Lush green backyard. Family and friends in the outdoors. Sessions of chat and story-telling. How can you make the general atmosphere more wholesome? Introduce a fire pit. Bursting with warmth, people tend to gravitate to a fire pit, the flames providing a soothing air in the chilly winter nights. You can huddle around the fire pit with your loved ones, cooking delicious steaks and sausages, making memories. It can create a romantic ambiance or set up an aura of relaxation. Something about the glowing embers, the crackling of the logs and the warmth of the flames, attract people and make the fire pit a focal point of your backyard. Incidentally, having a fire pit assists in transferring activities from the indoors to the outdoors and increases the use of your backyard.
Here’s the deal
Before picking the one that best fits your criteria, possessing a sound knowledge on the various types of fire pit available in the market is an essential prowess. There are several factors by which fire pits vary: type of fuel, size, construction material, shape and of course, last but not least, price.
Basically, fire pits can be divided into four types: wood burning ones, propane ones, gel fuel ones and natural gas pits. This classification is done based on the type of fuel used by the pit. Wood burning fire pits, as the name explains, use wood as the primary fuel. Wood fire pits can bring out an authentic camping experience, complete with the smoke and the crackling. They are relatively less expensive to install. Hard and dry wood can provide the best experience, wet wood produces too much smoke and sparks, ruining a good time.
Propane fire pits use propane from cylinders, require less frequent refills and are generally more aesthetic. Natural gas fire pits are run by natural gas. They can be highly convenient as having a natural gas line in the house can supply a continuous and unlimited source of fuel into the pit. The fuel is cheaper, but the initial installation cost is quite significant. These fire pits are easier to maintain and has a fuel that burns cleaner than wood.
Next comes the choice and style of materials. The design of the fire pit matters immensely, as it can lift the image of your backyard and project an aesthetic impression on your guests. The design materials can be mosaic or a masonry fire pit faced with stone veneer, ceramic tile or stucco, and natural stone that offers a rugged, organic look.
Natural stone gives off a sophisticated look, but it can be expensive to install, and the right size of stone may be tough to find. Yet, in the end, natural stone fire pits are totally worth the hassle and expenses. The fire pit can be installed low and level to the ground or at waist height with a high enclosure. Seating arrangement can also be accommodated around the fire pit if your aim is to have a fire around which people can sit and relax.
Style of the fire pit can be round or square. Another factor to consider while picking your best fire pit is portability. A portable firepit is convenient, it can be moved around outdoors and placed at desired positions. On the other hand, a permanent fire pit can make a strong statement about your backyard depending on the design.
Safety issues to keep in mind
The first precaution is to always keep the fire pit, running or not, on a non-flammable surface. Choosing the location for the base of the fire pit is an important part of setting up. Make sure that the dedicated land for the base has no power lines or water pipes running through it.
Keep the fire small, and always under control. The area around the fire pit should be devoid of combustible materials. Yes, being outdoors mean that there will be fallen leaves and other flammable material floating around, but to have a safe experience, the area should be kept clean.
It is best to locate the fire pit in an open area, away from fences and overhanging cables and tree branches. Never start the fire using gasoline or a lighter fluid. Know your wood. Overlook pine and cedar, they can send sparks flying; opt for hickory, oak and other seasoned hardwoods for the best burning. In case of any emergency, keep a water hose and a fire extinguisher close by and easily accessible. Make sure you know how to operate them, because an accident might just happen, and you know how to counteract it.
Points to ponder
The receptacle that holds and endures the intense heat of the fire is called the fire bowl and the fire bowl’s thickness or fire bowl gauge is a number that bears great weight. The industry standard is 0.6 mm. A thinner bowl will result in a fire bowl with a short lifespan. A thicker bowl, despite being heavier, will attenuate the effects of oxidation and make the fire bowl last longer.
Maintenance is key. The intense heat, air and moisture combination in the fire pit is a recipe sufficient enough for oxidation, and that will commence from the first use. Fire pits have a coating of thermal paint but that only line of defense requires further upgradation. Keeping the fire pit clean and covered from the elements when not in use are must steps.
Brands to look at
Now, let’s take a glance at the different brands of fire pits in the market. Need a table with your fire pit? Outland has a beautiful fire pit with a high-quality glass table top. It can be set up in less than thirty minutes, but it is expensive, heavy and difficult to move around.
The Endless Summer fire pit goes well with lava rocks and looks even better with glass rocks. It falls under the reasonable price category, but a few customers have complained about its weight and that its flame quality falls as time passes.
One of the best fire pits that is run on propane is manufactured by AZ Patio Heaters. Their quality is solid, and their design is posh. Though, in a fire pit review, it was claimed they are heavy and takes time to assemble. The paint might corrode too early.
A light fire pit is the Blue Rhino propane gas fire pit, and as a bonus, it comes with a table top. It is reasonably priced and the only downside, so far, is its long starting time.
What’s the price?
After checking out all the properties, all the features of a fire pit, the question that is always asked is “How much does it cost?”
Fire pits can start from as little as under 100USD and shoot up to anywhere around 500USD or even a few thousand dollars. Bella Vita has a large fire pit with built in electrical ignition system and that equipment bears a price tag in the 6000USD range.
What’s the bottom line?
Now, after going through this fire pit review, you should be bursting (or burning) with great knowledge on fire pits. Consider all the various factors and then dive in into the journey to find the best fire pit that fulfills all your requirements. Upgrade your backyard, brighten up your outdoor activities and warm up the time you spend with your loved ones. Go, get a fire pit!