The Fire Pit Resource

Chicago Brick Oven - Brand Spotlight

CBO 500 Series Pizza Oven
Originating in 2006 to meet the customer demand of domestic pizza ovens, Chicago Brick Oven (CBO) set the standard of excellence in the pizza oven industry. They've used a combination of traditional design with first-rate technology and engineering to create a product that's intuitive to use and ideal for custom applications. Additionally, each unit is UL listed and NSF certified for commercial restaurant use.

All of CBO’s pizza ovens are manufactured in the United States, saving you the cost and risk associated with international shipping, as well as providing you with the highest quality product. But it's the design that really sets these outdoor pizza ovens apart - they're constructed with an in-chamber fire, low-dome design, and an invaluable flue system. Combined together, these components help to create the unique Flame Roll and heat vacuum that you'll find with every Chicago Brick Oven. These ovens heat up quickly, knocking the usual time down from two to three hours to a swift 30 minutes!
CBO 750 Series Pizza Oven

The Chicago Brick Oven 500 Series Pizza Oven is our most popular selling item in the CBO line. This four-piece oven comes with a decorative door, flue adapter, install kit, and cooking kit for preparing your wood-fired pizzas. It's constructed from a strong high-tech composite and left unfinished, so you can incorporate it into the design of your outdoor entertainment space. With its 29" x 23" cooking surface, you can prepare one 14" pizza at a time, making it ideal for leisurely family dinners or intimate spreads. 

Like the 500 series unfinished pizza oven, the Chicago Brick Oven 750 Series Pizza Oven is perfect for custom installations. This unit is also made from a durable high-tech composite and presented unfinished in order to easily blend in to your outdoor room. However, this pizza oven is designed for more commercial settings. Because its cooking surface spans 27.5" x 39", it can cook up to three pizzas at one time
CBO 500 Countertop Pizza Oven

If you're looking for more of a finished product, consider the Chicago Brick Oven 500 Countertop Pizza Oven. This unit is available in two different finish color options and comes ready for installation. Because of its small footprint, this pizza oven also works incredibly well as a permanent addition to a home patio. Like the 500 series unfinished pizza oven, this unit can cook one 14" pizza at a time. 

Don't hesitate to contact one of our NFI certified sales team members if you have any questions about these pizza ovens. You can reach someone directly at 800.919.1904

Tell us what you think in the comments!

Sunmaster Hammered Bronze Fire Pit - Product Review

The Sunmaster Hammered Bronze Fire Pit was designed for late summer evenings, barefoot treks through rain-drenched grass, and glasses of merlot. At 29" tall, this CSA approved chat-height fire pit table is ideal for entertaining. You can place your patio furniture around this fire pit table, lining drinks and hors d'oeuvres along the unit's edge and giving it the spotlight that it deserves! If you prefer to use the Sunmaster strictly as a centerpiece to your outdoor room, know that its heat will reach to approximately 15 sq. ft. around the unit.

This propane gas fire pit hides the tank behind an easy access door and away from the public eye. With its powder coat hammered bronze finish and durable steel construction, the Sunmaster is practical, dependable, and charming. This gas fire pit also provides a powerful 42,000 BTU output- a consistent source of heat that will keep your guests warm late into the night. 

Included with your purchase is a convenient lid for fire pit safety and 10 lbs. of 3/4" fire glass to increase your fire's vibrancy and sparkle. Though the Sunmaster gas fire pit doesn't come fully built, it's easy to assemble and includes clear, step by step instructions.

Are you interested in learning more about this modern gas fire pit? Call one of our NFI-certified sales team members at 800.919.1904 for more information or to make a purchase inquiry.   

Bravo Wood Burning Fire Pit - Product Review

The Bravo Wood Burning Fire Pit is an ideal choice for warm weather outdoor entertainment. This fire pit is constructed from heavy duty steel and finished with a high temperature black paint, making it as sturdy as it is appealing. With its circular shape and contrasting square mesh cut-out designs to help circulate the air in your fire, the Bravo is an understated piece of elegance. 

