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Keeping Warm with Fire Pits: Outdoor Living During Winter

Outdoor living doesn’t need to stop during winter. For the colder months, a fire pit can extend your enjoyment of your backyard. A cozy fire is just the thing to bring together the people you love for roasting marshmallows or creating a luxury environment for a party.

Bringing People Together

People love to gather around a fire. Instead of watching TV every night, fire pits are great for bringing the family together to make s’mores or roast hot dogs. And when the kids go to bed, fire pits are equally suited for romantic nights for two with a glass of wine.

A warm fire also becomes a focal point at gatherings and dinner parties for people to gather around to enjoy a warm drink and good conversation. A fire pit can even be the main reason people come to your home when you invite them to “Come on over, we’re lighting a fire tonight!” Just make sure that there is enough comfortable seating for everyone.

Style and Material

You can buy a ready made fire pit or you can build a fire pit yourself out of a variety of materials such as stone, brick, concrete, or metal. With a variety of styles and materials, you can pick the fire pit that best shows off your personality and your home. Keep in mind that a heavier stone materials will last longer than a lightweight metals.

An increasingly popular option is the fire pit table. A fire pit table is just like a patio table made out of metal, marble, tile, or stone, but with a submerged bowl in the center for your fire. Fire pit tables are a great option because they can be movable, have surface space for drinks or plates of food, and can be either wood burning or gas burning.

Wood vs Gas Burning

Wood burning fire pits will give off the most heat and can be used for cooking marshmallows or other BBQ foods. But wood fires can take a bit more effort to start and maintain, give off more irritating smoke, and flying sparks increase fire dangers.

Gas fire pits do not put out as much heat and are not recommended for cooking food, but start with the flick of a switch, which means you will use it more. Gas fire pits also don’t give off irritating smoke or flying sparks, which makes them safer and more enjoyable. Natural gas fire pits are more expensive to install and cannot be moved, but are easier to maintain. Propane fire pits are more mobile, but require heavy propane tanks that can be hard to hide and will need to be refilled.

Safety First

Be sure safety is top of your list! Place your fire pit at least ten feet from your home and three to five feet from any furniture. And remember to look up! Keep roughly 30 feet of clearance vertically to avoid accidents with low hanging trees or structures.

If using a wood fire pit, do not put on a deck and use a spark arrestor or safety screen. Surround your fire pit with a non-combustible surface: dirt, paving stones, or concrete. And make sure to keep a container of water, a hose, or a fire extinguisher nearby whenever you light up the fire pit. For more fire pit safety tips, click here.

Tell us how you enjoy your outdoor living space during the winter months – post on our Facebook page!

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