Incorporating a fire feature into your outdoor living space will provide unbeatable ambiance and enjoyment.
Whether your idea of the perfect night is roasting marshmallows with the kids or snuggling fireside with your sweetheart, an outdoor fire feature is sure to bring your entire patio space together.
While both fireplaces and fire pits add appeal to outdoor living areas, they are actually two completely different structures. They not only provide uniquely different experiences, they also vary significantly in cost, size, and required resources.
So how are you to decide which is the better fit for your space?
In this post, we will help you determine the right fire feature and fuel source option for your outdoor space, as well as walk you through how to budget and plan for the perfect fire feature for your home.
Outdoor Fire Pit vs. Fireplace
The first decision when planning for the addition of a fire feature is whether to go with a fire pit or fireplace. To make that decision, some important things to consider are:
What to Consider About a Fire Pit
A fire pit is suitable for you and your guests to gather around it, creating an experience that is both intimate as well as interactive – think s’mores!
This situation is especially great for families with children or people who like to entertain, and who want to spend a lot of time around the fire enjoying each other’s company.
While no chimney is necessary, fire pits can produce a lot of smoke. They are generally installed as a permanent patio feature, and location is very important to ensure that the smoke is directed where you want it to go. Working with a landscape professional to ensure your fire pit is positioned in the right place is a good idea.
Fire pits are very easy to use, and can fit any look or feel you like to work seamlessly with an existing patio or furniture. They have the added bonus of generally being less expensive than a fireplace.
What to consider about a Fireplace
A fireplace is designed so that you and your guests will primarily sit in front of it as opposed to around it. This creates a more sophisticated ambiance as well as warmth.
There are many options for fireplace design, and they can make an elegant architectural statement as well as serve as a focal point in your yard or outdoor space. They can have a small footprint, fitting well into both large and smaller patio designs.
The smoke must be directed up and out of a chimney, though can be used even in inclement weather when incorporated into a covered patio design, such as with a pavilion or pergola. Your fireplace can even be designed with a television mounted to it to combine ambiance with entertainment.
Given the design options as well as need for ventilation and smoke management, a fireplace tends to be more expensive
Financial Requirement for an Outdoor Fire Pit vs. Fireplace
As with any home improvement, cost is an important factor. Fire pits are less expensive than fireplaces in many ways. They involve less expensive materials, and less structural design and labor costs.
Fireplaces, though, will generally increase the resale value of your home more than a fire pit, though both will add value, as will the patio itself.
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