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If you want to get more enjoyment out of your outdoor space, a backyard fire pit can be a great addition. Fire pits are easier and less expensive to build than you might expect, and once in place, they are simple to use and require very little maintenance. If you’re considering building a fire pit in San Jose, keep these things in mind before you start your project.

Do you want a permanent or portable pit?

Fire pits can be built into the ground as permanent features, or they can be designed around portable bowls made of copper, cast iron, or stainless steel. Both options allow you to enjoy the benefits of a fire pit, so the choice comes down to whether you want your pit to go with you if you move or want the ability to move it to different locations in your yard. Considering the size of the fire pit may also help you make your decision between permanent and portable. Keep in mind that your fire pit should be proportional to your yard and should leave room for seating and air circulation.

Do you want to use wood or gas for fuel?

Fire pits that burn wood capture the sound and smell of a campfire, but you will have to ensure that you keep firewood on hand and you will have to work to get the fire going whenever you want to use your pit. Gas and propane fires can be turned on with a switch and don’t require firewood, but they aren’t as warm as wood fires and don’t have the smell and sound associated with outdoor fires. Consider what features matter the most for you when making your decision. There are portable bowls that allow for both wood and gas use, and you can also build a permanent fire pit that works both ways, though it is more expensive.

Where will you put your pit?

Start by checking to see if your community requires a permit for installing a fire pit. Your hardware store may also be able to advise you about the requirements. It is generally recommended that fire pits be at least 10 feet away from structures, including houses and fences, and from overhanging branches.

people grilling food