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10 Unique Fire Pit Ideas For Your Backyard

The four seasons don’t necessarily have too much in common, but there is one activity that stretches across all months of the year: sitting around the fire pit!

Whether you’re listening to summer crickets while roasting smores or bundled up in blankets while telling spooky stories in autumn, fire pits are a fantastic and versatile feature to have in your yard.

However, there are so many different types to choose from…how do you know which is best for your yard?

If you’re not sure where to start, good news: you’re in the right place! We’ve put together some fire pit inspiration that covers the full spectrum of backyard decorators, from DIY-lovers to people who want their fire pit ready to go right out of the box.

Fire Pit Ideas

Propane Fire Pit Ideas

Propane fire pits are generally more expensive than wood-burning fire pits at first, but over time, they end up being cheaper, safer, and cleaner.

All fire pits require some type of fuel, and propane is slightly cheaper to keep stocked up than wood.

Propane is also considered to be more friendly to the environment than burning wood.

Propane fire pits are also less likely to spread accidentally.

1. Faux Stone

One of the most aesthetically pleasing options for a propane fire pit is a false stone fire pit!

This type of fire pit looks fantastic on your patio, but it comes with another perk.

Propane fire pits require a propane tank in order to function. You’ll have to connect the tank using a hose.

This necessity can quickly become an eyesore. However, with some false stone propane fire pit designs, you can actually hide the tank in the center.

Make sure that you choose a false stone fire pit that will match—or at least complement—your patio stone or brick. Otherwise, it can be jarring to look at.

2. Faux Wood

In general, you shouldn’t expect to find a fire pit made of actual wood. (After all, this presents a considerable risk for a fire getting out of control.)

However, if you’re hoping for that aesthetic in your yard décor, you can find propane fire pits constructed to look like wood!

This fire pit also has an interior space designed to hide your propane tank. The steel top is carefully crafted to mimic stained wood.

It also comes with a cover to hide the burner when not in use, which means it doubles as a functional outdoor table!

3. Multipurpose

Speaking of fire pits that double as tables, if you’re looking for one with a broader surface, you’re in luck.

There are plenty of gorgeous table and fire pit combination units out there that offer plenty of space to set down drinks or plates. (Without getting too close to the fire, of course!)

Another mark in the multipurpose propane fire pit’s favor is that it comes with a dial to control the intensity of the flames in its center.

You can also hide your propane tank inside this unit.

The wicker exterior also lends itself well to the summertime deck vibe. It’s an unusual look; the bases of most propane fire pits are made of steel without any additional detailing, even the “wood” topped ones.

4. Traditional

The former propane fire pit ideas are best used on a flat, stationary surface, such as a deck or patio. But if you’re looking for a propane fire pit that will function well in your patio-less yard, you’re better off picking a more traditional look.

This faux-stone fire pit is designed a bit differently; it’s round and roughened up to look like a handmade fire pit. It fits in well with yards that lack decks or patios, though it can also be used on flatter surfaces just as well.

Natural Gas Fire Pit Ideas

Natural gas fire pits are gorgeous fixtures to have in your yard, but they come with additional factors you need to keep in mind.

5. Permanent Commitment to Sleek Style

For instance, unless you’re using a propane to natural gas conversion kit, natural gas fire pits are permanent additions to your outdoor space. They often have to be attached to your gas line, and they cannot be repositioned after without considerable work and expense.

In some areas, you’re able to track down and purchase portable natural gas tanks, but it’s very rare.

However, natural gas is considerably cheaper than propane. So while it might cost much more up front to get this fire pit situated, it will likely save you money in the long run.

Natural gas fire pits are pretty unique due to the initial process of installing them. However, they possess such a sleek design that they make any backyard instantly stand out!

Wood-Burning Fire Pit Ideas

Wood-burning fire pits are the most common fire pit out there, and they come in a multitude of materials, shapes, and sizes.

These are the fire pits you can make by hand if you purchase the right materials. Many people craft rough-hewn fire pits out of bricks or rocks all stacked around a hand-dug pit. However, these aren’t your only options!

6. Brick

If you do want to go with stacking bricks to build your wood-burning fire pit, you don’t have to settle for plain ones. You can get a colorant kit and stain your bricks, or you can set your creativity free and paint them whatever colors you like.

7. Sparkle and Stone

If you want to add a sparkly touch to your rock fire pit, you can fill in some of the gaps with geodes, crystals, or other colorful stones!

8. Anti-DIY

If you don’t want to build your wood-burning fire pit by hand, you don’t have to. There are several pre-built fire pits that are simple to set up. In fact, most of them only require you to unbox them and set them out!