This fire pit was created with practicality and safety in mind. The Bravo comes with an included mesh spark guard screen for an added layer of protection between you and flying embers. Like the fire pit, the screen is made from cast steel and durable mesh, keeping smoldering embers in place without smothering the fire. 

The Bravo Wood Burning Fire Pit also comes with a round vinyl fire pit cover to protect your unit from harsh weather conditions and consequential deterioration.

This fire pit is simple to assemble and relatively lightweight. At only 30 lbs. and 30" W x 12.75" H, it's easy to move from one location to another in your outdoor entertainment area, allowing you to surprise your guests and enjoy a change of scenery whenever you desire. 

Approved for burning wood, charcoal, or self-starting fire logs, the Bravo outdoor fire pit is truly a versatile unit. No matter your fuel choice, you can add one inch of sand to the bottom of the tub to help distribute heat more evenly.

Want to know more about the Bravo? Call one of our NFI-certified sales team members at 800.919.1904 for more information or to make a purchase inquiry. 

Safety for the DIY Installer

The Eight Octogon Fire Pit Form
Especially gratifying for both their singular look and cost saving measures, DIY fire pits appeal to many homeowners and commercial real estate managers. DIY installation allows our customers to design and build a unique product that's ideal for their particular environment, setting them apart from the rest of the pack. 

However, there are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to take a DIY approach to outdoor fire pits. Safety should be your number one concern. Though ordinances and city codes vary from state to state and even city to city, there are some firm suggestions that apply to DIY fire pit installation. We've listed several of the most important safety guidelines below:

1. Always check with your local fire department or building inspector before starting your project. As previously mentioned, laws will vary depending on your location - they can even be conditional to the season. You may need to apply for a permit. If you live in a condo or apartment building, check with your homeowners association or landlord to find out if specific rules exist for building an outdoor fire feature. Additionally, Woodland Direct recommends that you hire an NFI-certified gas specialist to run the gas pipe and install the burner.

Rockwood Grand Fire Ring w/ Grate
2. Location, location, LOCATION!!! When deciding to take a DIY approach for your outdoor wood or gas fire pit, location will be one of the most important things to consider. First, make sure to build your fire pit on solid, level ground. There should be no threat of tipping or leaning. You also need to be mindful of the foundation that you choose. Unless specifically stated by the manufacturer, you should never place your fire pit on a combustible surface. Select a place where you can build your DIY fire pit on concrete, dirt, or gravel.

After you have a place in mind, calculate the distance between your fire pit and combustible materials like overhanging branches, shrubs, and leaves, as well as the sides of building structures. Check with the manufacturer for the required clearance to combustibles that you must maintain around the unit – typically, it’s about 4’.

3. When deciding upon materials for your DIY fire pit, confirm that they are protected from intense heat. For example, you can start with a hardiebacker fire pit form and outfit it with brick, stone, clay, or concrete. If you're choosing to use stones as decoration around the perimeter of your fire pit, never use stones that have been drenched in water, as they can rupture with the heat of the fire. 

If you’re building a granite topped gas fire pit or fire pit table, you’ll have other concerns. Most importantly, keep in mind that the granite can crack if the heat is too intense. We do not recommend using granite on gas fire pits, but if you desire this look, make sure that the burner size does not come up to the perimeter of the fire pit. You can help prevent cracking by installing a shield on the exposed edge of the granite to offset transferable heat.

Rockwood Grand Fire Ring w/ Grate
Constructing the firebox will also take special consideration. It must be large enough to hold several average sized logs, usually ranging about 18" each. These logs should never hang over the side of your firebox, because doing so would cause a distinct safety risk. Also, keep in mind that the powerful heat can break some materials down faster than others.  If you're constructing your own firebox, choose a thicker sheet metal to withstand the high temperatures.

