Now that you have designed your patio space and selected the type of fire pit you would like, it is time for one of the more challenging decisions related to your fire feature: wood-burning or natural gas? Both certainly have their positives and negatives, but which is right for your space?
Wood-Burning Fire Features
Wood-Burning fire features add an atmosphere of authenticity and calming nature to your space.
You hear the crackling of the wood and smell the smokey smell of actual burning wood. For many, a firepit just isn’t a firepit without the smell and sound of real wood.
Wood burning fire pits are typically cheaper to install and to operate throughout the year, especially if you have access to wood directly on your property. Cost should be associated with wood being delivered and/or the cost of your time chopping wood on your property. While the ‘bill’ may be cheaper, it is important to consider the time involved with chopping, stacking, hauling, and cleaning out a wood-burning pit. Wood burning fire pits are definitely not as convenient as a natural gas firepit. Not only do you have to haul the wood over to the pit, but there is also usually a bit of a mess with bark and pieces of wood left behind around your firepit.
Starting the fire is also more complicated than simply flicking a switch or pressing a button. For some, they may enjoy building the fire, but for others, it could be an unnecessary and annoying step. Wood also needs to be cut and stacked somewhere on your property, so you need some space for storage as well.
Wood is a renewable resource, but it is not as clean-burning as natural gas, so it is really a toss-up when considering which is better for the environment. If you plan to cook over your fire pit, wood is your only choice as it is not safe to cook over a natural gas pit! One final consideration would be if anyone in your family is impacted by smoke, like someone with asthma for example. In this case, a wood firepit is probably not your best choice.