Fire It Up

How To Get Your Outdoor Area Ready For Fire Pit Season

Tara Bradley Connell, Writer
Reading Time: 3 minutes
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Fall is the best time of year to gather friends around a fire. Fire pits don't just provide warmth, they also add ambiance. And you don't have to build an elaborate structure to have a relaxing area to enjoy throughout the year. Bonus: Some permanent installations can increase the value of your home.

From structures made of stone or metal to gas- or wood-burning setups, here are the different ways to add a fire pit to your outdoor living space.

People who like convenience often turn to a gas-burning fire pit. Anyone can appreciate turning on a fire pit with the flip of a switch. And lighting a fire pit doesn't get easier than using propane, which is available at almost every supermarket and gas station.

Propane creates a powerful flame, but adjusting the supply of fuel easily controls the intensity of the burn. Completely cutting off the propane safely extinguishes the fire. Concerning aesthetics, propane works with fire glass, lava rock or faux wood. Some styles, such as the Outland Firebowl, are so compact that you can transport them to other locations in the yard or to a tailgate or ball game.

Gel Fuel
Gel fuel burns clean and doesn't create any smoke or scent. Fire pits that use this fuel, such as the Southampton Gel Fuel Tabletop Fireplace, also don't give off much heat so they can be placed almost anywhere. Gel fuel comes in cans that are readily available and easy to switch out when you need a refill.

Natural Gas
For a more permanent — and budget-friendly — source, consider natural gas. As with propane, turning on the fuel supply ignites the fire; turning it off puts it out. Structures such as the Montego Gas Fire Table can also serve as attractive focal points to your gatherings. The only difference between propane and natural gas is the initial installation and hookup to the gas lines, but after that, worries about running out of fuel will go up in smoke.

Traditional wood fire pits bring back the scents and sounds of a good old-fashioned campfire. Wood fire pits can be metal, marble, brick or steel — one of the most popular and compact options.

Sizes vary, but in the fire pit world, the bigger the bowl, the larger the flame. A fire pit like the Savannah Garden Light Fire Pit needs to be level and high enough off the ground that it doesn't burn the floor or patio. Proper placement also lets guests seated nearby stay warmer.

Wood-burning fire pits work in almost any open space. The only downside is hauling the actual wood. But once you do, you can relax in the natural glow and comforting scents. Throw in some s'mores and you can officially call yourself a fire pit master!