Whether it’s making smores in the summertime or enjoying a warming fireside chat in the winter, a home with a fire pit can make any outdoor space feel more welcoming. However, there’s more that goes into installing a fire pit than just your desire to have one.
To help ensure that you’re able to have a fire pit that’s safe, legal, and the perfect addition to your home, here are five things to consider when putting a fire pit in your backyard.
Make Sure Everything’s Legal
The very first thing you need to check before even taking one step toward putting a fire pit into your backyard is to learn about the legalities of it.
According to Manasa Reddigari and Bob Vila of BobVila.com, the deed of your home, any homeowners association you’re a part of, and the local ordinances of the area you live may stipulate whether or not you can have a fire pit on your property. If you are allowed to have one, you still need to check that you have it in the right place and that you have all of the required safety protocols taken care of so that everything is legal with your fire pit.
Choose The Right Fuel To Burn
Once you’ve determined that you legally can put a fire pit on your property, you now need to decide what type of fire pit you want to install. The main decision here is knowing what type of fuel you’ll burn in your fire pit.
Generally, you’ll have the choice between gas and wood. According to Alexa Erickson, a contributor to the Family Handyman, installing a gas or propane fire pit will usually be a lot less maintenance for you. You’ll be able to turn it on instantly and not have to worry about making a mess. With a wood burning fire pit, you’ll have great ambiance when you create a fire, but you’ll also have to keep wood on-hand and deal with the mess that can come along with that.
Picking The Location
When you know what kind of fuel you’ll be burning in your fire pit, you can get a better idea of where you’d like your fire pit located on your property.
With a gas fire pit, Lauren Dunec Hoang, a contributor to Houzz.com, shares that you’ll need to keep your fire pit close to where your fuel lines will be. If you’re using a wood fire pit, you’ll want to keep your wood close but not too close. And if your fire pit is one of the many parts of your backyard environment, you’ll need to pick a place where you’ll be encouraged to use your fire pit frequently without it getting in the way of other activities.
Be Aware Of The Weather
The weather in San Diego and throughout southern California should also come into play when considering the details of installing a fire pit on your property.
With the humidity near the ocean, it may be hard for you to keep the wood dry if you’re using a wood-burning fire pit. This can cause your fires to be smokier than you might have initially thought, and could make it so you don’t end up using the fire pit as often as you’d intended. This can be avoided by storing your wood in a safe, dry environment.
Additionally, Manasa Reddigari and Bob Vila of BobVila.com share that you’ll want to consider how windy it gets on your property before putting in your fire pit. Especially during windier times of the year, you’ll need to keep any fire well away from your home, out buildings, or vegetation that could catch on fire.
Match Your Fire Pit To Your Personal Style
Once you’ve got all the details of your fire pit figured out, the final thing you’ll need to think about is what you want your fire pit to look like and how you imagine it fitting with the rest of your landscaping. If you have a large backyard, putting in a large fire pit with a lot of seating may make the most sense. A landscape architect can help you with this part if you don’t have a strong opinion on the style you want.
If you’re wanting to put a fire pit in your backyard, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you get everything squared away.