A fire pit can enhance your backyard, making it a space for your family to gather, relax, and warm yourselves on a cool evening. Fire pits also add ambiance, bringing extra intrigue to a backyard or patio, allowing you to create your own cozy haven.
But, making the perfect fire pit doesn’t simply involve plunking down some burning flames. Use the following tips to successfully create your perfect fire pit area.
1. Choose the Right Location
As the saying goes, “Location is everyone.” This also applies to backyard fire pits. Where you choose to create your fire pit area is one of the most important decisions you will make.
While it is possible to place your fire pit in the very center of your patio, you might consider placing it off to one side. This allows you to create separate ‘zones’ for different activities — like an outdoor dining area. In cases such as this, you will want to make sure your fire pit area is balanced visually with another focal point — such as a water feature or patio umbrella.
2. Make Sure the Location is Safe
Placing your fire pit too close to a structure or tree branches can be unsafe, as sparks can fly unexpectantly or wind can shift. You want to make sure that your fire pit is at least 10 feet from any structure and that it is not beneath any elements, like trees or a trellis that could catch fire.
3. Consider How Much Seating You Need
How big of a party do you intend to gather around your fire pit? While you might not want your entire seating arrangement set out at all times, the fire pit area needs to be able to accommodate seating for everyone — and allow enough room for folks to be able to get up and move around.
By thinking about how many people you plan to accommodate and what the seating situation will look like in advance, you can make sure to select a big enough space.
4. Invest in Furniture that is Beautiful and Functional
Outdoor patio furniture isn’t typically the primary focus for most individuals. Beds. Sofas. Dining room tables. Pretty much anything inside the house comes first. The downside to this approach is that your patio furniture might not be as comfortable as you would like — meaning you’re less likely to take advantage of your outdoor space.
By making sure to invest in patio furniture that is beautiful and function, you can extend the footprint of your home and make your outdoor space a place you love to be.
One great way to maximize the functionality of your furniture is to buy pieces that can do double duty. For instance, if you buy great patio dining chairs, no one will think twice about pulling one up to the fire when there is a group. Additionally, you might consider getting a storage bench that doubles as seating.
5. Consider Additional Light Sources
Don’t simply rely on your fire pit to offer all the ambient light at night. It is not a sufficient light source. You want to make sure your outdoor space is also equipped with other lights — such as overhead string lights and LED lanterns.
If you are using overhead string lights, be sure not to string them directly over the fire pit. Rather, consider stringing them through the branches of nearby trees.
Alternatively, you might consider adding more natural light, such as candles. This can further intensify the warm glow created by a flame and bring even more ambiance to your outdoor space.
6. Weigh the Pros and Cons of Gas vs. Wood
Gas and wood fire pits are equally beautiful in their own way. Wood offers a natural look and smell that can help connect you with nature. However, getting a wood fire pit going can take more time and lead to more cleanup. It also requires more ‘maintenance’ and ‘care’ throughout the evening.
Gas can be lit quickly and extinguished with next to no effort. Furthermore, there are a variety of gas fire pits that also double as tabletops — giving you and your guests a convenient place to set drinks.