Fire Pit Buying Guide: What You Need to Know to Get the Perfect Pit for Your Yard
Get the Perfect Pit for Your Yard Today!
Table of Contents
c. Cast Iron
e. What’s Right for You?
Chapter 3: Fuel for the Fire Pit
d. What’s the Best Choice for You?
Chapter 4: Where to Put Your Fire Pit
Chapter 5: Fire Pit Safety and Maintenance Tips
Chapter 1: Types of Fire Pits
Having a fire pit in the backyard can provide you with many incredible benefits. It can allow you to spend more time outside with friends and family gathered around, telling stories, and enjoying one another’s company. In addition to being an excellent spot for entertaining, you will find that fire pits can help you to extend the “outdoor season” at your home to later in the fall and earlier in the springtime. In some areas, it could mean stretching your outdoor season to all year long.
Fire pits also have the potential to help beautify your yard while making it more functional. Some pits could even add to your property value.
Of course, you need to make sure that you know and understand what type of fire pit might be right for your yard and needs, and you need to be sure you know how to maintain it properly. Throughout this guide, we will be looking at everything you need to know to find the perfect pit for your yard.
We will start by looking at the various types of fire pits that are available. This will help to give you a better sense of your options, so you can figure out which kind of fire pit might be the best option for you. Later in the guide, we will be looking at the various materials and fuel options for various tables you will be able to consider.
Fire tables are also often called fire pit tables. This is a very apt description, as the tables have a fire pit design built into them. The tables are available in a range of different sizes, shapes, and materials, so finding one that can fit well with your space and your aesthetic sensibilities should be easy.
Because these have a large, flat surface in addition to the pit in the middle of the table, you will have space for snacks and drinks. Of course, you will want to remind people that they should not put those items too close to the fire.
Different types of fire tables use various fuels, as well. You can find wood, electric, and gel and bio ethanol options that could be a good solution for the space you have and the type of fuel you want to burn same as an in wall fireplace. We will be going over more about the various fuels later in the guide.
Fire bowls are similar to fire tables, but they have a unique shape. Again, the name is very telling. These fire pits look like oversized bowls. They could be made from stone, copper, steel, and other materials, and they are available in different sizes and styles. Different bowls can use various fuel types.
These are often portable, but that is not always the case. Some people choose to buy a relatively simple fire bowl and then submerge it up to its rim. Typically, it will be submerged into sand or perhaps gravel. You will still have access to the bowl. These submerged fire bowls are typically used with wood-burning pits.
Another option is to build or buy a fire ring. These tend to be very simple, but there are many interesting designs and styles available. These rings are typically made from metal or stone, which can then be placed onto the ground. Some of them will have bottoms, and others will not.
Fire rings are a portable option that comes in a range of sizes, and they tend to be a good choice for those who are looking for something that feels more like a traditional campfire.
Although these rings are usually circular in design, it does not always have to be that shape. You can find those that are square, as well, as an example. As with other fire pits, you can find accessories that can go along with the ring, such as a grate, which can make cooking possible.
Another one of the options when choosing a fire pit is the chiminea. These are unique, and they tend to have a very endearing, squat appearance. They are essentially portable outdoor fireplaces. They are a popular option that originated in Mexico. Originally made from clay, today chimineas are produced in a range of materials. Metal is quite popular.
The base of the chiminea, where the fuel is added, has a bulbous appearance that is not unlike a potbelly stove. It also has a chimney that rises above the bulb. This helps to force the smoke from the fire to go upward.
At first blush, you might imagine that this is the same thing as a fire table, but there is a big difference. Whereas the fire table is the fire pit, the tabletop fire is a small pit that will sit upon a table. These tabletop fires could be just about any shape or design that you can imagine. There have been circles, bowls, squares, tiered pits, cylinders, star shapes, and more. You can also find some decorative designs that serve as a piece of art just as much as they do a fire pit.
There are various sizes, as well, so you should be able to find something that will work well for the table you have for the tabletop fire. You will find that these types of pits are generally smaller than the other options; making them a better choice for a smaller area.
What Works Best for You?
