Backyard Fire Pits – Wood Vs. Gas

Father and son by firepit in autumn

It’s early autumn. You’re home from work, the kids are home from school. The trees have turned red and gold, the wind carries a bite.

It would be the perfect night to enjoy your backyard…if only you had a fire pit to keep you warm.

If you’ve been dreaming of this scenario, you’re not alone. Over the past few years, the American Society of Landscape’s Architects’ yearly survey has consistently shown that backyard fire pits are the top trend in outdoor living design.

But like with any landscaping project, you’re likely to have some questions. What would it take to install a fire pit? Are there safety concerns? Would a gas-fired fire pit work better or is wood the better option?

Read on the find out the basics of backyard fire pits, and the pros and cons of wood and gas.

Fire extinguisherGetting started

Before you decide on a fire pit for your backyard, consult your local building codes. These might regulate issues such as:

  • The size of the fire pit
  • Where you can place it in relation to your home or other structures
  • Whether you’ll need to have a fire extinguisher nearby

You should also check with your insurance agent, as installing a fire pit might affect your rates. Find out if you’ll need to increase coverage

Safety concerns

Safety needs to be at top of mind when installing backyard fire pits. Before you begin installation, consider these safety tips:

  • Build on an even surface, which can prevent fire from escaping the confines of the pit
  • Build the pit at least 10 feet from your home, fences, trees, etc. Again, your local building code may have a specific distance requirement.
  • Don’t use gasoline or lighter fluid to light wood, as this can cause the fire to burn out of control quickly. Use dry wood for kindling to get started.
  • Never leave a fire unattended. Keep an eye on children and pets and make sure all guest stay a safe distance away from the pit.
  • Don’t use the fire pit on windy days, as flames or even embers can blow into trees or into/onto your home.
  • Have a fire extinguisher, sand bucket or garden hose close by in case a fire gets out of hand. Call 911 If you can’t douse the flames quickly.

Wood vs. gas

The choice between gas and wood backyard fire pits comes down to two factors: convenience vs. the overall feel of your fire pit.

And gas is nothing if not convenient. You can turn it on and off with the touch of a button, and you’ll never have to deal with chopping wood, cleaning up ash or smelling like smoke.

Cambridge wood burning firepitBut keep in mind these drawbacks:

  • Gas costs more than wood
  • You’ll need to either hook up a propane tank or run a gas line to your backyard
  • Gas gives off less heat and is tougher to cook with

Wood, on the other hand, is excellent for cooking. It burns hotter than gas, is cheaper to install and gives off the rustic sound of crackling logs.

But like gas, it also has some disadvantages:

  • You’ll need to chop and store wood
  • Lighting a wood fire takes longer
  • Cleaning up ash can be a hassle, and you’ll smell like smoke

Whether you’re a fan of wood or gas fire pits, Yardville Supply has something that can take your yard to a new level, all while sticking to your budget.

Cambridge fire tableWe carry backyard firepits from brands such as Belgard and Cambridge, including Cambridge’s new gas burning fire tables, made from Cambridge Olde English Wallstones and designed to let you, your friends and your family enjoy the feel of an idyllic resort in the warmth and comfort of your yard.

Cambridge also offers the option of adding glass fire beads to their fire tables. These specially designed, oval-shaped linear beads reflect light and sparkle when the flame is lit, with their unique shape allowing flames to create dancing, liquid-like display.

Contact Yardville Supply today to learn more about how a gas or wood-burning fire pit can transform your backyard.