Firepit or Fireplace, That is the Question

Firepit or Fireplace, That is the Question

When it comes to entertaining outdoors at this time of year, you can’t beat fire, but, should that flame be in an open pit, or enclosed in a traditional fireplace? There is no right or wrong answer, but there are some guidelines we can suggest to help you make your choice.

Pergola with Ceiling Fan


If your outdoor living space lends itself to romantic rendezvous or intimate small groups, a fireplace may be the best solution for you. Fireplaces create a backdrop for groups of 2 to 4 to warm comfortably in front of. While larger groups may feel crowded, or worse yet, the outside group members may not experience the fire’s warming glow efficiently.

On the other hand, if your patio is host to larger parties, you enjoy roasting marshmallows for s’mores, or telling ghost stories around the campfire, an open fire pit will provide an excellent source of entertainment for you. Fire pits can accommodate larger groups, with the heat radiating out in all directions, instead of only in front of the firebox.

Blocking the View

A large fireplace, with chimney, may not be the best option if its placement will block important views of your property, or surrounding areas.

Fire pits are low to the ground, providing you with a panoramic view, unobstructed by massive stonework.


While an open flame may entice some to spend more time in the out of doors, even in cool weather, feeling nervous, or uncomfortable is not conducive to relaxing and enjoying your outdoor living space.

If you are a highly safety conscious person, you may feel more secure with the enclosed fire box of a traditional fireplace. Other factors may be overhead structures, and how the wind affects your fire area.

Smoke may also be an issue, and chimneys do help to divert smoke upward, away from the fire area.