The home’s fire pit, flanked by charcoal black Adirondack chairs, adds warmth on chilly nights outside by the water.The simplest fire pit of all is little more than a metal bowl, which may or may not come equipped with a grill top — just in case you want to do a little outdoor cooking — and a protective screen cover. They’re great for small patios and courtyards.
This fire bowl is the perfect size for a patio. The top prevents rain from getting into the fire pan, and its open sides allow you to add wood easily. Plus, you can get a stick close to the fire for roasting marshmallows. During the summer, these fire pits make great planters.
Chimineas arrived on the scene back in the 1980s, and they remain as popular as ever. They don’t give off much heat, but the smell of burning wood adds a certain something to outdoor living. Good firewood includes pinion wood, alder, cedar, oak, hickory, mesquite, pecan and even fruit woods, such as apple and cherry. Don’t burn pressure-treated wood in a chiminea or any other fire pit or fireplace because it may contain harmful toxins.
This pit is nothing more than a ring made from mortared limestone. Although you can’t see it, there’s a drain in the center that’s connected to a pipe running underground and out into the lawn so that rainwater doesn’t collect in the pit.
This fire pit also has a drain. It’s designed so that the fire actually sits below the level of the stone patio, and the sight of flames shooting up from below is very cool. During the summer, the pit is a great place for a large potted plant.
Fire pits can be very simple and inexpensive to install. This one, from start to finish, took two people just a couple of hours to complete, and the cost of materials was less than $100.
Fancier fire pits like this will cost you more, but do-it-yourselfers can easily handle the installation.
Fireplaces are a different matter. They can get rather pricey, especially for custom models, but modular kits are available as well for less than a third of the cost. And there’s no getting around the fact that they add a special touch to outdoor living, with or without a fire burning in them.