By now, you should have a somewhat better idea of the basic options and styles available when it comes time to choose a modern fire pit. Now, you have to think about some of the main factors that will determine what you should be looking for with your fire pit.
Before you choose just any fire pit, you need to be sure that you are getting the right option for your home. Let’s look at some of the first factors you will want to think about when making your purchase.
One of the first things that you will want to consider when you are making your choice will be the style fire pit you want. Choosing the style will involve several steps, of course.
You first need to consider where you will be putting the fire pit and how much space you have available. This can dictate whether you can get a large fire table or you need a tabletop fire instead.
Consider the type of décor that you have for the outdoor space of your home, as well. If you have a rustic exterior, then you might want to have a fire pit that helps to evoke that rustic look. If you have a more modern property, you will likely want to choose a fire pit that has a modern look and feel to it.
Fortunately, you will find that there is certainly no shortage of design options when it comes to fire pits today. You will be able to find the size and style that is perfect for your needs, no matter the size of your yard. You need to start looking in the right places.
The Regulations in Your Area
When you are choosing a fire pit of any type, you will need to consider whether you can have a fire pit in your location. For example, if you are a part of an HOA, there might be certain regulations as to what type of fire pits you may be able to have in your yard. Perhaps they forbid wood-burning pits, for example.
Consider where you live, and make sure that there are no HOA rules or community/local rules that you need to abide by when choosing a fire pit. If you do happen to have any special rules you need to follow, they will dictate what you can use.
When you are choosing a fire pit, one of the other most important factors that will determine what type of pit you choose will be the cost. The style, material, size, and fuel type can all affect the overall price of the pit. When you are starting to make your choice, consider your total budget for the fire pit and be sure you include the cost of shipping with that number.
If you find something that you genuinely love, but you can’t afford it right now, wait a bit. Save up some more money and then get the pit that you truly want rather than just a random pit because it is cheap.
Another part of the cost that you will need to think about is the fuel. Make sure that you will have enough in your budget to provide the right type of fuel for your fire pit. Fortunately, you will find that fuels tend to be affordable, and you can find a range of pricing options available among the various fire pits on the market today.
Quality is Essential
When you buy a fire pit, you want it to last for a long time. Ideally, you will have a fire pit that will continue to work well and look great for many years. Do not be swayed by promises of ultra-cheap fire pits no matter what type and style you prefer. Compare and contrast pits that fall into that category and make sure that the overall quality and durability of the pit is taken into account before you buy.
What Else Must You Consider?
In addition to the items mentioned above, you will also need to think about the materials used for the fire pit, the type of fuel it uses, the location and portability of the pit, safety, and proper care. We will be covering these issues throughout the guide and combined with the information above it will make it easier for you to find the right fire pit for your home.
Regardless of the type of fire pit you ultimately choose, it can help to change your backyard for the better. Think about spending some time out there and roasting marshmallows with your family or having some drinks with your friends. It will be an ideal place for you to hang out after the sun has set and the stars start to come out.
Chapter 2: Fire Pit Materials
Now that you have a better idea of the general types of fire pits that are available, we can start to take a closer look at the various materials that account for the vast majority of fire pits on the market. We will also learn some of the pros and potential cons of each of the types of materials.
Copper fire pits are very popular for a range of reasons. You will find that this material can provide quite a few benefits, and there is only one real drawback.
One of the biggest reasons that so many people like copper is because they know they are going to be paying for something durable. Copper is highly resistant to corrosion, so you will not have to worry about rusting, which can happen with other metals, including other metals on our list below.
People also tend to like the appearance of the copper. It has a unique look to it, and it can provide an elegant and luxurious appearance to your outdoor space. Even as the copper ages, it tends to get more character. If you do not like the patina that the copper gets after a while, it is always possible to polish the surface to return that beautiful shine. The patina does have a lot of charm, though, and you might want to allow the copper to age gracefully.
You can also find a wealth of different styles and shapes, as well as different sizes, so choosing one that will work for your stylistic needs and your space requirements should not be a problem.
