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Need a Fire Pit for your Outdoor Deck? Consider Your Options First

molinonight1Fire pits are one of the most popular outdoor living amenities these days, and it’s not hard to see why. A quality outdoor fire pit creates a focal point of your outdoor space. Its provides light, warmth and comfort on cool evenings. Last but not least, it adds a great atmosphere to your outdoor area.

Homeowners interested in adding a built-in fire pit to their outdoor deck have a range of prices and styles to choose from. Here are some of the most popular and interesting options to consider as you make your decision.

Wood-burning or gas/propane?

One of the first decisions you’ll have to make is what kind of fuel to use, the two main options being wood or gas/propane. There are also fire pits that make use of alternative fuels (such as gel fuels) which don’t emit smoke or odors.

Wood-burning fire pits are often more cost-efficient than gas/propane because the latter require propane, which for many homeowners is cheaper and easier to acquire than a steady supply of firewood. Gas/propane fire pits also eliminate the need to “tend” the fire, keep it burning, and clean the ash and soot later on.

But let’s not forget the perks of wood-burning fire pits—namely the look and fragrance of a real campfire. While gas fire pits ignite instantly, the fire is not as hot as a wood fire and you don’t get the typical natural experience of crackling and smoke.

Portable or permanent?

You can either buy a portable fire pit or hire a contractor install a built-in, permanent one as a part of your outdoor deck. A built-in fire pit becomes more of a focal point in your space, whereas a portable pit can be moved to a convenient place for relaxing or entertaining.

Built-in pits should ideally match the materials of your backyard or house. An experienced outdoor deck builder will be able to design and build a fire pit to a high professional standard. You can also assemble your own fire pit with a pre-made kit from a big box store. Portable fire pits come in a variety of materials. Stainless steel or copper bowls are often lighter, while cast iron bowls are heavier but radiate heat better.

Materials

When it comes to choosing a material for your fire pit, there are a variety to choose from. The most common materials are stone, tile, stainless steel and copper. Many fire pits are also built with a mix of materials such as stone, concrete, and wood. Stone is heavier than other materials and is best for larger, square, built-in pits. Stone pits are attractive and durable and are usually a good investment. Stainless steel is also heavier (and often pricy), but is easy to clean and stands up well to rain and rust. Copper is a standard fire pit material, and copper pits are coated to protect them from the elements.

Design

There is also no shortage design elements to consider. Do you want your fire pit to be above-ground or in-ground? Do you want the surface to be flush with the ground? Would you like the pit to be an integrated part of your deck design, or stand alone in your outdoor space?

The perfect fire pit

With so many options and variables, it pays to think carefully about what kind of fire pit you want. In order to maximize your investment and achieve excellent results that last for years to come, many homeowners find that consulting a specialist is a good way to get the ball rolling.

Enjoy those cozy outdoor campfires, and thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below.