Fire pits are just what you need to create the perfect ambiance at all your house parties. It’s also perfect to spend quality time with friends and family by helping you stay warm in the cold night.
They are also a perfect addition to make to your home to fetch a better selling price if you are planning to sell it. Choosing the right fire pit may not be easy for everyone, especially for newbies.
There are so many things to consider like fuel source, size, and material. So here’s a mini-guide with important factors to consider while looking for the best fire pit for your garden.
Budget is the main constraint while buying anything. You have to first fix a budget, and then go hunting for one. This is because they vary a lot in price, mainly based on the fuel used, and the material it’s made of.
Don’t forget to include maintained and upkeep costs while fixing your fire pit budget. If you are on a tight budget, then a basic, self-contained pit may be the best choice for you.
However, if you can splurge on fire pits, then customized units with personalized features can cost a few thousand dollars.
2. Fire pit types
There are four main types of fire pits, depending on the fuel it uses, which are wood, gel, propane and natural gas. The wood burning fire pits are the cheapest, but starting fire takes a lot of time and effort.
Besides, the fire adds to air pollution, leaves ashes to clean and you can’t use it under branches or porches with overhead covers because of the risk of fires. However, they offer the added benefit of being able to cook on them if need be.
Gel fuel fire pits are easy to start but are expensive, you may not get the necessary gel fuel everywhere and you don’t get that big a fire. Propane fuel fire pits are also easily started and stopped, but the fuel tank may not look aesthetic in all fire pits.
Natural gas fire pits are the most expensive of the lot, and there are also the additional plumbing costs you have to bear if there’s no gas line to the spot where you plan to use the fire pit.
However, these fire pits prove economical n the long run as there’s also no need to worry about refueling the fire pit.
You have to choose your fire pit based on how you plan to use it, like if you want it just for decoration purposes, to produce heat or if you want to cook on it.
A basic fire pit with about 20-25” diameter will be enough to spend a cozy evening with family, and for warmth. If you want to use the fire pit as a part-time grill than buy a wood burning unit with a cooking grate.
If you want a fire pit mainly for entertainment purposes, then look for fire pits in the middle of a table. They are not only sleek to look at but also have features like an outside ring which guests can use for placing their drinks.
If you won’t be using the fire pit much, then maybe a portable unit may be a better option to set up and use as needed. Portable units are also better if you want to take it along to camping trips or to the beach.
You have to picture where you plan to place your fire pit, like how close it will be to your home or if it’s under some trees. It should preferably be placed about 10 feet from any structure or a flammable region.
It is not safe to keep the wood burning fire pits under low branches or someplace windy as the sparks may trigger a fire. It’s even better if you check local ordinances about placing recreational fire pits.
This is because they may have some code requirements which affect the backyard pit’s location and how you can use it outdoors.
Don’t forget to check the material of the fire bowl while choosing your fire pit. It should be something that wears well and will be able to extend your fire pit’s life. For example, while cast aluminum does not rust quickly, copper tends to stain with time. And while cast iron fire pits are a good investment for its durability, it’s rather heavy to carry around.
Safety is important, especially if you have kids and pets around. Look for something without an open flame, with risks of anyone getting burnt. Fire pits with protective screens which prevent flames and sparks from jumping out with unexpected gusts of wind are always a better and safer option.
It’s better to set up a safe no-fore or burn zone where the fire pit is placed in a spot that is at a reasonable distance from any furniture and anything flammable.
If you’ll be using the fire pit a lot, then it’s worth choosing a fire pit that has a surface which is resistant to flames so that it can safely hold the fire pit and to capture any flying sparks. And avoid burning fires on ‘spare the air’ days if you have one in your locality.
You also have to teach everyone fire rules and make sure children are kept away when there’s a fire. You in fact even have to supervise children around a fire, even if they know the rules.
Gas fire pits are always better and safer than wood-burning pits on a deck. And if you do have a wood burning fire pit, make sure you always have a pail of water, a fire extinguisher, a hose or all three nearby as you never know when accidents occur and you need to put out a fire.
Now that you know how to chose the best fire pit, you can confidently invest in one to create a great entertainment spot at home that not only creates a wonderful ambiance but also brings your family and close friends together.