However, there is one potential drawback to copper fire pits that could dissuade some people from buying them. These pits tend to be more expensive. Still, given the advantages they can offer, many people do not mind spending a bit more for a quality fire pit that has the potential to last for a long time.
Another popular option is steel. Namely, you will want to consider stainless steel rather than just steel, so it will not corrode. One of the main advantages of this type of fire pit is the cost, which is the opposite of the copper. The steel fire pits tend to be a very affordable option, and they could work well for those who are on a budget and who want to have a fire pit now rather than waiting.
Steel also tends to be easy to work with, which means you will be able to find a wealth of different types of designs and styles available. Steel can be moved easily, as well, since it is relatively lightweight, especially when compared with cast iron or stone. This means you can rearrange your backyard without too much trouble. It will generally only take one or two people to move the fire pit.
Overall, it is also a durable option, but you do need to consider a few things about stainless steel. Even though it is highly resistant to corrosion and rusting, it does not mean that it is immune to corrosion. Still, it will last without rusting far longer than plain steel will last.
Dealing with Rust on Stainless Steel
If you find that you have a stainless steel fire pit that is showing signs of rust, there are ways that you can remove the rust relatively easily. With some baking soda, water, a soft cloth, soft bristle brush, and some paper towels, you can remove that rust that is starting to plague the pit. For the best results, you will want to make sure that you remove the rust spots as soon as you see them. When you wait too long, the problem will only get worse.
Cast iron fire pits are another option. Many like the beautiful, rustic look of cast iron, and there are many beautiful and intricately designed fire pits available today. They do tend to be on the larger side, but there are still many different options from which you could choose.
Of course, if you are going to be choosing one of these types of fire pits, you will want to make sure you put it in a place where you will want to keep it for a while. These tend to be quite heavy, which means they will not be easy to move. However, this can be a benefit to safety, as they are not prone to tipping over. They are durable, as well, and they have the potential to last for a lifetime with minimal care.
In addition to metal, you will find that stone is a popular choice. With the various types of stone available, it is possible to find many different types and styles of fire pit available. In addition to the natural, beautiful style that you can find with stone, there are plenty of other benefits, as well.
You will not have to worry about stone rusting, which is certainly nice. However, depending on where you live, you will still need to pay attention to the outdoor elements that could cause problems. Namely, if you live in an area where there are freeze and thaw cycles, there is a chance that the stone will end up cracking. If that’s the case, you might want to move the pit into storage during the cold winter months.
These also happen to be very heavy, so you will likely want to make sure you have the perfect location before you set up. You do not want to have to move it around the yard too many times. As with cast iron, though, it means that you will not have to worry about these types of fire pits tipping over very often.
What’s Right for You?
When it comes to the material for the fire pit, any of these might make a great choice. The one that you ultimately choose will likely come down to your budget, the aesthetics of your home’s current outdoor space, and your preferences. Remember, choose the best fire pit that you can afford to ensure you get one that will last for a long time and help you to create some great memories out in your yard.
Chapter 3: Fuel for the Fire Pit
One of the other essential things that you have to think about when it comes to your fire pit is the type of fuel that it will take. There are a few common types of fuel used by the most popular fire pits available today – wood, ethanol, and electricity. These different fuels mean different “styles” of fire pit in many cases. Let’s take a close look at the fuel types, so you can get a better idea of what you might want to choose.
First, there are electric fire pits available, which do not always get the attention that they deserve. These have some excellent benefits, the biggest of which is the ease of use. Just like other electronic devices, you plug in an electric fire pit. You will not have to worry about going out and getting any additional fuel, as you will just be using the electricity from your home.
The fire pits that use electricity do not have any actual flames. The heat comes from heating elements similar to a space heater. They have the look of a traditional fire pit. Because there are no flames, it means that they tend to be safer in terms of fire risk.
One thing that you will want to keep in mind, though is that not all of the electric fire pits are rated for outdoor use. Many of them are for indoor use only, but some can be used outside. Always double-check to make sure that they can be used outdoors safely.
There are many different styles of pit available, so you can still find something that is quite stylish. When it comes to the cost of “fuel,” it will depend on the price of electricity in your area.
