After what feels like a long summer, fall has FINALLY arrived! It’s time to start thinking about being outside more. What outdoor setting is more accessible than your own yard? It is the best space for a quick weekend get together with family or friends during this time of year. A well-crafted yard can also give you a quick evening escape after a long and grueling weekday. This time of year, especially, a well put together outdoor space can reflect a warm, welcome, and comforting atmosphere. Adding a portable outdoor fire pit can be the perfect upgrade that will broadcast a cozy, inviting feel that both you and your guests will enjoy for seasons to come. Here are a few tips and ideas to get you started.
An Investment In Fun And Relaxation
The decision to include an outdoor firepit in the plans for your yard was more than likely the easy part. Human kind has had an affinity for fire that stretches back far into the pre-history of our species. Throughout time, fire has given us light at night when there were no other source. It has given us warmth when there were no other options. It gave us a feeling of safety and security in a dark and scary world. It’s no wonder why humans are still so in love with the idea of a cozy fire to gather around. Enjoying a good fire is ingrained in our social DNA.
There are a few additional benefits to including a fire pit amenity to your landscaping that are a bit more practical than just invoking a wonderful fuzzy feeling. The trend of fire pits has been on an upward move over the last several years and, after a year like 2020, I’m sure that that trend will only increase. A built-in outdoor fire pit can increase the overall value of your home, but the cost may be a bit prohibited for some. Luckily, the increasing affordability and availability of portable fire pits has only expanded over the years. Reasons to seriously consider adding one to your outdoor repertoire include:
I Want One! Where Do I Begin?
So, you’ve decided that, YES!, you want to add some awesome ambiance to your outdoor setting. To make it a success you need to consider a few options. Anything having to do with good design comes down to which types and features will work best both the way you want your space to look and, most importantly, how you want your space to function. Sure, most fire pits will look picture perfect, but if you don’t set it up so it’s comfortable and usable then what good will it do you? Since this is a bit more of an investment than, say, changing out your cushions, you will want to make sure what you will be putting your hard earned cash into will work the way you are hoping it will the first go around. To that end, here are some of basics to consider before moving forward with your plan.
Click on a tab to learn a bit more about the two main considerations when starting a plan for your fire pit.
There are two general choices when it comes to how you will fuel your fire pit: Gas or wood. Both have advantages and disadvantages so this decision will be mostly up to personal choice. A wood burning fire pit invokes images of sitting around a campfire while singing songs and roasting marshmallows. While these thoughts may make you feel warm and fuzzy, starting a wood fire takes some time which might be a bit more work than you’d care for on a weekday evening. Wood fires do provide an abundance of light and heat but that also comes with an abundance of smoke that flows whichever way the wind blows. Also, keep in mind that when you are done you will need to take the extra time to ensure that the fire is completely extinguished before leaving it behind for the night.
Gas fire pits have two main options: propane and natural gas. If you are installing a permanent structure, natural gas would be your best option. This is especially true if you already have gas kitchen appliances. For portable fire pits the fuel of choice will be propane gas. It is easily obtainable in portable canisters that can be quickly changed out as needed. The overall design and quality of your choice of fire pit will be the determining factor when it comes to how much light and heat it puts out. Natural gas tends to burn cleaner than propane and, as a result, will put out less light and potentially less heat. Aside from the portability, a gas fire pit can be started instantly with very little muss or fuss. This will lend itself well for a quick, relaxing glass of something soothing after a long Tuesday at work. When you’re done, extinguishing the fire can be as simple as shutting off the gas and ensuring it’s secure.
While this post is primarily about portable fire pits, this is a basic decision that must be reached in the beginning. Any portable fire pit can be transformed in to a permanent one and these decisions should be based on safety, yard size, dwelling type, and your own personal habits. Do you have a small yard? You may want to consider crafting a permanent place for your fire pit to both create a focal point and, since you won’t be moving it once installed, increase the overall safety. A permanent placement is also best for options like fire rings that have no bottom. This type needs to be resting on fireproof and heat resistant material, such as dirt, to avoid setting the yard ablaze.
Fire bowls, table top fire pits, and gas fire pits are among the best choices for portability. These would allow you to move the fire pit based on the needs of the moment. Planning a large gathering? The fire pit may be best moved to a corner to create both a focal point and a small conversation area away from the main event. Planning an intimate family dinner? The pit may work best closer to the house to avoid traversing a cold yard and potentially killing the mood. When using a portable fire pit, always make sure to be aware of the surroundings. Always make sure that flammable materials are situated far enough away to not pose a threat. Nothing would kill the mood faster than starting an unintended fire.
Only You Can Prevent A Backyard Fire Pit Accident!
Great! Now you know how a fire pit can help make your life more enjoyable. You’ve considered your options and picked out the right one for you. You’re all set now, right? Actually, this is where you need to consider not only the purpose you want to achieve with your new fire pit, but how to do it safely. A crackling fire, while a warm and comfortable thing, can quickly turn devastating and life-threatening in the wrong setting. There are some basic, common sense things that must be attended to in order to keep the fun from coming to a sudden and screeching halt.
Click on any of the headings below to learn more about what you need to consider when planning out your new fire pit.
