Are you thinking of installing a fire pit with some comfortable seating options around it? Fire pits can be a fantastic addition to your outdoor space if done correctly.
There are so many options for fire pits and furniture that goes with them that you should be able to find something that suits your needs perfectly.
Which type of fire pit suits your garden?
There are three types of fire pits you can choose from. Here is a short summary of each to help you choose:
1. Wood-fueled fire pits
Wood-fueled fire pits are best for gardens with a lot of space. This type of fire pit can create a lot of smoke and has a higher chance of causing a fire outside of the pit due to coals and sparks flying around. If you want that campsite kind of feel, however, then wood-fueled will work best for you.
2. Natural gas fire pits
Natural gas fire pits are great for permanent structures. You will need to install a gas line so it will cost a bit more, but there is much less maintenance and cleaning involved compared to a wood-fueled fire pit.
3. Propane gas fire pits
These fire pits are great for patios and even indoors. They are fueled by a propane gas-filled tank that is easy to move around. They also come in a variety of styles that allow you to match your fire pit to your existing decor. If you have a small garden or patio, a propane fire pit might just be the one for you.
Fire pit considerations
Before jumping in and buying or building a fire pit, you’ll have to decide on the best placement. There are a few things to consider when deciding on where your fire pit should go. Here’s a quick list of considerations:
The most important thing with fire pits should always be safety.
If you’ll have a free-standing fire pit, you’ll need to make sure the ground is even to avoid your firepit falling over and causing unnecessary injury. You will also need to consider what your fire pit will be standing on. If there’s dry grass or leaves nearby, you will need to make sure to have a bucket of water, a bucket of sand or a fire extinguisher nearby.
You will also need to consider how close you can put it to furniture, houses and garden plants. If your fire pit is too close to any plants they might shrivel and die or even worse catch on fire. Your seating area should also be far enough away from the fire to avoid burning yourself and the furniture.
If your fire pit will be on your patio, you’ll have to think about damage to your house. If you have a wooden floor, it might not be the best idea to place your fire pit in that area since your house might go up in flames.
It is important to think about how your fire pit will look in your garden especially if it will be a permanent structure. Also, consider what will be surrounding your fire pit. If you want your fire pit next to your pool, you can create a safe area with non-flammable floorings such as sand, gravel, bricks, flat rocks or even cement.
If it will be an open fire, make sure to create some form of containment to avoid sparks flying everywhere. Gas fires are usually much safer and easier to contain. You’ll also have to consider if your fire pit will have a roof or not and what the roof will be made of. Thatch is not a good idea since it burns too easily.
If you already have furniture for your fire pit, consider the shape you want. It is best to take measurements and decide on the best way to arrange your furniture for comfort. Once that’s done you can search for a fire pit with the correct shape to suit your setup.
Another thing to consider is what you’ll be using your fire pit for. Will you just be using it as an area to relax and host guests or will you actually be making some food on it? What your fire pit looks like will depend a lot on its use.
For fire pits that are there only for comfort, you can get shields to prevent sparks from flying everywhere which means you can do more in the design department and it also opens up more options for placement. If you’ll be cooking on your fire, you’ll have to consider the practicality of the design for that exact purpose.
More on this: Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: 20 Inspiring Ideas & Designs
Maintenance and cleaning
Last but not least you’ll have to think about maintenance and cleaning. Some fire pits look great but they are extremely difficult to clean and maintain. Fire can be quite a nuisance since it damages everything around it.
You’ll have to consider how much time you’re willing to spend on cleaning. If you have a fire that uses wood or charcoal, you’ll have a lot of ash to deal with. The smoke created from this type of fire will also damage any nearby walls and your ceiling if you placed your fire pit on your undercover patio.
You will also have to consider the mess on the floor. Wooden and charcoal fires create a lot of sparks that cause little tiny pieces of burning wood to fly everywhere. For this reason, you need to make sure your floor won’t get burned. If you have a movable fire pit, you’ll also need to consider the heat it creates. Fire pits can sometimes cause cement floors to crack if exposed to heat over long periods of time.
Gas fires are much easier to maintain and clean. If you don’t want to deal with the mess and worry about sparks going everywhere, consider getting a gas-fueled fire pit.
Best fire pits for patios
Wall-mounted fire pits
If you don’t have a lot of space consider a wall-mounted fire pit. By mounting your fire pit you can place it at a comfortable level for sitting around it or cooking food. It will also save some floor space.
Wall mounting can also create a nice divide between your gathering area and the rest of your garden and it looks great!
Freestanding bowl fire pits
Freestanding fire pits are great because they can be moved around as you please.
