Fireplace vs Firepit. Which is Better for your Home and Landscape?
Everyone loves a campfire! But not everyone loves camping. Some of us want to sleep in our own beds, comfortable and critter-free. So how do I get to make my s’mores without having to rough it? Easy—get an outdoor fire feature in your backyard. But how do I decide if I want a fireplace or a firepit?
Either a fireplace or a firepit will provide warmth and ambiance to your outdoor area. Because a fireplace has a hearth and chimney, it has a more substantial presence than a firepit and makes a great focal point or design anchor. It often imparts a more formal feel to the space than a firepit, making your space seem more like your indoor living room. A fireplace also provides some privacy, blocks the wind, and can block a less than desirable view due to the hearth and chimney. The mantel and side boxes of a fireplace provide opportunities for decorating as well as wood storage. You can even add a monogram insert to your fireplace! A fireplace can also be used for cooking with the proper accessories.
A firepit invokes a more casual atmosphere and invites everyone to sit back and put their feet up. You can fit more people around a firepit because they can sit all the way around it. A firepit has flexibility of design—round, square, rectangular, oval, etc. that a fireplace does not provide, and it is easier to create built-in seating around the firepit. Firepits do not need chimneys, and they take up less space both visually and physically than fireplaces, while giving off more heat.
Two major differences between the two are cost and ease of implementation. A fireplace costs more and is more complicated to install than a firepit. A fireplace will require a permit and has building code regulations (distance from other structures, chimney size, etc.), whereas firepits generally do not. Both a firepit and a fireplace will require a gas line trenched and run if you want to make it gas fired instead of wood burning. (Please use a professional plumber for this!)
Your hardscape professional can guide you through design decisions, including choosing the materials and sizes that will best fit your style, your home’s exterior and available space and then do the actual installation. If you do it yourself you can save money, but your options are very limited and installation is heavy, time-consuming work. A standard fireplace without side boxes or hearth typically will take two people 8 hours, and you may need a forklift at delivery. You’ll still have to adhere to local codes and regulations, (something your hardscape professional will be familiar with.) A professional installer is also aware of the safety needs (things like how high above the chimney to trim branches to) that may not be evident to the rest of us. Their experience brings practical knowledge that cannot be duplicated.
Either a fireplace or a firepit will be a gathering spot for you and your guests. Which one to choose depends on your style, space and budget, but both will draw people to them and provide you with warmth and light. And a place to make your s’mores!
Located in Summerfield, NC Southern Exposure Landscape Management specializes in the design, installation, and maintenance of residential and commercial projects throughout the Greensboro Triad Area (High Point, Jamestown, Burlington, Reidsville, Oak Ridge, Brown Summit, Summerfield). We are the premier Greensboro mulch installer. With over 20 years in business, Southern Exposure has the experience and knowledge to create beautiful garden features and flower beds in the landscape. Southern Exposure is the leading landscape management firm in Greensboro, NC. See why our clients choose us. Contact us today by web (online form) or phone (336.451.4969)