Today, you will find that quite a few fire pits on the market make sure of ethanol. While there are other gases used, ethanol has a substantial number of benefits that can help to make it a reliable choice if you are on the fence about what type of pit you might want to get.
For starters, this is a clean-burning gas, which means that it is not going to put out any harmful or potentially annoying smoke into the air. Naturally, this helps to make it an environmentally friendly option. It is possible to run the system continually if needed, and you will also discover that there tend to be fewer fire hazards with these types of systems.
If you have ever struggled to get a fire going, you will also love how easy it is to get the ethanol fire pits started and giving off heat. It is just as easy as the electric fire pits.
Of course, there are some cons to using ethanol, as well. The biggest of those cons is the price, as these types of fire pits tend to be more expensive. They also have a longer installation time, and you will need to make sure that you always have the gas in the storage tank, which will also have to be installed. In the case of smaller fire pits and tabletop fires, you can add the ethanol to the fireplace.
Despite the expense, these can provide homeowners with a beautiful and luxurious fire pit that they are going to love now and well into the future.
Of course, we can’t forget about the original fuel for fire pits. This fuel will work with many different types of pits, but they are not common with tabletop fire pits due to the smaller size.
Wood is easy to use, and depending on where you live; it is also readily available. Many people love the smell of a woodfire, and they enjoy the crackling sound as it burns. For quite a few people, there is simply no substitute for wood.
With wood fire pits, you will typically find fast installation. In fact, with many of the fire pits, all you need to do is choose your spot and put the pit down. It tends to be an affordable option, as well. If you have access to wood on your property, or you can have someone deliver wood for you, the fuel can be quite cheap.
There are only a few potential drawbacks to this type of fuel. It is not clean burning, there is a greater fire risk, and it tends to be harder to light. Also, regulating the heat and the size of the flames is difficult when you are burning wood. You will need to put in a little more work to keep it burning, too, but many people like this aspect of using wood.
Keep in mind that you will need to have a storage area for the wood, as well, and you will want to keep that wood out of the rain. You will also find that having a wood-burning fire pit will require a bit more in terms of cleaning.
What’s the Best Choice for You?
Now that you have a better idea of what types of fuels are available for the different fire pits out there, it is time that you considered which of these will be the best option for your needs. Most of the time, it will come down to your budget and the availability of the fuel type in your area. Ethanol tends to be easy to get, and electricity should be available for you.
The only problem might be having a steady source of wood available if you happen to live in a city. Getting the wood will be possible in most cases, but it will sometimes be costlier than if you lived in a rural location.
Which of these options do you like best?
Chapter 4: Where to Put Your Fire Pit
When you are getting a fire pit, you will need to pay careful attention to where you locate that pit. You will need to have ample and open space, and you need to make sure that there is no chance the flames or sparks from the fire could reach anything flammable, such as the structure of your home, plants, and the like. Also, you will need to make sure that the spot where the fire pit will be going is level. If it is not already level, put in the time and effort to level the ground properly.
Ideally, you will want to make sure that you have the fire pit in an area that is near other social areas that you might have in the backyard. For example, if you have a pool or a spa, you might want to have a fire pit located near that area. This way, everyone will be able to enjoy one another’s company.
It is also a good idea to check to see if there are any regulations on where you can place your fire pit or on the types of fuels that you will be burning. Those who are installing a permanent structure may need to get permission from the city and have their plan approved by the fire marshal.
Keep in mind that people will likely be walking around the fire pit when it is in use. This means you need to have plenty of space where people can walk and not get too close to the fire, where it could become dangerous. You should also have comfortable seating located nearby.
In the following chapter, we will be talking more about safety and maintenance for your fire pit. The location can play quite a role in safety. Now, let’s look at the differences between portable and permanent fire pits to determine which one might be right for you.
Portable Fire Pits
These fire pits are naturally going to be smaller and lighter, and one of their main benefits is the fact that you can move them around your yard to different locations if needed. If you are going to be reworking or remodeling the backyard, this can be quite helpful. It is also a good option for those who are renting their home and who do not own the space. After all, you probably would not get permission to add a fire pit to someone else’s property.
