Should I Build an Outdoor Fire-pit or Fireplace?

July 13, 2017

Adding a fire-pit or fireplace to your outdoor space can provide hours of enjoyment during the spring, summer, and fall months. By adding a heat source to your patio, you can extend the amount of time you can enjoy it every year. But how do you decide whether a fire-pit, or fireplace, is the best option for your home and your needs?

should i build an outdoor fire-pit or fireplace?

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of fire-pits and built-in fireplaces.

Pros and Cons of Fire-pits

One of the biggest pros of a fire-pit is that it provides access and a seating area to more people than a fireplace. Because a fire-pit is freestanding, you, your family, and your guests can have access to it on all sides, providing them with warmth and light. Fire-pits are also easier to clean and maintain than a full fireplace, so if limited maintenance is important to you, you may prefer a fire-pit to a fireplace.

On the other hand, some cons of fire-pits are that they can be more dangerous because the flame is exposed on all sides. If you have a heavily landscaped patio, there is more of a chance of stray flying embers with a fire-pit. Additionally, because the warmth isn’t directed to one side it isn’t as strong.

Pros and Cons of Fireplaces

A built-in fireplace provides heat, light, and ambiance to your outdoor space. Arguably a custom built-in fireplace is as elegant and stately as you can get in an outdoor entertaining space. A fireplace, while offering more limited seating than a fire-pit, can produce more heat than an open pit, allowing you and your guests to stay outside later into the fall and early winter. Fireplaces also are generally a safer alternative to fire-pits because they are more enclosed, so there is less of a chance of a fire being started by a stray ember or spark.

Despite all of the pros, fireplaces do have some cons. Fireplaces can be harder to maintain and clean. Additionally, they can limit your outdoor entertaining space more than a fire-pit when warmth is a necessity because there is less access to the flame.

Which is a Better Option for your Home?

Both fire-pits and fireplaces have their own pros and cons, with neither being a clear “winner”. The decision between the two truly comes down to preference. If you prefer more warmth, a fireplace may be a better option. If you want to entertain large groups of people while sitting around the fire and roasting s’mores, a fire-pit is probably the way to go. Want as little maintenance as possible? A fire-pit is a better fit for you then.

The choice is actually something we suggest you also discuss with your Maryland custom fireplace contractor. They will probably have better insight on what type of outdoor fire feature will work better for your budget and space.

If you are ready to add a heat source to your patio, but are unsure which option is the best fit for your space and your needs, give Fireside Stone & Patio a call today. Our team of designers and professionals can help you determine what your perfect patio looks like. The fire-pit or fireplace of your dreams is only a call away!