Buying Guide: How to Choose a Fire Pit

  • By: Mike Hale
  • Date: July 17, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Homeowners are constantly looking for ways to improve their outdoor living space these days. For that reason, outdoor fire pits have become all the rage. They allow you to spend quality time with your friends and family or a romantic evening with your partner in your backyard or patio, even when it’s chilly out. 

Besides being so practical, fire pits create a cozy ambiance that sets the overall outdoor living space’s mood.

However, most homes don’t come with built-in fire pits, which is why you might have to install or make one yourself. If you are a DIY person, look at this easy and simple guide on building a DIY fire pit at home. But if you want to buy a custom one, you need to consider a few essential things.

If you are wondering, ‘how to choose a fire pit?’ the answer is not straightforward. Fire pits come in many different shapes, sizes, and materials, so you have many options. How do you narrow them down? You consider the factors below while keeping in mind your preferences, the size of your backyard or patio, and your needs.

how to choose a fire pit

Factors to Consider When Buying a Fire Pit

1. Style of the Fire Pit

Since fire pits come in various styles and designs, it is best to consider what your personal style is and how that can be emulated through your fire pit. The important thing is that your fire pit blends in with your outdoor area effortlessly. 

This means having a fire pit with colors and materials matching your house, backyard, patio, and overall landscape style. For example, if you have a modern theme in your house and outdoors, you can consider going for a contemporary-style fire pit.

2. Size of the Fire Pit

The size of fire pits ranges, depending on their type. Custom built-in fire pits are much larger compared to store-bought fire pits. You need to decide on the size based on your needs, how many people will typically use the pit, and the space in your backyard and patio. You don’t want a fire pit that is too large for your outdoor area because it will overcrowd the space, cause ventilation problems, and become a safety risk.

The height of the fire pit is also something you should consider. For example, if you want the pit to warm your feet, you will need one with a height of 18-20 inches.  

3. Portable vs. Permanent

Another factor to consider when it comes to how to choose a fire pit is whether it should be portable or permanent. If you are renting and don’t have a particular landscape design in your outdoor area, a portable fire pit is a good option for you. You can also make good use of it if you regularly camp outdoors. A permanent fire pit becomes a fixture in your outdoor area and is easier to use.

4. Material Used in the Fire Pit

Another thing to consider is which material you want for your fire pit. Do you want metal, concrete, or stone? There are advantages and disadvantages of each type. For example, a stone fire pit may crack and burn if it’s not made properly. On the other hand, a metal one is durable, but it gets hot too quickly, and a concrete one is prone to stains and soot. 

You can reduce the heat of the metal fire pit by changing its base. If you want to know more, take a look at this guide on what to put in the bottom of a metal fire pit.

5. Fuel Type

There are three types of fire pits; wood, propane, and natural gas. The wood fire pit offers the classic wood-burning crackle and fire but is fairly uncommon because it produces too much smoke. If you do end up buying a wooden fire pit, here are some possible ways to reduce smoke in a fire pit.

On the other hand, propane and natural gas fire pits are more environmentally friendly as they are smoke-free. They have other advantages; for instance, they are easier to clean and maintain, and you can switch them on and off easily. However, natural gas fire pits require proper installation and a gas pipeline. You might still be leaning towards these types of fire pits, so consider taking a look at the best contemporary gas fire pits.

6. Budget

The cost of a fire pit ranges from $100 to $2,000, depending on the design, materials used, and the fuel type. Custom-built ones will cost you up to $5,000. Before beginning your quest to find the most appropriate fire pit for yourself, we recommend deciding on the budget and how much you are willing to spend.

These were some of the essential factors to consider when choosing a fire pit for your outdoor area. However, your work is not done. Here are some things you should keep in mind after you’ve ordered your fire pit.

Factors to Consider After Buying a Fire Pit

· Safety

Fire safety is one of the most important factors to consider. Ensure that the one you have is situated in a safe location and that everyone in the house knows how to switch it off or put out a fire. Additionally, when you get a fire pit, ensure that no child is left unattended around it. 

Be mindful that fire pits should be placed ten feet away from your house or living spaces. Here are some fire pit safety tips you must consider when you’ve bought a fire pit.

· Placement and Location

If you don’t position your fire pit in the right spot, it can become a safety hazard. Thus, it would be best to consider where you would be placing the fire pit in your outdoor area. We recommend placing it in an open and well-ventilated area that is 10 feet away from trees, bushes, and your indoor living space. 

You must also check with your building manager and landlord to confirm your fire pit’s location.

· The Perfect Ambience

Your fire pit is meant to create the perfect ambiance. Hence, you must have the ideal seating space, which is comfortable, at a reasonable distance from the fire, and is aesthetically pleasing. Use sofas, lawn chairs, or wooden chairs.

Since fire pits are used at night, having good lighting is essential to creating a cozy ambiance. For that, consider hanging fairy lights around your backyard and outdoor area.

Final Words

Fire pits are a great addition to a backyard or patio and allow you to spend time with nature and enjoy the outdoors all year round. However, buying a fire pit is not easy. However, we hope with this guide’s help, you now know how to choose a fire pit that is the best for your home and serves all your needs.