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Spring has sprung and the days are beautiful, but the nights can still be chilly. That’s when having an outdoor fireplace or fire pit can extend enjoyment of a gathering or a relaxing moment under the stars well into the evening hours.

Choosing between a fireplace and a fire pit is the first decision you need to make. Each has its plusses and minuses. Fireplaces are cozy and intimate places for smaller groups to gather. Fire pits evoke sitting around campfires and telling stories. Their low profiles allow panoramic views and 360° seating accommodates more people. The warm glow of flames flickering in a fireplace create a warm, welcoming ambiance that invites conversation and relaxation.

Either of these features can be lucrative add-ons to an outdoor living area for contractors who know the right construction techniques and local code restrictions.

Fire Pits

Fire pits can be nearly any size or shape making them a very versatile addition to an outdoor living space. Wood-burning pits are simpler to construct, but care needs to be taken that local codes allow them. A wood supply should be handy, and ash removal is a consideration.

Gas fire pits are clean, easy to operate, and may be the only type allowed by code or environmental restrictions. Fuel can be supplied by domestic gas pipelines or propane tanks. Multiple burners can add an extra measure of control. Most manufacturers recommend installing the burners with the holes facing down to keep rain and snow out, but some installations in sand or glass beads may look better with them facing upwards. Regardless, stainless rings are preferred for longer life.

Basic construction involves a brick, cinderblock or concrete wall with an outer veneer of stone, stucco, brick or tile. The inner wall must be lined with firebrick and fireproof grout. As a footrest for chairs surrounding the pit, a 12-14 inch wall height is best. If people will be sitting on it instead of in chairs, 18-20 inches is most comfortable.


A fireplace can be the feature that takes an outdoor living room from ordinary to spectacular. Just like indoors, the flickering flames invite people to gather around and relax. As outdoor living spaces become more elaborate, the popularity of outdoor fireplaces is growing. Size, style, construction and fuel sources are generally the same as indoor fireplaces, although codes and venting requirements may be different. The has design and building ideas as part of its articles about outdoor fireplaces.

For more information about choosing between fire pits and fireplaces, see this article.

Get more information about fire pits here.

Sophisticated outdoor living spaces are one of the fastest-growing items on homeowners’ must-have lists, and the right tools ensure results you’ll be proud to show off. Whatever your concrete cutting and coring requirements may be, equipment and tools from Ace Cutting Equipment are your choice for top-quality results.