If you’re looking for a compromise between having to build a unique fire pit yourself and having one pre-made without sacrificing style, you might prefer a pagoda-style wood-burning fire pit!

These fire pits are uniquely shaped and fascinating to observe. They also come fully caged in, so you don’t have to worry as much about ash blowing into your face or embers popping onto your lawn.

Gel Fuel Fire Pit Ideas

Gel fuel fire pits are fueled by isopropanol and/or ethanol gel or liquid fuel.

Most of these models are tabletop size. They’re not designed for large gatherings or keeping you particularly warm. However, they’re great for making s’mores!

They also make great alternatives to large fire pits if you have little to no yard space.

9. Table Decor

Gel fuel fire pits are perfect if you want to add some distinctive flair to your outdoor dining space. Unlike candles, they’re reusable, and they’re more eye-catching than any flower arrangement!

When purchasing gel fuel, you’ll want to take measurements of your fire pit first. You want to make sure the can of fuel will fit inside the fire pit.

If you can’t find gel fuel tanks that will fit inside your fire pit, check the specifications on the fuel tank. You may be able to fill it with liquid fuel instead—just make sure it’s still ethanol and/or isopropanol-based!

10. Indoor Compatibility

Another perk of these fun-sized fire pits: they can often be used indoors. This fuel burns very cleanly compared to other types and doesn’t produce nearly as much carbon monoxide as other types of fire pit fuel.

You’ll still need to ensure your indoor space is carefully ventilated. However, these tiny fire pits pose very little risk to your health if you choose to make s’mores indoors!

Fire Pit FAQs

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Which type of fire pit is best for my yard?

Any fire pit will work in your yard, provided you’re permitted to arrange or install one. However, certain types work better for certain yards.

For instance, if you have a flat patio or a deck that’s easy to clean, wood-burning fire pits should be just fine for you. Wood-burning fire pits are also the best choice for yards without a fully flat surface to set up your fire pit.

Propane fire pits, gel fuel fire pits, and natural gas fire pits all require a flat surface in order to be built and used safely.

If you don’t want to dirty your patio or deal with the nuisance of smoke, gel fuel, natural gas, or propane are the better choices.

Are certain types of fire pits safer than others?

While they’re certainly the most popular type of fire pit, wood-burning fire pits are actually the most dangerous out there.

They also produce the most smoke and ash, which means they’re more likely to draw complaints from neighbors or cause other problems for you.

For instance, smoke can irritate certain health conditions. Ash can pollute nearby water sources as well as dirty your lawn and other landscaping.

As mentioned, if you live in a dry area, wood-burning fire pits also have the potential to cause wildfires or house fires, even if they’re small or carefully controlled.

Gas fire pits or gel fuel fire pits are safer alternatives, though they come with their own set of risks.

You want to make sure you set up your gas or gel fuel fire pit in an area with good airflow.

Gas and gel fuel fire pits, while producing little to no smoke and ash, do produce carbon monoxide. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is minor so long as your fire pit is set up properly, but you’ll want to be cautious.

What if my neighborhood or apartment complex doesn’t allow fire pits?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about this. Short of getting a petition through to your local government, you’re out of luck.

However, there are alternatives to fire pits that can be used for a similar effect!

For instance, you can purchase a tabletop smore maker to get around those regulations.

This requires no wood and produces absolutely no smoke.

This means it’s not likely to be a nuisance to your neighbors!

While it’s not as big as your typical backyard bonfire, it gets the job done. (Also, it’s a considerably cheaper alternative to just about any other kind of fire pit out there!

The best part? Similarly to gel fuel fire pits, this smore maker can be used indoors and outdoors. This means s’mores all year long, not just in the summer!

When it starts to snow outside, you can set up a cozy s’more and hot chocolate station right in the comfort of your own home.

Can I build a fire pit myself?

As mentioned earlier, you can absolutely build a fire pit yourself if you have a specific vision in mind…or just prefer to DIY.

However, you will need to look up the regulations in your area. Even if your township, city, or village allows fire pits, your specific homeowner’s association might not.

Even if they do, they might have requirements involving submitting plans, scheduling inspections, and other red tape to work through.

You’ll also want to check in with your home insurance provider and make sure you don’t need to update your policy.

If you get through all of those hoops unscathed, you still might need a burn permit before setting any fires in your backyard!

In addition, you can only build wood-burning fire pits as an amateur, not gas-fueled or gel-fueled fire pits. These require very specific expertise and tools.

Light Up Your Guests’ World With Your Unique Fire Pit Ideas!

Now that you’ve seen the full spectrum of options, you’re well-prepared to pick your own unique fire pit!For more backyard décor inspiration, check out our backyard living section now!