November 25, 2019

Choosing the Ideal Fire Pit for Your Home

Picture it: a cool clear night, moon and stars shining, you and your favorite people are sitting around a crackling fire pit right in your backyard. You are wrapped up in a blanket relaxing in a comfy chair. You share stories, laugh, enjoy dinner grilled in front of you, then roast marshmallows. It is a great night. Fire Pits are amazing for bringing people together outdoors. If you are looking to add an outdoor fire feature to your home research can be daunting. Here are some things to know when choosing the ideal fire pit for your home.

Choosing your Burn Type

There are four different types of fire pits you can choose: wood-burning, propane, gel fuel, and natural gas.

    1. Wood Burning Fire Pits come in many styles and sizes. The simplest styles come on legs that are off the ground and usually have a screen to cover the top. They can be placed just about anywhere. You must have firewood to burn and it does require some cleaning up as the ashes build up. Choosing a style with shapes cut out of the metal sides is a fun detail.
    2. Propane Fire Pits give impressive flames without having to collect firewood. You can use faux wood, rock pebbles, or glass on top. Most propane fire pits use a 20 lb tank that you can easily replace when empty.  Another pro is that they can easily be moved anywhere in your yard.
    3. Gel Fuel Fire pits are beautiful and create great ambiance but are not great sources of heat and warmth. There is no smoke or burning smell when using these also. When the gel fuel is gone you replace it with another gel fuel pack or refill the reservoir. These are able to be placed anywhere in your yard.
    4. Natural Gas Fire Pits are similar to propane fire pits but must have a permanent connection to a natural gas line. These cannot be moved once installed,  but you will never run out of gas. These are often the most expensive to build, but are the least expensive to operate. If you are looking for a dramatic change this is the way to go, and natural gas fire pits usually create the most curb appeal. These are not recommended as DIY projects.

Think Long Term

Adding a fire pit to your home can not only create a fun atmosphere for friends and family but can also add aesthetics and perhaps increase property value. In a 2018 survey, Realtor®  fire features ranked #8 on a list of projects that appeal to buyers and #11 on a list of projects likely to add value to a home for resale. There are thousands of DIY tutorials for fire pits online. Some are simple and inexpensive and others are much more elaborate and expensive. The simple truth is if you want to have a fire pit tonight, you can go to your local store and bring one home for as little as $35 but putting some thought, effort, planning, and money into a fire feature can pay off when selling your home.

To DIY or Not

A quick Pinterest search produces DIY wood burning fire pits for as little as $60 that can be completed in less than an hour. Maybe that would be true for you, but more than likely it is going to require a little more time and money. A  pre-built wood burning fire pit bowl is the simplest answer but may not get the look you want. If you choose to build a permanent wood-burning fire pit in your yard there are special steps you should follow for safety. Here is a great tutorial from the DIY Network.  Propane and gel fuel fire pits are pretty to look at, cost a little bit more, but are easily moved around your yard. You could purchase these and then focus on your landscaping or patio around it. Natural Gas fire pits are not recommended as DIY projects because of the professional need for hook up and installation. These would also cost the most.

Whatever style of fire pit you choose to put in your home is sure to be a source of fun and memories for a long time. If you are looking to become a homeowner or to upgrade your current home contact us at Method Mortgage to help you get started with all your financing needs.