Top tips for choosing the perfect outdoor fire pit for fall!

September 3, 2020

As the sun begins to set a little earlier and the crisp autumn air begins to settle in, we are pleasantly reminded that fall is coming quickly! From cookouts to relaxing evenings on the patio, you’ve likely spent the last several months enjoying your outdoor spaces and are a little disappointed to see those nights coming to an end. But what if they didn’t have to?  A warm, roaring fire helps you enjoy the season just a little bit longer. Is there time yet to install a fire pit? Absolutely! With a few quick tips and minimal construction, you’ll be cozied up next to your new firepit by the time the leaves begin to fall! 

When installing a fire pit, there are a few essential questions to consider to help you move through the planning process more quickly.

Where is the most ideal location? 

When deciding on the location of your firepit, there are few items to address. For safety purposes, fire pits should be placed at least 10 feet away from the home (or any other building structure), as well as 10 feet from fences or neighboring properties. It is also vital that you select a level area with excellent clearance. Select a location generously distanced from large trees and clear of any overhanging branches. Stray embers are inevitable, so you’ll want to place your firepit in an area completely free from anything that could catch fire. 

Other factors to consider when choosing a location include spacing, wind direction, current landscaping, and local/city permits.  It’s typically recommended to allow for at least 7 feet between the fire pit itself and seating. Thus, it’s important to choose a location that allows for plenty of room. You’ll also want to consider the direction the wind most often comes from. Plan seating  with  minimal smoke inhalation in mind. In addition, you’ll want to evaluate your current hardscapes and patio spaces. Consider if you’d like your firepit to be an addition to a current outdoor space, or if you’d like to add on by creating a fire pit and seating area in another, possibly safer, area of your property.

Which fire pit checks all the boxes on our wishlist?

When selecting a fire pit, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the varieties available. A few simple decisions can help you quickly narrow down your options. A few questions to consider: Would you prefer a gas or wood fire pit?  How many people would you like to sit comfortably around your firepit? Would you like to incorporate built-in seating? Do you prefer a circle or square structure? What kind of surface do you plan to place your firepit on? What options does your budget allow for? 

To help answer some of those questions, here are some key details to get you started. The most pressing decision you’ll want to make is whether to install a gas or a wood burning fire pit. Both have their advantages and drawbacks. Those craving the most authentic campfire experience often prefer a real, wood burning fire. However, wood burning fires require actual fire wood, a larger space, close supervision, and constant restocking to keep the flames going. Another common fuel option for fire pits is propane gas. The use of gas is convenient because a quick flip of a switch allows the fire to start instantly. With gas fire pits, there is also virtually no smoke. However, you’ll miss out the traditional cracking sounds and smoky aromas of a wood fire. Likewise from a design standpoint, circular fire pits often offer a more authentic “camp fire” feel, while square fire pits are considered more sleek and modern.

When considering space, structure design, and seating, it can be helpful to not only browse through photos, but tape off the area on your own property to see what best fits in your outdoor space. You’re bound to have a wealth of questions, which is why working closely with our design specialists can be especially helpful during the planning phase of the project!

What safety measures do we need to be most mindful of?

From selecting a location to finally sitting down to enjoy the fire itself, it’s important to be proactive about fire safety. Remember to be mindful of clearance, adequate spacing from structures, and wind direction when choosing a location for your fire pit. It’s also advised to check with your insurance company and local ordinance to ensure you’re updating your policy accordingly and minding any guidelines put in place by the city. When you’re finally able to sit down, relax, and enjoy the fire pit you’ve so carefully planned for, be sure to have access to a fire extinguisher and have a plan for disposing of ashes safely if necessary. 

Now that you have a better idea of which questions to answer first, you’re ready to move forward with planning and selecting the perfect fire pit for your outdoor space! As you work with our professionals, we will guide you through each decision so you can settle in around a fire pit you genuinely love and can enjoy into the chilliest autumn nights. Give us a call to get started today! 

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