Location is vital to the safety of your fire pit set up. You want to maximize the distance from flammable materials while still fitting in the overall design. Make sure to keep anything that may catch fire in mind while considering placement.
Outside of the obvious safety concerns, you also want to be conscious of the comfort of those who will be utilizing the new cozy space. Make sure there is an easy way to and from the fire pit area and there is enough room to maneuver around the seating area. This is one place you do not want anyone to have an accident in.
When choosing your fire pit, remember that it is supposed to contain all parts of the fire at all times. You will want to pick out a design that will prevent any accidental release of lighted fuel or sparks.
Educate yourself on how to safely build a fire. If you are using a gas fire pit then know where the emergency shut offs are and how to safely work the ignition. If you are using a wood fire pit then start with light, dry tinder and kindling or possibly a starter log instead of using chemicals like lighter fluids. It may be a slower start, but remember, a slower start is far more controllable than a fast ignition that could quickly get out of hand. In addition, NEVER use construction lumber in your wood burning fire pit. Construction lumber, of any sort, is treated with chemical resins, adhesives, and other substances that can release harmful fumes when burned.
Prepare ahead of time so you can act if something goes amiss. Have a fire extinguisher easily accessible nearby. Position the garden hose strategically just in case it may be needed. Have a fire blanket and/or bucket of sand handy. Hopefully you will never have to use any of these precautions but, it is far better to be prepared and safe rather than wishing you thought differently later on.
You and your guests have had a full evening of fun and merriment by the fire and now the time has come for bed. Before heading in make sure you have fully extinguished your fire! For gas fire pits double check that you have turned the gas all the way off and secured the valve. For wood burning pits, douse the fire with water, spread the ashes around, then douse it again to be sure. The last thing you want is to have your slumber disturbed by your fire alarms alerting you to a blaze in your yard!
Make sure you investigate where and what kinds of fire pits you are allowed to have and restrictions on their placement. Many local authorities can have safety ordinances in place. Also, don’t forget to check with your HOA if you live in a community that has one.
Wood Burning Fire Pits And Bowls
Gather around, folks! Listen to the crackle. Break out the marshmallows. Anyone got a guitar handy? Nothing says warm and cozy like a good wood fire. There are a lot of options and styles to choose from. Get into the spirit this fall and stock up on the fire wood! Here are a few options that caught my eye to get you going.
This outdoor wood burning fire pit design provides ample of room for the perfect size fire and is easy to tend and clean. The quick and easy assembly allows you to use this product right out of the box, so grab your marshmallow skewers and snacks and cozy up around your new fire pit.
From Sunnydaze Decor.
This unique outdoor fireplace is perfect for those who enjoy cooking on a wood fire and are looking for quick grill access. Made of durable cast iron construction with a fiberglass lining to lock in heat on top oven section it will last for years.
From Deeco Consumer Products.
Gas Burning Fire PIts
Simple. Clean. Elegant. A gas fire pit can offer a whole range of portability and flexibility. Enhance your outdoor seating and conversation area by incorporating a fire pit table. Create a stunning focal point that will keep your outdoor space useable for longer in the year. There are even a few small, table top versions that can kick the ambiance of your next outdoor dinner party up a few notches. Scroll through and take a look at these gas fire pits I found.
Impress your friends and family by bringing home your love of the vineyards or the whiskey casks to your very own yard. You'll be mesmerized at the sight of flames dancing across the top of the barrel as if it were liquid set ablaze.
From Smoking Barrel Works.
Fire Pit Accessories
From necessity to ambiance, the right fire pit needs the right accessories to make it work. Being safe and practical absolutely does not mean you have to be boring. Give roasting anything from hot dogs to smores a personalized touch. Give your space a blast of color with the right rock for your gas burning centerpiece. Protect your investment when it’s not in use with style. These are just a few of the plethora of accessories to make your fire pit space yours. The sky is the limit on accessories. Take a look a these to get you moving in the right direction!
This protective waterproof fire pit cover features a stylish two-tone gray and black design to complement any outdoor décor. Plus, it is UV-resistant to help prevent the color from fading. This portable fire pit cover also features a drawstring and toggle design for a secure fit.
From Sunnydaze Decor.
Ceramic pebbles will provide years of enjoyment of your gas flame fires. This ceramic pebble set is designed of finest quality light weight ceramic fibers that can sustain temperatures of 1000 Degree Celsius and will not scratch or harm the surface of the fireplace.
Fight Back Against The Outdoor Chill This Fall
Fall is here. Winter is coming. Now you are all set up with a brand new fire pit to help chase the cold weather blues away. There are many benefits for including a fire pit in your outdoor space that range from overall health to financial. The main goal, however, is just for you and your guests to be able to kick back and relax! If building out a permanent fire pit is either out of your price rage or just undesirable, then you’re in luck! There are a wide range of options out there to fit your specific need and style. Whether wood burning or gas, your new fire pit is sure to make your yard a smash this fall and winter, not to mention provide you some much needed after work solace to help keep your mind in the right place. As long as you follow a basic fire safety plan, a portable outdoor fire pit can be just the addition you were looking for. This year, get out there and enjoy your yard!