There’s nothing like a fire pit in your backyard.

Particularly in the Greater Chicago area, the warmth and dancing light that a fire pit or fireplace brings are very welcome through the seasonal transitions. Not only do they make you more comfortable when temperatures dip, but they also extend your outdoor enjoyment hours and add another visual element to your space.

Choosing the best fire pit, however, takes some consideration.

Here are some tips on how to match the right fire pit to your specific needs.

Fire pit, patio and outdoor kitchen

Choosing a Fire Pit: How to Make the Best Decision For Your Yard

Whether your idea of backyard enjoyment is s’mores and hotdogs with your children or an elegant event for friends, a fire pit can enhance the experience for everyone.

While fire pits can come in all shapes, sizes, and styles to suit your home, landscape design, and lifestyle, they are typically distinguished by two types of fueling options: gas burning and wood burning.

Let’s compare a wood fire pit vs. gas fire pit so you can make the ideal choice for your outdoor living set-up.

Gas Fire Pit

A gas fire pit is definitely the most popular option at a rate of approximately three to one in the Greater Chicago area.

This is primarily for two reasons: convenience and cleanliness.

With gas, there’s no chopping wood and no need for lighter fluid or matches. Just turn the gas valve and hit a button and you have instant flames. And you don’t have to worry about continuing to feed wood to the fire either.

Afterward, there is no mess to clean up -- no soot, ash, or debris.Customers enjoying their gas fire pit

Because this type of fire pit means using a specialized pipe fitting to connect the fire pit to a gas line, use a landscape professional who brings in a licensed plumber for the job. This ensures a professional installation that is done with safety in mind and prevents any issues, such as gas leaks.

Gas fire pits do tend to cost more than wood burning fire pits.

Wood Fire Pit

Nothing compares to the crackling and old-fashioned, smoky aroma of a traditional wood-burning fire pit.

One of the biggest benefits of a wood fire pit is the ability to cook over the flames. Roasting marshmallows is half the fun of an outdoor fire. S’mores for everyone!Wood fire pit The only challenge to achieve this benefit is that it might take you a little longer to start the fire. You have to chop and store hardwood as fuel (or buy pre-chopped hardwood) and then build your bonfire each time. You’ll want to have a place away from your home to store your firewood.

These fire pits can also require some cleanup, such as the occasional removal of ash. But the end result can be well worth the effort.

Wood fire pits also tend to be cheaper to install than gas fire pits.

Environmental Considerations For Fire Pits

When making your choice of a wood fire pit vs. gas fire pit, you’ll want to consider your surroundings because they can be a big part of your decision.

Do you live in a rural area with plenty of firewood nearby or do you live in a suburb with a gas line already in place? The ease of firewood access and storage or gas fuel can be a large factor that influences the end result.

You might also consider the sustainability of the fuel source itself. Wood is a renewable resource, unlike gas. But gas burns cleaner. Environmentally, that’s a toss up. But if you or a family member is sensitive to smoke, gas might be a better option for you.Fire pit and natural stone patio

Choose the Best Fire Pit For You

Now that you know the pros and cons of a wood fire pit vs. gas fire pit, all you have left to do is decide which is suitable for you. Then you can enjoy the warmth and the dancing flames.

Ultimately, the final decision comes down to personal choice. For some people who enjoy camping or being outdoors in nature, nothing beats that crackling of wood, while others prefer the cleaner burning convenience of gas.

Still having a hard time deciding which fire pit is right for you? We understand -- it’s a big choice and you want to enjoy your fire pit for years to come.

We can help ease your concerns and talk through your options so you feel confident with your final determination.

Ready to see how KD Landscape can give you the fire pit you’ve been longing for at your Greater Chicago home? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can add warmth and light to your backyard with an amazing and long-lasting fire feature.

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