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How Do You Use a Fire Pit?

Firepit Fire Bowl

Having an outdoor fire pit, fire bowl or fireplace is a very popular trend in the garden design. Many will admit to having a weakness for outdoor fireplaces. They decorate our evenings spent outdoors by providing us with a nice flame and a gentle warmth, and as the season advances, they become even more useful.

They are integrated in most outdoor development projects, and with good reason, because they allow you to extend your use of your outdoor space by providing light and heat. They also allow you to extend your time spend enjoying your garden into other, cooler seasons. From late Summer, the temperature can drop rapidly after sunset, and a garden fire pit will be tempt you to spend time outdoors in the Spring and later in the Autumn thanks to their heat source. Winter barbecue anyone?

Fire Pit Design

Fire Pit Fire Bowl

The design variations for an outdoor fireplace are multiple. The design will be influenced by the type of fire you want (wood or gas), the space that is available, and any local regulations. The latter can vary according to where you live. As an example, it may be required that the fireplace is equipped with a spark arrester and is a minimum distance from flammable buildings.

Where should you position a garden fire pit?

Too often, fire pits are placed well away from the main living spaces in your home, so they are used less. Instead, it should be placed close to areas such as the dining area and lounge area, especially if you want convenient access for food and drinks.

It can help to temporarily position a fire pit, and to then consider your way of using it. For example, you may decide to have dinner on the terrace and light the fire pit early evening to extend an outdoor meal. Having easy access to the house can make this feel like another room, rather than feeling very separate to the home.

We must also think about the functionality of the space. For example, if you are installing a wood fireplace, it is convenient to have chairs on all sides to adapt to the wind direction and avoid having smoke blowing in your face. Don’t forget that you may want to provide a storage area for the wood that will be used to power the fire pit.

Here are some examples of outdoor fireplaces with their advantages and disadvantages:

Wood Burning Fire Pits and Fire Bowls

Patio Heater Fire Pit

Wood fireplaces can be built on the ground with stone or concrete materials, permanently constructed on the site, or simply with prefabricated metal fireplaces that are placed in the garden and are generally not expensive.

Wood burning fireplaces

1. Fireplaces in volcanic stone blocks

It is a principle of volcanic stone blocks that interlock into one another forming a modular type of hearth. The blocks are reinforced with a steel rod, which gives them a very high resistance to heat.

With the modular principle requiring no mortar, the fireplaces are easy to install and can be moved as needed.

2. Stainless steel fireplaces

This fireplace is suitable for outdoors as well as indoors. It is made to be recessed and all of its weather-exposed surfaces are made of stainless steel.

3. Steel fireplaces

These types of fireplaces are the most affordable, but less resistant. Although they are provided with a heat-resistant paint, they will eventually rust.

4. The buchandel

It is an ecological log that burns like a candle, without any spark, for over an hour. It is a double combustion inside the log, allowing the creation of a high flame that releases a strong heat. The combustion does not emit any smoke and is very easy to ignite, but the flame is much smaller than that produced by a wood fire.

Wood – Recessed floor

  • Advantages: Inexpensive, simple installation. It can be a little more expensive if you select a recessed custom made natural stone.
  • Disadvantages: Fixed position, not accepted in all areas due to restrictions.

Wood – In a prefabricated metal fireplace

  • Advantages: Inexpensive, simple installation, can be moved as needed.
  • Disadvantages: More traditional aesthetics, low metal durability, not accepted in all municipalities.

Wood – With prefabricated block walls

  • Advantages: Moderate costs, simple installation.
  • Disadvantages: Fixed position, low metal durability, not accepted in all municipalities.

Gas Fireplaces and Outdoor Heating

Gas fireplaces and fire pits can take many forms. Usually, the starting point will be to choose a model that is placed on the ground or embedded in a masonry wall. Some models, such as circular type models, for example, are relatively inexpensive. There are other larger models that can significantly increase the cost of the project when considering the infrastructure required for their installation. They can offer both a classic and contemporary look and can be fed either by a tank (propane), or directly by the connection of (natural) gas from the property. In both cases, the necessary connections and piping (often buried in the ground) as well as installation by certified specialists should be considered.

Fireplaces with natural gas or propane

The great feature of installing outdoor gas fireplaces is that they require no chimney. The installation must, however, comply with the manufacturer’s standards, and respect the space of non-combustible areas. The finish around the fireplace can be varied. The reflection of the flame is particularly strong in a stainless steel fireplace. The bed can be made of cement stones, specifically designed to withstand water, or crystals of crushed tempered glass or even artificial buckets of a traditional look.

Round gas fireplace

Similar to a campfire, this small fireplace can be installed on a patio. The propane tank is hidden under a table or other.

Linear gas fireplace

Generally installed on a patio, such as a coffee table, in the center of a relaxation area. It has a stainless steel lid and is decorated with a crystal glass bed available in six different colors. You can also replace the crystals with river stones.

Gas – Circular

  • Advantages: Moderate costs, simplicity of use of gas.
  • Disadvantages: Fixed position, complex installation.

Gas – Circular, in a stone wall

  • Advantages: Moderate costs, simplicity of use of gas.
  • Disadvantages: Fixed position, complex installation.

Gas – Recessed in stone masonry

  • Advantages: Simplicity of use of gas, refined and modern look.
  • Disadvantages: Fixed position, complex installation and high costs.

Gas Fireplace – Linear

  • Sometimes a more linear shaped natural gas flame is introduced much better in smaller landscaping or linear gardens, which are more common in urban areas.

It is easy to vary the styles using different materials and to create a very unique look, as well as aesthetically a harmonising with the layout of your garden.

Ethanol Fireplaces

Small ethanol fireplaces, for their part, are often combined with a table or integrated into a decorative structure and are usually considered an aesthetic element rather than a real source of heat. They have the advantage of being portable most of the time and can therefore easily be moved in the garden space.

Very trendy, the ethanol fireplace consumes bio and emits nothing, except for a tiny amount of CO2. Many people are trading their traditional fireplaces for this new option. Ethanol is an ethyl alcohol, whose origin is completely vegetable, and which is mainly extracted from cereals, such as wheat and corn. Ethanol is perfectly odorless and when it ignites, it produces blue flames that gradually give way to yellow colors. There is a wide range of models made for outdoor use.

Ethanol – On the table

  • Advantages: Ease of use of ethanol, moderate costs depending on the chosen product, refined and modern look, can be moved as needed.
  • Disadvantages: Low heat source, frequent handling of ethanol.

Many people are trading their traditional homes for this new option. Ethanol is an ethyl alcohol, whose origin is completely vegetable, and which is mainly extracted from cereals, such as wheat and corn. Ethanol is perfectly odorless and when it ignites, it produces blue flames that gradually give way to yellow colors. There is a wide range of models made for outdoor use.

Regulations, Safety and Security

Before obtaining an outdoor fireplace or fire pit, you must also know the local area’s laws and the safety standards. In some areas, all fireplaces may be completely banned. In areas where they are allowed, regulations must be followed.

You should also be aware that the burning of wood can be considered as polluting. The small particles that emanate from it can contribute to air pollution, unless you use ecological logs.


So there you have it, a quick overview of the various fire pits and outdoor fireplaces to help you make your choice. Why not take a look at some of the fantastic range our fire pits and outdoor heating we have on offer right now.




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