4. Always plan any project with the end result in mind. If you're building a seating area to surround your new fire pit, make sure that tables, chairs, and benches will be positioned at least 4’ away from the open flame. By keeping this distance in mind, you'll prevent your guests from becoming overheated and will better protect them from flying sparks, flames, and potential burns.

Woodland Direct sells dome-style screens that work well to protect against these dangers. If you’re building a gas fire pit, screens aren’t usually needed unless your local government requires it. Refer to your city codes and regulations if you’re unsure of these requirements.

5. When you're finally able to use your new DIY fire pit, pay attention to the weather conditions outside. Extreme caution should be used in times of drought and dryness, as well as days with high winds. Fires are easy to spread in those conditions.

Similarly, always keep your fires at a reasonable size. Ideally, the flames should be kept away from the walls of the fire pit to prevent charring. By keeping your fires small, you shouldn't have to worry about excess smoke.

Do you have more questions for us? Contact a member of our NFI-certified sales team at 800.919.1904. We'd love to hear what you think in the comments. 

Gas Log Options for Your Outdoor Fire Pit

There are significant advantages to investing in an outdoor log set for your gas fire pit. Outdoor gas logs provide customers with an opportunity to enjoy a full, realistic fire without the messy hassle of ashes, soot, and other debris. Typically, they're designed so that you only have to turn the valve or flip an on/off switch, making them exceptionally simple to start. Outdoor gas log sets also tend to be much more affordable in the long run, because they eliminate the need for routinely purchasing and stocking firewood.

If you're looking to make a display change in your gas fire pit or purchasing a unit for the first time, there are countless options of log sets available for your outdoor fire pit. At Woodland Direct, we have a variety of styles and sizes ready for purchase. Today, we'll focus on distinguishing between the designs of our available outdoor log sets. For more information about how to choose a gas log set, please refer to our previous blog post entitled How to Buy a Gas Log Set.

Artistic Outdoor Log Sets

TimberCraft Metal Art specializes in creating quality artisan outdoor gas log sets produced from 100% reclaimed steel. Each log set is a one of a kind custom creation, made in the USA by skilled metal workers. Because these outdoor gas log sets are created from heavy duty steel, they'll give off the same degree of heat as an actual campfire, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor entertainment area year round.

Premium Tee Pee Steel Fire Pit Gas Logs
Even within the brand, there are a multiple choices and configurations available for purchase, from different size and shape arrangements, right down to style and design. These artistic steel log sets come in Collapsed StackTee Pee, and Custom styles. They're also available in either 1/4" or 1/8" steel and are designed to acquire a rust patina finish over time. This natural oxidation will continue to occur over the lifespan of your product, gradually changing color over the years to shades of orange, red, yellow, or brown.

Perhaps the most enticing aspect of this product is its expertly crafted cut-out detailing. Designed to either look more "artsy" or rustic, these laser cut designs will glow, steeped in fire, when lit.

For more information on TimberCraft Metal Art, check out our brand spotlight.

Realistic Outdoor Log Sets

Most realistic outdoor log sets are constructed from refractory clay and mesh reinforcement before they're painted with life-like detail to resemble authentic wood logs in both their appearance and feel. These materials are specifically designed to withstand the high temperatures of your gas burner.

Wilderness Charred Outdoor Gas Fire Pit Logs
Like artistic outdoor log sets, these products come in different sizes, shapes, and styles designed to suit your specific needs. Log sets range from 12" to 50", though custom log sets can also be ordered. Our most popular size tends to be 30" - large enough to impress, but not overwhelm.

Some of our most popular realistic outdoor log sets come from the Wilderness series. The Wilderness Oak and Wilderness Charred outdoor log sets serve as prime examples of the expert craftsmanship that goes into making these products.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, when choosing between a realistic or artistic outdoor log set, the decision settles largely upon your own taste. Our artistic outdoor gas log sets create an ideal statement piece for outdoor entertainment areas, while a realistic outdoor gas log set is more a thing of understated, natural beauty. If you have any questions or want more information about selecting the perfect outdoor gas log set for your fire pit, contact one of our NFI-certified professionals at 800.919.1904. Tell us what you think in the comments!

