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  • Fire Pit, Seat Wall, Stamped Concrete
Outdoor Fire Pits
Salzano Custom Concrete
Centreville, VA
    Salzano Custom Concrete in Centreville, VA
  • Cast Cone Fire Pit, Recycled Glass
Outdoor Fire Pits
C.S.W. Creations
Katy, TX
    C.S.W. Creations in Katy, TX
  • Eco-Stain
Outdoor Fire Pits
J&H Decorative Concrete LLC
Uniontown, OH
    J&H Decorative Concrete LLC in Uniontown, OH
  • Fire Pit Seat, Fire Pit
Outdoor Fire Pits
New England Hardscapes Inc
Acton, MA
    New England Hardscapes Inc in Acton, MA
  • Large, Round
Outdoor Fire Pits
Tom Ralston Concrete
Santa Cruz, CA
    Tom Ralston Concrete in Santa Cruz, CA

There are an infinite number of possible designs, and outdoor fire pits no longer need to be just a round pile of rocks. I work with several basic styles of gas fed fire pits when I design outdoor gardens to enchant my clients.

FIREPLACES & FIRE PITS
Time: 03:49

Get tips on how to choose between a fireplace and firepit. Designer/contractor Scott Cohen from Los Angeles takes you to several projects to get ideas and explains how he selects one over the other.
View all 35 Outdoor Living Videos

The popularity of fire pits and the fire effects they produce in the garden is one of fastest growing trends in outdoor design. The allure of sitting around a fire ring has been around since the beginning of mankind. Fire provides warmth, light, a cooking source and, of course relaxation. A dancing flame has a mesmerizing affect that encourages you to unwind and settle in. The popularity of fire pits, or conversation pits as they are commonly called, has grown rapidly in recent years. Proper design and construction will ensure a safe and enjoyable feature that will last several decades.

Fire Pit Location

Fire is a great way to enjoy the view. If you have a lot with a view, locate fire features at the edge of the property in a place where people will have a chance to enjoy the fire while taking in the surroundings.

Consider the view from indoors too. Place features where they can be easily seen from your interior living and entertainment space so people can enjoy the show indoors and out. Fire pits are almost always preferred on view lots over fireplaces.

Locate your fire where warmth will be most welcome. Placing fire near the spa, for example, provides a way for people to continue to enjoy the area in comfort in or out of the water.

Plan for safety. Always locate fire features away from traffic areas and take prevailing winds into consideration. Above all use common sense when operating fire features to keep your evenings safe and beautiful.

MORE FIRE PIT INFO

Fire Pit Pictures

Fire Pit Design Options: Compare round, square, rectangular and fire hearth designs

Compare to Fireplace

Fire Pit Safety Tips

Fire Pit Plans from CCI

Fire Pit Construction Techniques

Typical construction on all of these features involves digging a pit, raising walls with brick or cinderblock, and veneering the outside with stucco, stone, brick, or tile. The interior veneer must be authentic firebrick with a fire-proof grout. This detail is often overlooked by installers but can result in an extremely hazardous situation if aggregate in concrete or cinderblock overheats and explodes.

When selecting the proper height to construct your fire pit consider this: 12-14 inches tall is best for putting your feet up; if you set them higher you can lose circulation to your legs and feet. Standard seat height is 18-20 inches, so build your feature at this height if you intend people to be comfortable sitting on it instead of next to it.

Gas ring upside down or right side up? Talk to anybody who's been in the business for any length of time and they will tell you firmly that the gas ring must be installed with the holes facing down, ....or up. It depends on who you talk to. If you check the instructions, most manufacturers recommend installing with the holes downward. This keeps the water out of the ring and spreads the gas more evenly. Many contractors still prefer to install the holes facing up for effect in sand and under glass. There seems to be a difference of opinion within the industry with the experts split half and half. I have installed them both ways and generally allow the fire pit fill material and the effect I am after to dictate ring placement.

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The Green Scene in Chatsworth, CA

Fire Pit Construction Tips:

  • Build for the long term.
    Stainless steel gas rings substantially outlive the less expensive galvanized metal rings. Save yourself a callback and ensure a happier client.
  • Consider local weather conditions.
    Leave the bottom of your fire pit open to allow water to percolate out. In heavy rain areas, leave a weep or drain hole just above the height of your adjacent patio.
  • If you're going to have fire, do it right.
    Install a generous number of gas rings to create the effect you want. That way, you'll be able to adjust the flame from mild to wild to suit the mood of the evening.

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