Outdoor Fire Pits Topping the List as Home Projects are on the Rise

Two events are converging to create a home project boon. One, it’s spring, which always marks the outdoor home project season. Two, with very little else to do under “Stay-at-Home” orders, homeowners are tackling projects they’d always wished they had time to do, and now, they do. Whether a matter of nice weather or having time to check it off the wish list, building an outdoor fire pit is topping home project lists.

Building an outdoor fire pit can be as simple as stacking concrete bricks in a circle and burning logs. In that case, carry on safely. However, if you have something more sophisticated in mind that can increase the value of your home, our designers offer some tips and advice on everything from laws and permits to style and budget.

Building Codes, Laws and HOAs
Imagine being in the midst of installing an outdoor fire pit only to be shut down by a city inspector (who may have been tipped off by a nosey neighbor). Even worse? The inspector tells you that your project isn’t up to code, and you must change course with your outdoor fire pit design and construction.

Building codes, local laws and even homeowners associations have authority to govern installing and using an outdoor fire pit. The rules can be quite specific, like how many feet an outdoor fire pit must be away from fences, your home, neighbors’ homes and the type of fuel that can be used for environmental protection or safety. Choosing a company like Complete Home Concepts to design and install your outdoor fire pit saves you the headaches ensuring yours is compliant.

The Right Style
Outdoor fire pits come in a variety of shapes, sizes and designs that can complement or elevate any backyard style. The first part is choosing the style suited to how you’ll use it. If you have children, you might consider a model with glass surrounding the fire. If you dream of sitting a beer or wine glass on your outdoor fire pit, the glass enclosure protects your drink from getting warm. These are just a few, and there are many more. The second part is selecting a style that coordinates with your outdoor space, which is easier if your outdoor fire pit will be part of a larger backyard renovation. Think about if your backyard area is modern, rustic, etc. There are outdoor fire pits to match any style.

The Right Size
Outdoor fire pits range in size from small portable models to larger built-in styles. Off-the-shelf models typically have a diameter of 24 to 30 inches. Built-in models span 36 to 58 inches. Custom-designed models are only limited by imagination (and any local laws or regulations). Seating must be considered when choosing width. Imagine how close you want people to the fire and the size of your seating. You’ll want enough room to be comfortable and uncrowded, but close enough to be “cozy.”

Options for height include low-to-the-ground fire bowls to taller models. Dream of warming/resting your feet or roasting marshmallows? Choose an outdoor fire pit in the 18” height range. Our designers suggest this height is best for keeping people warm, too.

Permanent or Portable
Another question to ask yourself is whether you’ll want to take your outdoor fire pit with you should you move or install a permanent one as part of your home that stays should you sell. Outdoor fire pits do add value to a house, especially when designed and installed professionally.

Outdoor Fire Pit Materials
Stone, metal, concrete or a mixture of multiple materials? Selecting the right is a matter of matching your style and your usage. There are pros and cons for each material. Concrete has durability, but can show soot stains even with limited use. Metal is long-lasting, but can cause skin burn if accidently touched. Stone is lovely, but soot stains can be an issue and they must be built by professionals to avoid cracking due to heat.

For natural gas or propane-burning outdoor fire pits, fire media (what covers the burner) options include decorative balls to lava rock and fire glass in many colors, sizes and shapes.

Fuel Type
There are three fuel options from which to choose: natural gas, propane or wood. Choosing is a matter of personal preference.

Wood:

  • Traditional sound of crackling fire and wood-burning smell
  • Environmental concerns due to smoke
  • Embers and smoke can irritate neighbors

Natural gas:

  • Might require extending gas line
  • Smoke-free
  • Easier to clean up
  • Simpler and quicker to turn on and off

Propane

  • No gas line required
  • Smoke-free
  • Easier to clean up
  • Simpler and quicker to turn on and off
  • Tank requires location that’s out of sight and easy to access for refill

Budget
Like our fireplaces, our outdoor fire pits are priced for every budget, from affordable freestanding models to luxury, custom built-ins.

Whatever type of outdoor fire pit you install, you’re sure to enjoy it all year by yourself, with your family and with your friends … Don’t be surprised when your outdoor fire pit becomes the favorite area in your home to relax. The kitchen finally has a rival.

Talk to our designers to learn what’s #trending in outdoor fire pits.