard. It not only keeps you comfortable but also attracts friends and relatives to your home. You can use fire pits as traditional campfires where children can toast some marshmallows and adults can make a barbeque. It becomes the center of attraction in your house during winter.
But setting up a fire pit shouldn’t be an overnight decision. You need to keep various things in mind before installing one. From adequate space to its affordability, you need to assess every factor before setting one up in your garden or your backyard.
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Benefits of a Fire pit
It isn’t only about keeping yourself warm. A fire pit also has various practical, health, and emotional benefits too. Here are a few reasons why you should have a fire pit within your premises:
Lights up the night
In addition to providing warmth, it also adds to your home’s aesthetics. It gives your garden a wonderful, warm glow. Many people don’t utilize the full potential of their garden or backyard. A fire pit can change all that. It’s romantic to sit by your partner watching stars while the flame lights up the night.
Extends your home
If you plan to create an alfresco lounge space in your house, get a fire pit right away. Adding a fire space in your backyard can extend your house as it will become the space where you can relax and socialize. Indoor fireplaces limit your seating space. But an outdoor fire pit allows everyone to sit around the fire and talk. Throw in some patio furniture, and you already have another drawing-room. The best part is that it adds value to your home if you want to resell it later.
Useable for 365 days
Many places don’t experience warm summers. A fire pit can be the perfect addition to such homes to provide warmth throughout the year. Whether you want to use it during Halloween or Christmas, there is only room for innovation once you install a fire pit.
Use it to barbecue
Keep a few skewers handy because once the fire loses its intensity, you can start barbecuing some chicken. If you don’t have skewers, you can even pop a grill plate on top of the fire pit. Barbecued chicken, together with some wine, can make for a wonderful evening.
Helps unwind after a tiring week
Why go camping miles away from home after a hectic week at work when you can set up something similar in your garden? For some, unwinding means relaxing for hours in the bathtub. But for many, it can be sitting around a fire listening to retro songs. If you have options for both, why not make the most of them. The point is to relax your mind. You can start your weekend by calling your friends over for chitchat over some wine, music, and your fire pit.
Factors to consider
A fire pit isn’t a winter coat that you will go to the market and bring home one within one evening. You need to keep various factors in mind before buying and installing one. Here is a buying guide that should help:
Some people think that building a fire pit means digging a hole in the ground. Well, that’s one way to start a fire. But it isn’t a pretty one. And it certainly doesn’t add to the aesthetics of your house. It looks as if you are trying to bury a kitten in your backyard when the fire pit is not in use. Instead, compare the different types of products available on the market. Remember, this will become the center of attraction for your house. Therefore, don’t hesitate to choose a stylish pit. From basic metal fire bowls to multifunctional fire pits, you get plenty of options depending on your budget and the space you can afford. Take time to compare the styles before choosing one.
- Wood-burning laws
Wood-burning fire pits are not a wise choice on covered porches or in windy areas and low branches. You must check with your city’s restrictions or laws regarding the installation of a fire pit. Talk to the members of your homeowner’s association and see what they suggest. You may end up paying a hefty fine if you don’t take necessary precautions or start a fire by going against the law. Moreover, environmental agencies and scientists are making people aware of inhaling smoke from fire pits. You may come across programs like the Environmental Protection Agency’s Burn Wise that educate citizens about the adverse effects of installing a fire pit.
- Types of fuel
Considering you get a no-objection signal from the homeowner’s association, your next job is to select the type of fuel. Many people install fire pits because they love the crackling sound of wood burning and its aroma in and around their houses. If you fall in that category, then don’t think of anything apart from wood. Go for average-sized logs because they are ideal both for big and medium-sized fire pits. These logs measure approximately 2 inches and can last for at least three or four hours, depending on how many you use at one time.
This is where style, permission, and choice of fuel come to a standstill. You need to compare the prices of different products and their operational costs before setting your budget. It is impossible to set a shoestring budget before even comparing the prices. Permanent fire pits usually cost more than portable ones. On the other hand, you also need to consider the price of wooden logs in your area before buying the fire pit. Fire tables or custom-built models can cost a few thousand bucks, but if you are looking for an affordable one, you can keep a budget of around $300.
- Portable or permanent
You should decide whether to buy a permanent or portable fire pit depending on your location, materials, and budget. Do you move from one city to another frequently? If you do, then a portable model would suit you. On the other hand, if you have just moved into a new house and don’t have plans to move in the next ten years or so, then you can think of installing a permanent one.
A campfire in your backyard during winter is one of the most comfortable things you can think of. With your friends and relatives gathering around the fire talking about all sorts of stuff, it’s the kind of get-together that you would want now and then. But a big decision regarding fire pits is the type you want to install. There are essentially four types of models available on the market. Each one has its pros and cons. Let’s discuss each of those types in detail:
A wood-burning fire pit is often the first choice for many. And there are many reasons to like this type. First of all, the crackling sound of wood in itself is something that many don’t experience often. Moreover, the sweet fragrance of wood lingers around your house for a long time. It creates a smoky ambiance that increases the aesthetics of your house. You can increase the intensity of the fire by adding a few more logs, keeping the fire burning for hours.
- Available both in steel and marble. You can choose one depending on your budget.
- It provides the authentic feel of a campfire.
- A wood-burning pit adds to the décor of your backyard.
- You can use it to barbecue also.
- You have to rely on wood. The cost of wood varies depending on its availability. It may become a costly investment in the long run.
If you are one of those that don’t like the smell of wood or inhaling smoke, you should go for a gel fuel fire pit. This is also a versatile option if you don’t want a permanent fire pit in your garden. You can change its position to anywhere you want. Since it uses gel fuel, you don’t need to worry about the fluctuating costs of wood. All you need to do is keep a few gel canisters handy to refill the fuel tank when you see the fire about to go out.
- It is less costly compared to wood burning fire pits.
- It doesn’t emit smoke or leaves a foul odor.
- You can resume a fire just by refilling the gel fuel.
- It is portable.
- It doesn’t provide that smoky ambiance that a campfire offers.
These fire pits provide the convenience of starting a quality flame without gathering wood or refilling the tank with gel fuel. They are slightly larger than wood-burning or gel fuel fire pits. But they are permanent structures. The flame rises from beneath lava rocks, fire glass, or faux wood. There is an ignition switch under the fire pit. It also comes with a propane tank. Like gel fuel, you need to refill this tank whenever necessary. To stop the fire, just turn the ignition switch off.
- You can start a fire within a few seconds.
- It can provide quality flame just like a wood burning fire pit.
- It can light a bigger fire than wood burning or gel fuel fire pit.
- Most of them are permanent. You won’t be able to move with them if you change your house.
Although they are similar to propane models, you will need a permanent connection to your gas line to run this model. Yes, you won’t need to think of refilling the tank or anything but it isn’t the most convenient for fire pits.
- This is ideal if you don’t want to spend money on fuel in the future.
- It is best for those who want a permanent fire pit.
- You can start a fire within minutes, unlike a wood-burning fire pit.
- You need a permanent connection to your gas line.
With so much information backing your decision of installing a fire pit, you just need to finalize your budget and preferred style. Once you prepare a checklist according to the factors given above, it won’t take much time to buy the ideal fire pit for your house.