Contractor Tips Blog


Outdoor Fire Pit vs. Outdoor Fireplace

Posted in Landscaping

With fall in the air, you may be thinking about adding an outdoor fire pit or fireplace for outdoor entertaining and enjoyment.  Both of these are excellent alternative for providing a warm, attractive focal point for gathering and enjoying the crisp fall weather.  Imagine an evening under the stars sharing cocoa with friends and family next to a warm, inviting fire crackling in your beautiful stone fire pit or fireplace!

Outdoor fireplaces and outdoor fire pits both have advantages.  The right one for you depends on your situation and what you plan to do with it.  A fire pit can be made in a wide range of attractive styles. There are portable fire pits made of copper or cast iron, but a permanent fire pit is usually made of stone or brick and since they offer 360 degrees entertainment, they often become the centerpiece of an outdoor entertainment area such as a patio.

Fire pits offer warmth and the ambiance of soft lighting and can even be used for cooking if equipped with a grate.  Fire pits are generally less expensive to build than fireplaces and require little, if any maintenance.

An outdoor fireplace is generally a more dramatic outdoor hardscape feature.  They are larger and more expensive than fire pits, but in addition to being freestanding, they can be incorporated into other structures including covered outdoor entertainment areas such as screened porches.  Like fire pits, they provide warmth, light, and ambiance and can easily be equipped for cooking.

An outdoor fireplace usually offers 180 degrees of entertainment although they can be constructed with the front and back open and placed in the middle of an area rather than the side or corner.  Fireplaces are less affected by breezes and less likely to blow smoke and ash on you and your guests.

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