Things to Know

3 Inspiring Fire Pit Ideas for Your Winter Backyard

The backyard fire pit is not just for summer nights anymore. It is a year-round feature for your backyard that provides ambience, a gathering place for friends and family, and is a wonderful way to gain even more enjoyment from your property.

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A fire pit for all seasons. Wintertime is one of the best times of the year to get a fire going in the backyard. In parts of the south, the cooler temperatures make it the perfect season to enjoy s'mores and company around the fire. In the north country, a fire in the fire pit is an inviting end to a day spent out in the snow or a beautiful outdoor lighted backdrop when people are gathered inside on a dark winter night.

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To buy or build? There are two basic types of fire pits. The first are the pre-constructed, metal or stone models that you can find at most home improvement stores or online. These come in a variety of sizes and designs that can be found to fit most available spaces from a small, backyard patio to a large green space. There are options for both wood-burning and propane powered models. If you do choose to purchase a ready-constructed fire pit, there are a few things to keep in mind.

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Make sure that it is not within ten feet of anything flammable – this includes the siding of the house and tree branches. Use only dry, well-seasoned wood that is no larger than 3/4 of the size of the bowl of the fire pit. Also, make sure that you have sand or a fire extinguisher handy at all times in case of flare-ups.

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Do-It-Yourself. Building your own fire pit has become a recent trend for backyard home improvement projects in recent years. The design options are endless and should fit both the landscape and architectural style of your home. Your glorified campfire should include the safety features of being able to contain the flames and heat, drain rain water and include a grate for the fire itself, but beyond the practical matters your imagination is the limit. Fire pits are now incorporating a variety of building materials including fieldstone, brick, natural riverstone and even stone mosaics. They are being topped by elegant fire pit screens that are rival works of sculptural art.

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Even the seating areas around the fire pits are going far beyond a few folding chairs and using reclaimed-material chairs, porch swings, rings of granite for benches, and creatively painted Adirondack chairs. Additional lighting like hanging lanterns and tiki torches help to complete these relaxing and beautiful backyard settings.

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So pull up a bench and find a marshmallow toasting stick. Your backyard fire pit and hours of time with family and friends awaits.

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