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Outdoor Fire Pits Create Great Entertaining Spots! : Ask the Landscape Guy

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Outdoor Fire Pits Create Great Entertaining Spots!

by Tim Sanford on 01/24/11

As I sit in my office and wait for the weather report on the latest snow storm, I am thinking about outdoor fire pits.  All our clients are asking for outdoor fire pits and fireplaces.  We have installed more outdoor fire pits and fireplaces last year than anything else.   And they keep on coming!  Outdoor fire pits are the hottest trend in landscaping this year (no pun intended, well maybe).

There are so many options when it comes to outdoor fire pits.  You can buy a portable fire pit from your local home improvement store or create something as elaborate as a dancing flame on the sand!  Whatever you desire it can be done.  Here are a few suggestions of ways to bring a little fire into your backyard landscape. 

stone fire pit

Portable Fire Pits and Chimeneas - If you are looking for something wood burning and quick to purchase, look no further than your local home improvement store.  They have an array of cooper and wrought iron fire pits, as well as terra-cotta chimeneas to add a little warmth to your backyard.  Make sure when using these items that you keep them a safe distance from the house and use a spark screen to keep embers from flying near your home.

Wood-Burning Fire Pits - A permanent wood-burning fire pit can make a great addition to your outdoor living room and are perfect for roasting marshmallows on cool autumn nights.  These fire pits can be as simple as a hole dug in the ground with a rock border or as elaborate as a stone mortared pit.  With permanent fire pits you can make them as custom as your imagination; just about any shape or size and use a variety of materials - paver, brick, stone, even blue stone.  Check your local zoning to determine any burning restrictions and if you need any permits to build.     

Patio with wood burning fire pit

Gas and Propane Fire Pits - If you are tired of chopping wood and want to make your fire pit easier to use, install natural gas or propane as your fuel source.  You can add gas to many fire pit structures and light it with a flip of the switch.   If you are really looking to make a big statement in your landscape, install a dancing flame as a focal point.  You can make the flame dance over sand, colored glass or rock.  Again you will want to keep any flame away from your house, but with a gas source, you will have fewer restrictions.

Whatever type fire pit you decide to use this summer, remember to keep it safe.  Never leave fire unattended and keep flames a good distance from your home.  And ALWAYS keep marshmallows on hand!

For more inspiration, check out the fire pits and fireplaces on our photo gallery.

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