8 Things to Consider When Planning a Backyard Fire Pit
A fire pit in your backyard will bring you years of enjoyment and beauty. If you’ve ever experienced a blazing fire pit in someone’s yard and think it’s about time to get one for your own property, here are eight things to consider before you get to work.
Where to place your new fire pit
Fire pits can be built or placed in many areas within your backyard. Just keep these safety precautions in mind and don’t install your fire pit:
- close to walls of the home
- under low-hanging trees
- near sheds/outbuilding that store combustibles such as gas for power equipment
- close to shrubbery or fences
- near porch roof posts or gazebos
How big should the fire pit be?
This is mainly an aesthetic choice, but very large-circumference pits can use a lot of fuel and, if you’re burning wood, will require more cleaning and maintenance.
Portable or permanent?
Fire pits can be installed in a permanent location or they can be designed so they can be moved from one place to another. Metal bowl fire pits and similar styles are quite portable, while fixed masonry pits are built to stay in one place.
What should the fire pit be made of?
The most common materials include brick, stainless steel, cast iron and copper. Each material has unique properties, so check with your fire pit retailer to determine the best material for your project.
Pre-made or custom-built?
You can purchase many fantastic pre-made fire pits at hearth stores and other retailers. You can also have a contractor custom-build your pit.
Fire Pit Fuel
You can choose a gas fire pit or a wood fire pit. If you go with gas, you’ll need to have a gas line run to the pit or use a portable propane tank. For wood fuel, burn only dry firewood – never burn pressed board, clothing, furnishings, household trash, yard waste or painted wood. (And never use gas, lighter fluid or other accelerants to start your wood fire. Use only matches and kindling.)
Will you be cooking outdoors?
If you’ll be using your pit to cook, make sure the style you purchase or have built will accommodate an iron grill.
The cost of adding a fire pit to your backyard can range from very low to quite pricey. For example, a portable steel wood-burning fire bowl can cost under $100 and give you plenty of beauty and enjoyment. Whereas a customized, hand-built masonry fire pit could cost upwards of $2,000. Your specific needs and aesthetic tastes (along with your budget!) should dictate the type of fire pit you choose and its cost.
Bottom line in installing a fire pit
After taking into consideration all the points above, at the end of the day, your fire pit must be one you’re happy with. It must look like you want it to look, provide the heat you desire and be maintainable without excess time needed on your part.
When you’re ready to find the perfect fire pit for your backyard, the experts at Hudson Valley Chimney of Poughkeepsie, NY, are here to help. We’ll go over all the specs of different styles, materials and sizes to make sure you get exactly what you’re dreaming of. Give us a call today at (845) 471-1071, or stop in and see our showroom at (845) 471-1071 in Poughkeepsie.