When it comes times to renovate the backyard patio, many homeowners ask themselves the same question. “Should I get an outdoor fireplace or a fire pit?” The answer ultimately depends on the purpose of your outdoor heating element, your budget, and the climatic conditions of your geographic region.

Whichever side you identify with, there is no right or wrong choice when deciding on an outdoor fireplace or an outdoor fire pit. Both of these structures provide a visual focal point that adds warmth and lighting to your backyard. They maximize your property by allowing you to enjoy the backyard all year round. At the same time, you’re boosting your home value by adding a desirable amenity that is attractive and equally functional. Create the perfect outdoor living space while putting money back into your own pocket.

The outdoor fireplace offers a romantic ambiance that is second to none. These structures are used to anchor spaces such as the outdoor living room or dining area. In the same light, outdoor fireplaces are typically more limited in terms of seating capacity. This means more exclusive and intimate groups. For this reason, they are often favored by women who enjoy the fairy tale evening straight out of romantic novel.

While the outdoor fireplace is designed for smaller groups of people, it does take up considerably more space than an outdoor fire pit. This can be a problem if you have a small backyard. Building a masonry fireplace made out of brick or stone will likely cost anywhere from $4000-$20,000. You may also need to obtain permits or building inspections depending on your municipalities building codes. If any of these instances are a problem, you can check out some additional options in the final section of this article.

In general, it’s advisable to use gas on a fireplace because the smoke produced by a wood-burning fireplace can be unpredictable when coupled with the wind. Gas fireplaces are ideal for those who live in dry areas that often have “no-burn” weather warnings. Likewise, you can also opt for gel fireplaces that offer a real flame without any smoke or exhaust emissions. These units can be installed and set up in a matter of minutes.

Gas fireplaces can be more pleasant in lieu of fancy, upscale hosting parties whereas fire pits give off more of an outdoorsy feel. This may be perfect for older couples who have the home to themselves and like to enjoy the company of their lifelong partner.

The outdoor fire pit can serve as a social ice breaker. It can easily become the central gathering point for a large group of people. Its circular nature is engaging because people are organized in a seating arrangement allows them to face one another. This helps to facilitate on-going conversations.

Outdoor Fire pits are usually smaller in size which means you’ll have plenty of room in the backyard for an outdoor kitchen, dining area, etc. The low profile of a fire pit can also preserve the scenic overlooking views that your home provides.

Natural wood burning fire pits are reminiscent of camping out in the wilderness and bon fires on the beach. There is more of a connectedness with nature and an escape from man-made structures that can be good for a change. The outdoor fire pit is the classic story-telling setting. Of course, who owns a fire pit and has never roasted marshmallows. It’s kind of an oxymoron!

Depending on the size of your fire pit, the price can range anywhere from $2,000-$5,000. This is a far cry from the cost to have a mason build an outdoor fireplace for your home. If you’re the handy type, you can even learn how to build your own outdoor fire pit for under $500! It’s important to keep in mind, fire pits don’t always have to be circular. You can always customize them with your own unique shape and sense of style.

Additional Options

There are other ways that you can incorporate a lively fire feature into the décor of your patio. For heating purposes, the outdoor patio heater can prove to be a very feasible option. These are what you find yourself huddling around at upscale outdoor venues.

Fire glass is a trendy fire feature that gives the appearance of fire burning on ice. If you haven’t seen it before, you might want to take a look! These small gel fireplaces use clean-burning ethanol fuel to provide a real flame. You can find small tabletop gel fireplaces or large free-standing units to add a modern flare to your outdoor living space.

Portable Fireplace carries a range indoor and outdoor heating solutions. Save yourself thousands of dollars with a pre-built outdoor heater and still enjoy the ambiance of an outdoor fire feature.