Fire pit 101

When you think of the perfect outdoor living space, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  For most people, it’s a fire pit!  Fire pits offer an upgrade to your backyard and provide a cozy atmosphere for hanging with friends & family while also being functional – who doesn’t love a gooey smore!  Fire pits have come such a long way over the years- from a wood burning barrel to a beautiful piece of artwork in your backyard that is totally customizable to your style and needs.  You would be surprised how many different options you have when installing one on your property so today, we are gonna dig a little deeper into these focal points.  FUN FACT: installing a fire pit on your land can recoup 78% of your investment when selling your home!

First things first, placement – when deciding on where to place your fire pit you want to take a few things into consideration.  You will need to build your firepit on leveled ground that is, at a minimum, 15 feet from your home or any other flammable structures (sheds, bushes, trees, etc.).  Keep in mind where you will be storing your fuel source as well.    

Placement ties into another key focus: fuel source.  Surprisingly, you have quite a few options in this category.  The most obvious option is wood.  Remember when choosing this option, you will want to keep in mind the distance from your home and other things, as mentioned above, as wood will produce a large amount of smoke, sparks and embers and it will require frequent ash removal.  Today you can get even fancier with your burning and use natural gas, liquid propane or bio-fuel.  When selecting these options, you want to keep in mind that you will need to have the ability to run a gas pipe or gas unit to the firepit and that will require a professional installation. 

Let’s talk size.  To accommodate multiple people sitting by the fire and still keeping an intimate setting, you want your pit to be at least 36-44 inches wide.  A general height for most homeowners when building your firepit is 12-14 inches which will allow your guests to be able to use the walls of your firepit for propping their feet.  If you are looking for the functionality of additional seating on the edge of the firepit you will need to increase the height to 18-20 inches.  Along with size comes shape.  Do you prefer a circular, rectangular or square fire pit?  Either choice can be executed!

The inside of your fire pit should consist of a steel fire ring, this will prevent the wall material from drying out due to regular exposure to heat ensuring that the outside walls do not crumble over time while protecting the look and structural integrity of the fire pit.

The outside of the fire pit should be constructed with non-flammable materials.  Common materials for this are traditional brick, stone, masonry blocks (consisting of brick, concrete, granite, etc.), concrete pavers, outdoor stucco or tile.  You also will want to ensure that your firepit is made of non-porous materials (retains water) such as river rocks or compressed concrete as these materials can trap steam and eventually explode.  When choosing concrete pavers, you have endless choices: size, shape, color, texture – so many possibilities!

If you are installing a brick/paver & mortar firepit you will want to contact us, the professionals -who will be able to assist you in design and creation! We are ICPI certified and take pride the in our work!  You will be included in every detail resulting in your dream area!

Associations and Memberships

Building Industry Association of Lancaster County Ephrata Area Chamber of Commerce Techo-pro Contractor Certified ICPI Installer