Fire pits are hot – literally and figuratively. A well-designed and properly placed fire pit can add enormous value to your home in more ways than one. Having an attractive and well-maintained fire pit in your yard could give your home an edge if you decide to sell. When you add a fire pit to your backyard, you extend the summer season well into fall. And with more of us staying home these days, choosing to add a fire pit can bring us closer together.

How do you choose a fire pit, when there are so many options to consider? Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before you start to design your fire pit.

How Will You Use It?

Will your fire pit be used as part of an outdoor kitchen or an alternative to your kitchen? Then you might want to consider a fireplace rather than a fire pit. A fireplace can include a ledge on either side for dishes or even an oven beneath the grill section.

But if your intention leans toward adding warmth, light and ambiance while you socialize, then you might be better off with a fire pit because of its more open design. Either way, the design professionals at J&S Landscape can help.

Where Will You Place Your Fire Pit?

If you have a large backyard, you have more options. You could even have that fireplace for cooking as well as the fire pit for socializing. If your yard is smaller – or even just a courtyard – then you’ll need to have a fire pit that is proportionate to the available area.

You will also need to think about the prevalent winds. Of course wind comes from any direction but the placement of your home and surrounding homes, as well as trees and other features, can make a difference. And if your fire pit will be near a lake, the wind blowing off the water can affect your how steady the flames will be.

How Do You Want to Fuel Your Fire?

When you you choose to add a fire pit, one of the most important decisions to make will be how to fuel it. Here are the pros and cons of three options.


Some people love the smell of a wood-burning fire. Others are bothered by smoke getting in their eyes or on their clothing. One advantage of a wood burning fire pit is that they are usually easier to build. If burning wood is not banned in your municipality and you don’t mind managing the fire, consider a wood-burning fire pit.

Natural Gas

If you build it and don’t use it because it’s a hassle to get the fire going, it will be a waste of your money. Although pricey in the short term, lighting your fire pit with natural gas will be as easy as flipping a switch. And you’ll be able to build it on a wood deck, because there is no danger from flying sparks.

But there are a couple disadvantages. You’ll have to be able to connect it to an underground gas line. And once installed, you won’t be able to move it.


Like natural gas, using propane will make lighting your fire a breeze. The disadvantage is that propane tanks can be big, bulky, ugly and hard to hide. Plus, you’ll have to haul it back and forth to get it filled.

Designing Your Fire Pit

Once you’ve answered those questions, you can start letting your imagination go as you design your fire pit. You might think this is just about choosing its shape. But there are things to consider when deciding if your fire pit will be circular, square, or even triangular or elevated.


Examples Bonfire Pit

Your fire pit’s shape will depend on where it will be. Will it be in an intimate courtyard outside of a master suite? A square or rectangular fire pit with its more modern look and intimate feel might be a better choice. A circular fire pit has a traditional, “campfire” feel to it and people are drawn to gather around and socialize. You could even opt for a triangular-shaped fire pit if your patio lends itself to that kind of corner.


Believe it or not, the kind of seating you have or want will also be a factor in designing your fire pit. You might want to take a “living room” approach, with movable seating that can be arranged around the fire pit.

Perhaps you envision a wall with built in seating surrounding your fire pit on three sides. That will take up more space on your patio. If you don’t have enough room, you could always extend your patio with pavers. Or even build your fire pit away from the house in a separate area of your property.

Hire the Experts

Choose a fire pit that will work for your home, your lifestyle, your family. When it comes time to install it, call the professionals at J&S Landscaping. We work with you to bring your project ideas to life. Contact us with your questions or to set up a consultation. 

Need inspiration? Visit our design gallery.