Imagine this: after a long day of skiing or boating, you sit down to watch the sunset with a cold beverage and a warm fire in your backyard. Outdoor fire pits create a fun, social ambiance right on your property. They give you the opportunity to stay warm in the winter months and cool summer nights, and they encourage your friends to join you outside for a lovely evening.
Here is what to consider when you’re thinking about installing an outdoor fire pit.
Decide Which Fuel You’re Going to Use
You’re going to be burning some kind of fuel in your outdoor fire pit. Each fuel has its own benefit, whether it’s cost, safety, mobility, or efficiency. Check out which fuel sources works for you.
Gas-powered fire pits are easy to turn on, easy to turn off, and easy to clean. Natural gas is a cost-effective, low-maintenance fuel source that emits no odor and no blowing smoke. Despite natural gas being relatively inexpensive, gas-powered fire pits are more expensive to install than other types.
Propane is the most fuel-efficient source you can choose. It provides 2.5 times the energy of natural gas. Because propane gets stored in metal tanks, it gives you the option to use it for both a fire pit and a grill in your backyard.
Wood-burning fire pits are timeless, creating a cozy ambiance that so many people love. Wood gives you the ability to control the size of the fire in your fire pit, allowing you to build a much larger fire than gas or propane. Wood-burning fire pits are also affordable to install, maintain, and fuel.
This increasingly popular, eco-friendly fuel uses denatured ethanol, which burns more cleanly than gas, wood, and propane. Bioethanol fires don’t release smoke, soot, debris, or dust, meaning your guests won’t smell like campfire after a party at your house. This fuel also doesn’t produce embers, which reduces the chances of starting a forest fire in the woods nearby.
Choose Between In-Ground and Raised Styles
Once you’ve decided which fuel you want to use, then it’s time to choose a fire pit design. Fundamentally, fire pits are either raised (above-ground) or set into the ground. We’ve outlined the benefits of in-ground and raised fire pits.
Most in-ground fire pits sit between 6 to 12 inches below the surrounding patio. They’re typically smaller in diameter. Between their diminished size and their sunken style, in-ground fire pits are less likely to release lit embers.
That said, pets and small children may accidentally trip and fall into a sunken fire. It’s best to keep in-ground fire pits covered when you aren’t using them, and to supervise children and pets who are around the fire.
Raised fire pits utilize stacked stones, bricks, and other aesthetically pleasing, non-combustible materials to create a gorgeous seating area. The raised platform puts the flames closer to a seated guest’s eye level or a standing guest’s mid-section, effectively warming whoever circles around its fire.
Because it features a deep pit, this fire pit style can also produce larger fires than in-ground fire pits. But this feature can represent a potential risk. As you build a large fire in a raised fire pit, its flames can reach up towards low-hanging branches. It also can kick up embers, which can get caught in the wind and carried. Always closely monitor fires in a raised fire pit, making sure they are contained.
Hire an Experienced, Local Design and Contracting Firm
Now that you’ve assessed which fuel and fire pit style you want, consult a North Lake Tahoe contracting firm that specializes in creating unique, outdoor spaces.