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Fireplace or Fire Pit: Choosing Your Outdoor Fire Feature

As modern outdoor living becomes increasingly popular among homeowners looking to extend upon their indoor living spaces, so does the need for heating elements to keep these areas warm during the cooler months. Even for people who live in warmer climates, outdoor fire pits and fireplaces add an ambiance to your space that you can’t achieve with a primitive bonfire, heat lamps or candles.  However, with the emerging popularity of hardscape fire features comes the element of permanence so choosing which design you want and where to put it isn’t necessarily a quick and easy decision.

Space is one of the first things you should consider when choosing between a fireplace or fire pit. Although fireplaces take up considerably more space than fire pits, they tend to offer less seating – usually only enough room for 1-4 people to reap the benefits of the heat being produced – whereas fire pits typically offer enough seating for 5 or more people as a result of their 360 degree designs.

If you have the space for either feature and you’re still torn on which to choose, ask yourself what kind of atmosphere you hope to achieve in your design. Do you often entertain a large number of guests or will the primary use of your space be mainly for intimate gatherings with your spouse and immediate family? Fireplaces will naturally create a cozier, more romantic environment whereas fire pits encourage more fun and laughter among a larger group of people.

Once you’ve chosen which fire feature you’d like to install, you can then decide between wood burning or gas fueled options. Although wood is easier to install and creates an ambiance that can’t always be achieved with gas fueled options, they also cause a lot of smoke, aren’t considered as safe as gas and may make it more difficult for you to get a license depending on where you live and where you want it installed.

There are other things to consider when incorporating your fire feature into your outdoor living space. Do you want wood storage? If you are going with a fireplace, how about adding a brick oven? Additional hardscape elements, such as seating walls can also be installed to enhance your fire feature and tie it in with the rest of the design. And don’t forget about lighting – the fire feature itself will produce some light, but low-voltage lighting can be installed in or around your fireplace/fire pit to help with visibility.

Whether you choose a fireplace or fire pit, you can be sure that it will extend your time spent outdoors into the cooler months as well as give you a place to create new family memories for many years to come. Moscarino Outdoor Creations offers custom outdoor fireplace and fire pit designs in Northeast Ohio and surrounding areas. If you are interested, fill out a Contact Us form or call us today at 440-236-9000.