Popular Outdoor Fire Pit Ideas

One thing I love about the outdoors is getting together with family and friends around a nice fire. Whether it roasting wienies, telling stories, or just enjoying the flames, backyard fires are wonderful. But what should you consider when adding in a new fire pit? I’ve got a few ideas:
  1. Size:  Think about how you entertain in general. Are you planning to have a large crowd or an intimate few? By this I mean do you want a fire pit that is 12 inches wide or 48?
  2. Portable or permanent? You can buy a gorgeous fire pit like this that sits on your existing patio or you can build one out of stone, brick, concrete or other fireproof material. Your personal taste and budget will drive your decision.
  3. Gas or wood? Both have pros and cons. Gas is instant on and off with nothing to clean up. Wood has the traditional crackle and pop but leaves ashes behind (great for gardens as fertilizer!) What type of fire do you want?
  4. What will you use it for? Is this a gathering place for conversation and smore’s? Are you more ambitious and you want to use it as a bbq and grill as well? Do you just want as small a fire as possible without being a candle?  Trust me, there is a pit out there for every use and every style.
  5. Do you want a fire pit or a fireplace?  Some people prefer the more formal look of a fireplace.  You can have them built in or you can buy one like this that looks very elegant on a backyard patio.
  6. Is your fire pit going to be more than a fire pit?  I’ve seen many people add in outdoor home theaters for music and movies.  What a great way to spend an evening with family and friends!
  7. Keep it legal: Your city and/or county is going to have codes about fires and fire pits. When and where to have them, how far away from buildings and property lines they have to be, what they can be used for, etc. If you are going to install a permanent pit, be sure to also check with local utilities for underground lines before you start.

What do I enjoy? I have a 24-inch wood pit in the backyard for the family and a few guests that is small enough we can have a conversation without sharing it with the neighbors. Inside I enjoy this lovely gadget for s’mores because I am a chocoholic and I need a winter fix occasionally. What do you have in your backyard? I’d love to see some photos!

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