When designing the best, most luxurious outdoor space possible, there are a lot of options to consider and it can be difficult to determine which will work best for your lifestyle, and also which will work best together. Of all of these options are two different fire features: the outdoor fire pit and the outdoor fireplace. If you have the funds and the available space you can choose both, enjoying them for their different applications and aesthetics. However, if you need to choose, which is better for you?
Outdoor Fire Pit
A custom-built outdoor fire pit is typically fashioned as an open circular pit made of stone or concrete that sits in a central area of the patio.
- A fire pit is circular, making it more communal like a campfire.
- Everyone can gather around the edge and sit close (but not too close) for maximum warmth.
- Being able to sit closer allows for more interaction such as roasting marshmallows for s’mores.
- A fire pit is meant to operate similarly to a campfire, which means it takes up a lot of space, especially if the design includes built-in seating around a portion of the pit.
- The open design of a fire pit can lead to a gust of wind blowing smoke in your face since it is not directed by a chimney.
- An open outdoor fire pit won’t be viable when it rains because it is uncovered—the fire won’t stay lit and the guests will all become soaked.
An outdoor fireplace is exactly how it sounds—a fireplace that has been built outside. These are often built into outdoor pavilions, but not always.
- An outdoor fireplace is more low-profile than a fire pit, taking up less space.
- They can be built into outdoor pavilions, so they can be enjoyed even when it rains.
- A tv can be mounted above, so everyone can gather outside and enjoy some fresh air while watching a movie or tv show.
- If built freestanding without a pavilion, they can’t be comfortably used in the rain or have a tv mounted.
- They lack the interactive, communal element of a fire pit.
- Fewer people can sit close enough to them to really enjoy their warmth.
Whether an outdoor fire pit or outdoor fireplace is right for you really depends on what you hope to do with your fire feature. An outdoor fire pit is ideal for anyone with a lot of space that entertains large groups of people, especially if children are frequently included. In contrast, an outdoor fireplace is often the better option for smaller groups of people, especially adults.
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