10 Things To Consider When Designing A Patio Fire Pit

backyard fire pit

Ready to create your dream backyard? Patio fire pits can be an amazing addition to any backyard or patio. We’ve got everything you need to start planning.

Read on for 10 things to consider when designing a patio fire pit.

Create a Budget and Consider Cost

Your first step for any home improvement project, including a patio fire pit, is to figure out how much you’re willing to spend.

An inexpensive, portable steel fire pit may cost you around $200 at a local hardware store. A fire pit that’s directly installed permanently into a tile or stone patio can exceed $4000.

The cost will vary based on a number of factors. The materials that you use to build the fire pit, brick, stone or a premium stone like granite will impact cost.

Fire pit bowls will cost extra as will pre-assembled kits. Wood-powered kits are far less than gas powered.

You can also save some money if you choose the patio fire pit yourself instead of using a professional.

Check on Local Codes and Ordinances

Local codes and ordinances dictate how and if a fire pit is legal in your area. Some fire pit codes are listed separately as outdoor burning or recreational fire codes and some are listed as part of the overall local fire code.

Prior to designing your new patio fire pit, check to make sure that it’s legal and if there are any restrictions. The last thing you want to do is spend the money to build your dream patio fire pit, only to get a fine and be required to take it down.

Determine Permanent or Portable

Fire pits come in all shapes and sizes. Once you’ve determined that you are allowed to have them in your area, you’ll need to decide if you’d like a portable or permanent fire pit.

Portable fire pits are great for a lot of activities. Whether you’re tailgating at the big game, out for a weekend of camping with friends, or headed to the beach for a bonfire, having a portable fire pit is helpful. It can also be moved around your property.

A permanent fire pit is also a great addition to any backyard, especially if you do most of your entertaining at home. It can also add to your overall property value if it’s well designed and adds to your landscaping and architecture.

Designing Considerations

Patio fire pits can have all kinds of different designs. Once you’ve settled on a location and a size, start looking at function. Is this a fire pit you’d like recessed into the ground for s’mores and more casual entertaining?

Will you be using this as part of a more formal outdoor kitchen? Do you want a larger ledge for guests to rest food and drinks on? Is your aesthetic more modern and clean or more rustic?

Answering a few general style and design questions can help get you started on choosing or building the right patio fire pit for you and your family.

Figure Out the Fuel Type

Fire pits can be powered by wood, natural gas, propane or gel.

Propane fire pits are easy to use, easy to light and burn quickly in comparison to wood burning fire pits. Because they don’t generate smoke or ash, normally they can still be used even if there are local fire restrictions. They are also much easier to clean up.

With non-wood patio fire pits, the next step is to determine the size of tank you’ll need. This will depend on the size of your fire pit and how often you plan on using it.

Know Your Dimensions

Fire pits come in all different sizes. You can choose to buy a pre-fab fire pit, or, you can build any size you like if you’re building from scratch.

Smaller fire pits that you can purchase are between 20″ – 25″. Larger fire pits are between 40″ – 45″.

It’s important to have a good idea of how large you’d like your patio fire pit to be so that you select the right size fuel tank for your pit.

Pick Your Location

Determine where in your yard or patio you’d like to place or build your fire pit. Many people choose to have it as an extension of an existing outdoor entertainment area, like an outdoor kitchen or pool patio.

For safety reasons, you’ll want to ensure that it’s at least ten feet away from existing structures and also clear of overhanging trees and bushes. If you live in an area that has a lot of wind, be mindful when selecting your location.

Especially if you choose a wood-burning fire pit, you’ll want to make sure it’s out in the open, far from anything that could potentially catch fire.

Decide on Materials

Fire pits can be made of anything from a stone and stainless steel, to marble slabs, to a shopping cart.

The type of material you choose will be one of your largest cost factors. If you’re looking for a modern, easy-to-clean patio fire pit, you may want to consider stainless steel, though it will add to the cost.

Stone works well for stationary, more rustic looking pits, or you could even consider something like copper.

Whatever material you choose, make sure it matches with the overall look and feel of your existing backyard entertainment areas.

Review Safety Concerns

In addition to making sure that your patio fire pit is clear of existing structures, making sure it’s placed or built on level ground is important too.

If you’re using a wood-burning fire pit, it’s important to have a metal screen to help control sparks and ash.

As previously mentioned, make sure it’s clear of trees or bushes that may overhang, and keep it out of major walkways and paths so as not to be a nuisance.

Match Your Fire Pit Style to Surrounding Landscaping and Architecture

Matching your fire pit style to existing landscape and architecture is more important for a permanent fixture. While it’s important for portable patio fire pits as well, they tend to be less expensive and more easily replaced if you find you don’t like the style.

Coordinating your fire pit material with your patio material or nearby hardscape or architectural design will make for a beautiful feature that fits right into your home entertainment area.

Ready to Design Your Patio Fire Pit

Edgewater Design Company is a landscape and hardscape installation and design firm. We pride ourselves on creating meaningful and innovative outdoor spaces for all of our clients.

We’d love to help you design and build the patio fire pit of your dreams so give us a call!



Looking for a reliable, creative fire pit construction company in Chandler

Call Edgewater Design Company at (480) 397-0224 or schedule a free design consultation.


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