There’s something special about hanging out around a campfire late into the night with family or friends. There’s the warmth and comforting ambiance of a fire pit, and of course, the fun of roasting marshmallows. Almost everyone has a story or memory about hanging out around a fire with friends.
But there’s something else too. The long shadows, low light, and the flames to stare into seem to provide a unique environment that fosters conversations and connections that wouldn’t happen anywhere else. Sitting around a fire helps us step out of our busy thoughts, savor every moment, and fully experience the present moment. There’s something almost meditative about staring into the flames for awhile.
It’s no wonder fire pits are such a popular addition to backyards. You might be envisioning the classic metal ring sunken in the ground at a campsite or a massive bonfire in the middle of a field. But there are so many different ways to add a fire pit to your backyard. You can have the ambiance and comfort of a fire, without the messiness of camping or bonfires. They can truly be a beautiful element of your yard, styled perfectly to complement your landscaping.
One of the main things you need to know when adding a firepit is the municipal safety regulations in your area for backyard fire pits. Here are a few of the other things you’ll want to think about when you’re considering adding a fire pit to your backyard.
Would I Prefer a Sunken Pit or a Raised Fire Ring?
Sunken fire pits and raised fire pits are both quite common, and there is a wide variety of ways to do them. You can sink the fire pit itself into the ground, so the flames are relatively low, even on a large fire. Having a fire this low makes it easier to see the people sitting across the fire from you. Another option is to sink the fire and the sitting area, so you step down into the fire area, perhaps with communal benches around the outside. This has the effect of creating a cozy room feel in the fire area. In-ground fire pits can be slightly less risky because the fire is mostly contained below ground level, so there is a somewhat lower risk of it setting anything else on fire in your yard. A fully in-ground fire pit also has a bit higher chance of someone tripping or falling into it. A sunken fire pit may be the most affordable option as well.
There are many different styles of raised fire pits too. Some of the benefits of raised fireplaces are that heat usually radiates out to the sides a little more, helping everyone around stay warm. Some municipal regions only allow above-ground or non-permanent fire pits. Because a raised fire pit brings the fire level up higher, in theory, it should mean smoke in the face is less of a problem because the flames are higher. But we all know campfire smoke basically goes where it wants and seems to follow people wherever they move.
One of the important questions to ask when considering whether you want a sunken or raised fire pit is if, and how, you want to cook over your firepit. A sunken fire pit is fine for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, but it’s more challenging and risky if you have pets to grill a steak at ground level.
Do I Want a Gas or a Wood-burning Fire Pit?
Some people will say there’s nothing better than the smell of a campfire. It can be a very comforting smell, evoking happy memories. But, a wood-burning fire pit can also be a lot of work. There’s all the wood you have to haul, stack, and maybe even chop. There’s also the extra effort to build and start a fire, and later on, cleaning out the leftover ash. Many people prefer the convenience and control of a gas fire pit, and gas fire pits can also be styled in tons of different ways, from sleek and shiny ultra-modern glass and steel to a more traditional campfire style.
What Material Should My Firepit be Made Of?
There’s the classic ring of the stones fire pit, but there are also so many more creative materials that can be used for fire pit design. From concrete to stone, to metal, to polished granite, to brick, there are tons of different options for your backyard fire pit.
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Whatever style your landscaping is, or whatever style you want it to be, our landscape design experts can design a firepit that suits your style and the needs of your family and that meets local backyard fire safety regulations.