Picture the sun setting, you’re in your backyard enjoying time with your family. You’re cozied up on comfy patio furniture in stretchy pants surrounding an open fire. We’re not really sure what a better way to end the day would be than this picturesque setting. This very well could be a part of your daily routine — you just need to get the setup … but where do you start? There are so many options when it comes to enjoying the perks of having an open fire in your backyard. Do you want gas or wood? How big should it be? From Chimineas up to grand fireplaces and everything in between, it can be a challenge to know which one is the right fit for you and your family. Here, we tell you the benefits of the different styles in hopes that this info gets you that much closer to that picture perfect moment nestled fireside.
Gas Fire Pits
Gas-powered fire pits may be the way to go if you and your family operate at a faster pace in life. These pits offer a quick start-up and shut-off at the flip of a switch, which is pretty nice when you are always racing against the clock. This allows you to take time out of your day to enjoy this moment while not having to plan and make it a huge ordeal. The clean operating conditions mean that there is no clean-up afterward. Essentially, you get this relaxing ambiance with very minimal effort — it just happens organically. Another perk is that there is no discomfort from blowing smoke. You don’t need to play musical chairs to avoid wind direction. You also don’t have to worry about smoke odor on your clothes. Some things to consider: these pits offer smaller fires and can be cost-prohibitive in the installation when compared to alternative methods.
Wood-Burning Fire Pits
Bigger is better when it comes to wood-burning. These bad boys produce bigger fires compared to alternative gas methods. Wood-burning fire pits not only offer ambiance but a full experience, from building the fire, maintaining that fire and clean up. What person doesn’t want the successful accomplishment of starting a fire under their belt? After all, this is not as simple as flipping a switch — some would say it’s an art form. These pits are also super affordable to install and are considered budget friendly. Sure your clothes might smell like a bonfire afterward, but isn’t that part of the experience? Make sure to check your local ordinances as some may prohibit open burning.
Outdoor Fire Pit Kit
If you really want to make this an experience, consider building your own fire pit! You can purchase a kit from Lowes or check out the DIY Network for step-by-step instructions on how to build your own with sourced materials. There are a ton of great resources online, from all of the different designs/types available all the way to the different materials you’ll need to build one. At the end of this project, you get bragging rights forever. If you’re the type that likes to get your hands dirty, and you avoid all shortcuts at any cost, then this is the route for you. Plus, we’re sure you’ll enjoy each fire, even more, knowing that you built that pit with your own two hands.
If you’ve never heard this term before, think pot belly stove. Given their size, these are great for smaller entertaining areas. You could say the experience is very contained since the size of the chiminea dictates the size of the fire. The smoke goes out of the top of the chimney so you don’t have to worry about getting too close to the fire or pesky smoke getting in your eyes. Because of its shape, you also get the benefit of the heat retaining longer. Another bonus of using a chiminea is that there is minimal clean up the next day, if at all.
Outdoor Gas Fireplaces
If you love the ambiance of an outdoor fireplace but you can’t stand the unpredictability of smoke blowing in the wind, then you might want to consider a gas powered fireplace. This alternative is a lot cleaner than wood burning. Just imagine all the beauty and warmth of a fire without the hassle of starting or cleaning up after one. With the flick of a switch, you’ll be telling ghost stories and roasting marshmallows in no time.
Outdoor Wood-Burning Fireplaces
If you’re into the authentic traditional sense of an outdoor fire, then wood-burning may be just for you. You get the crackling sounds of timber and that unmistakable smell of a good time. The cost of getting a wood-burning vs. a gas fireplace is significantly more cost effective as well. You don’t have to worry about running a gas line to your fireplace which means you get more options on where you want to put it. Also, generally speaking, the cost of wood is significantly cheaper than the alternative.
At the end of the day, the best fireplace is going to be the one that meets all of your needs as a family. Do you need something big and grandiose? Then you might want to go with a fireplace. If you have a smaller area to work with, you should probably consider a chiminea. Whether you value the smell of a bonfire or the convenience of gas-powered, there is something for everyone.