As summer comes and goes, we often leave the season feeling as though something was missing in those evenings of sitting outside with friends. What many backyard entertainers come to realize is that good firepits can improve a night’s ambiance and conversation tenfold and they’re a relatively cost-efficient product. Forget the Tiki torches and gazebo, people want to sit in a circle and bask in the warm glow of a good fire. Fortunately for homeowners, giving your backyard that extra shine is simple and can be done in a day.
Most shoppers go straight for the standard bowl pit. It’s the classic, freestanding unit that you can throw some logs in, light up and then cover with a top. It’s simple and effective. The only downside is that you have to stock up on lumber and there’s the clean up involved afterwards. Even worse, on windy nights the smoke blows in every direction, usually where you’re sitting. Another style of pit in this mode is called the fire ring. It’s exactly what the name implies – a circular protective barrier that you place directly on the ground to throw some logs in. There’s no base or top, so it’s basically setting up a circle in which you can have a traditional log fire on the ground. But who wants to ruin their yard when there’s an easier way?
Those looking to graduate from the standard pit have often moved on to gas fire pits. These are a cleaner, more efficient alternative to the predictable bowl and work themselves nicely into the décor of almost any patio. Instead of using lumber, a propane pit can have starter logs or a simple igniter that gets the flame going with the flip of a switch. Sleeker models allow for the user to adjust the intensity of the flame, so you can customize the burn to what the night is calling for. They can burn extremely hot, so be careful not too singe the eyebrows off your guests, and always follow safety protocols if propane is the route you choose to take.
Safety should always be the first priority for all patio fire pits, especially if you plan on installing the propane unit yourself. Make sure everything is up to your area’s municipal codes and rely on the expertise of professionals if you are unsure. Nothing is worse than putting the time and money into a project only to realize you cut corners and jeopardized the safety of your drinking buddies.
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