Cooler temps are not that far away–how will you stay cozy this fall? A backyard fire pit is a great way to stay warm and stay outside as the temperatures drop.
Whether it’s over-the-top, do-it-yourself, or somewhere in between, fire pits are the latest thing in outdoor living. When free-standing fire pits became easily available several years ago it sparked our interest to build on the idea (literally). Homeowners today are building permanent fire pits in backyards and on patios to get more year round use of their backyards.
An outdoor fire is a wonderful place to gather with the family or host evening get togethers with the neighbors. Before you purchase a fire pit or get started with building one, keep a few things in mind…
Think about the size of your yard in relation to what you build–don’t overwhelm the space. If you’re placing smaller fire pit in a large area, consider giving it some mass by adding a pea gravel surround with seating.
Gas vs. Wood Burning
There are merits to both. Turning on a fire that is hooked up to your gas line makes using the fire pit easy and may mean you do actually use the outdoor space more often. To others, burning real wood is what a fire pit is all about. It all comes down to personal choice, access to a gas line and cost.
Permanent vs. Portable
Deciding to purchase a moveable fire pit or build a structure is usually driven by cost and space available. Do your homework, shop around and gather the cost of a DIY project.
This is a big question mark depending on what you envision. Are you clearing grass, adding decorative gravel and building the fire pit with pavers on your own? Or are you hiring a hardscape professional and constructing an outdoor fireplace, kitchen, patio and pergola? You may also ask your self, “will it increase the value of my home?” Any time you landscape or add attractive outdoor living space, you increase the appeal of your home which can help it sell more quickly but not necessarily help increase the value. To see an increase in home value you really need to add more permanent fixtures like an outdoor kitchen.
If you plan to have someone build for you, talk to several vendors and get quotes in writing. Before taking on a DIY project, consider the time involved and price out all you materials in advance. And if store-bought, ready to go is for you, shop around until you find the right size, look and price that works!
More than likely this will become a focal point in your yard so choose your location for the fire pit wisely. Also think about safety–keep the pit out in the open and away from other structures, plants and combustible materials. Wind direction may even be a factor to consider. Never place a fire pit on a wooden deck.
It may seem hard to imagine standing fire side with Charlotte temps still hovering in the upper 90’s, but preparing now will mean you can stay cozy on those beautiful, crisp fall nights we have coming our way!