An outdoor fireplace or fire pit adds an extra dimension to your backyard outdoor living set up. They also provide you with a central area to arrange your lounge chairs and other outdoor furniture and gathering place for friends and family. When designed correctly, an outdoor fireplace is practical, useful and beautiful.
Outdoor fireplaces can be designed in many different styles, including contemporary and classic. Some of the more popular versions are made from stone, and they can be either raised or built at ground level. Once the aesthetic features have been chosen, the next step is to ensure that your backyard fireplace fulfills all local fire regulations, is visually appealing and works well with all of the other design elements in your backyard.
Imagine the memories that you’ll make while sitting around your outdoor fireplace on a cool evening, watching the stars come out. You can even enjoy it alone and sit reading a book by the fire. These are only two suggestions – there are many more!
Design Features for Outdoor Fireplaces
Outdoor fireplaces can be built in many styles, including traditional, modern, contemporary and classic. They can also have special features that are unique to your needs.
Choose an outdoor fireplace that fits in with your homes design and overall décor. This makes it an extension of your home, not something that sticks out unnecessarily.
An outdoor fireplace can be freestanding, in a central area, or can be built into a wall. The choice is yours!
Outdoor Fireplace Safety
An outdoor fireplace needs to be designed so that you have enough space around and above it in order to adhere to safety regulations. With that said, you also need to have a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case of emergencies. You can never be too cautious where an outdoor fireplace is concerned.
Outdoor Fire Pits
Outdoor fire pits are useful in more ways than one. They provide your outdoor living space with a focal point and give you a place to huddle around while cooking smore’s or hot dogs with your loved ones. A fire pit gives off heat that can keep you warm during cool evenings year-round. There are so many different types and styles to choose from that you will undoubtedly be able to find a fire pit that fits your needs and your backyard.
However, these different varieties of fire pits do have their own pros and cons. You need to consider your budget, how much you will use the fire pit, and where you live before deciding. All of these things will help you make the right decision and purchase the best fire pit for your backyard.
Types of Fire Pits: Pros and Cons
Copper Outdoor Fire Pits
- Quality products that last a long time
- Great conductors of heat
- There are attractive designs available
- Very expensive
Copper outdoor fire pits are expensive, but will last for a very long time even with heavy use, thanks to the fact that copper has a very high melting point. They also produce a lot of heat, and you can cook over one if necessary. However, the price can turn some people off, although you do get what you pay for.
Cast Iron Outdoor Fire Pits
- Very heavy duty
- Cheaper than copper versions
- Do the job adequately
- Have a lower melting point
Cast iron outdoor fire pits are effective and fairly inexpensive when compared to other models. They are very heavy, which means that they are strong and durable enough to last for a long time. You can cook over a cast iron fire pit, and some models come with a specially designed grill grate just for this purpose. However, cast iron rusts and corrodes easily, and the metal itself has a low melting point. If you plan on using your fire pit a lot, then a cast iron model may not be the right model for you.
Gas Powered Outdoor Fire Pits
- Easy to clean
- Great source of heat
- Suitable for many different locations
- No cooking power
Gas powered outdoor fire pits are very popular with people living in densely populated areas, like cities and suburbs. They are easier to care for and to clean, and work well in places where backyard wood fires are prohibited. However, you cannot cook on a gas powered fire pit, which is an inconvenience for some people.
Fixed vs. Portable Outdoor Fire Pits
Outdoor fire pits can either be fixed (built into the ground) or portable (movable.) Both of these styles can work in any yard, so the choice is really up to you. If you decide that you’d prefer a fixed fire pit, make sure that you love the place where it will be installed, since it will be there for a long time. On the other hand, portable fire pits are easily moved from place to place in your yard, but can lack that “outdoor retreat” feel that you get with a fixed unit.