Why You Need a Fire Pit in Your Backyard

Outdoor stone firepit.

Have you been considering a fire pit to complete your backyard oasis? Maybe you want to make your deck pop but are unsure about installing a fire pit (or letting The Grounds Guys of Gettysburg install one for you). The truth is a fire pit can enhance the visual appeal of your outdoor space and provide you with the cozy ambiance your backyard might have been missing. But there are so many more benefits to having a fire pit of your very own.

Allow us to walk you through all the details.

Before You Install Your Fire Pit, Consider Some Things First

As a hardscape feature, a fire pit can be the finishing touch that brings your entire backyard together and creates a space for you and your loved ones to congregate and make new memories. However, before you run out to your local home improvement store to purchase this outdoor element or have one constructed, you’ll first need to consider a few things.

BTU (British Thermal Units) Heat Output

Prior to installing a fire pit, one of the most important considerations is the energy output or BTU. The higher the BTU, the more heat you’ll get with a specific fire pit per square foot. A fire pit should have a heat output between 30,000 and 150,000 BTU to adequately keep the surrounding area warm while you enjoy the outdoors.

To calculate the BTU needed for your backyard, take the square footage of your deck or patio space and multiply that number by 20 BTU.

The Types of Fire Pits & Energy Sources

Many people assume that fire pits require wood to operate. On the contrary, you have more options than just wood burning (not that there’s anything wrong with a wood-burning fire pit if that’s your preference).

Gel Fuel Fire Pits

Gel fuel fire pits are an eco-friendly option because gel is clean and doesn’t produce smoke or fumes when it’s burned. This fire feature is ideal for the environment and eliminates any odors that could linger on fabrics. They come in various designs, colors, and sizes to match the theme of your backyard or the style of your home’s exterior. You’ll get approximately 40,000 to 50,000 BTU with a gel fuel fire pit.

Wood-burning Fire Pits

When you want the ambiance, warmth, and crackle of an authentic campfire, a wood-burning feature will provide that without the worry of uncontrollable flames. You can have a contained fire to safely roast the prototypical campfire food in the comfort of your own backyard, with an energy output of around 30,000 BTU.

To install a wood-burning fire pit, you’ll spend between $100 and $3,000. The cost will depend on the mobility of the unit. Typically, you’ll spend less to install a portable wood-burning fire pit than a stationary one. Remember, the wood used for your fire pit must be stored in a dry area so that it doesn’t rot or attract insects and other unwanted pests.

Natural Gas Fire Pits

Natural gas fire pits are versatile but a bit more expensive than other outdoor fire pits, costing between $3,000 and $10,000, depending on any customizations. They’re also available in various modern designs and styles. If your favorite restaurant has a deck or patio with a fire feature, it’s likely powered by natural gas, offering up to 65,000 BTU of thermal energy.

Propane Fire Pits

Similar to natural gas, a standard propane fire pit doesn’t require extra equipment like wood to get the fire started. While the fire pit assembly and installation might be pricier at around $4,000, you can save on operation costs long-term. The heat output will depend greatly on the type of fuel used. Bioethanol, for instance, will provide lower thermal energy of 30,000 to 45,000 BTU.

The Best Location

Your hardscape feature should be 10-12 feet away from any structures, including your home, a pergola, gazebo, and utility shed, as many stored materials are combustible or flammable. For this reason, many people opt to construct areas specifically for fire pits with seating and string lighting to improve the mood.

The Dimensions

When you open the glossy pages of a landscaping or architecture magazine, you’re probably used to seeing an opulent fire pit fit for a large group of people. While space may not be an issue that restricts you from having a large-scale fire pit, you don’t really need anything significantly vast. The ideal size for a standard fire pit will be 12-14 inches tall and at least 36 inches in diameter.

Benefits of Installing a Fire Pit

Enhance the Visual Appeal of Your Backyard

Does your backyard feel incomplete, like it’s missing something? A fire pit helps enhance the visual appeal and brings a spa-like ambiance to your backyard. Whether you have a small concrete slab with Adirondack chairs or an expansive deck with a comfy outdoor sectional, a fire pit creates a functional and aesthetically pleasing focal point.

An Excuse to Enjoy Your Backyard All Year Long

Have you been looking for a reason to go outside on warm or chilly evenings? A fire pit is a perfect excuse to get outside no matter the season. You can cuddle up with your loved ones in a thick blanket on a chilly fall evening or enjoy a cool drink as you watch the flames dance in summer. Regardless of the temperature (preferably above freezing), a fire pit is meant to be used and enjoyed the entire year.

Become the Entertainment Hub for Loved Ones

Ambiance is a significant perk of fire pit installation. You can set an effective mood that attracts friends and family to your home. You can roast sweet treats, savory meats, stay warm and cozy, and/or congregate around the fire reminiscing about life. And the best part is you won’t have to leave the comfort of home for a simulated camping experience.

Save on Energy Costs

Imagine sitting under the stars on your back patio or deck, being warmed by the heat of your very own fire pit. You’re not utilizing electricity when you’re outside enjoying the glow of a fire; therefore, you’re saving money on electricity. If you’re a frequent fire pit user, you may notice decreased monthly energy costs.

Increase Your Home’s Value

Fire pits are at the top of the list of most popular outdoor features to add to a home and one that many homebuyers want. Because fire pits are such a hot commodity (pun intended), spending around $4,000 on installation can yield a 67% return on investment. This hardscape element is marketable and will make potential homebuyers take notice to get your home sold for the amount it’s worth or more.

The Grounds Guys of Gettysburg Helps You Design a Unique Backyard Feel

Living in Gettysburg, you might think it’s best to wait for warm weather to install a fire pit and design your dream backyard. Our committed and skilled landscaping professionals at The Grounds Guys of Gettysburg partner with you to create the outdoor space you’ve always envisioned, using years of knowledge and expertise.

When you’re ready to take your yard’s appearance to the next level, request a free estimate or call for more information.