If you love hanging outdoors, in your backyard or patio, but detest the chilling weather, you should consider investing in a propane fire pit that will extend living space and provide you with a nice warm place to hang.
It would be nice to have something for your family and friends where you can gather round a warm fire place outdoors, relax, and sip your favorite coffee or tea. However, it has been always the fear of homeowners that constructing a fire pit can be really costly. It actually depends on your preferences and your needs.
To help you with planning for your propane fire pit, we have listed some factors that you should consider prior to building.
What are the factors to consider when building a propane fire pit?
Portability – Although natural gas is cheaper because you can connect it to the existing gas line of your home, many homeowners choose propane gas for its portability and ease of use. The whole operation can be moved which is good if you want an equally portable fire pit.
Natural gas is an attached source of gas, which means that it should be tied up in a specific spot. The only con for using propane gas is when you run out of it; you have to go to the gas station or convenience store to buy or refill your tank.
Materials – You have to gather the important materials for your propane fire pit. The one that you should really invest on is the steel burner ring because it serves as the heart of your fire pit. Ideally, it should be made of stainless steel as it could withstand the changing outdoor weathers without a problem and it can also endure and maintain the heat of the pit.
There are burner ring kits available in the market which doesn’t only include the steel ring itself but also all the necessary tubes and hubs. A good example that doesn’t hurt your budget is the:
24” Round Stainless Steel Gas Fire Pit Burner Ring Kit
- 24 Inch Round Burner Kit for Gas Fire Pit or Fire Features
- 304 Stainless Steel Construction; Female 1/2 Inch Gas Inlet; Drilled Burner Ports
- Natural Gas Ready; Propane Conversion Available (FPS24KITS-LP-MSCB); 150,000 BTU
You will also need other materials for the pedestal that will serve as your fire pit or in-ground materials. You can choose if you want your pit to be made of stones, bricks, tiles, or cement.
This is where you’ll have fun designing. If you are in a budget and don’t have the time to build and design your fire pit, you can choose to buy a pre-fabricated one or ready to install pit that is portable such as the:
Outdoor Escapes Square Slate Fire Pit Table with Base
- Natural slate tabletop with decorative trim enhances any outdoor living area
- Rust-resistant, powder-coated finish on frame
- Safety mesh screen lid and poker are included
Equipment – When building your own propane fire pit you need tools because it is impossible to do it with minimal tools or your bare hands. Buying some of this stuff may be costly if you don’t already own them. If you’re not going to use it on a regular basis, you should try to borrow it from your neighbors who are handymen.
However, if you consider yourself a handyman, you should own these basic tools. You will need a tubing cutter or hacksaw, Teflon tape for pipe fittings, power drill, wire brushes, spring tubing bender, spray bottle for leak checking, etc.
Accents – These are additions to your fire pit that may not be very necessary but adds fun to your pit. It makes your ordinary fire pit an extraordinary one and it makes it look more natural.
Adding fire glass, ceramic stones or logs, and lava rock can make your fire pit really classy. Remember that using regular stones and river rocks are a no-no in the fire pit because these may explode when heated due to its water content.
Fire glass comes in different colors. These are made from tempered glass that are rolled to reduce sharp edges. This glass will never discolor, burn, melt, emit toxic fumes nor will it create soot, ash or smoke. A good example is the:
American Fireglass Cobalt Blue
- #1 brand of Fireglass since 2004.
- American Fireglass can be used for indoor or outdoor purposes and is designed for use with natural or propane gas fire features.
- Each piece of glass has a consistent, brilliant, bright color throughout and burns clean with no soot, ash or smoke.
Lava rocks, on the other hand, give a more sophisticated look and feel. This is recommended if you are going for a classic design and if your home is designed with wooden accents. These rocks are guaranteed fire-safe and work wonderfully in all outdoor fire features. Check out:
Onward Multi Corp Lava Rock
- Dimensions: 18.5W x 11D x 3H in.
- Made from natural lava rock
- Helps distribute heat more evenly
Safety – Because fire pits are considered as combustible, you should have something to put the fire out in case of an emergency. Consider having a fire extinguisher or a water supply nearby in case you’ll need it.
Although fire pits are generally safe, it won’t hurt to be more careful just in case. Also remember during installation and when you need to refill or replace the propane tank, to seek the help of a professional when you aren’t sure about gas installations. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Why build your own propane fire pit?
You can cut costs on labor and contractor fee by buying all the materials and assembling them yourself. Of course this can only be done if you have prior experience with building. Assembling a propane fire pit may be expensive but you can cut the cost by doing it on your own and buying pre-fabricated kits that are affordable yet doesn’t sacrifice quality.
However, constructing a propane fire pit kit is not recommended to novices because of the gas and fire aspect of the whole package. If you still want to save a bit of cost and have your way with the design, you can hire a professional who can do the bits you can’t such as the gas installation and other technical processes.
A propane fire pit is a nice addition to your home because it extends the living space onto the backyard. With a fire pit, having barbecues and small gatherings with family and friends are made more comfortable because of the added warmth especially during the cold weathers.
It is really worth it in the long run because family time is not only extended, but it is made more fun and cozy. It also adds value to your home.