Even for homebodies and non-outdoorsy types, backyard firepits are an irresistible centerpiece of communal gathering. Friends, family, guests and acquaintances can all take part in casual discussion, stargazing, smore-making, storytelling – you get the gist. A good campfire brings people together. Maybe it harkens back to our nomadic history as a species, or perhaps fire is just our way of prolonging the warmth of the summer season into autumn.
So, you’ve thought long and hard about all of the positive benefits that a firepit brings to the backyard. Now, it’s time to start considering the options available to you. While you generally can’t go wrong (unless you plan to go the DIY route, in which case, you really can go wrong), you’ll want to ensure that whatever firepit you choose is the right fit for you and your family.
Remember, any outdoor firepit should accommodate your lifestyle, not the other way around. Picking an ill-suited firepit may not affect you in the short-term, but in the long run, you may find yourself annoyed or frustrated. Here are a few dos and don’ts to help you avoid these pitfalls.
Don’t purchase a permanent firepit if you have limited space.
Unknown to most prospective firepit purchasers, portable options exist for transient homeowners and renters. If you don’t plan on staying in town for the foreseeable future, then a portable pit is an obvious choice.
Want to know something less obvious? Backyards with inadequate space might be better off with a portable pit as well. Activities requiring ample clearing, such as sports or celebrations, may be obstructed by a permanent firepit. A portable option allows you to store the pit when it’s not in use, or in the event of bad weather.
Understand the wide variety of different materials.
If you care more about the pastoral elements of your backyard, permanent options are your best solution. Natural stone and concrete veneers exude classic elegance and style, while matching existing landscaping.
That’s not to say portable firepits can’t measure up. Wrought-iron, aluminum, copper and steel materials showcase modern chic with rustic charm. Many iron and aluminum firepits are constructed with a porcelain tile top, adding striking accents and textures. And, let’s not forget: a porcelain rim also allows people to set drinks or hors d’oeuvres next to the fire.
Make sure to measure dimensions.
The diameter of a typical firepit can range from 20” to 48.” With such variance, it’s important to take measurements in your backyard, and compare them to the dimensions listed in the catalog.
Use chalk or tape to demarcate the exact placement in your backyard, and then place chairs around the area. Sit down and ask yourself: How does this placement feel to me? Is there enough space for everyone to join in around the fire? Is there a good view of the sky? Hopefully, you’ll come away from your seat with nothing but positive sentiment and a smile on your face.
Do get a shape that works for you.
Round. Square. Rectangular. Hexagonal. Oval. Think of any shape, and there’s likely a corresponding firepit to go with it. Despite all the options, this decision will mostly come down to personal preference.
Still, keep in mind that a circular shape will feel more intimate, while a rectangular firepit may come across as more structured or board-room-like.
Want controlled flames and less smoke? Go for gas.
Many homeowners jump to the “natural is better” fallacy as soon as things like firepits, AstroTurf, and indoor plants are mentioned. However, a flame is always a flame (unlike a plastic bouquet of flowers). A gas firepit doesn’t produce fire that’s any less real (or warm, for that matter) than a wood-fueled one.
Not to mention they’re generally cleaner, safer, and easier to use. With a wood firepit, you’ll also have to find a location to dispose of the ashes.
For the finest selection of outdoor firepits in Grand Rapids, MI, check out our Fire Pit Catalog at Out Back Casual Living & Fence.
An outdoor firepit can complement your unique sense of style, all while entertaining guests and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Find the firepit that’s right for you, either online or in our showroom. And, don’t forget to check out the wide range of firepit designs, so you can be up-to-date on the latest trends in backyard living. For more information, visit our website today.