Whether you prefer to entertain guests outdoors or you simply enjoy spending crisp evenings outside, outdoor fire pits are a stylish way to get that special kind of warmth that everyone can enjoy. The concept of the outdoor fire pit evolved from our love of the campfire. You probably fondly remember sitting around a campfire swapping ghost stories, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows as a child. That feeling and the emotions tied to our campfire memories are how today’s fire pits were born.
Along with enhancing outdoor enjoyment, a fire pit addition in most cases is much more economical than adding an outdoor fireplace. Depending on the materials, size and burning medium you choose for your fire pit (gas-burning pits are usually more expensive than wood-burning pits) your price tag could be a fraction of what an outdoor fireplace might cost. Archadeck of Central SC is giving you a peek into two popular types of fire pits and the costs and elements involved in each.
Archadeck of Central SC’s basic fire pits range in cost from about $750 to $1,000. These fire pits are either a kit that is built on site, or what is called “pre cast” fire pits, such as Belgard’s Country Manor fire pit. These fire pits make a beautiful and functional addition to enhance your outdoor living. These fire pits arrive via an all-inclusive kit that includes a metal fire ring, clay fire brick and even the stone dust needed for Archadeck of Central SC to install at your site.
As with every fire pit installation or custom construction, the area chosen for placement of the pit needs to include ample drainage. To ensure proper drainage is achieved, the site is dug out and the center is filled with gravel. 12″ to 18″ is a good height for most fire pits, so the hole will be dug out accordingly to be proportionate in diameter with these measurements. This step also entails adding the first course of fire brick into the ground. Proper fire pit installation requires that the area is lined with fire brick in order to keep the flames off the material chosen for the decorative outer face of the pit. Additional gravel is then added to the interior of the fire pit between the outer “face” and the fire brick within. When using a fire ring in the construction of a pit, we add gravel if the diameter of the ring doesn’t reach. The goal is to keep the fire a safe distance away from your hardscape material used on the exterior of the fire pit. This is for both safety and aesthetic reasons. Exposure to heat and flame can cause your hardscape to degrade over time, and some natural stone, such as river rock, contains moisture and can explode when in contact with heat.
Instead of using a kit, Adding a custom fire pit is another option. Archadeck of Central SC’s custom fire pits range in cost from $2000 to $3000, and can be as fancy or conservative as you desire. As with any fire pit installation, we always check with local and state fire codes to ensure your fire pit is built in accordance with these codes. Since a fire pit involves fire, rules for placement vary by area with some fire pits requiring a clearing of up to as much as 30 feet from any trees, overhangs and homes. Archadeck of Central SC always obtains all the necessary permits needed for each fire pit we build.
As location and placement are key to gaining the most benefit from your fire pit, we are quick to caution that we do not recommend wood-burning fire pits on a wood or composite deck for obvious safety reasons, as well as the risk of damage and melting from the sparks and heat associated with a wood-burning pit. If you are considering integrating your fire pit into one of these scenarios, it is best to discuss this with your builder as some gas-burning fire pits can be integrated into these settings safely.
We recently completed a beautiful custom fire pit addition here in Columbia, SC. The fire pit was integrated into the homeowner’s existing slate patio. We documented the construction in phases with pictures to outline the progression of the project from beginning to end.
In order to accommodate the integration, we began by cutting a hole into the slate and digging down to the earth below.
Once the area is excavated properly and to the correct measurements, a layer of gravel is added to ensure proper drainage of the pit. Fire brick is installed on top of the gravel.
The interior of the fire pit is constructed using the same fire bricks that were laid into the bottom of the pit in the previous photo. A fire brick, firebrick, or refractory brick is a block of refractory ceramic material used in lining furnaces, kilns, fireboxes, and fire pits. A fire brick is built to withstand high temperatures and usually has a low thermal conductivity. Firebricks will not spall (break apart) under rapid temperature changes.
Notice the gap left between the fire brick layer and the regular brick that will serve as the base to which the stone is applied to the exterior of the fire pit. This gap ensures that the heat and flames will not compromise the decorative stone exterior or the slate edge.
Fire pit prior to adding decorative exterior stone.
Voila! The stunning finished project. This fire pit is finished using stack stone with a slate edge to match the slate of the existing patio.
If you are ready to ignite your outdoor living enjoyment with a custom fire pit, contact Archadeck of Central SC to learn more about placement, size, construction, costs and much more. Call us today for a free consultation (803) 603 – 2160
You can see more inspiring photos of outdoor fire pit and outdoor fireplace designs by visiting our outdoor fireplace and fire pit photo gallery located on our website.