Warm Up Your Nights With An Outdoor Fireplace Or Fire Pit

April 01, 2022

When it comes to enjoying a summer evening outside, it’s hard to beat the ambiance of a warm fire. If you are wondering how you can add fire to your landscape, it’s easier than you might think—whether we are talking about freestanding fire pits or custom-built outdoor fireplaces. 

You don’t always need a lot of room for starters, and your design options for wood burning, propane or gas fireplaces, and fire pits are plenty! In fact, there are so many options, it might be a little overwhelming, so here are a few things to keep in mind.

Tips for selecting the right outdoor fireplace or fire pit for your patio or yard:

  1. Usable Space: Where do you envision your fire feature? How much room do you have to work with? Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces require varying degrees of space depending on the design, so it’s a good idea to determine just how much room you have to work with before getting your heart set on a design. Consider, too, the space you will need for seating, and be sure to allow ample room in your plans. Five to seven feet on all sides of your firepit is a good rule of thumb.

  2. Intended Use: How you want to use your fireplace or firepit goes hand in hand with how much space you will need. Is the fire intended for warmth, ambiance, or both? Will the fire be central to an entertaining area for family and friends? Maybe you want a place to set drinks or even dine around the fire. Different designs will have different features, like a wide lip or surface area to set things, low walls to block wind/smoke, or even sit on–the list goes on! Each design will be better suited for a particular activity, and will also have unique space requirements.

  3. Undercover or Under the Stars: Do you want to sit around the fire under a patio cover or in the open air under the stars? There are great design options either way, but obviously different considerations come into play, like ceiling height, fire pit height, chimney height, and the type of fuel you intend to burn (wood, propane, natural gas).

  4. Portable or Permanent: Do you want a freestanding fire pit you can move, an in-ground fire pit, or some other permanent fireplace design? Portable firepits are typically either wood-burning or propane. Whereas in-ground or permanent freestanding fire pits and outdoor fireplaces will be either wood-burning or natural gas. If you are wanting a natural gas fireplace, you may need a permit and will need to work with a contractor licensed to install the necessary lines and connections.

  5. Style: Firepit and fireplace styles go beyond portable vs. permanent and each can come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, materials, and designs. Ideally, you want to match the style with your landscape or patio style for a cohesive aesthetic. Whether portable or permanent, your firepit or fireplace should look like it belongs, not as an afterthought. 

A landscape designer experienced in fire features and outdoor fireplaces can help you navigate all of these considerations and come up with a design that best suits you, your landscape, and your budget. Designing and installing fire features for homeowners is one of our core services at Landscape East & West. If you are dreaming of enjoying evenings outside by the fire, contact us today.

For a bit more inspiration, here are a few custom fire pit and outdoor fireplace designs we have created for homeowners in the Portland, OR metro area. You can also check out our design portfolio for more landscape ideas.

Outdoor wood-burning stone veneer fireplace with concrete hearth and natural wood mantle.

Freestanding natural gas metal fire table.

Woodburning firepit with patio surround and curved seating wall.