Outdoor Natural Gas Fire Pits
Learn all you need to know about outdoor natural gas fire pits, from design options to safety tips.
Outdoor natural gas fire pits are a great way to add warmth and a focal point to any backyard or outdoor living space. You'll have many options to explore if you're considering adding an outdoor gas fire pit, and there are a few key points to consider before you light the flame for the first time.
Materials and Structure
"Traditionally, outdoor fireplaces were made of brick and needed a foundation to be laid before they were built," says Lou Manfredini, Ace's Home Expert. Browse pictures of this outdoor living room from HGTV's 2012 Dream Home.
A porthole mirror and potted plants dress up this outdoor fireplace. Courtyard seating faces the fireplace, creating the perfect spot for company and conservation. Design by Chris Johnson
Find the Perfect Fit
Ready for Company
The entertaining deck at HGTV's 2012 Dream Home offers a warm and cozy respite even on the chilliest winter's evening. This fire pit has a modern design and features four separate gas units.
First, as always, think about location, location, location. The most important factor to consider when choosing where your fire pit will be located is safety. Ensure that the area is totally free and clear of all overhanging or adjacent tree branches or bushes, and you should probably also pick an area that doesn't sit on a lot of dry grass. Adding gravel or some hardscaping beneath the designated fire pit area can further reduce the risk of a stray spark adding more excitement to a backyard barbecue than you'd like.
Once you've picked a location, you'll need to decide whether you're going DIY on your fire pit, hiring a contractor to create your design, or purchasing a ready-made fire pit from a home improvement store. All three are viable options, and each has its advantages and disadvantages—DIY can be inexpensive but labor intensive, and because of the flammable materials involved, it's not recommended for novices. Hiring a contractor allows you to sit back and direct the project without breaking a sweat, but it can be expensive. And a pre-fab purchase offers great convenience and affordability, but little room for design customization.
Speaking of design, you'll want to consider whether you want your outdoor natural gas fire pit to match the style of your home and outdoor landscaping, offer a unique departure as a focal point, or land somewhere in between. With the range of options available, you should have no problem satisfying your design impulse.
Finally, once your outdoor natural gas fire pit is installed, be sure to keep a fire extinguisher or water source nearby whenever it's lit—properly maintained fire pits are generally quite safe, but it never hurts to be extra cautious.
See also: Deck and Patio Design Ideas