David Kirkpatrick

October 5, 2009

Cooler weather, outdoor living and fire pits

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:59 pm

When fall weather brings cooler nights I enjoy sitting by my outdoor fire pit. Several years ago I regularly contributed to a do-it-yourself magazine for homeowners and one topic we covered in some fashion in every issue was the then growing trend of outdoor living. I did one story on how some people were taking the idea to extremes by creating entire living rooms and bedrooms outside, sometimes fully outfitted with electricity and plumbing.

I enjoy my backyard, but to my mind an outdoor bedroom takes the idea a little too far. Sometimes simple is best and few things are easier to build or install and pleasing to use than outdoor fire pits. Of course there is a quick bit of advice before you install a fire pit — make sure and check the fire codes and regulations where you live on whether or not you can have an outdoor fire, and if you can what are the requirements. Usually the fire pit has to be contained in some fashion and maybe even covered with a grillwork or something similar.

The simplest fire pit is a small hole in the ground surrounded by some rocks for containment, and is pretty much a glorified camp fire. My fire pit is a bit more ornate variation. I dug a pretty large square hole and used decorative cinder blocks from a home renovation job I was working on at the time to line the hole and add a partial cover and backstop for the fire.

All that work and material is certainly not necessary. If you want an outdoor fire pit without all the fuss, you can find fire pits in many ready-to-go versions. Find a decorative above ground unit, usually made of a metal like steel or copper, pick out a good location and start enjoying the cool fall weather.