When creating an outdoor haven for your family, a fire pit is one of the most popular hardscaping features you can add. Satisfy your curiosity about fire pit costs, and discover the best types of fire pits you can choose for your backyard living area.
Exploring Different Types of Fire Pits
Humans have been building fire pits since dawn, so how hard can it be to install one in your backyard? The answer is that it’s not that hard, but it may not be as simple as creating a ring of rocks.
Modern fire pits are a little different from the campfires of long ago. Whether you want a classic style or a contemporary design, you first need to decide what fuel you’ll use.
No matter what fuels your fire, though, there are limitless variations in design and style. This guide covers four basic types of fire pits. These include wood-burning, gas, portable fire pits, and fire pit tables.
Exploring the benefits and characteristics of each will help you choose the right one for you.
Wood-Burning Fire Pits
Wood-burning fire pits are the most popular choice for homeowners. Listening to the sounds of a crackling fire, smelling the smoke, and gazing into the dancing flames creates an atmosphere for social gatherings that other types of fire pits can’t match.
Pros and Cons
Wood-burning fire pits take a little longer to start, but once you get a fire going, you can make it large enough to warm a circle of friends and family. Wood-fueled fires are also hotter and better for cooking on.
There are a few drawbacks, of course, with wood-burning fire pits. You must have a supply of firewood, and while you’re using it, you need to keep putting wood on the fire so it won’t go out. Wood fires also produce a lot of smoke, which can cause problems for people with health issues.
In some parts of the country and during certain times of the year, there are restrictions on wood-burning fire pits. Contact your local county or city office to learn more about your area’s regulations.
The average cost for a wood-burning fire pit is between $300 and $1,000, and they are the most popular type of fire pit. The factors influencing the costs associated with a wood-burning fire pit include materials, labor, shape, size, and design complexity.
One of the easiest ways to install a wood-burning fire pit is with a prefab fire pit kit. These kits cost anywhere from $200 to $700, but they have everything you need to build an attractive fire pit in your backyard.
Gas Fire Pits
If you’re looking for the most convenient option, gas fire pits are low-maintenance and easy to use. You have a fire by turning the gas knob, press the electric starter button.
Gas fire pits burn two gas types: natural gas and liquid propane. You also have your choice of ignition systems, as both match light and push-button models are available.
Pros and Cons
Gas fire pits are available in a wide range of styles and designs, so it’s not hard to find one that complements your outdoor space. Some of the most popular styles include long rectangular fire pits, which come in every style and size.
Gas fire pits have built-in safety features, making them the best choice for commercial applications. However, they can be more expensive to install, especially the natural gas ones that a professional must plumb in.
The average cost of a gas fire pit is $400 to $3,000. Some types cost more to install because you need a licensed plumber to connect the natural gas line to your fire pit.
Propane gas fire pits are less expensive but require a propane tank that you have to refill regularly. On average, a 20-pound propane tank will last about 3 to 6 hours on one tank of gas.
Portable Fire Pits
You can fuel fire pits with wood and gas; the main advantage is that you can take them with you. Whether you’re camping, enjoying a festival, or spending time at the park, a portable fire pit keeps you warm and makes you feel at home.
If you’re interested in a portable fire pit, take a look at the Breeo X Series.
Pros and Cons
Portable fire pits look just as good when you’re at a campground as they do in your backyard. Gas-fired models have several advantages because you don’t have to worry about packing around a lot of firewood.
Just like with built-in fire pits in your backyard, wood fires also have advantages. The smoke might bother some people, but others feel that the ambiance created by a wood fire more than makes up for it.
Portable fire pits cost about $75 to $500. They may require some assembly, but they are generally easy to set up, and you can have a fire going without much delay.
Portability is a good option if you spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer camping or going to the beach. They are easy to take with you and provide plenty of warmth when the sun goes down.
Fire Pit Tables
Fire pit tables are usually fueled by gas, either liquid propane or natural gas, but some of them are wood-burning. They tend to be fancier and more upscale than other fire pits.
The gas models have several advantages, and since they are freestanding units, you can place them anywhere on your patio or another hard, nonflammable surface. Unless you have them plumbed into a natural gas line, you can move them into fire pit tables, should you decide to rearrange your outdoor furniture.
Pros and Cons
The sleek design of fire pit tables makes them an ideal choice for modern and contemporary themed outdoor spaces. They are easy to install and maintain, and when properly cared for, they will last for years.
You can use an outdoor fire pit table during all four seasons, and as long as you have adequate ceiling height clearances, gas fire pit tables are safe to use in screened-in porches, underneath pergolas, or in your gazebo.
