We all know that fireplaces are extremely common in homes -- but adding one into your backyard is truly an amazing experience. We've listed down other modern features for outdoor spaces on our previous blog and in today’s article, we will be discussing one of the strongest elements of nature infused with modern outdoor design - fire.

Outdoor fires have been one of the most trendy features for homeowners. It not only provides family bonding in your backyard, but also provides entertainment and relaxation as well. Outdoor fire features are not only perfect during cold seasons, but it’s possible to extend and expand into warmer months. In whatever weather and occasion, outdoor fires can, without a doubt, adapt easily.

outdoor fire feature

Things to remember when planning to build a fire feature


First and foremost, you need to check your city/province ordinances regarding building or installing any fire features outdoors. Some jurisdictions may have certain requirements in order to maintain safety.

When you plan to have an outdoor fire, it is important to consider the location, its size, and composition. Outdoor fires must be placed at least 10 feet away from your home, sheds or fences, while people and pets must stay at least 3 feet away from the fire at all times. The size of your feature is dependent to its location. Any fire feature has its own size, however it is important to ensure that you have enough space to move or sit around its perimeter. For example, if you have limited outdoor space, the feature must be sized to maximum entertaining space in order to give comfortability. Like size, the composition of your fire feature is also dependent to its location. Your fire feature may either be fueled by wood or gas. When you want to use wood as a fuel type, it is important to be aware of potential fire hazards and local ordinances. 

There are countless available options in designing your outdoor fire but we've narrowed it down to the two most wanted and popular features - fire pits and fire bowls.

Fire Pit vs Fire Bowl


Fire Pits

This is undoubtedly the most popular outdoor fire feature for a homeowner's outdoor backyard space. Fire pits come in various shapes, sizes and styles that fit to your preferences and needs.

Fire pits are generally built into the ground. They are usually made up of gravel, rock and concrete since these are the best materials for support. However, metal is also considered as a potential  construction material since it's durable and rust resistant. This also includes cast iron, stainless steel, and copper.

Wood is the traditional fuel type for fire pits, however, it causes too much smoke that could be harmful to people and plants. You may also either use propane, natural gas, bio-ethanol or electric models. You need to make sure that these are properly assembled and maintained. 

Fire Bowls

As per its name, fire bowls, unlike fire pits, are built like a portable metal bowl supported by a stand with a hole on its center to which gas comes out and creates fire. A majority of fire bowls have propane or natural gas as their fuel type so it must be used with caution.

Fire bowls are portable since they are smaller and more lightweight than pits. They are convenient and economical. There are numerous designs available for bowls, and like fire pits, they also come in different shapes, sizes and styles. 

Benefits of Having a Fire Feature on your Outdoor Space


Even though there are different types of features, they all add an extra level of warmth to your home and backyard.

  • Adding a fire pit or fire bowl on your outdoor space enhances curb appeal since it tends to catch the viewer's attention, making it potentially increase your home’s value.
  • Fire features not only upgrade your space but are also perfect for entertainment and leisure when outside the comforts of  your home. You can then spend a large amount of time outside.
  • Since fire is a symbol for warmth and companionship, fire features are perfect for family gatherings and bonding or even a romantic moment with a loved one. By adding  tables and/or chairs, your family can spend casual dinners around your fire pit or fire bowl. This makes it a great place for dining and entertainment. Additionally, you can also use fire pits or fire bowls for outdoor camping or stargazing.
  • What’s a gathering without food anyway? With tables and chairs present, you can then be able to use the fire feature as another way to cook food! You could put up food to make for a perfect American-style barbecue: hotdogs and hamburgers. You could also make s'mores by the campfire! This makes your gathering much more fun, and have the camping experience without leaving the comfort of your home.
  • All fire features, as mentioned, are functional in whatever season that may arrive making it a great space to welcome any guest year round.

If you’re interested in designing your own firepit in your backyard, we would recommend Stumptown Style. Stumptown Style offers beautifully designed fire features for any budget. They have a team of extremely talented designers who can fit any expectation you’d like!