Fire Pit Buying Guide: Bring Your Entertaining Outdoors Even After the Sun Has Set

Seeing as winter is only a few weeks away, many of us are excited to snuggle up in a warm blanket with a hot cup of cocoa and marvel at the crisp weather. Maybe invite a few friends over, try some s’mores, and share some fond memories.

Sure, it can get a little chilly around this time of year, but who’s to say you can’t enjoy your outdoor space during the cold season, right?

With that in mind, one of the easiest and most convenient ways to turn your patio or backyard into a cosy oasis is by getting an outdoor fire pit.

Not only will it provide warmth and comfort, but it can also act as a great centrepiece for any gathering – serving as a meeting point for friends and family. Doesn’t that sound lovely?

What to Look for When Buying a Fire Pit?

As is the case with most products, there are a few factors you should consider before buying a fire pit to make sure you’re getting the best one for your needs.

Size and Style

This will largely depend on the size of your outdoor space and what you plan to use it for. If you have a spacious backyard and often entertain lots of guests, then you should go for a larger fire pit. On the other hand, if your patio is on the smaller side or you only ever use it for yourself and a few close friends, then a more compact pit should suffice.

In terms of style, it’s up to you to decide how you want it to look. Do you want it to be a focal point or more of a background element? If you want it to be the star of the show, then you can go for an ornate design. But if you prefer something more low-key, then there are plenty of sleek and simple options available as well.

Location

You’ll need to make sure that the location you choose is level and not too close to any flammable materials such as trees, bushes, or dry leaves. You should also keep in mind that smoke and sparks can travel long distances, so it’s best to avoid placing your pit too close to your house or any neighbouring property.

You’ll have the option to choose between permanent and portable fire pits. The former will need to be cemented or sanded into place, so it’s not something you can just pick up and move whenever you feel like it. The latter, on the other hand, gives you a lot more flexibility as you can move it around as you please.

Material

Fire pits can be made from a variety of materials such as concrete, stainless steel and cast iron. Concrete models are quite popular since they’re quite sturdy and affordable, despite being on the heavier side.

Related article: Should I Use a Metal Fire Pit or a Concrete Fire Pit?

In contrast, stainless steel and cast iron options are a lot lighter, making them easier to move around. They’re also less likely to rust, which is always a bonus. However, they can be quite pricey compared to other materials.

Fuel Type

The type of fuel you use has a big impact on both the performance and safety of your fire pit. The two most common fuel types are wood and gas.

Wood-burning pits are the traditional choice and many people believe them to be an authentic experience. It’s also the cheapest option since you can just use whatever wood you have lying around. However, it does require more maintenance as you’ll need to constantly add more wood to keep the fire going.

Gas-powered pits are a lot easier to use since you don’t have to worry about adding more fuel since it’s connected to the main gas supply.

Propane is the most common type of gas used thanks to its affordability and availability. However, it does create a lot of smoke which some people might find unpleasant.

Local Regulations

Last but not least, before you buy a fire pit, you should check with your local authorities to see if there are any regulations in place regarding their use. In some areas, open fires are not allowed, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution. This will help you avoid any potential problems down the line.

Additional Features

Once you’ve taken all of the above into consideration, you can start thinking about additional features that will make your pit even more enjoyable to use. They’re by no means a necessity, but they can definitely add a lot to the experience.

Spark Screen

A spark screen is a metal mesh that covers the opening of your fire pit. Its main purpose is to catch any flying embers or sparks so they don’t end up on your patio or in your yard. This is particularly important if you have children or pets who could end up injured or hurt. But even if you don’t, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Decorative Pieces

If you want your fire pit to double as a piece of outdoor decor, then you can choose from a wide range of decorative pieces. This includes everything from colourful glass stones to polished rocks. You can even get creative and use them to create patterns or shapes.

How Should You Take Care of Your Fire Pit?

This is fairly simple and only requires a bit of regular maintenance. The most important thing you need to do is clean it out after each use. This means removing any ashes or debris that might have accumulated during the previous session. You can do this with a simple garden hose or a pressure washer.

If you have a wood-burning pit, you’ll also need to sand it down every so often to prevent the build-up of creosote. This is a sticky substance that can cause fires if it’s not dealt with properly.

Another thing you need to do on a regular basis is to inspect your fireplace for any damage. This includes cracks, chips or any other signs of wear and tear. It’s important to fix any problems as soon as possible as they could potentially lead to more serious issues at some point in the future.

Home Base Project Team
At The Home Base Project, we offer practical, real-life tips and inspiration about DIY, decorating and gardening. The Home Base Project provide the best information about home renovation and design, connecting home design enthusiasts and home professionals across the world.

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