Spring has finally sprung, which means it’s a great time to start prepping your outdoor space for the season ahead. And nothing adds cosiness and light to a backyard setting quite like your very own fire pit!
Since time immemorial, communities have gathered around a fire to discuss important issues or celebrate. It’s an almost forgotten ritual, but one which is undergoing a modern revival. And why not? Fire pits are a smart addition to your outdoor space for several reasons. Not only are they the perfect gathering spot for entertaining your friends and family, but they can also be used to cook and grill everything from marshmallows to roasts to the humble Aussie snag. Some styles even function as pizza ovens for some extra culinary chutzpah.
Even better, contemporary fire pits come in a wide range of styles, meaning there’s guaranteed to be one to suit every budget and lifestyle.
Here are our top tips for making sure you choose the right fire pit for you.
Wood Burning or Gas?
The first thing to consider is what type of fuel you want to use. Traditionally, there was only one option for a fire pit – wood! And there’s no doubting it does replicate most closely that ‘campfire’ feel which many people are looking for when they’re in the market for a fire pit. A wood fire pits is also a great choice if you want to try your hand at a bit of fire pit cookery, with different types of wood producing very different -and delicious, flavours.
On the other hand, wood burning fire pits can be a little messy. Just like a campfire, they give out plenty of smoke, and in many parts of Australia, they’re banned across the warmer months. So, you may be limited in how often you can make use of yours.
The other alternative, gas fire pits, certainly burn cleaner than their wood burning cousins, but they can be more expensive to run. On the plus side, they’re far more versatile in terms of where you can put them. For example, a gas fire pit can be placed much closer to your house than a wood fire pit and they can be installed in a raised container, alongside a pool, or even in the middle of a water feature.
Free Standing or Built In?
Traditionally, a residential fire pit tended to be little more than some large bricks or stones surrounding a hole in the ground. Luckily, these days there are far more choices available. Most commercially available models are free-standing and offer both versatility and easy installation, and you can purchase a free-standing fire pit – in either wood or gas burning varieties – for as little as a few hundred dollars. By way of an alternative, a built-in fire pit offers permanence and stability and can be a great choice for the fire pit cookery enthusiast. Plus, it can also be used as a central part of a landscaping theme. For example, stationery fire tables, with a propane or methanol burner in the centre of the table, are a very popular option as they offer a great deal of functionality and are great for entertaining.
Generally, fire pits don’t require professional installation, but if you opt for a model that uses natural gas or requires an electrical connection, make sure you hire a gas fitter and/or electrician to hook it up.
Hand in hand with a decision about whether to go with a freestanding or built in option, you will also need to work out what size is going to best suit your needs. So, determining where your fire pit is going to go and how you plan to use it is probably a good place to start. Smaller designs like fire bowls are ideal for compact backyards and are often portable for placement versatility. But if you want to make a bolder statement, then a larger stationary fire pit table may be just the ticket. The best thing to do is consider just how you intend to use your fire pit, how much space you really have and also how much time and money you want to spend on purchasing one.
Last but not least, it’s important to think about what look you’re after can because this can dramatically change the look and feel of your entire outdoor space. Fire pits, literally, come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and can be crafted from a number of different materials. You could opt to keep things sleek with a matte black design, or add some shimmer and shine with silver, copper, or bronze styles instead. Decorative details like ceramic tiles, mosaic surfaces, and themed cut-outs can also lend extra charm. But once you’ve landed on the right look for your landscape, you’ll be amazed by just how much of a difference a fire pit can make to not only the visual appeal of the space overall.
Whichever option you ultimately choose, your fire pit is guaranteed to add a fantastic touch to your landscape and allow you to personalize your very own outdoor space just the way you like it.