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What are the Pros and Cons of an in-Ground Fire Pit?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

An in-ground fire pit is a great way to create a usable space in the yard that the family and guests can enjoy year-round. It is important to remember that an in-ground fire pit is often a permanent structure that cannot be moved or otherwise deconstructed without significant effort and possible damage to the yard, so a homeowner should be sure of the location of the pit as well as the style and size of the pit before committing to an in-ground fire pit installation. The in-ground pit will allow a homeowner to make a safe fire that is great for warmth or cooking, and the pit can be a visually pleasing accent to the yard.

Portable fire pits are usually made of steel or other types of metal, and they can be quite small. After use, the fire pit will become dirty from ash and soot, and the unit will be hot to the touch for hours after use, meaning it may not be transported safely. It is, however, a good option for temporary purposes, unlike an in-ground fire pit, which will remain in one place.

An in-ground fire pit.
An in-ground fire pit.

An in-ground fire pit will be a very stable structure if built properly, and while it is not portable by any means, it is guaranteed to be a safe place to start a fire because all the materials used to build the pit must be fire retardant. If designed correctly, it will prevent stray embers or sparks from leaving the pit, and if one or two sparks or embers do manage to leave the pit, the surrounding area should also be made of non-combustible materials.

One of the major drawbacks of an in-ground fire pit is the cost of installation. If the pit is made from concrete or stone, a homeowner may be able to construct the pit himself, but materials like brick may require the services of a mason or someone knowledgeable in working with brick. If the homeowner has worked with brick before or is confident in his or her construction abilities, he or she will be able to save on installation costs. The materials, however, can still be costly, depending on the size of the pit. Most pits will feature a base made of concrete, stone, or brick, and the fire ring and surrounding patio will also need to be made from non-combustible materials. A larger fire pit or a pit with features such as benches or an elaborate patio will also be more costly to build.

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    • An in-ground fire pit.
      By: Harris Shiffman
      An in-ground fire pit.