Homeowners have many options for making their backyard truly unique among the neighborhoods in State College, PA. One option tends to stand out among the rest these days: They can make one of the more popular hardscape features—the fire pit—their own. Besides the flexibility in design choices, fire pits add visual interest and create a cozy place for people to gather. Consider the many ways that a fire pit could complement your next hardscape project.
A Reason to Stay Outside
Fire pits give homeowners a way to extend outdoor entertaining throughout the seasons. A fire pit allows for outdoor lounging on cool summer evenings, as well as a way to stay toasty and warm while looking at the stars on crisp autumn nights. That’s more time for your clients to sit outside and enjoy your work.
A Variety of Options
Fire pits come in a wide variety of styles and layout designs to incorporate into any hardscape project. Your client may opt for a more traditional round fire pit that uses the same materials as the surrounding hardscape elements or mix it up with complementary stones. For example, if the project involves a darker stone patio, consider using white or cream pavers or wall units that resemble a rough-cut stone that tie into other nearby vertical elements or accents. The idea is to create contrast, to make the fire pit unit stand out even as it’s structurally bound to the patio.
For a modern design, sharply cut consistent stonework in deeper colors would complement other materials such as metal and slate. Changing up the shape with a square design is another way to add a contemporary spin, with something like the Unilock Sunset Firepit Kit, which is available in square or round styles, and uses a the Brussels Dimensional System to create a crisp, modern take on the fire pit.
Expand the Project with Seating
The main benefit of fire pits is they become their own gathering space, inviting intimate conversation or catering to large crowds at parties. Here’s where contractors can encourage homeowners to think about the many possibilities for getting the most out of their new fire pit. A surrounding curved wall of built-in seating would solidify the gathering spot and entice guests to stick around and converse. Another option is to tuck the fire pit into the outside wall of a larger patio, so that revelers can pull up their chairs to gaze over the fire at a stunning view.
Gas vs. Wood
Most fire pits can be installed as gas or wood burning options. Local regulations in some areas prevent open-air wood burning units but allow gas, and the ease of flipping a switch instead of fire preparation has great appeal for many users to choose gas models.
Traditional wood burning pits allow for the option to cook food over them, providing a more genuine rustic feel and of course producing the “real wood” effect in smell, sound, and experience. Testing out both models when possible at a local supplier will help homeowners get a sense for which they prefer.