Choosing the Right Fire Feature for Your Backyard!

Nothing says outdoor living more than a fire feature! Those cool fall nights around a fire are some of my favorites! I’m currently looking into the best option for my backyard and family and getting inspiration from listings as well. These are some of the most popular options that I’ve found and have been comparing! Maybe these will give you some inspiration too!

Fire Pit

The traditional fire pit, which is most traditional to the backyard. Simple to create in an open yard landscape.


  • Versatility: Fire pits come in various sizes and styles, from portable models to elaborate built-in designs. This versatility allows you to find the perfect fit for your space and needs.
  • Social Hub: Fire pits encourage gatherings, providing a natural focal point for conversations and relaxation.
  • Year-Round Use: With the right setup, fire pits can be enjoyed in all seasons, extending your outdoor living space.


  • Safety Concerns: Some local municipality requires a burn permit, and an open fire poses a risk, especially in households with children or pets.
  • Smoke and Ash: Most designs will produce smoke and ash that can be bothersome and dangerous if not managed properly.

Outdoor Fireplace

We see outdoor fireplaces commonly in covered areas with existing walls to be built into. Versatile to an indoor/outdoor space, next to a poolside built off a back porch.


  • Elegant Focal Point: Outdoor fireplaces add a touch of sophistication and charm to your backyard, often becoming a centerpiece for outdoor gatherings.
  • Smoke Control: Compared to fire pits, outdoor fireplaces are better at controlling smoke and directing it upwards.
  • Structured Design: Fireplaces can be incorporated into existing patio or deck designs, built seamlessly into an already covered area.


  • Cost and Space: Building an outdoor fireplace can be more expensive and space-consuming compared to other fire features.
  • Limited Seating: Fireplaces typically have limited seating areas, which may not be ideal for larger gatherings.

Fire Table

These are a convenient mobile option that can be moved around onto a patio, deck, or even driveway. Great for smaller spaces!


  • Modern Aesthetic: Fire tables offer a sleek, contemporary look that can complement various outdoor design styles.
  • Tabletop Functionality: They provide a practical surface for drinks and snacks, serving a dual purpose as a fire feature and a table.
  • Propane Option: Many fire tables use propane, which is convenient and eliminates the need for firewood.


  • Limited Heat: Fire tables may not provide as much heat as fire pits or outdoor fireplaces, making them better suited for ambiance than warmth.
  • Maintenance: Propane fire tables require regular tank refills or connection to a natural gas line.


A potbelly type fire oven, classically made out of terracotta and a very popular look for more southwestern style homes and backyards.


  • Unique Design: Chimineas come in various shapes and styles, adding a distinctive and artistic touch to your outdoor space.
  • Effective Heat: They offer excellent heat output, making them ideal for keeping warm in cooler weather.
  • Less Smoke: Chimineas are designed to direct smoke upward, reducing discomfort.


  • Limited Visibility: The enclosed design of chimineas may limit the visibility of the fire from certain angles.
  • Fire Management: Lighting and maintaining a fire in a chiminea can be more challenging than in other fire features.

Choosing the right fire feature for your backyard depends a lot of course on preferences, space, and budget. Consider what matters most to you: the aesthetics, heat output, safety, or convenience. Whether you opt for a classic fire pit, an elegant outdoor fireplace, a modern fire table, or a charming chiminea, you can create an inviting and cozy outdoor haven that you, your family, can enjoy throughout the years to come! Join our HOME Projects group to get inspiration and advice for your next backyard build! See you around the fire!

Kevin Ahrens
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