This is very handy if you want to put the fire pit away when it’s not in use to create more space for walking on your patio. Freestanding fire pits also tend to be very easy to maintain and clean since most of them are fueled by gas.
Built-in fire pits
Built-in fire pits are much better if you have a lot of space. They can never be moved so make sure you’re happy with the area and the view. They are excellent for cold winter nights spent on the undercover patio since most of them have a chimney to divert the smoke.
Built-in fire pits are quite easy to maintain, but they can be a little tricky to keep clean and looking great. These fire pits are also quite safe and come in either gas or wood-burning options.
Gas fire pits
In most cases, a wood-fueled fire pit on your patio will cause a lot of damage to the surrounding walls due to smoke. If you want to avoid this problem, it is better to go for a gas variety. You won’t need to buy any wood and won’t need to worry about sparks flying everywhere either.
Maintaining gas fire pits is also much easier than cleaning up after burning wood. This makes gas a great low maintenance option for patios. You also get quite nice looking gas fire pit options. Some of these fire pits even look like tables and can be used as such even while the fire is burning.
Best fire pits for gardens
Raised platform fire pits
These fire pits are great for sitting around. Do make sure to decide beforehand where you want them though since after they are built, you can’t move them again. Raised fire pits can be designed to either use gas or wood, it all depends on what you want.
Usually, this type of fire pit will have permanent seating built around it. All you have to do is add some cushions for comfort.
Sunken fire pits
This type of fire pit isn’t the most common design. They look great, but only really warm the feet of the person sitting nearby. If you have very little space and don’t mind only having warm feet, then the sunken fire pit might work for you.
They can be built into the ground with permanent seating structures around it or you can use your normal garden furniture around your fire pit. Just keep in mind that they can be quite difficult to clean.
A very common design with fire pits is sinking the whole seating area into the ground. This way you can create any kind of fire pit you want but the seats will be permanent structures. It is possible to use a free-standing fire pit, raised platform or even a sunken fire pit in this design.
The walls created by the surrounding area also creates a nice bit of privacy and block any cold winds. Pit fire pits can be quite cosy and look great if designed properly.
If you want a bit of privacy, consider creating a raised platform fire pit with built-in seating around it.
This way you can create quite a cosy corner away from any cold draughts and nosy neighbours!
If you already have garden furniture, you can easily create a camping style fire pit for that home away from home feeling.
This is easily done by using some flat rocks or bricks to build a barrier to separate the fire from the seating area. Just make sure there’s nothing in the immediate area of the fire that can burn.
Want even more inspiration? Here are 29 Garden Fire Pit Ideas to Turn Up the Heat!
Best furniture for fire pits
When it comes to seating around a fire pit, you have quite a lot of options. These options can be divided into two categories. Consider the following seating options when building or installing a fire pit on your patio or in the garden.
Built-in seating means you use either the natural incline of the ground or a cement or wooden structure to build seating. This can be easily done if your fire pit is surrounded by walls or in a corner of your patio.
For this type of seating, all you have to do is add cushions to make it more comfortable. They are quite weatherproof, especially if the seats are made of cement and won’t easily get damaged by the fire.
Freestanding garden furniture
If you don’t have a permanent structure, don’t worry, you can use just about any garden furniture available. Find a set that complements your existing decor or that matches your fire pit and put them to use.
If you don’t have a lot of space, free-standing furniture is much better than a permanent structure. It is easy to move around and can be packed away to free up space when not in use. Just keep your furniture far enough away from the fire to prevent any sparks from landing on them.
Where should you not put a fire pit?
Unless you want an uncontrollable fire, never place a fire pit on a wooden deck, grass surface or under a tree with low hanging branches. Always make sure your fire pit is at least 10 feet (3 metres) away from anything potentially flammable.
What can I plant around a fire pit?
You can use a variety of ornamental grasses, shrubs and even a few other perennials and annuals around your fire pit.
Just make sure you keep these plants at least 10 feet (3 metres) away from the fire and don’t let them get so big that they will become a safety risk. You can also use a variety of potted plants, but they should also be kept the same distance away from the fire.
Where should a fire pit be placed in a garden?
A fire pit can be placed just about anywhere as long as anything flammable is kept at least 10 feet (3 metres) away.
This means depending on your type of fire pit and the fuel it uses, you can place it anywhere from your patio to under some large shady trees as long as the surface is non-flammable like sand or concrete.
Keep in mind that the seating area needs to allow people to move at least 5 metres away if they become overheated so a fire pit will take up quite a bit of space.