Monday, October 26, 2009

Enhance Your Backyard With An Outdoor Fire Pit

By Chris Basher

More and more friends and family members are finding the warmth and pleasure of coming together around an outdoor fire pit. What's so great is they no longer have to wait for the annual camping trip to experience the enjoyment of a campfire. An outdoor fire pit allows them to do this in the comfort of their backyard, patio or deck. Outdoor fire pits are showing up at a number of other social gathering places as well.

Outdoor fire pits have many more uses and benefits than what you may think. When sitting around an outdoor fire pit, the quality of the interaction amongst friends definitely is improved. There is something about the warm glow of a fire that attracts and relaxes people. Outdoor fire pits bring a whole different atmosphere to your favorite outdoor space.

With a good fire pit, you don't have to close off your backyard and stay indoors during the winter. In fact, gathering for warmth around a healthy fire outdoors on a winter's day is a unique experience all of its own.

You can use some outdoor fire pits for cooking. Not only is this fun and something different to do, it may prove quite beneficial during power outages and other situations when the stove and microwave can't be used.

If you like the flexibility of experiencing a campfire wherever you want, whenever you want, portable outdoor fire pits are perfect. They are not designed for large, raging fires that need a lot of preparation and can easily get out of hand. Just the opposite, and at the same time they add elegance to your favorite outdoor setting.

For me, an outdoor fire pit helps keep things in perspective. Replacing the rush and pressures of the day with the woodsy smell, sounds and warmth of a crackling fire, especially in the clear and cool of the night, is one of my joys.

It takes the right kind of outdoor fire pit, of course, to ensure such a rewarding experience. How the type and style of the fire pit fits your setting, needs and preferences can make a big difference.

Outdoor fire pits come in a large variety of types, designs and levels of quality. Therefore, before you buy, it's important to think about a few things. For example, how will it be used in your setting, who will be using it, what kind of "look" are you trying to achieve, how long do you want it to last?

What material is used to make your outdoor fire pit can influence how it works, how long it lasts, and what it will add visually to the space where it will be located. Wrought iron, aluminum, ceramic, stainless steel, copper, and cast iron are good examples of the kinds of materials used to make outdoor fire pits. Concrete, slate, and marble are used to make some beautiful custom-made portable outdoor fire pits.

Most outdoor fire pits burn wood, propane or natural gas. Each one has certain advantages. When choosing, you need to find the right match between those advantages and your own preferences.

If you live in an area, for instance, where burning wood is prohibited or unwise, then propane or natural gas may be a wise choice. If you already have natural gas lines installed, there are reasons why natural gas may be the best choice.

Although propane and natural gas have their advantages, many people love the experience of burning wood. For many, there is joy in cutting and stacking the wood, as well as building a fire, watching it burn down, and taking in the woodsy smell. The point is, careful consideration is needed before buying an outdoor fire pit.

In terms of price, you probably can find an outdoor fire pit under $100 that looks okay. However, you may wish you hadn't jumped at the deal when you see it rusting out after a few months in the weather. Quality does matter.

On the other hand, there are portable outdoor fire pits that cost well over $1,000. Many people who have the ability to purchase those products feel that the kind of materials used and the hand-crafted quality are well worth it.

In general, you can find just about any style, look or function that you want in a well-made portable outdoor fire pit for $200 to $600. Compared to the cost and disadvantages of a permanent, stone fireplace structure, this is a wise and affordable investment.

So what's the big deal about outdoor fire pits? They add a whole other level of style and function to your backyard, deck or patio. They also add something special to your relationships and your down time. Because of the large variety of shapes, sizes, colors and prices, you should find it quite easy purchasing the perfect outdoor fire pit for your favorite outdoor place.

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