Outdoor Natural Gas Fire Pits
Learn all you need to know about outdoor natural gas fire pits, from design options to safety tips.
Luxury backyard with a pool and natural gas fire pit with burning flame in the foreground.
Outdoor natural gas fire pits are a great way to add warmth and a focal point to any backyard or outdoor living space. You'll have many options to explore if you're considering adding an outdoor gas fire pit, and there are a few key points to consider before you light the flame for the first time.
Design a Fireside Retreat
Outdoor fireplaces set the scene to dine alfresco and provide warmth for outside gatherings on cool nights. Photo courtesy of Mega-Bergerac
Materials and Structure
"Traditionally, outdoor fireplaces were made of brick and needed a foundation to be laid before they were built," says Lou Manfredini, Ace's Home Expert. Browse pictures of this outdoor living room from HGTV's 2012 Dream Home.
"Stone can be used outdoors as either the entire makeup of the fireplace or as accents within the design." says Lou.
This large outdoor fireplace, with its beautiful stone facade, has a grand allure. With lush greenery peeking from behind the fireplace, this outside space invites you to relax. Photo courtesy of Concrete Network
Use Local Resources
Rich wood textures and a cozy stone fireplace make this outdoor living room the ultimate mountain escape. For a custom fireplace design use materials significant to your area, like river rock for a cabin in the woods or shells for a beachy cottage. Photography by beall + thomas
Plush and Inviting
The standout element in this courtyard is the stucco fireplace. Sleek sofas add modern style and comfort to the outdoor escape.
This Tuscan-style outdoor room features a rustic fireplace and iron details that set the stage for an intimate outdoor gathering at sunset. Photography by Keith Summerour
Add Year-Round Comfort
Outdoor lighting, furniture, and a fireplace blur the boundaries between indoors and out. A covered patio adds to your home's livable space. Photo courtesy of Kichler
Beautiful, Custom and Cozy
Decorate your outdoor space the way you would think about outfitting your living room. This deck blends a traditional stone fireplace with modern furniture. Photo courtesy of Rich Pomerantz
A porthole mirror and potted plants dress up this outdoor fireplace. Courtyard seating faces the fireplace, creating the perfect spot for company and conservation.
This patio features a built-in outdoor fireplace you can enjoy from both sides, rain or shine.
Find the Perfect Fit
A fire pit is one of the many focal points in this deck's multi-level design. A built-in bench curves around the fire pit for toasty seating on chilly nights. Photo courtesy of Trex
Ready for Company
The entertaining deck at HGTV's 2012 Dream Home offers a warm and cozy respite even on the chilliest winter's evening. This fire pit has a modern design and features four separate gas units.
Shop to It
When choosing an outdoor fire pit, "look for heavier materials, nothing flimsy," advises Lou. "And you'll need to cover your fire pit when it's not in use." Design by Laidlaw Schultz Architects; Photography by John Ellis.
"Many companies that make paving stones for driveways and patios also make outdoor fireplace kits," says Lou. "Essentially all these bricks get stacked on one another to form the fireplace. All you need for the base is gravel and sand." Design by Jamie Durie
Just Heating Up
An outdoor fire pit does more than create ambiance — you can use it for a range of cooking options, including slow-cooking meats and grilling kebabs. Photography and design by Debora Carl
Roast and Relax
Sure, an outdoor fire pit creates warmth on chilly evenings and a place to gather together in the open air. But its best use might be roasting marshmallows to make s'mores.
Nothing beats a cozy fire with a view. A stone fire pit like this would be more costly than a portable option, due to the cost of transporting and laying the stone. Photo courtesy of Belgard MegaArbel
Position it Right
For safety reasons, it's best to position your fire pit away from any foliage or nearby trees.
The freestanding fireplace is the focal point for large outdoor gatherings on this curvy deck. Photo courtesy of TREX
First, as always, think about location, location, location. The most important factor to consider when choosing where your fire pit will be located is safety. Ensure that the area is totally free and clear of all overhanging or adjacent tree branches or bushes, and you should probably also pick an area that doesn't sit on a lot of dry grass. Adding gravel or some hardscaping beneath the designated fire pit area can further reduce the risk of a stray spark adding more excitement to a backyard barbecue than you'd like.
Once you've picked a location, you'll need to decide whether you're going DIY on your fire pit, hiring a contractor to create your design, or purchasing a ready-made fire pit from a home improvement store. All three are viable options, and each has its advantages and disadvantages—DIY can be inexpensive but labor intensive, and because of the flammable materials involved, it's not recommended for novices. Hiring a contractor allows you to sit back and direct the project without breaking a sweat, but it can be expensive. And a pre-fab purchase offers great convenience and affordability, but little room for design customization.
Speaking of design, you'll want to consider whether you want your outdoor natural gas fire pit to match the style of your home and outdoor landscaping, offer a unique departure as a focal point, or land somewhere in between. With the range of options available, you should have no problem satisfying your design impulse.
Finally, once your outdoor natural gas fire pit is installed, be sure to keep a fire extinguisher or water source nearby whenever it's lit—properly maintained fire pits are generally quite safe, but it never hurts to be extra cautious.
- Fire Pit Tongs and Pokers
- In Ground Fire Pits
- Fire Pit Options for Patios
- Fire Pit Designs and Plans
- Fire Pits for Decks
- Fire Pit Covers, Screens and Grates