Sunken fire pit and raised seating area

For those who frequently entertain at home, or simply want to enjoy a private backyard getaway alone, sunken fire pits are growing in popularity. Combining the retro ambiance of sunken living rooms with the cozy atmosphere of a glowing fire, sunken fire pits make a great addition for those of you who appreciate carefully landscaped, usable outdoor spaces.

Of course, like any other landscaping feature, a sunken fire pit must be carefully constructed so that you reap maximum enjoyment from it.

Smart placement. The primary purpose of a fire pit should not be forgotten when designing the space. While creating a dedicated space does make the activity safer, risk is always involved with backyard fires. Place your sunken fire pit at least ten feet away from any other structure, such as your home, gardening shed, or gazebo.

Choose a type of fire pit. Are you planning to use natural gas, propane, or bioethanol? After making this decision, you can choose from among pre-built fire pits (made of concrete, stone, or metal) or build your own.

Choose a material. If you’ve decided to construct your own fire pit, you might choose from materials such as brick, stone, or concrete. The primary advantages of each will be appearance and price. When adequately constructed, all of these materials are equally safe.

Design your fire pit. You can design your fire pit in any shape that appeals to you, but oval and circular pits can be a bit tricky when using some materials. Consider, also, how seating or other desired features will fit into the shape that you choose.

Check your local laws. Before constructing a sunken fire pit, check your local laws on both fire pit construction and burning. Everything from size to location to the actual construction might be regulated by your city, and it’s better to build according to law than to be fined or forced to remove the fire pit later.

Consider drainage. A sunken fire pit must be carefully designed, with appropriate drainage included. Otherwise, it will quickly morph into an unsightly puddle in your backyard.

Include seating. You can build seating into your space, or simply purchase benches or outdoor furniture to move into the pace. Do remember to choose fire resistant materials when purchasing seating and consider the space requirements before building your fire pit. Seating should be placed close enough to the fire for warmth and enjoyment, but not so close that safety is compromised.

Include fun extras. A fire pit can double as a barbecue pit or outdoor kitchen when you include a cooking surface. Or you can build an oven right into a brick fire pit. These features are best considered during construction, rather than trying to alter the design to add them later.

If a sunken fire pit sounds like something you would enjoy, call us to discuss your ideas. We can help you determine the safest and most attractive way to incorporate this feature into your backyard landscaping.

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