A firepit in your backyard can be an awesome addition! You can sit around it with friends in a late summer night, relaxing by its natural warmth.
But there are many options for firepits.
Do you want it on ground level or a bit higher? A fixed firepit or a portable one? Small or big? What kind of fuel do you want to use?
If your fireplace is supposed to be for social gatherings, where you can sit around with friends, you will have to plan for it! If it’s mainly for your family, you will have different needs.
If you plan to party around it, a firepit in the ground is not a great idea. As soon as there’s alcohol invovled, people get clumsy. And you probably don’t want to end a party with someone falling into your firepit, right?
Placing a fire table or fire bowl instead will be a lot safer. If you are going to sit around it, it will also look nicer!
Thinking about the size, the more people you want to have around it, the bigger it will have to be. However, it really doesn’t have to be huge.
Choice of fuel
Choosing the right fuel for your firepit can be a daunting task if you don’t have too much experience with it.
Let’s go through the options one by one.
The classic. If you want to go for something more traditional, wood is the way to go. It creates the campfire-feeling everyone loves, where you just feel good. The crackling of burning wood, sparks flying through the air…
However, you need to have some place to store it. Also, it produces smoke, which can become annoying if the wind blows it in your face.
Wood is the simple, most natural option.
Gas can be your “modern alternative”, being easier to light and producing less smoke. Also, no ash, since no wood is burned.
However, it doesn’t provide as much warmth, and it just doesn’t give the same feeling. Also, you need to run a gas line to the firepit.
So if you want a modern look or something different than campfire-style, gas is a great idea.
Another alternative to wood, similar to gas. But instead of a gas line, there’s a propane tank built somewhere in the base of the fire table. It’s just as easy to light, doesn’t smoke and can look very stylish.
But yeah, just like gas, it’s just not the same feeling.
Ethanol is like propanes eco-brother – a natural, clean-burning biofuel. It provides less warmth, though. Great for ambiente, but not as great for sitting around it, campfire-style.