FAQ: Understanding Different Kinds of Steel

In order to help foster informed customer buying habits, Woodland Direct has compiled a list of frequently asked questions about steel. Continue reading this post for more information about its beneficial properties, the different grades available, and other important facts to consider when making your purchase.

1. What is the difference between stainless steel and carbon steel? 

Technically speaking, stainless steel and carbon steel are created from different chemical compositions. Stainless steel is made from a combination of chromium and iron. In order for this metal to be characterized as a "stainless" steel, it must be composed of at least 10.5% chromium, which produces a preserving, self-healing oxide film. It's this invisible film that allows stainless steel to be resistant to corrosion, discoloration, and staining. It doesn't need to be treated, coated, or painted to protect against wear, making it ideal for use in outdoor applications.

Carbon steel is the most produced and used steel in the world. This metal is created using a combination of iron and carbon elements. It tends to be more workable than stainless steel, making it ideal for molds and other automotive body applications. Unfortunately, if left untreated, this kind of steel will readily corrode.

2. What's the most common type of stainless steel? What are its advantages?

The most common stainless steels used are typically either 300 or 400 grade stainless steel. Ironically, the lower the number, the greater the durability, corrosion resistance, and general safeguarding against wear. Type 304 is the most common kind of stainless steel. This grade of metal is extremely versatile and possesses exceptional forming and welding abilities. Our elegant Bella Vita Stainless Steel Fire Pit is constructed from 304 stainless steel.

3. Why are there different gauges of metal available and what should I choose?

If metals are listed with different gauges, it means that they are available with different thicknesses. Most often, the gauge of metal is referred to based on a scale between 8 and 30. The lower the number, the thicker you can expect your steel to be. If not based on this scale, different gauges can be listed by their inch thickness - for example 1/4" steel. It's good to understand this when you're concerned about the durability of a product; thicker steels tend to be the most strong and long-lasting.

4. What is cold-rolled steel and does it have any benefits? 

Products made from cold-rolled steel allow for simple customization. By rolling, stretching, or hammering the steel at a low temperature, manufacturers are able to augment the hardness and strength of the metal. Cold-rolled steel is also ideal for producing cut-out designs, because of the adaptable manufacturing process. Check out, for example, our Michigan State Fire Pit.

5. There are so many different kinds of steel out there! What are some properties of marine-grade stainless steel, galvanized steel, and Cor-Ten steel?

Marine-grade stainless steel is also known as Type 316 stainless steel. It's the second most common kind of stainless steel, right after Type 304. Marine-grade stainless steel is most beneficial in areas along the coast because of its higher resistance to chloride corrosion. The Escea EF5000 Outdoor Gas Fireplace is made from 100% marine-grade stainless steel.

Steel has been "galvanized" when it's coated with zinc to protect against deterioration and oxidization. This coating protects the steel in two unique ways. First, it keeps the majority of rust from forming. Second, the zinc coating develops an outer layer that will protect the steel should rust form on the surface. If you're looking for an outdoor fireplace that's composed of this material, try the Bull Outdoor Traditional Outdoor Gas Fireplace. It's available in four different rock stucco options to match your outdoor design scheme.

The Vesta Fia 38" Gas/Wood Hybrid Fire Pit is a striking example of a fire pit created with Cor-Ten steel. This kind of material is also known as weathering steel because of its weather resistance of up to four to eight times that of normal steel. When exposed to the weather, this kind of steel will form a rust-like appearance, adopting a unique shade of patina after the first few months of exposure.

Do you have more questions for us? We'd be happy to answer them. Tell us what you think in the comments!

