Outdoor Fireplace vs. Fire Pit: Which is better?

Outdoor Fireplace vs. Fire Pit: Which is better?

Materials Needed

Building an outdoor fireplace requires a lot of materials. To create an encasement, chimney and other items you want included with your structure, you’ll need brick, mortar, stone and tools. 

On the other hand, a fire pit is simply a shallow hole in the ground surrounded by a 12-14″ wall. Aside from some firebrick and fireproof grout, there’s not much else needed to construct it.  

Construction Know-How

In addition to requiring more material, you need a lot more construction know-how to properly build a structurally sound outdoor fireplace. You want to make sure your outdoor fireplace is properly ventilated and sturdy enough to withstand severe weather conditions. 

Constructing a fire pit is less detailed. You don’t need to worry about ventilation, and building a short, sturdy wall is fairly simple. 

Seating & Atmosphere

If you’re looking to host large groups, a fire pit is the way to go. With an open area surrounding the fire pit, it can be enjoyed from any direction by more people. And its low height makes it easy to maintain conversations around the open flame. 

An outdoor fireplace creates more of an intimate setting. Normally 2-6 people can sit in front of a fireplace and enjoy the warmth. Many people choose outdoor fireplaces because it gives them an excuse to snuggle up to their loved ones.   

Zoning Laws  

Check your local zoning laws before constructing either of these structures to make sure they’re permitted. Some cities may have laws against an open flame (easily mitigated by a perforated metal cover), while others may have strict guidelines for outdoor structures.

The last thing you want is to have to remove your outdoor fireplace or fire pit because you didn’t follow the law. This is a costly and time-consuming mistake. 

Whether you choose an outdoor fireplace or a brick-surround fire pit, Boxley Hardscapes can help you find the right materials and even connect you with qualified installers. Contact us today!