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Fire Pit vs. Fireplace: Which Should You Choose?

By Ed Ball | Published on January 21, 2020 | 2 min read

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Right now it’s easy to imagine huddling around a fire as outside temps in our region regularly dip below freezing. Yet even in the summer months, the warmth and ambiance of a fire is a welcome gathering spot in any yard. If you’ve ever dreamed of adding a fire feature to your backyard but aren’t sure how to choose the right one, we will give you a few tips.


Why A Fire Feature?

The first question we always ask our clients is, “why?” Why do you want a fire feature and how do you plan to use it? The answers to these questions help determine whether a fire pit or fireplace is the best choice.


Fire pits:

  • Offer 360-degree seating allowing more people to gather around the blaze.
  • Create a more interactive and conversational gathering as people are able to face each other.
  • Feel like gathering around a campfire.



  • Create seating in front, focusing your attention.
  • May be used even in rainy weather.
  • Direct smoke up the chimney and away from guests; less affected by wind.
  • Install on the edge of a gathering space leaving more open area.
  • Feel like an outdoor living room.


Both fire features provide heat, ambiance, and a spot to roast marshmallows while sharing ghost stories, but the key question remains, do you want to gather around it or have it to the side, much like it is in your living room? Do you want your space to feel like sitting around a campfire or lounging in an outdoor living room?


Gas or Wood?

Whether you choose a fire pit or fireplace, your next choice is your fuel. Do you prefer the sounds and scents of real wood burning and crackling? Or do you prefer the convenience of hitting a button for instant fire? Are you comfortable with the bit of maintenance required for wood-burning features? Or do you prefer the no-muss, no-fuss of gas or propane?

Infinite Design Possibilities

Still haven’t made up your mind? Our landscape design team will help you weigh the pros and cons of pit vs. place and wood vs. gas in order to identify the right choice for your family. Take some time to surf the Internet and gather ideas to help clarify how you will use the space.

You will also want to consider the style and design of your home’s architecture as well as other features already in the landscape. If your tastes and the design of your home skew to traditional, that could influence your choice just as an ultra-modern aesthetic would. The good news is that there is a design for every taste, style and budget!

Both fire pits and fireplaces present an opportunity to create stately spaces in your yard while enhancing views and encouraging guests to linger to watch the stars come out. Both will also increase the value of your home and property. Our landscape designer will work with you to not only choose the right fire feature but enhance the type of evening experience you dream of having on your property. There is no limit to the possibilities when you decide to bring the element of fire into your landscape design.