The average cost of a fire pit table is $200 to $500, but many types cost between $1,000 and $3,000. Higher quality materials increase the cost of fire pit tables, and you also have to pay extra to have them plumbed into a natural gas line.
Buying vs DIY Fire Pit
There are advantages and disadvantages of DIYing your fire pit. Is it better to build or buy? Learn more about the benefits of each and the factors you must consider when you are planning a DIY fire pit installation.
Benefits of Buying a FirePit
Many homeowners choose to buy a fire pit. Many aesthetically pleasing models are available, and they are faster to set up. Store-bought fire pits are easier to move, and you can also find portable ones you can take camping with you.
On average, buying a fire pit is cheaper than building one. In addition to being easier to move, store-bought fire pits are easier to clean and store. Buying a fire pit can be a good solution if you run into permitting issues because they are considered personal belongings.
Benefits of Building a DIY Fire Pit
If you decide to build your fire pit, you have many options. The easiest type of fire pit to build is a wood-burning fire pit, but you can also build your own gas fire pit.
While buying a fire pit is often less expensive, it’s cost-effective to DIY a custom-built model. By doing the work yourself, you can save a lot of money on installation costs versus having it professionally installed for you.
Prefabricated kits are another option for DIY fire pits. You can purchase a prefab fire pit that takes all the guesswork out of what types and shapes of concrete blocks and pavers you need.
DIY Factors to Consider
If you plan to install your fire pit, there are several factors to consider:
- Location–choose a spot that’s a safe distance from buildings and trees.
- Size–make sure it’s a big enough space to accommodate seating.
- Type of fuel–the type of fuel is often a matter of personal preference and convenience.
- Materials–choose from materials like concrete blocks, bricks, or stone.
- Permits and regulations–check with your local fire department, HOA, or city office to ensure you can have the type of fire pit you want.
You should also consider homeowner’s insurance issues. It may cost you more to insure your home with a fire pit.
Don’t forget to factor seating and accessories into your DIY fire pit budget. Accessories like extinguishers, fire pokers, fire pit screens, and fire pit gloves make using your fire pit safer and more convenient.
Why Invest in a Fire Pit for Your Outdoor Space
A fire pit in your backyard is a great place to entertain and spend time together as a family. Some fire pits can even increase the value of your home. Learn more about the benefits of having a fire pit in your outdoor space.
Social Hub and Gathering Place
Increasing the usable space in your home and yard makes it easier to entertain family and friends. A fire pit is a social hub that people migrate to during social events.
Memories are made around fire pits, and sitting around a fire pit naturally encourages conversations and storytelling. They are also useful for cooking outdoor meals.
Extending Outdoor Seasons
A fire pit takes the chill out of the air, which makes it more comfortable to enjoy your outdoor spaces throughout the year.
Even in the summer, you can extend the time you spend outside by lighting a fire in the evening and gathering around with family and friends.
Fire pits can be beautiful landscaping features, whether they are designed as focal points in your outdoor aesthetic or tucked into a corner for privacy.
FAQ: Common Questions About Fire Pit Cost
1. Are gas fire pits more expensive than wood-burning ones?
Gas fire pits usually cost more than wood-burning ones because they need a gas connection. However, several budget-friendly gas fire pits are available, and if you choose a model that uses liquid propane, you can avoid the expense of installing a gas line.
2. What safety precautions should I take when installing a fire pit?
You should take fire pit safety precautions any time you are dealing with an open flame. Best practices include locating your fire pit in an open area and never leaving a fire unattended. Always keep a fire extinguisher close by and pay attention to burn alerts.
3. Can I use my fire pit on a wooden deck?
You can’t use a wood-burning fire pit on a composite or wooden deck because it produces too much heat and will cause extensive damage. Some propane and natural gas fire pits are rated for use on a deck, but you should take safety precautions and read the instruction manual to ensure that it is safe and suitable for that application.
4. Are there regulations or permits required for fire pit installation?
If you’re building a permanent fire pit, your municipality or homeowner’s association may require a permit. There may also be stipulations in your homeowner’s insurance. It’s always best to check with your local regulatory offices before proceeding.
5. How do I maintain and clean my fire pit?
Always wait until your fire pit is cool to clean and maintain it. Remove the ash and debris for wood-burning fire pits, and use a scrub brush with a mix of soapy water to clean it. If it’s filthy, use a muriatic solution. Rinse completely and allow your fire pit to dry for a few days before using it again.