A crackling fire, a cozy retreat, and some great company— doesn’t that sound like the perfect setting for some of the best nights at home?

If all that’s missing to make this happen is a fire feature in your backyard, you may need to choose between a fire pit and an outdoor fireplace.

You can’t go wrong with adding some warmth and ambiance to your backyard retreat. However, there are some key differences between your two options.

Fireplace vs. Fire Pit

If you’re having trouble deciding between an outdoor fireplace or fire pit, there are some things to consider that might help with your choice.

Outdoor Living Spaces With Fireplace

Here’s why some homeowners prefer to decorate their outdoor living spaces with a fireplace:

  • A fireplace is aesthetically pleasing.

It can be designed into your home’s exterior wall structure for added safety— no need for open flames outside the house, and it won’t heat up surrounding surfaces as a fire pit might. (Though some homeowners still use stone or brick around their fireplace.)

  • You may find more options for home design.

Fireplaces come in many different styles and materials to match your personal aesthetic, from sleek concrete designs with metal embellishments to rustic brick fireplaces with a more natural look that can fit into any yard type or landscape style.

  • You’ll have your choice of more fuel options.

A fireplace allows you to burn wood or gas— either propane or natural gas, depending on the setup. This is helpful for homeowners who are focused on sustainable living and want an option that won’t contribute to deforestation. It also keeps down emissions from smoke production if this matters to you.

Outdoor Living Spaces With Fire Pit

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A fire pit is a great option for keeping your backyard warm on chilly nights. Here’s why some homeowners decorate their outdoor living spaces with a fire pit:

  • It’s more portable than an outdoor fireplace.

A fire pit can be moved from one part of your yard to another if you want. When it snows and you need to move the pit farther from your home’s exterior wall for added safety during the winter months, this is a helpful option.

  • Your fire pit doesn’t require any interior structures.

A fireplace needs masonry materials to hold its shape, which can be expensive and difficult for some homeowners to install. A fire pit may still benefit from the use of bricks or stones around it for design purposes, but these are usually small enough that they don’t need an entire brick wall to support them.

What Will Complete Your Outdoor Space?

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The choice between a fireplace and a fire pit all comes down to three things: your personal preference, your style, and the space you have available in your yard. Take this short quiz to see if an outdoor fireplace or a fire pit would work better in your space.

  1. Do you want a focal point in your backyard?
  2. Is your outdoor space more rustic than traditional?
  3. Do you want an outdoor space that can accommodate multiple people?
  4. Do you want to enjoy a cozy, intimate space?
  5. Do you want to use your outdoor space in any season?
  6. Would you prefer gatherings around your fire feature to be more interactive?

Choose an Outdoor Fire Pit

if you answered mostly “YES” in even (2,4, 6) numbers:

Those with smaller yards but an eye for design might agree that an outdoor fire pit can blend seamlessly into any space while adding warmth and ambiance.

They’re more flexible and easier to set up than fireplaces, and they may even be able to double as a cool accent piece for your yard. Fire pits also require less maintenance and don’t need as much space around them, unlike their bigger counterparts.

Take note that not many fire pits come equipped with seating, but this can give you more flexibility in terms of choosing the type of seating you want in your backyard. Just gather around some lounge chairs or place a coffee table nearby, and you can enjoy your fire feature with a cold drink in hand. You can even make it more interactive by inviting friends over for s’mores!

Choose an Outdoor Fireplace

if you mostly answered “YES” in odd (1,3, 5) numbers:

An outdoor fireplace is a great choice if you’re looking for something that can serve as both an architectural focal point and the main source of warmth in your yard. Outdoor living spaces with fireplace features are usually more traditional and typically match with other backyard décor or even the architecture of your home exterior. They also come in a variety of materials – including brick, stone, and metal. 

They also tend to be more enclosed than fire pits – keeping embers contained within the confines of the brick and not flying out into your yard.

It’s a more permanent fixture, but it can make your yard feel like home no matter how the weather changes outside. Just imagine curling up next to your cozy fire on a cold winter night or having a nice meal by the warm glow of your outdoor fireplace on a cool summer evening.

Add A Fire Feature To Your Outdoor Living Area

Elevate your outdoor living spaces with a fireplace feature or a fire pit—the choice is up to you. But once you’re confident in your decision, Hyland Landscapes can help bring your vision to life! We provide installation services of both types of features in Vancouver and the surrounding areas for customers who want to upgrade their outdoor living spaces.

Visit us at our website to learn more about the different services we offer.