Things to Consider Before Setting Up an Outdoor Firepit

Outdoor-Firepit-Paragon-Homes-BlogIt is easy to understand why outdoor firepits are gaining increasing popularity. There is something soothing about sitting around the fire while you socialize with family and friends. Many great memories can be made around a fire with some marshmallows, and a ghost story or two.

Given how popular firepits are you probably know someone with one. You may have spent some time enjoying a firepit at someone else’s house or at a restaurant and now you want one of your own. Before you rush out and start digging a hole in your yard, there are certain things you should keep in mind and regulations you will probably need to follow. In this article, we will take a look at things you should consider before setting up your outdoor firepit.

The Four Types of Fire Pits

To begin with, there are four different types of fire pits. Which is the right type for you will depend on a variety of factors. You will want to consider the setting, the design of the firepit, the type of fuel you want to use, safety issues and any local regulations or county regulations you might need to follow.

1. Wood Burning Fire Pits

There is nothing like the smell of the smoke and the snap and crackle of the wood. The red glow of the logs as they burn adds to the ambiance. The drawback is that you will have to constantly chop wood or buy wood to keep it going. You will also have to have a storage area for the wood to keep it dry enough to burn. The wood, in turn, always attracts insects, so you will have to be prepared for that.

If you choose to have a wood burning fire pit you have a few design options including a wood burning grill for cooking. You can also choose an outdoor fireplace design that is similar to an indoor fireplace made of brick or stone. Finally, you could make a pit of brick or stone. That is the easiest design option and many people build their own.

2. Propane Fire Pits

Propane fire pits are extremely convenient. There is no need to worry about constantly replenishing wood or gel. Propane lends itself to large firepits with dramatic designs the use materials like faux wood, rock pebbles and glass. The potential drawbacks are the price of purchasing propane and the possibility of the propane running out while you are entertaining. Also, many people find that propane is inferior when it comes to cooking. It doesn’t add the kind of flavor that wood grilling does.

Propane fire pits come in portable designs that can be easily moved anywhere in the yard. They also come in elegant copper bowl designs. Copper’s high melting point ensures they are durable, but they can be expensive. Firepit table designs mimic tables with the fire in the center. They come handy ledges around the edge that provide a safe distance from the flames and a place to rest a drink or plate of food.

3. Gel Fuel Fire Pits

Gel fuel fire pits are an option that many people find attractive because they burn without scent or smoke. They are versatile and can be moved. The drawbacks to gel is that it can be hard to find in stores and many people find it easier to buy it online. It also doesn’t give off as much heat.

Gel fuel comes in two designs. It can be purchased as gel fuel logs. The clever design creates the look of a wood fire while concealing the gel fuel holders. The logs can be used in any fire pit design. Tabletop fireplaces allow you to have a small, portable fire indoors or outdoors.

4. Natural Gas Fire Pits

Natural gas fire pits burn clean and you never need to worry about running out of fuel. It can also be a less expensive fuel option. The drawback is that you must run a separate gas line which can be very expensive to install. It also becomes a permanent fixture, which means you can’t move the firepit.

Natural gas fire pits have a couple of designs they can be incorporated into. Sunken designs are dramatic and add to the look of a patio or yard. They present a bit of a safety risk because they are an open flame design. Square, round and tabletop designs are raised above the ground and have elegant designs that are made of stone, brick or copper.


A firepit can be a great addition to your backyard. Keep in mind, however, that they can be a fire risk. Along with the other elements of design, you should consider safety when you create your firepit. Pick a location where it is safe to have an open fire, use care when managing open flames, and follow all local regulations to make your firepit safe and enjoyable for you, your family, guests, and neighbors.

Paragon Homes

About Paragon Homes

Paragon Homes is a custom homes builder specializing in custom built homes and new construction in the Pittsburgh and Allegheny County area since 1987. For almost 30 years, they have offered their clients outstanding service and exceptional value. The types of homes that they build span from villa-styled single-family homes to spacious luxury estates.