Burnin’ For You
What is the opposite of water? Fire! What compliments a professionally built pool and beautifully landscaped yard nicely? A fire pit! That’s right, we dig and install fire pits too. Today, we’re going to look at some fire pit designs to get your imagination going, so let’s turn up the heat.
Why People Get Fire Pits
Modern technology has allowed fire pits to become more diverse than ever. They don’t even have to be pits anymore. But why do people buy fire pits? What do they add to your home?
- Fire pits are a beautiful aesthetic feature that lends light and ambiance. A fire pit can have any look you want – rustic, high-tech, luxurious, sculptural, etc.
- Fire pits create a gathering spot that is not only attractive, but functional. Fire pits keep your guests warm and comfortable. We love a backyard party, and if your fire pit is designed to be used for cooking, a grill master is sure to love it too.
- Fire pits are an effective bug deterrent. Even if there is little smoke, a fire pit is excellent for keeping mosquitoes, gnats, and other pests away while you enjoy the outdoors.
Types of Fuels for Fire Pits
To talk about the types of fire pits available, we should talk about the types of fuel and the types of setup. The types of fuel include:
- Wood: Firewood can be purchased at your local hardware store, or, if you have the right experience, tools, and safety measures, you can cut your own. Firewood should be stored in a dry place, away from heat or fire hazards like wiring or electric sockets.
- Charcoal: If a wood pile isn’t for you, consider charcoal. It too is widely available in different shapes and scents and also has other uses, like grilling.
- Natural gas: The gas line for a natural gas-burning fire pit can come from the house or a portable tank. Natural gas means little to no smoke and a greater degree of safety, as the burner can simply be switched on and off.
- Gel fuel: This is made from isopropyl alcohol and is sold in cans that burn for two or three hours apiece. Some can even make crackling sounds to imitate the sounds of wood burning. These cans can be used individually or in multiples and are simple to use.
- Bioethanol fuel: Also known as biofuel, this is an eco-friendly fuel source made from plant byproducts. These materials come from crops like sugarcane, rice, sorghum, and corn. After the crops are harvested, the remnants are fermented to make a clean-burning fuel.
Types of Fire Pit Designs
When we design your fire pit, one of the things we consider is what materials to use. Metals like stainless steel, copper, and cast iron are good choices. These materials are strong, long-lasting, and don’t carry the same safety concerns as some materials commonly found in DIY projects like cinder blocks, which can explode.
What are some of the options we look at when designing a fire pit that will beautify your home and improve your social and recreational life?
- Above-ground: An above-ground fire pit can be a brazier, urn, tabletop, bowl, a gravel pit with a stone circle, etc. Most of the time these are portable, removing the need for digging. An above-ground fire pit presents dozens of uses and looks to choose from.
- Dug-in: These are set into the ground and can be brick, concrete, or stone, cut in regular or irregular shapes. These help contain sparks from fuels like wood, but don’t allow heat to radiate out from the sides as much.
- Outdoor fireplaces, chimineas, or fire columns: An outdoor fireplace can be built right into a patio with included flue. A chiminea is usually made from terra cotta and is shaped rather like a light bulb. They are front-loading and stand upright on legs. A fire column is a pillar with the flame set on top. They are usually propane-fueled and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They have an elegant, modern look and are good for those who want to save space or place multiple fire columns around their outdoor space.
Take a look at some of these fire pit designs from our partner, The Outdoor Plus, for inspiration.
Fire Pit Safety
The safety of your family and guests is our top priority when designing and building fire pits. Always practice fire safety and do not leave your fire pit unattended, especially if children or animals are present. Our safety considerations include:
- Using the right building materials: Any material that is porous, like concrete blocks or pea gravel, should not be used for a fire pit. These can trap steam and explode, sending hot rock flying.
- Choosing the right spot: Fire pits, fireplaces, chimineas, fire columns, and braziers should never be positioned under or near roofs, walls, or trees. Note the building codes for your area to find out the minimum distance required between your fire feature and nearby structures.
- Choosing the materials for the outer parts of your fire pit, like walls or bowl edges: We don’t want anything that will heat up too much on the outside while still providing warmth.
- Including the right accessories for your fire pit: If you intend to cook over your fire pit, there should be items like cooking grates, tongs, and skewers that will protect your hands and your food. For wood-burning pits, a metal screen will keep ashes and bits of coals from jumping or being blown out by wind. A cover with the right weight and shape will keep your fire pit dry and contained when not lit.
Let’s Light It Up
A fire pit can transform the entire area around it and unlock endless possibilities for fun, hospitality, and decor. We love designing and building fire pits, from painted chimineas on a Southwestern-styled patio, to dug-in pits with irregular stones that meld with the surrounding earth, to sleek metal pillars with delicate, candle-sized flames. Each is different and shows the personality of those who will enjoy it. Contact us today to explore your options for an elegant, functional, and safe fire feature for your home.