When enhancing a client’s residential property, landscape contractors should factor in features that create outdoor areas that extend the living space and can be used into the fall or winter months. Adding a fire feature, such as a fire pit (or two in some cases), allows clients to extend their summer season and bring some warmth and light to their entertainment spaces. We scoured our Story of a Landscape project archives to share seven of our favorite fire pit ideas.
This California property was updated with a large fire pit and circular seating wall. “In this case, the fire pit is the focus of the design. The client still has an outdoor dining patio to the side and an area of turf, but the focal point of the yard is all about the fire pit. They wanted a softer look with curves incorporated. That’s why our designer decided on a large, round fire pit with a circular seating wall,” says Christine Bristol, the marketing director for Landmark Pavers Inc.
Among the client’s wishes for their backyard were a large paver patio for entertaining and a fire pit. The fire pit is serviced by a 160-foot gas line and includes a seating wall. Thomas Sloniker, project manager for Gail Willey Landscaping Inc., says he’s particularly pleased with the way the three main features — the patio, the water feature and the fire pit — communicate with each other. “There are path lights to help illuminate the patio area, and there are some wall lights with the seating near the fire pit and spotlights in the yard,” he explains.
There are several reasons the tabletop-height fire pit for this project had eight different contractors contributing to it. First and foremost is the tabletop itself, which is copper hand-hammered to a 3/16-inch thickness by a group of Mexico-based artisans. Underground are both electrical and natural gas connections. The electrical not only lights the exterior of the fire pit, but powers a remote on/off switch for the gas. “The copper fire table is amazing, and despite copper being a fantastic conductor, when you have the fire going and you touch it, the copper is actually cool to the touch,” says Tim Heelan, owner of Stonepocket Inc.
This Nebraska project by Paver Designs, LLC encompassed a covered, raised patio next to a residence, a round paver patio with the fire pit and seating walls, and a water feature. The seating walls around it and the fire pit are assembled from Belgard’s Weston Stone.
Surrounding one or the two fire pits is a unique feature of the pool terrace: a glass wall. “Not only does it give a cool, modern feel, but it also protects the lake view for the swimming pool, and the property sits on a point which is quite breezy. It makes sense to be able to be outside there and still be nestled down and protected from the wind,” says Jim Sweeney, founder of Mom’s Landscaping & Design.
The two levels of this project are separate entertaining spaces. The lower level is a large paver patio with a fire pit that’s outside the home’s basement entertainment area. The upper level is a separate, more elaborate patio.
A unique touch for this cowboy-themed property included a natural-gas fire pit surrounded by tree stumps for seating, and sculptures of a stallion on the patio area and a coyote overlooking the small water feature.