Some of the portable fire pits can even come along with you when you are tailgating or camping, for example. If you were to move to a new home, you can take the portable pit with you, which you couldn’t do if you have a permanent fire pit at home.
Permanent Fire Pits
Another option is having a permanent fire pit installed. This can be a good option for those who are looking to create a large outdoor space, and who are sure they are going to be in the property for many years. Having a permanent fire pit does have the ability to help add some value to your home.
When it comes to these types of fire pits, DIY could be possible, but many people choose to hire the professionals to help give them the backyard and the fire pit of their dreams.
One of the things you need to remember with these outdoor spaces is that you can’t take them with you. They become a part of the property. It also means that changing up the look and the layout of your backyard entertainment space is not quite as easy.
Consider the pros and cons of each and then determine which one is right for you.
Chapter 5: Fire Pit Safety and Maintenance Tips
Having a fire pit can be a lot of fun, certainly. It can provide you with the perfect place to relax outside on your own or with those who are important to you. However, you are using fire, and that has the potential to be dangerous if you are not careful. You need to make sure you follow some basic safety rules, and that you are properly maintaining your fire pit. The following are some tips that will help you.
Keep the Space Clear
This is especially important when you are using a wood fire pit. Make sure that there is nothing flammable or too close to where sparks from the first could cause ignition. For example, you do not want to put your entire stockpile of firewood right next to the fire pit. Think about anything in the area that could be combustible, and make sure you move it. Try to keep anything that is flammable about five to seven feet away.
Make Sure People Respect the Fire Pit
Fire burns and fire can be dangerous. Whether it is your kids, your pets, or a friend who has had too much to drink, you have to make sure that the potential danger of the fire pit is respected. Make sure people keep an appropriate distance and that they are not doing anything that could potentially harm themselves, others, or the fire pit.
Watch the Fire
You are supposed to enjoy the fire, and that means you do not want to walk away and leave it burning. Whether it is a wood-burning fire or an ethanol fire, keep an eye on things, so nothing gets out of hand. With wood-burning pits, there are often sparks and embers, which could cause a fire if not careful. The risk is small, but it is there. Being present will allow you to take care of any issues that arise, such as an errant spark, before the problem spreads.
Never leave kids or pets unattended around a fire pit.
Provide Proper Cleaning
Keep in mind that different types of fire pit (different materials, different fuels) will require different maintenance. For example, you will not need to clean a patina off of your stainless steel like you would with copper. Of course, you won’t need to clean rust off the copper pit, as you would with cast iron or stainless steel.
Regardless of the cleaning that you will need to do, it is essential that you keep the fire pit clean for functionality, safety, and aesthetics. Those who have ethanol fire pits will find that simple cleaning of the burners, and wiping down the frame, is often enough to keep it in good shape. This will help to remove any debris that might otherwise clog the burners, which could cause problems.
When it comes to wood-burning fire pits, you will need to make sure that you are removing old ashes and coal between burnings. You might want to get a cover for your pit, which can help to keep out additional debris that you would otherwise have to clean.
Use Common Sense
Using some simple common sense will go a long way when it comes to safety around the fire pit. For example, do not light the fire pit when it is windy outside. Do not use lighter fluid to light a fire pit with wood. Learn how to start a fire with kindling and basic fires starter if you are using wood. With ethanol and electric options, all you need to do is push a button so that you won’t have a problem. Do not try to use a “short cut” with wood fire pits.
When using a wood-burning pit, remember that you don’t have to keep adding wood all the time. Only use as much as is needed to keep it burning. Do not burn softwoods if you can help it, as these tend to pop and throw off sparks that could be dangerous and start a fire.
Keep in mind that accidents can always happen. Always be ready and prepared for a fire just in case.
Enjoy the Fire Pit
There is a bit of work required when it comes to choosing the right fire pit, as well as maintaining that pit. However, it is well worth it. Having a crackling fire is a fantastic way to unwind, and you will not regret getting a pit for your home regardless of what type you ultimately choose.
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