Fire Pit Zone

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fire Pit

Stylish Fire Pit_white in color

When you search “fire pits” on Google, you’ll find a stunning array of images of different shapes, sizes, and styles right at the top— it’s nearly impossible to refrain from buying any of those charming, not-so-small items.

But choosing a fire pit is more than just scouring through Google or Amazon, keeping an eye for the ones with high ratings and reviews. Although not exactly a wrong move, weighing up other factors will help you make the best choice and enjoy your outdoor living space to the fullest.

choosing a Fire Pit

What to Consider When Choosing a Fire Pit


First things first, quality. It would be a false economy to buy a fire pit and see it disintegrate after a short time. Consider the quality and durability rather than choose a fire pit because it’s cheaper. Of course, cheap doesn’t always mean low quality but buying a fire pit made with cheap material may turn out to be a waste of investment.

Fuel Source

There are primarily four common fire pit fuel sources: wood, gas, propane, and the fancier, chic option—gel fuel. Wood fire pits are mostly on a cheaper scale and easily accessible, but let’s be honest are you after a high-maintenance piece of equipment? If so, can I steer you to a fire pit that also burns wood pellets? Natural gas and propane are generally safer, more convenient, and offer great ambiance. However, the cost of both the initial purchase and maintenance are high.

How much warmth

The different fuel sources don’t produce the same heat intensity and warmth. Top on that scale is the wood-burning fire pit. The air feeds into the open fire, increasing the heat intensity and warmth. Although natural gas fire pits can’t compare to wood, they produce more warmth than propane and gel fuel. In other words, if warmth is a driving factor in your decision-making, a wood-burning model is the best choice.

Local laws

Before shopping for a fire pit, you must check in with your county or city office to know the regulations and local laws regarding fire pits. For example, wood-burning fire pits are slightly restricted in some areas; getting one of those might be considered illegal and incur a hefty fine. So, make sure you know the laws before you buy anything.  I did find this handy website for checking local fire pit laws in your area. Local fire pit laws.

Smoke & neighborhood

There’s no denying the charm and classic ambiance of wood-burning fire pits. But sometimes, the smoke could be especially uncomfortable for people—your neighbors for example. Trust me, you don’t want anyone calling the authorities on you. So, in addition to checking in with your local fire codes, consider the neighborhood. Interestingly, there are smokeless fire pit options if you insist on getting a wood-burning pit.

Permanent or Portable

Here, it’s a matter of preference. If you’re looking for a fire pit to set in your backyard permanently, then you might want to consider fire pit tables or even constructed brick wood-burning fire pits. On the other hand, if portability is your drive—something you can easily move around— then a tabletop fire pit is your best option.

Location of the fire pit

The intended location of the fire pit is a crucial deciding factor when considering your options. For example, if you want to create a snug cozy ambiance on your patio, picking a traditional wood-burning fire pit might not be a great idea. Whereas the same would be more fitting in the backyard. In this case, though, a close alternative like a Chimenea may be your best compromise. Ideally, you should place your fire pit away from flammable objects like trees, furniture, and decking.

Space constraint

Space is another major factor to consider. Where “location of the fire pit” will help you decide the type, the space area will dictate the size of the fire pit. Looking at your outdoor area, is it a sprawling backyard or a smaller one? Opt for a smaller, more compact fire pit for intimate settings or limited areas, while larger spaces can accommodate grander designs. Remember, you want enough room for seating and airflow around the fire pit to ensure safety and comfort. You need to consider having enough room to sit back from the fire once it gets hotter.

Cost & Budget

When looking at the cost, you’re not only considering the initial cost of the fire pit itself but also ongoing expenses such as fuel, maintenance, and any additional accessories or features you may desire. Typically, you can get a modern fire pit for about $300 and above. And while traditional wood fire pits are less expensive when compared to other options, you can still spend over $10,000 if you decide to go DIY—building with bricks or concrete. Ultimately, it all comes down to finding a balance between quality and affordability.

You decide what’s best, though…

Wrapping up, it’s clear that choosing the perfect fire pit involves more than just a quick browse through search results or reading up reviews—that part comes much later. It is about understanding your preferences, considering the suitability of your outdoor space, and weighing the various factors. In the end, you decide what’s best for you. So, with these key factors in mind, you can go to town. Happy shopping!

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