8 Tips For Choosing The Best Fire Pit For Your Backyard

Tips For Choosing The Best Fire Pit For Your Backyard

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Nothing quite captures the spirit of outdoor living like the warm crackle of a backyard fire pit or outdoor fireplace. As a gathering place for family and friends, an outdoor fire feature can enhance your evenings, creating a cozy ambiance and extending your entertaining season into the cooler months. Whether you’re planning casual barbecues, roasting marshmallows with the kids, or simply cherishing quiet nights under the stars, a fire pit can significantly enrich your backyard experience. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential considerations to help you choose the perfect fire pit for your outdoor space.

The Mad Hatter offers an array of options, from bespoke fire pits tailored to your aesthetic preferences and functional needs to ready-made models from reputable manufacturers like American Fyre Design or Telescope Casual Furniture. Whether you want a custom-made fire pit or a manufactured fire feature from our trusted third-party vendors, these tips can help you make an informed decision.

Tips for Choosing Your Ideal Backyard Fire Pit

1 – Purpose

The primary consideration when choosing a fire pit should be its intended purpose. Will it mainly serve as a source of warmth during chilly evenings? If so, a deep pit style, capable of producing more substantial flames and heat, might be your best bet. These fire pits can efficiently warm up a seating area, providing a cozy atmosphere for outdoor gatherings.

On the other hand, if the fire pit is intended for family activities like roasting marshmallows or making s’mores, consider a design with a wide, flat edge. This feature can comfortably accommodate skewers or grill grates, making your fire pit multifunctional.

For homeowners aiming to make a statement with their outdoor decor, a visually striking feature like a fire bowl may be the perfect fit. These elegant options serve as fantastic focal points, adding a touch of sophistication to your outdoor living area.

2 – Fuel Type

Regarding the fuel your fire pit will use, you have three main options: wood, propane, and natural gas. Each fuel type comes with its unique benefits and considerations.

Wood-burning fire pits offer a traditional, authentic experience, complete with burning logs’ snap, crackle, and aroma. If you cherish the rustic, campfire-like atmosphere, a wood fire pit could be perfect. However, remember that wood fire pits require a regular supply of firewood, and the ashes must be cleaned out regularly.

On the other hand, propane fire pits are known for their convenience and ease of use. They can be ignited instantly with a push of a button, without firewood or cleanup afterward. Plus, propane fire pits may be portable, giving you flexibility in placement.

Lastly, natural gas fire pits offer the highest level of convenience and efficiency. Once installed, they provide a constant supply of fuel, eliminating the need for firewood or propane tanks. However, consider that installing a natural gas line might involve a higher initial cost, and it’s usually a permanent fixture in your outdoor space.

3 – Size and Scale

The dimensions of your fire pit should harmonize with the size and layout of your backyard. A large fire pit could be overpowering if your outdoor area is compact. Conversely, a small fire pit may look underwhelming in a spacious backyard.

Be sure to also think about the seating arrangement around the fire pit. Ensure sufficient room for chairs and that the seating area allows for comfortable conversation without guests having to raise their voices over the fire’s crackle. Click here to shop for backyard patio furniture. 

The scale to consider is not only the fire pit’s size but also its height. Low-profile fire pits are excellent for unobstructed views and conversation, while higher fire tables can offer additional functionality as a dining or beverage table.

A sizable fire pit or a fire table can provide ample space for more guests for large gatherings. On the other hand, a small, intimate fire bowl could be just the thing for a quiet, romantic evening.

4 – Style and Design

When selecting your fire pit, consider the style and design that best matches your home decor and outdoor setting. A modern, minimalist design perfectly matches a contemporary home, while a rugged, natural stone fire pit complements a rustic or traditional setting. Remember, your fire pit’s design can contribute to your backyard’s overall ambiance.

Fire pits come in various designs, ranging from round and square to rectangle and custom shapes. Some fire pits also come with extra built-in features. If you’re considering a custom fire pit from The Mad Hatter, you can consider incorporating built-in cooking grates for barbecuing or built-in seating for added convenience.

5 – Material

Fire pits can be crafted from various materials, each offering unique aesthetics and durability. Common materials include stone, concrete, metal, and ceramic.

Stone fire pits, particularly natural stone ones, provide a classic and durable option. They can withstand high temperatures and weather changes. However, they can be heavy and difficult to move. These are typically permanent installations.

Concrete fire pits are modern and versatile. They can be shaped into nearly any form and tinted in various colors. They’re also resistant to heat and weather, though they may crack over time due to thermal shock. These are also typically permanent installations.

Metal fire pits, particularly those made of cast iron or steel, are portable and efficient at radiating heat. However, they’re also prone to rust unless coated or made from a rust-resistant alloy like stainless steel.

Ceramic fire pits offer a unique and colorful choice. They’re excellent heat retainers and are relatively lightweight compared to stone or concrete. However, they can be fragile and may crack due to rapid temperature changes.

6 – Location

Safety should be your top priority when determining where to place your fire pit. The fire pit should be safe from your house, trees, fences, and other flammable structures. Also, consider the wind direction in your backyard; you wouldn’t want smoke continually blowing into your home or your neighbor’s yard.

If your fire pit is near a garden or grassy area, consider creating a buffer zone around the pit using patio stones or bricks to prevent stray sparks from igniting the grass. 

7 – Local Regulations

Different areas have different regulations concerning outdoor fire pits. In Georgia, for example, open burning laws can vary depending on county regulations and the time of year. It’s crucial to check with local authorities or your homeowner’s association for any restrictions before installing a fire pit.

8 – Budget

Your budget will, of course, play a significant role in your choice of fire pit. While a custom-built fire pit is more expensive, it also allows you to tailor the design, size, and materials to your needs. Alternatively, a pre-made fire pit can be economical, offering quality designs at different prices.

Contact The Mad Hatter For Your Backyard Fire Pit Installation

Whether you dream of a custom-designed fire pit or eyeing a ready-made model, The Mad Hatter team will bring your vision to life. As one of the Southeast’s most prominent family-owned fireplace, chimney, and outdoor living service companies, we’re committed to offering the highest service and craftsmanship.

Our professional team can guide you through the process, helping you select the perfect fire pit that suits your style, space, and budget. We offer a wide range of fire pits and tables and provide expert installation, ensuring your fire feature looks stunning and functions safely.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation if you’re ready to transform your backyard into the ultimate outdoor living space.

FAQ About Choosing a Backyard Fire Pit

The ideal size for a backyard fire pit generally depends on the size of your backyard and your intended use. Most fire pits range from 20 to 45 inches in diameter. However, ensure that there is adequate space around the fire pit for seating and safe movement.


A great fire pit should blend seamlessly with your outdoor decor, be of the right size for your space, and meet your usage needs. Factors such as the right choice of material, the type of fuel it uses (wood, propane, natural gas), safety features, and additional features like cooking grates or seating can make a fire pit stand out.


There are various types of fire pits to choose from, including wood-burning fire pits, propane fire pits, natural gas fire pits, and gel fuel fire pits. Additionally, fire pits come in different styles such as fire tables, fire bowls, and fire pit rings. Your choice should align with your backyard style, available space, and usage needs.


Fire pits may affect your homeowner’s insurance, depending on your insurance company’s policy. It’s always a good idea to check with your insurance provider to understand any potential implications and make sure you’re fully covered.


Yes, a fire pit can be too big, especially if it dominates your outdoor space or poses a safety risk. A fire pit should be proportionate to your space, allowing for comfortable seating and safe distances from structures and vegetation.