Yard spaces should be as accessible and useful as any other part of your house. After all, you paid for the entire property so it’s only fair that you can enjoy it all. This could be a landscaping refresh or something small that has a huge impact on the appearance and feel of your entire yard. A backyard firepit is an excellent way to achieve both.
Choose an Outdoor Fire Pit
A backyard fire pit is worth the cost and effort. A patio or backyard fire pit can be a permanent or semi permanent feature of fire that you can easily customize to fit the style and functionality of your outdoor area.
It is easy to create an outdoor fire pit as a DIY project. You will need an open area, free of any flammable plants or structures, a firepit, and outdoor furniture of your choice to enjoy the glow.
A fire pit will encourage you to use your backyard all year round. A fire pit is all you need to enjoy the outdoors, whether it’s summer evenings by the pool or chilly fall evenings on your deck. Eco-friendly, they don’t use electricity and offer clean-burning options such as wood-alternatives or bioethanol.
Fire Pit Regulations
You should be aware that certain areas may have regulations or permit requirements for installing a firepit. Safety precautions include ensuring that the fire pit does not get too close to any buildings, fences or overhangs. This will prevent embers from igniting or trapped fumes or smoke. Research your local laws, county expectations and even HOA regulations before purchasing a firepit.
How to Include a Fire Pit into Your Landscape Design
When choosing the perfect patio fire pit, you need to consider the impact it will have on your outdoor space. The fire pit is a great way to add warmth and light, as well as a decorative focal point for your yard, whether it’s day or night. Backyard fire pits are a great place for friends and family to get together.
The propane or natural gas fire pits can be used as a table with the fire as the centerpiece or as seating and benches (when it is not hot). Grilling grates can be added to some designs to transform the fire pit from a decorative feature to a backyard BBQ or campfire. It’s important to understand that different styles of fire pits perform specific tasks related to design in your yard.
Fire Pit Design Styles
Many fire pit designs are more creative than a simple rock-lined surface and stacked logs. Consider the style of your backyard when choosing a wood-burning fire pit or propane fire pit.
Fire rings are a great way to contain wood fires or fire pits made of wood alternatives. The fire rings provide the rustic look of a campfire but prevent the ash and embers to spread into the seating area. These are typically made from metal, and they can come with customized grill inserts and crafted designs.
A fire bowl is an oversized metal disk which keeps the flames contained at the center. The fire bowl has a raised, angled side to keep children and pets safe from flares. The bowls can be placed on legs or on a rock or dirt groundcover. The fire bowls can be paired with a fire ring to enhance both their aesthetics and convenience.
You can build a fireplace outside, too. They are built of stone or brick and elevate the fire feature above the ground. The fire is enclosed on all three sides, protecting it from the wind. The smoke is directed upwards through a chimney, away from the seating. Brick fireplaces can be a large outdoor fire pit and require the assistance of a landscape designer or contractor to install them properly.
A chiminea, or portable fireplace, is small and lightweight, but it can be heavy, depending on its size and material. It has some of the features that a brick-built outdoor fireplace would have, but without the installation. The smoke is directed upwards and away from those seated near the chiminea. The larger chimineas are also suitable for use with accessories such as grills or ovens. Chimineas have traditionally been made from clay. However, modern styles come in a wide range of colors and materials, including steel and cast iron.
The pizza oven is similar to a built-in fire place and can be included in an outdoor fireplace. The fire pit is located below the pizza-oven, which has a flat base and a dome top that traps heat to bake. You can also buy fire pits in Brisbane for your tabletop, which looks like a squat and short chiminea. Or, you can get it as an appliance for your outdoor cooking.
A fire pagoda looks like a large enclosed lantern. These pagodas make for a stylish and portable patio fire pit. The pagodas are raised platforms with a frame that can be used to build a fire. The fire is enclosed in metal screens that protect friends and family while they enjoy the warmth.
Patio fire pits can be both decorative and functional. You can find them at any height, from the height of a cafe table to that of a coffee-table. The fire is usually fueled by propane, bioethanol, or natural gas. It comes out of a decorative, fire-resistant top such as stones or glass. The edge of the fire pit table is deep enough for plates and drinks to be safely held, while still being far enough away from low flames. The table’s fire pit is usually surrounded by a protective, short glass windbreak.
Fire columns are raised, taller platforms that have a propane- or natural gas-fueled fire feature. These fire columns may have a metal or glass frame or grating to protect the flames. The fire columns are used to create ambiance, lighting and as architectural accents. The focus is on style and decor, with a smaller footprint than other fire pits.
How to Choose the Best Material For a Fire Pit
Materials used in the creation of the firepit can affect everything from its weight and portability to the effectiveness with which it can produce heat. You want a firepit that is easy to maintain, can be easily moved, and fits in with the design of your yard.
Popular fire pit materials include
Steel and Stainless Steel
Stone and Faux Stone
Metal fire pits are known to be durable and efficient in spreading heat. Concrete and stone fire pits are more durable, heavier options. Fire pits made of glass and polyresin are decorative and can be used as accents on patios or porches.
What is the best size for a fire pit?
Seating, fire pit, and patio with a round stone-look fireplace.
The size of a fire pit depends on many factors, including its design and material. You should also consider how you plan to use it. If you’re looking for a portable fire pit you might want to choose a smaller one. However, if your goal is to have a permanent fire pit where you can socialize with multiple people, then a larger firepit may be the best option.
