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Types of Backyard Fire Pits

  • two people cheers their whiskey glasses over an outdoor fire pit

Exploring the Pros and Cons and Which Type is Right For You

There’s nothing like a backyard bonfire to warm up your cool summer nights. You can bring the cottage vibes right to your own backyard this summer by adding a fire pit to your outdoor space! Sitting around a fire under the starry sky is a favourite pastime during summer nights, plus, it’s a great spot to gather your friends and family.

An outdoor fire pit is one of the most sought-after luxury backyard upgrades, and for a good reason. They are relatively inexpensive to install, can enhance your home’s property value and add a focal point to your patio design that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. An outdoor fire pit can provide a toasty way to dry off and warm up on chilly nights, after an evening dip in the pool, or simply just allow you to make the most of your outdoor space even when the seasons begin to change.

There are a variety of different styles and designs available, from classic open fire pits to fire bowls and tables, chimineas, or even an outdoor fireplace. But with so many options to choose from, how do you know which one to pick?

This article will break down the different types along with their pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision on which type of outdoor fire pit is right for you.

Types of Outdoor Fire Pits to Consider:

Wood Burning

If you’re looking for something rustic and traditional, a wood burning fire pit is simple to install and easy to use. They usually include some kind of enclosure (made of metal, concrete or stone) that contains the wood for your fire. They are the easiest type of fire pit to build and install, and can safely double as a cooking space for outdoor gatherings.

After the initial installation, you won’t have to worry about gas lines or moving parts to prevent a wood burning fire pit from operating. Firewood is relatively inexpensive and is readily available for purchase almost anywhere. Wood burning firepits also provide the most heat output, creating a warm and cozy atmosphere that remains unmatched.

A wood burning fire pit can be open or enclosed, depending on your preference and what the bylaws in your area will allow. We recommend looking into this before beginning construction, as well as any permits you may require.

Important Note: Prior to installing an outdoor wood burning fire pit, be sure to do your research and check local bylaws. Every city has a unique set of rules which may prohibit the installation of a wood burning fire pit on your property or might require a permit.


Propane fire pits are unmatched in terms of convenience and are the perfect choice for homeowners looking for an aesthetically pleasing focal point for their outdoor patio space. Although they are not ideal for cooking, propane fire pits provide a beautiful flame with plenty of heat output – without the need for refilling gel or wood. Propane fire pits come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles, impressively designed with rock pebbles, faux wood or glass.

Before making the decision to purchase a propane fire pit, first consider what you’ll be using it for. If you will be burning your fire often and for long periods of time ensure, you have purchased enough propane and are aware of how far it will go. If you are looking for something that can double as a cooking space, you should also consider that food cooked over propane usually lacks the depth of flavour that a wood-cooked meal would offer.

Gel Fuel

Gel fueled fire pits are one of the cleanest and most energy-efficient options for your outdoor fire pit. They add plenty of ambiance and elegance to your backyard without producing any smoke or getting that “bonfire smell” in your hair and clothing. Gel fueled fire pits are also extremely versatile – they can be moved around easily and are both simple and convenient to use.

However, this option may not be for everyone. Gel fueled fire pits do not have the same quality of heat output as the alternatives, and the gel can be difficult to find in stores. Gel fueled fire pits are ideal for those looking to imitate the rustic aesthetic of a wood burning fire pit without the smoke, smell or maintenance.

Natural Gas

Natural gas fire pits are the epitome of convenience and are a great option if you’re looking to make your outdoor fire pit a permanent fixture in your yard. Gas fire pits must be connected to a natural gas line, so they must be installed by a professional, and the placement is less flexible. If there is not already a natural gas line installed in your back yard, the initial cost of installation can be more costly, but the long-term benefits make it more than worthwhile.

One of the biggest advantages that make gas fire pits so popular among homeowners is that they never run out of fuel and are incredibly inexpensive to run after they have been installed. They can be turned on and off with the flick of a switch, and you don’t have to worry about cleaning up soot and ash or purchasing and storing firewood. The heat output is great, and the look and feel can almost perfectly mimic a wood-burning fire pit, depending on the style you choose. There are also sleek and stylish options available to match the aesthetic of your patio space.

The Takeaway

With so many options to choose from, we’re confident that there will be something out there that will fit your dream patio aesthetic and function. Everyone enjoys the warmth of a fire on a cool evening, all you need to do now is set your budget and find a reliable contractor to go ahead with the installation. Purchase your new fire pit this summer, and you’ll be able to look forward to many cozy summer nights under the stars with family and friends.

children roast marshmallows over a fire pit in their backyard

By | 2020-09-02T13:39:27-05:00 September 2nd, 2020|Landscape Design|