Is there anything better than sitting on your Moreland Hills patio, under the stars on a crisp autumn evening, enjoying the flicker of your fire pit as you relax with a glass of your favorite wine? What about those nights you spend in the summertime, relaxing outside your Bainbridge home roasting marshmallows with your family around your fire pit?
Fire pits remain one of the hottest trends in outdoor living, even rivaling outdoor kitchens with their popularity. The addition of a fire pit helps make an outdoor living space feel complete. By providing some heat, it not only extends the use of the space into the evening hours but also extends the entire season. Families can enjoy gathering out the fire even in the winter. While most homeowners know they want a fire pit, they often don’t know a lot about the options.
Exscape Designs has created everything from natural wood-burning features built from barn stone to more contemporary fire pits with crushed glass and gas burners. There are some key differences between wood and gas and finding the option that is right for you is largely based on personal preference. We often get a lot of questions as homeowners aim to narrow down their choices. In fact, one of the most common questions we get is: What are the differences between a wood-burning and gas fire pit?
Here are some of the pros and cons to help you choose what’s right for you.
Wood-Burning Fire Pits
Like its name implies, a wood-burning fire pit utilizes wood as its fire source. For a long time, this was the only option in terms of fire pits and is often what people imagine when they think of a fire pit. There are a number of pros and cons to ponder if considering a wood-burning fire pit.
PROS: Among several key advantages is the fact that burning wood gives you the most realistic look and feel of a fire. Many say there’s nothing quite like the crackle and pop of a wood fire. It even has that distinct “fire smell,” that some people really appreciate (though for others, that smell may actually be a con). A wood-burning fire is larger and throws the most amount of heat. It tends to have a rustic look and feel that a lot of people are going for with their space.
CONS: Of course, with a wood-burning fire pit, you must always have seasoned and dry wood on hand. That means buying it or gathering it and keeping a stockpile ready. It also takes time to get a wood fire going and you must do a little bit of planning ahead when you want a fire. It can also take some effort to keep the fire going and once it is—you can’t just turn it off. It may take hours before the fire pit is cool to the touch.
The best of both worlds: A gas started can be installed in order to get the wood burning quickly. Once the wood is burning, you can shut off the gas.
Gas Fire Pit
Gas fire pits are a relatively new trend and one that seems to be growing. Natural gas is fed to the fire pit through a line that runs to the primary source. It’s clean burning and has a number of other pros as well.
PROS: Among the advantages include the fact that it can be instantly turned on with no planning needed. You simply walk outside and turn it on at the push of a button. In the same way, a gas fire pit can be instantly turned off. And once the gas has been turned off, the fire pit cools rapidly and becomes cool to the touch in just minutes.
CONS: A gas-powered fire pit is not quite as natural looking. It doesn’t have the crackle and pop and it’s a smaller flame. A gas flame also does not throw off as much heat and therefore isn’t as effective in keeping you warm.
The best of both worlds: You can still make a gas fire pit look more traditional with the use of a ceramic log. On the flip side, a gas burner can be covered with crushed glass for a more contemporary look.
If you’re looking for more fire pit ideas, check out our idea gallery.