With the fall season approaching, there is no surprise that many of us are drawn to the idea of having an outdoor fire feature in our backyards. You’ll have a lot to consider when choosing the right fire feature for you— not just budget and style but space, fuel type, and more.
First Things First: Outdoor Fire Feature Basics
You don’t need a lot of space to set up a place where you and your family can gather around the fire— but you do need to take all the requisite safety precautions. This typically means ensuring your patio furniture is non-flammable, making sure plants and trees are pruned back to a safe distance, and having a fire extinguisher close to hand anytime you light the fire.
You also need to consider a few key points before you start shopping— how much space you have available, what you want to use the fire for, and what type of fireplace you want. Let’s dig into the styles of fire features!
Inground Fire Pit: That Classic Campfire Style
Whether it’s a flat dirt area inside a circle of stones, or a smooth ring of high-quality pavers, an inground fire pit is one of the most classic fire features available. You can DIY these or buy them pre-made; either way, they’re one of the more affordable options. And when it comes to style, it’s extremely customizable— style and color of stones, height, width, it’s all about the space you’re working with and the look you want.
Fire pits are, in most cases, not movable once they’re installed, which is great if you’re looking for a dedicated gathering spot in your outdoor space. Traditionally they use wood as fuel, though there are propane, bio-ethanol, natural gas, and other types available. Depending on the building materials you choose, this is typically the least expensive option.
Movable Fire Pit: Standard Features, Infinite Variations
When it comes to free-standing, movable outdoor fire features, the sky is the limit. From a simple metal dish that stands on three legs and burns wood, to a high-end fire table with a built-in natural gas line, you can customize the look, function, and features of a movable fire feature to your heart’s content.
Whether you choose a chiminea style that mimics the safety and function of an indoor fireplace, or a gas-burning fire bowl, an unattached fire feature means ultimate flexibility for your yard. If you don’t host many big fires, or if your outdoor space is smaller and needs to be multi-functional, it can be helpful to be able to tidy away the fire when you’re not sitting around it. This type is the most variable in price, given the wide range of features and functions they contain. Your local hardware store can usually give you some price quotes on the models you’re interested in.
Built In Fireplace: A New Focal Point
More than any other outdoor fire feature, an outdoor fireplace is a statement, the natural gathering point and centerpiece of your yard. As a built-in feature, they aren’t movable once they’ve been constructed. Most are built from scratch, which does mean they’re pricier than pre-built options, but it also means you have control from start to finish over where it’s built, how big it is, and what it looks like.
An outdoor fireplace gives you the best of many other options: higher heat output for gatherings in chillier weather, smoke directed upward and not into the faces of your guests, open flame for roasting marshmallows, and top ratings in both safety and cleanliness. They typically burn wood, and should be designed to be weather-resistant for whatever climate you live in.
No matter how big or small your yard is, or how big or small your budget, there’s an outdoor fire feature that will fit your needs. When in doubt, consult a local landscaper or contractor for guidance.
Get Your Backyard Fall Ready with Eddington Landscaping
At Eddington Landscaping, we help our customers create the perfect landscaped yard for their needs. Since 2011, we have worked to help homeowners, property management companies and businesses create the perfect landscapes that meet their budget and maintenance requirements. To learn more, call us today at (512) 432-4866 or request a quote here.