Thinking about a fire pit? Here’s what to consider.

Custom outdoor fire pit using paversA fire pit is a fun, unique hardscaping feature that’s a great focal point for any backyard gathering. And they’re perfect for Indiana’s seasonal weather, which gives them almost year-round functionality for many people.

If you’re considering a fire pit, you can go with a wood-burning or natural gas option (propane fire pits are also possible, but uncommon). There are plenty of pros and cons to factor in when picking the right choice for your situation.

Choosing the wood-burning option has several advantages, and one of the biggest is price. A wood-burning fire pit is significantly less expensive to design and install than its natural gas counterpart, and these savings can be thousands of dollars. Also, there’s no beating the crackle, smell, and ambience of burning real wood. Another perk is that you don’t have to worry about running a new gas line through your yard.

If you’re willing to spend a little more, a natural gas fire pit can be a great option for many people. They’re easier to maintain than a wood-burning fire pit because there’s no ash to clean, and they produce almost no smoke. You also get the convenience of being able to start a fire immediately—there’s no more gathering kindling or storing dry firewood. This can be especially advantageous in cold weather when you want to get a fire going quickly.

Another aspect to consider is that natural gas fire pits don’t produce any smoldering embers or ash that can damage anything covered in fabric. These embers can travel long distances through the air, and can cause expensive burns to patio furniture, awnings, and swimming pool coverings.

Fire pits come in all different shapes and sizes, but the most common configurations are circular or square, although some people choose a linear option. Almost all professionally installed fire pits aren’t actually “pits.” Instead, they are built above ground (usually 16-21 inches tall) to prevent drainage issues and to help the fire draw more air. Keep in mind that installation usually requires a bigger patio, so you should also plan to have yours expanded by around 200 square feet in most situations.

Having a fire pit as part of your hardscape is an appealing choice for many people, and can really liven up your next backyard party. For both safety and aesthetic reasons, we recommend having a professional design and install your fire pit. This also ensures that your fire pit is built with materials designed to withstand intense heat, which should keep it functional for many years to come.

If you’re looking to get a custom fire pit, our team at Engledow can help. We’ve designed and installed hundreds of them, and we’d love to put our expertise to work for you. Contact us today to learn more. And check out the gallery below to see examples of our work!

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