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Four Fire Pits for Chicago Landscapes

Fire pits are about as old as humankind – here at Hursthouse, we like to say that the first backyard fire pits were used to roast brontosaurus steak. People have always been drawn to fire for its beauty and warmth. And in the Chicago area, you can relax around an outdoor fire year-round. The same can’t be said for that swimming pool.

Outdoor fire pits have gone through a sort of evolution, from very basic to incredibly beautiful. Here are the 4 ways to enjoy a fire in your outdoor living space today.

  1. The portable fire pit. A hundred dollars and a trip to the home-improvement store will get you a portable fire pit – ready to set up, simple to use, and easy to haul into storage when not in use. It’s a great way to bring the hypnotizing effect of fire into the garden without making significant changes to your home, but it may not add as much to your home’s aesthetic. It also can get very hot and must be monitored closely.
  2. The campfire ring. Who doesn’t love going to camp and toasting marshmallows over an open fire? Or better yet, toasting with friends and reminiscing over memories past? A campfire ring offers a simple and cost-effective way to add these experiences to your landscape. It can be designed as a great destination for friends and family to gather around on a clear, starry night. 
  3. The masonry fire pit. A masonry fire pit is an architecturally responsive way to contain wood and gas fires and can be built out of all kinds of stone or brick. The right design will tie a masonry fire pit into the rest of your home and outdoor landscape, making this a permanent feature of your house like any other room would be. The elevated masonry structure provides greater separation between fire and guests, adding to its safety. And ceramic logs and a gas ignition can make lighting your fire downright easy.
  4. The outdoor fireplace. A full fireplace is more dramatic even than a masonry fire pit – it can become an extension of your home’s architecture and can be adorned with details relating to the home. It is a major focal point for your outdoor living or dining space. One of the best features is it exhausts the wood smoke out through the chimney and has the option of ceramic logs and a gas ignition. Many families consider the fireplace to be the most elegant approach, while others prefer the “in the round” vibe of a masonry pit.

So, which is best for you? If you’re in the Chicago area, we’re always happy to visit your home and make a custom plan that suits your home and your family’s lifestyle. You can see some pictures of our favorites – along with more fire pit advice – right here