Turn up the Heat with Outdoor Fire Pits & Fireplaces Which Fuel Source is Right for You? Outdoor Fireplace Designs Outdoor Fire Pit Designs Recommended Brands FAQs

Turn up the Heat with Outdoor Fire Pits & Fireplaces

Many people close their swimming pools during colder weather, leaving them unused until next season. But did you know that by adding an outdoor fire pit or an outdoor fireplace you can use your pool area all year long? Imagine inviting your friends and family to cook s’mores over the patio fire pit or outdoor brick fireplace on a chilly night. Or sitting around the crackling wood fire pit drinking hot chocolate and talking late under the stars.

All you need are some great fireplace and fire pit ideas. Before you start planning, let’s look at which fuels you can use for both of these awe-inspiring fire features.

Which Fuel Source is Right for You?

Whether you’re looking for backyard fire pit or outdoor fireplace ideas, you have a lot to choose from. And one of the choices is the type of fuel your feature burns. Here are the three most common fuel choices when it comes to lighting up your backyard.

  • Natural gas: You can build an outdoor gas fireplace or firepit that looks beautiful and allows an instant fire with the touch of a button.
  • Wood: If you prefer the crackling of wood and the smell of smoke, build a wood-burning fireplace or fire pit.
  • Liquid propane: If you’re looking for extra heat for cold winter nights, a fire pit or fireplace that burns liquid propane will give you the brightest fire with the most heat.

Did You Know?

The only fuel source that doesn’t need replenishing is natural gas: it comes in through a hard line. On the other hand, you will always have to buy more wood and refill your propane tanks.

fire pit closeup

Outdoor Fireplace Designs

If you want a fireplace in your backyard, your design options are almost unlimited. No matter which fireplace design you choose, it will add to your backyard ambience. Try positioning a fireplace at the edge of your pool for a dramatic effect or creating a private sitting area just outside of the pool’s decking with a wood burning fireplace.

Need more inspiration? How about building an outdoor fireplace with a pizza oven and hold the best pizza party on the block? Or, if you want an integrated aesthetic, design an outdoor brick fireplace that coordinates perfectly with your home. An outdoor fireplace with chimney enhancement will give your seating area the warmth you would expect from a lodge. Or install an outdoor gas fireplace and have a blazing fire without all the work.

fireplace and outdoor kitchen

Outdoor Fire Pit Designs

If you decide you want something a little more casual than a fireplace, there is no shortage of fire pit ideas that will transform your backyard into your dream vision. For example, imagine a brick fire pit surrounded with chairs filled with warm snuggly cushions. Maybe you would prefer a stone fire pit that blends in with the exterior of your home. Want something more dramatic? How about stone fire pits around your pool that surround your guests in a ring of fire? Ever heard of fire globes? Interior fire illuminates these spherical orbs laser-cut with intricate designs. Or, try the latest trend and add fire pit glass: available in dozens of colors, you can also add a special reflective glass in a wood fire pit, gas fire pit, or a propane fire pit to create a stunning visual effect.

Most fire pits come in lengths of 3 feet to 6 feet long, but you can also buy tabletop fire pits if you’re short of space.

Adding a cozy fire feature to your pool area is a great way to extend the time you spend in your backyard. Whether you build a fireplace or a fire pit, you will be able to enjoy your backyard retreat all year long.

Fore more fire pit and fireplace ideas, check out our fire features guide.

fire pit in backyard

Recommended Brands

Outdoor Fire Pit FAQs

What are some fire pit ideas?

You can combine materials and fuel sources to build a fire pit specifically for your design. You’ll find round, square, and rectangular fire pits in stone, brick, and metal. And when you add features such as glass to it, it truly becomes a one-of-a-kind creation!

What is the purpose of a fire pit?

Fire pits are meant to bring people closer together by providing an area full of warmth and beauty. Imagine the dancing flames as you sit around the fire with close friends and family. You can also use fire pits to cook outdoor meals or warm up after a swim on a chilly night.

What kind of fire pit should I purchase?

Because there are so many options to choose from, you should evaluate your environment before deciding on a fire pit. Do you want to burn real wood in it, or would you rather use propane tanks or a gas line to fuel the fire? Do you want a contemporary metal fire pit or would a brick or stone fire pit better fit into your design?

What’s the difference between glass vs. stone vs. wood fire pits?

When choosing your fire pit, you will need to think about the environment you plan to place it in. If a stone fire pit would look better than metal in your backyard, then look at the various stones to determine the best one for you. The wood and glass elements of a fire pit are used for the interior of the pit. You can purchase a wood burning fire pit and use fire glass to give a reflective element to the fire feature.

Is building an outdoor fireplace difficult?

While it’s possible to build an outdoor fireplace, you will have to ensure that you meet the code requirements in your area. Also, the fireplace must be constructed from heat-safe materials such as block, concrete, stone, or brick.

Are outdoor fireplaces worth it?

If you want to create a focal point in your backyard oasis, a fireplace is one of the best ways to do it. And fireplaces have another benefit: they extend the use of your pool area, making it possible to enjoy it year-round.

What are some outdoor fireplace ideas?

You can create a cozy and intimate space with an outdoor fireplace or make it the center of attention at the edge of your pool. Surround the fireplace with colorful chairs for a more casual environment or place well-appointed furniture around it for a more formal look. The possibilities are endless—what’s your vision?

Did You Know?

Wood-burning fireplaces produce a lot of ash and leftover wood. Be sure to clean it after each use so all that debris doesn’t end up in your pool!

Did You Know?

Fire pit glass comes in many colors and is practically maintenance free. Just give it a quick wash when needed and it should last for years.