Thinking about backyard fire pits? An outdoor fire pit adds some charm to your backyard. Perhaps, you’ve been interested in sitting around a fire outback. Adding a stone fire pit surrounded by outdoor furniture might be perfect. However, there are a few things you need to know first.
Is it Safe to Put a Backyard Fire Pit in a Grassy Area?
Most of the time, grass covers your backyard. So is it even safe to put a fire pit back there? Well, safety should always be a top priority, but a backyard fire shouldn’t be out of the question. First, you’ll need to check with your local laws. In OKC, most homeowners can have them, assuming they’ve got the proper permits.
Rules and Regulations Vary by Locality
Where can you put a stone fire pit in your yard? Installing them within 20 ft of any structure is usually prohibited. If it’s further away than that, you shouldn’t have to worry. Still, check with your local authorities to be sure. Sometimes, things are different depending on the neighborhood. Some HOAs may even have rules regarding their placement.
Do You Need a Permit?
Portable fire pits rarely need a permit. Still, if you’d planned on something a bit more permanent, you might need one. Getting a permit is usually pretty simple. Speak to city hall to see what’s needed. We can also help you do that here at Scapes Landscape Designs.
What Qualifies as Open Burning?
In some cases, you can’t do any open burning without fire marshal approval. So, how do you know what qualifies as open burning? Typically, anything burnt outside of an approved container would qualify. Chimneys and grills wouldn’t, but a fire pit table might.
How to Protect Grass From a Fire Pit
Burning something on top of your grass could be a safety hazard. Not to mention, you could destroy your lawn. Protecting your grass isn’t too difficult, luckily. We’d suggest putting down a fire safety mat if you’re using a portable fire pit. When you have a permanent one, leave some space between it and the lawn.
What’s the Cheapest Way to Put a Fire Pit in My Backyard?
Building a fire pit can vary wildly in cost. A simple DIY project won’t eat up too much of your budget. Still, a designer fire pit might run into the thousands. Depending on your needs, our landscape designers can find something that won’t break the bank.
Portable Fire Pits Can Be Cost-Effective
Of all the types of fire pits, a portable one might be the least expensive. You won’t have to worry about paying for labor, either. Plus, once you’ve finished burning things, you can remove them. That way, your lawn will still be mostly open living space.
If You Want a Permanent Backyard Fire Pit, Choose Cost-Effective Material
Even permanent backyard installations can be done affordably, given the suitable materials. Certain styles seem to cost a fortune, but not all of them do. Compare different materials when you’re looking at your options. Sometimes, you could even find something fancy on sale, drastically cutting the cost.
How Can I Make Sure My Fire Pit Gives Off Enough Heat?
OKC has some pretty chilly winters. Hanging out around an open fire sounds lovely during those times of the year. However, will your fire pit warm everyone up? To answer that, we’ll have to consider what type of fire you’ve installed. Fires always burn as hot as their fuel. So, if you’re not a fan of the cold, you might be better off burning something hotter.
Measuring Heat From Your Fire Pit
The measurement used based on heat is BTUs or British Thermal Units. BTUs tell you how much heat is produced by your fire pit. For example, your oven creates somewhere between 16,000 and 17,000 BTUs. The hottest fire pits can reach as high as 100,000 BTUs. If you’d like to know for sure, you’ll need to get a measuring device. The further away you are from the fire, the less heat you’ll feel. Test how far away you can still feel the fire’s radiant heat. Besides, that will make placing outdoor furniture a little easier. You wouldn’t want it to be so close that it melts. At the same time, if it’s too far away, you might feel like you’re freezing. The EPA has some great backyard recreational fire safety tips you should check out.
How to Control the Heat of Your Backyard Fire Pit
Some fuels burn hotter than others. That said, most fire pits let you control the size of the flame as well. The larger the flame, the hotter it’ll be. Choosing the right fuel source could make a big difference in any case. Depending on which one of them you have, controlling the flame will be different.
Types of Fire
- Natural gas fires are prevalent because they don’t cost a whole lot. However, most of them create about 40,000 BTUs of heat. That is reasonably warm, but it’s not too hot, either. Natural gas fires can be made warmer by letting in more air. There should be a knob somewhere that controls the flow of fuel. By opening it up a little, things should warm up.
- Propane fires are among the easiest to control. You’ve probably used one of them whenever you’re grilling. Backyard fire pits work just like a propane grill. The more fuel that gets burnt, the hotter things become. As such, increasing fuel intake should help stave off the cold. Usually, you’ll see propane fires burning around 50,000 BTUs.
- Wood burning pits are the most variable, but they’ll burn the hottest. The heat of a wood fire depends on the type of wood-burning. Some species create much more thermal energy. Plus, creating a more significant fire is as simple as adding more wood. So, if you’re looking for the hottest fire, consider a wood-burning fire pit.
Scapes vs. Home Depot
Scapes has been helping homeowners install backyard fire pits for years. If you’re thinking about adding one to your backyard, give us a call. Our experienced team would love to discuss your options.