3 factors in choosing a fire pit or fireplace

Many homeowners are looking to extend the usefulness of their outdoor living space by adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit
Fire pits and fireplaces create a focal point for any outdoor gathering—especially in cool weather. (Photo: Irina88w, Dreamstime)

As the temperatures drop, many homeowners are looking to extend the usefulness of their outdoor living space for year-round enjoyment. Builders can offer their customers the ultimate outdoor living experience by incorporating one of the hottest hardscaping trends into their projects: fireplaces and fire pits.

The addition of an outdoor fireplace or fire pit can completely transform a homeowner’s outdoor space, creating a focal point for any outdoor gathering—especially in cool weather. Even better for builders, they fit in nearly all outdoor designs and provide a relaxing, convenient entertainment space. Plus, they increase a home’s value.

When considering the addition of a propane fireplace or fire pit for their home, here are three things customers may turn to their builders for guidance on:

  1. Fireplace vs. Fire Pit

While they are similar in name, fireplaces and fire pits offer distinctive benefits for a builder’s customers, so it’s important to know the differences. Fire pits are generally more casual, involve less expensive materials, less structural design, and have lower labor costs. They allow for full, 360-degree seating and are often portable, too. Fireplaces, on the other hand, make more of an architectural statement on a customer’s property and oftentimes increase a home’s resale value more than a fire pit.

[Related: Form and function key to fire pit selection]

  1. Choosing design elements

Many customers will turn to their builders for questions about design, too. While this might be out of a builder’s wheelhouse, it’s important to know what’s available. Are they seeking a clean, modern look or something more rustic? Either way, propane fireplaces and fire pits offer a wide variety of styles to fit any home.

  1. Location, location, location

Location is also important. Take into consideration surrounding landscape elements such as hot tubs, spas or other water features. You’ll also want to make sure there’s adequate room for seating, as fireplaces and fire pits serve as a natural gathering place.

[Related: Outdoor living on shrinking lots]

Bryan Cordill is the director of residential and commercial business development at the Propane Education & Research Council. He can be reached at [email protected].

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