Deciding Between A Fire Pit and Outdoor Fireplace in PA

Adding a fire feature to your landscaping is an excellent way to add warmth and another opportunity to enjoy your Lebanon County, PA outdoor space. However, deciding between a fire pit and an outdoor fireplace can be difficult unless you’re familiar with the differences and have clarity concerning your own plans for use and preferences of design. Knowing how you plan to use your fire feature, as well as the aesthetic effect that you’d like to create, will clarify your choice and help make your decision between an outdoor fire pit or fireplace for your landscape design.

Plans for Use

One of the key elements that should influence your choice between a fire pit or outdoor fireplace is how you plan to use the feature. If you’re an avid entertainer who regularly welcomes many guests, a fire pit will allow more people to gather around and enjoy the warmth of a fire, unlike an outdoor fireplace which is limited because it’s open on one side only. In addition, a fire pit’s construction can easily accomodate permanent seating arrangements while an outdoor fireplace creates a need to include additional separate seating. However, for those who enjoy the company of one or two guests a fireplace is ideal, and can provide for the arrangement of outdoor sofas and other comfortable, intimate seating options.


Plans for Design

Deciding Between A Fire Pit and Outdoor Fireplace in Lebanon County PA

Another aspect that should influence your decision is the overall design of your landscape. Is this fire feature intended to be a major focal feature of the landscape or one of many landscape elements? The size of an outdoor fireplace automatically places it as a point of prominence. This is an excellent choice if you’re looking to add dimension or an attractive vertical feature. You can also add decorative features like a mantle and other fireplace elements to make the focal point more striking and deserving of focus. However, an outdoor fireplace will likely obscure a view and block out other elements of your landscape. On the other hand, a fire pit, while providing an interesting and eye-catching focal point, will not detract from other elements of your yard.


As part of your design, the presence of wind-blocking elements should play a role. Having a fire pit that is out in the open without a structure to block incoming wind may make it difficult to light and result in smoke blowing into the faces of your guests. A fire pit may therefore require the addition of wind-screens or surrounding plants or structures for protection. Alternatively, an outdoor fireplace includes a chimney and a semi-enclosed structure designed to ease lighting as well as conduct smoke away from the hearth. In addition, the structure will block the wind, increasing the comfort of those sitting in front of the fire.

As you weigh your tastes, your intentions, and your available space, the choice between a fire pit and outdoor fireplace will become clear. Regardless of your choice, the addition will increase your outdoor enjoyment and boost your home’s curb appeal when completed appropriately.