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Outdoor Living & Recreation
Nothing says summer quite like friends and family gathering around a fire. Having your own backyard fire keeps the fun going from day to evening while adding beauty and ambiance to your outdoor design. If you want to add a fire feature, consider these options for choosing the fire pit option that suits your space.
When you think of a backyard fire, you likely think first of the crackling flames of a wood burning pit. However, there are other fuel types to consider, which may be a better fit for your space and needs.
A wood-burning fire is the classic, go-to fuel that reminds us of time spent in the great outdoors. Wood-burning fires provide warm, crackling fires and smoky aromas. Choosing a wood-burning pit also allows for a large variety of both DIY and store-bought designs to suit your backyard aesthetics. A wood-burning pit may not be suitable for all spaces and may be considered one of the higher maintenance fuel options. A wood-burning fire requires you to have cut and dried wood on hand, stored in a dry place, which will inevitably attract bugs no matter where you’ve got it stored.
Gas-burning pits might be considered the most convenient options for your backyard fire. Whether tying into your home’s natural gas supply or using propane cylinders, you won’t need to worry about the stocking and stoking required with a wood-burning pit. With gas-burning fires, opting for convenience doesn’t have to mean compromising on design. From faux wood, stones to glass, large and attention-grabbing, to small and contained, the designs available for gas-burning fires are plenty. Propane fires also allow for the added benefits of portability when using a lightweight, self-contained pit. While a gas fire pit won’t provide the same cracking sounds and smoky smells of a wood-burning pit, you’ll still enjoy a warm fire and beautiful flame to gather around on your summer nights.
Gel fire pits are the perfect option for anyone looking to add a little ambiance to a small space or patio. Gel-filled faux logs allow you to use this fuel option in many store-bought pits. The most popular gel-burning options are table-top versions that come in a variety of designs. Since the gel burns without smell or smoke, many table-top varieties can even be used on balconies or porches. Gel-burning fires can add the backyard fire experience to even the smallest of spaces, but don’t expect them to provide much more than a cozy look, as these small fires won’t give off much heat. Similar to wood-burning fires, you’ll want to keep a stock of gel fuel on hand to keep your fires going when the flames run low.
Once you’ve chosen which fuel type best suits your needs, you can start to decide which fire pit design suits your space.
If you have a large space to work with, you might consider a built-in, affixed design, such as an outdoor fireplace or a sunken pit. An outdoor fireplace can be purchased or constructed yourself and is similar to indoor fireplaces in both look and function. A sunken pit is perfect for the DIYer looking to create their own design and can be constructed on a budget, using many types of bricks and stones. Both are ideal for wood burning but can also work well with natural gas lines, faux gel logs or propane.
If you’re looking for something a little less permanent than a built-in structure, consider one of the many free-standing pit options available. From elaborately designed fire rings, raised pits with 360-degree views, to well-contained chimineas, there’s a free-standing option to suit every backyard look.
Thanks to gel and gas-burning options, if your outdoor oasis doesn’t have the space to allow larger pits, that doesn’t mean you have to go without. Available today are a large range of smaller free-standing pits as well as tabletop fire bowls and even fire features built right into patio tables. If you’re looking to put your own spin on your small space fire feature, you can still DIY it by buying fire gel canisters or logs and constructing your own eye-catching centrepiece with fire-safe materials.
There is truly a backyard fire option to suit any space. With the variety of beautiful styles available or a little DIY ambition, you’re sure to find the feature you can enjoy all summer long. Don’t forget to check with your local city or municipality for burn bylaws and regulations to ensure you’re enjoying your outdoor fires while keeping your summer safe.