backyard pool area well lit at dusk

The Secrets to Building a Great Fire Pit

With the fall ushering in cooler weather, many people are looking for ways to enjoy the outdoors as long as they possibly can. A fire pit is a solution to this problem, but you’ll want to make sure you aren’t setting yourself up for a headache later due to poor planning or installation mistakes.

Our experience has taught us several secrets to fire pit building that most people overlook. We wanted to share these secrets with you if you are considering adding a fire pit to your backyard living space.

  1. You’ll need to determine what regulations local municipalities have enacted in regards to fire pits in your area. You don’t want to go through the trouble of building a fire pit only to be forced to remove it later.

  1. fire pit and seating area Decide on what type of fire pit you want to have. Are you looking for something portable or permanent, gas or wood, and would you prefer a circular or rectangular shape? The experience of a landscape design team such as the experts at Hively Landscapes can help you naturally incorporate the fire pit into your existing patio design, ensuring that your pit flows together nicely with the rest of the patio while also avoiding any nearby plants and overhead trees that may be too close.
  2. The size of the fire pit is critical. You want just enough space to allow for movement of the logs and the air that will help feed the fire. You’ll also want a fire pit that is low enough to allow people to still get heat from the fire, while also being high enough to keep the heat from escaping. A good-sized fire pit is typically in the 2-3 foot width range for the interior space and is 2-2 ½ feet tall. Larger fire pits are possible, but we recommend consulting with an expert if you want to explore this option.
  3. The wood or stone that you choose for your fire pit can make a big difference. Avoid using river rocks or other stones you collected since these can contain water and then explode when heated. (Yes. This can really happen.) If you want to extend the life of your fire pit wall blocks, we also recommend inserting a steel fire ring.

If you want to install a fire pit by yourself, we strongly encourage you to follow these tips. While it may seem like a simple concept, building a fire pit takes significant knowledge and planning, even before you consider the maintenance to keep it safe. The team at Hively Landscapes is more than happy to help if you’re looking for advice, or we can also professionally design and install your fire pit for you if you prefer to go that route.