With fall on the horizon, you’ll likely want to extend your outdoor entertaining area’s usefulness by a few months. One of the easiest ways to do this is with a fire pit, ideal for gathering around on chilly nights, telling stories and enjoying your favorite drinks late into the night. While the concept of a fire pit is quite simple, there’s actually a lot to think about when building one! Here are some tips to get you started.
Prefabricated or Custom?
If you want a quick and easy fire pit, your best option is to get one the freestanding steel units available at most major hardware stores. These units often come pre-assembled and hold up well if they’re covered while not in use. However, they are often small and some are shoddily made.
A more time-consuming but much more reliable method is to build one! A simple stone fire pit can be built in an afternoon for under $100, but if your budget is bigger you shouldn’t stop there. If you hire a contractor you have way more options; why not poured concrete, or an unusual shape, or a custom-fabricated metal unit?
Gas or Wood-burning?
Your next step is to figure out the source of the flame. Everyone loves the crackling and the smell of a wood-burning fire pit, and without any infrastructure they’re cheap to set up and easy to maintain. Add a grate and you can even turn them into impromptu grills! That being said, you also have to constantly add wood, cutting into your chill time. The smoke can also be very unpleasant.
A gas fire pit brings many advantages, namely that it runs as long as you like without interference and doesn’t produce smoke. However, installing gas lines in your backyard or patio is not easy or cheap, and it will make relocating the fire pit much harder in the future.
Before starting your project, there are some safety considerations:
- Make sure the base of the fire pit is stone or gravel. Even a bit of grass or a stray root on uncovered ground could get you in some fiery trouble.
- Keep the area around the fire pit clear of trees, grass, and other flammable material.
- Wear gloves when building the fire pit, especially when working with cement.
Looking for a beautiful custom home in the Triangle? Tingen Construction brings years of technical experience and local knowledge to bring your vision to life! Contact us today to learn about our current listings or to build a home of your own.