Safety is the main factor to consider when determining what size fire pit you should have in your yard. The space for your outdoor fire pit needs to be large enough to fit the fire pit and any furniture as well as walking space. It should also be far enough away from buildings, structures, trees or other easily ignitable, flammable items. Check with professionals in your locality to see if there are any specific requirements for square footage.
Fire pits are typically between 24 and 36 inches in diameter with an outer edge that can rise up to 18 inches above the ground. Fire pits with lower edges will help to better throw heat. Allow 5 to 7 feet to move safely around the fire pit and around any seating or furniture. Tabletop firepits will have a smaller footprint, while some coffee table firepits have a larger base and a smaller fire feature. The right size for your fire pit will depend on its style.
Outdoor Heating with a Fire Pit
Women laughing and drinking wine around a circular metal firepit.
The amount of heat that will be generated by the fire pit should also be considered when determining the size. Fire pits measure heat as energy in BTUs. It is hard to measure the exact BTUs of a family campfire. However, the markings on a propane or gas fire pit are more obvious. Select a backyard fire pit which can heat up the entire area.
Decide the size of the space where the fire pit is going to be placed. Include the area behind seating arrangements. Multiply length, width, and height to get the total area. Keep in mind that while guests may be six feet tall, you might not need to heat an area that big, since most socializing takes place around the fire pit.
You can calculate the amount of space that needs to be heated by measuring the length, width and height. You can then determine the minimum BTUs required for the firepit by determining the temperature that you want to achieve. If you live in a cooler climate all year round, you might need more BTUs to maintain the temperature outside.
Use the formula below to get an idea of how much BTU is required for a space outdoors.
For a general guide, if you want to raise the temperature outside by just 10 degrees, choose a firepit that has a minimum of:
A 10′ x10′ patio can receive 10,000 BTU
25600 BTUs for a 16″ x 16″ yard area
70,000 BTUs for an area of 20′ x35′
Your fire pit choice may be influenced by a higher BTU firepit, since a propane tank can only produce 90,000 BTU. These fire pits are all under 20 lbs. There is a wide range of options for fire pits, as there are many different types. Multiple fire pits may be necessary for very large areas.
Fire Pit Fuel Sources
You can narrow down the design options by choosing a fuel type for your outdoor fire pit. There are some that are more popular in certain styles. For example, it might be easier to locate a tabletop or freestanding propane-fueled fire pit rather than a wood burning one.
The most common types of fuel for fire pits are:
Wood Burning Fire Pits
Three wood-burning fire pits. Metal frames, screen covers, patio.
These fire pits are a rustic, traditional way to enjoy a campfire. These fire pits provide a place to store chopped wood and wood alternatives, and they keep the flames filled with sticks and paper.
Wood is more unpredictable and requires constant attention to maintain it. It can also throw sparks and embers. However, it’s a powerful and efficient heat source. A wood-burning fire pit can generate up to 60,000 BTUs, depending on how it is constructed and the size. This will cover a large social area. To protect you and your guests, place them in an area that is well ventilated.
Propane Fire Pits
Fire pit with removable wall to access propane tanks.
The flames are bright and clean, making them ideal for tabletop fire pits. Propane firepits are powered by a hidden propane tank.
Liquid propane fire pits are capable of producing between 10,000 and 50,000 btus with a variety of fire pit designs. Commercial propane fire pits are larger and can produce closer to 70,000BTU. The fire pits are portable, and one tank of propane will provide almost twice as much BTU power as a natural gas fireplace.
Natural Gas Fire Pits
Fire pit, patio and seating with a rectangular natural gas firepit that has a stone-look exterior.
The connection to your home’s gas line makes a natural gas firepit a permanent installation. This can also limit the placement of a fire pit as it must be planned carefully so that the gas line can safely be extended into the yard. In some jurisdictions, installing the natural gas lines out into the yard may require a permit and that it meet a variety of regulations.
Natural gas fire pits, aside from the difficulty of installing the gas line, are inexpensive, easy to use, and produce less smoke and fumes. Natural gas flames have a distinctive aesthetic that dances over glass, river stones or lava rocks.
Bioethanol or ethanol fire pits offer a clean, smokeless, real flame option. These fire pits can be easily moved and are great for outdoor coffee tables or fire columns. Bioethanol firepits can produce 4,000-8,000 BTUs per hour. A quart of fuel can last up to five hours.
The fuel can be used in any place. It is an alcohol-based fuel, and it can be easily poured on to a burner, or turned on with gas. You can control the flame size by changing the size the burner’s opening. Bioethanol fuels consist of denatured ethanol, made from various types of agricultural waste and commercial waste. The flames produced are caused by the burning of sugars in the alcohol.
Installing a Backyard fire pit
After all the details, such as the type of firepit and its location, are sorted out the only concern left is that you will be able to use it for many years. Fire pit accessories can be used to enhance the safety and efficiency of the fire pit, as well as protect it from the elements.
Green fire glass, ceramic propane tank holder and square fire pit cover.
When you are using your new fire pit, make sure that you have these tools available:
Don’t forget to use the grills and cooking grates that come with many fire pits.
Windscreens – Keep flames and embers in the fire pit to protect your guests.
Storage rack for firewood – This rack allows you to store and transport the wood in a convenient location where it can be easily accessed to keep the flames burning.
Protect your fire pit from the weather when you are not using it.
Cover the propane tanks so they are easily accessible and not in the way.
Topping Materials such as fire glass or rocks can enhance the appearance of natural gas and propane fireplaces.
The accessories are available in many colors and materials. You can select the one that best suits your yard.