Could your garden do with a fire pit? With the nights drawing in and the weather getting colder, we’ve been thinking about how to extend the time we can spend in the garden. Outdoor lights always make a space more welcoming and give an illusion of warmth, but we’re starting to need real warmth, not the illusion of it! With that in mind, we’ve been thinking about fire pits.
What are fire pits?
Well, they’re ….er…pits with fires in them. Actually, that’s not quite true – most modern fire pits are designed to be above, rather than below, ground. A fire pit is usually a metal grid or surround, or bounded by stone, to make a safe feature. They differ from barbecues in that they’re primarily designed for warmth rather than cooking, but you can cook on some of them by adding a grill.
Where to site fire pits
If you’re planning to pursue this as an idea, the first thing you’ll need is the right site. As fire pits are potentially dangerous, you can’t just plonk them down any old where. You’ll need a smooth, solid, level surface, preferable made of stone flagging or gravel. It should be far enough from the house so as not to present a fire hazard, but close enough that you’ll use it. There should be no low hanging overhead branches or power lines, and it should be well away from any fuel sources such as gas or oil tanks.
Firepits: DIY or buy?
Fire pits can be one of the simpler DIY projects, but they do involve some heavy lifting so are probably a two-person job. You’ll also need to take advice on materials. You’ll need to put in proper foundations to make sure the whole thing is sturdy, and also use some sort of liner (a metal or fireproof ring or membrane) to make sure the heat doesn’t crack the stones over time. Fire pits are now so popular that you’ll be able to find advice and possible even a ready-made kit at your local DIY store.
If DIY isn’t your thing, then there are some beautiful ready-made fire pits on the market at the moment. You’ll still potentially need to create the right site as above, but otherwise these are as simple as sticking the fire pit on the ground and inviting your guests over.
Here are a few of our favourite picks!
Montpellier fire pit, Lime Lace
This unusual botanical inspired fire bowl takes the form of a flower coming into bloom and is available in a choice rust of black finishes. Load up with logs, keep the chill away and enjoy watching the sun go down whilst creating a cosy mood.. perfect for family gatherings, group events, parties or weddings. For outdoor use only. The fire pit should not be placed on combustible surfaces e.g. decking. For use with fire wood and charcoal only. £159.99, available from Lime Lace.
Copper rim fire pit, VonHaus
This stylish fire pit has a lattice-effect base and a distinctive copper rim. It’s made from heat-resistant steel and has a slight industrial-style look to it. This fire pit comes with a number of accessories, including a mesh spark guard, heat resistant poker (perfect for toasting marshmallows on) and a chrome grill. The grill is a nice addition, as it means you can transform your fire pit into a barbecue and cook on it – not something that many fire pits offer. It’s £54.99 from VonHaus.
Lyneham fire pit, Garden Trading
Outdoor cosiness with a contemporary touch, we love the simplicity of this fire pit, made from steel and fibre clay. Available in a choice of round (£150) or square (£180) to suit your space, from Garden Trading.
Idbury fire bowl, Idyll Home
This budget option is perfect for entertaining. The heavy gauge cast Iron bowl is deep and sits low to the ground on an iron frame and legs. The bowl is designed to rust once placed in the garden which adds a rustic appeal. £79, available from Idyll Home.
Laser cut fire bowl, Fancy Flames
Another very simple idea, this fire bowl is perfect for smaller spaces and is made from sturdy cast iron. £199, available from Ludlow Stoves via eBay.
Integrated gas fire pit, Cox & Cox
Take things up a notch with this modern cube design with a wooden surround. It’s fuelled by a standard 5kg propane gas bottle, so it’s ready to go at the last minute if you’re not very organised! There’s also a separate glass safety surround available if you have pets or small children. £1,195, available from Cox & Cox.1