Fire pits can be operated ‘year round including in the middle of a harsh winter, offering respite for sleigh riders, skiers and snowboarders alike. Here’s what you need to know about installing one.
Before you plan your fire pit you may need to bring your plans to the town council, particularly to your planning board. In some locales, fire pits are forbidden while in other towns they’re permissible, but restrictions apply.
Of concern to the planning board are two matters: the proximity of the fire pit to your home and to neighboring properties and its location in relation to electric, cable and water lines. Contact the planning board to learn what restrictions apply before beginning your work.
Your Secure Base
Likely, you’ll be following plans when building a fire pit. Those plans can range from above ground pits surrounded by stone or concrete to in-ground or recessed pits. Those instructions typically include building a gravel base first, digging down six inches or more below the base of the pit.
Gravel is ideal as it contains the fire. Without a proper base, fire can spread unseen underground wreaking havoc if it should spread beyond the containment area. The channel area can also help divert water that may stand following a rain event.
Borders and Protective Sheath
What makes fire pits so interesting is that nearly any type of nonflammable border can be used including patio bricks, rocks, concrete, and pavers. You can create a look that is both attractive and highly functional, an aesthetic pleaser as well as a bodily warmer.
You still need to install a sheath to line the inside of the fire pit. A metal sheath protects the border of your pit from heat damage.
Fire Pit Cooking Grates
As you consider your fire pit possibilities, you may want to remember that pits are often used for cooking, not solely decorative. This means allowing for an outdoor fire pit grate, one of steel construction and fitted to your pit.
Typically, such grates are round, have four legs and can be easily removed to clean. Choose a weaved grate if you are concerned that something might slip through and sink to the bottom of the pit.
A fire pit can add years of outdoor satisfaction, a job that you may be able to handle yourself. It can also add value to your home, especially if your property features other outdoor amenities such as a swimming pool, deck or a volleyball pit.