Key Largo Linear Gas Fire Pit - Product Review

With constant upgrades and new luxuries available every season, outdoor living enthusiasts have more to choose from than ever. Fire pits alone are available in different fuel types, ignition varieties, safety certifications, and styles. So, how to choose what's best for your backyard?

Here on the Fire Pit Resource, we try to help you simplify these decisions by highlighting some of our top-selling products on a regular basis. Today's product review highlights the contemporary and chic Key Largo Linear Gas Fire Pit. This gas fire pit features an outdoor grade stucco-finished base and sleek stainless steel top that's both attractive and practical. These materials will hold up against harsh weather and still maintain their initial gleam. The Key Largo is also designed to house its propane tank in the base, keeping this fuel necessity out of sight from your guests. If you wish to forgo propane altogether, you can easily change your fire pit to a natural gas appliance with the included conversion kit.

Besides its classy outward appearance, the Key Largo Linear Gas Fire Pit comes constructed for convenience and effectiveness. Its electric ignition system is reliable and easier to start than other ignition systems on the market. Because there are no moving parts with an electric ignition system, it's less likely to wear down. Finally, at 80,000 BTUs the fire will keep you warm - even on late autumn evenings.

One aspect that really makes the Key Largo Linear Gas Fire Pit shine is its featured Crystal Fire Burner. With its 304 stainless steel construction, this burner will not easily deteriorate, rust, or stain with water like normal steel. It's designed to run for eight or more hours straight, making it ideally suited for late-night luaus, family get-togethers, and intimate dinners for two. Best of all, the Crystal Fire Burner is UL Approved for safety and quality.

But, don't just take our word for it. Listen to what Walt, a Woodland Direct customer, had to say about this charming fire pit:
"The Key Largo arrived in top condition with very little assembly required. It works like a charm! I enjoy sitting on our deck with glass of wine and watching the flames dance across the fire pit. Company and service are A-1, and the fire pit is made in U S A."
Interested in learning more? Contact one of our NFI-certified sales team members at 800.919.1904 for more information or purchase inquiries.

Six Tips for Defining and Decorating an Outdoor Room

Creating and decorating an outdoor entertainment area can be a daunting task. Like interior design, exterior decorating requires attention to details like finish options and wood stains, landscaping and lighting options. However, navigating the world of design isn't just for HGTV buffs and Nate Berkus enthusiasts. Follow these simple tips to learn how to infuse your outdoor room with personality, charm, and comfort.

1. Determine your decorating style before pulling out the wallet. There are a couple of questions to ask yourself when you begin planning your next decorating project. In the case of the outdoor room, you'll first need to determine whether you'll take cues from your home design to establish the look of your outdoor entertainment area. Is your home classified as mid-century modern? A cottage with vintage charm? A traditional Craftsman-style bungalow for two? Understanding your home's roots can help you design an outdoor room that will flow seamlessly from your main living quarters. If you do want to do something completely different, make sure that your interior and external styles are at least complementary to each other. 

2. Create definition. You can choose several different ways to define the outdoor area - arbors and trellises and pergolas both create a clear sense of space that isn't as permanent as a deck or cement patio. This is especially important if you're looking to move in the next several years. If you're operating on a lower budget, consider using landscaping and strategically place shrubbery to define an area. Plants will bring a sense of life, tranquility, and comfort to your space, as well as give you the opportunity to customize your look. 

Choose an area on your property that will be easily accessible from your house. One easy way to do this is by checking the view from inside your house. Look for a spot that's on level ground and has a clear pathway running to it. By establishing such continuity, your outdoor room will really feel like an extension of your home.

3. Select your color scheme
You can further define an area by using the same color palate throughout. If you choose to decorate your outdoor room in cool colors like blues, greens, and purples, stick to a metal choice that reflects those colors. These might include metals with a silver or chrome finish, steel, or aluminum. Similarly, if you're outfitting your outdoor space with reds, oranges, or yellows, select pieces that are built from warm-toned metals - finishes of gold, copper, or bronze. If you're looking to do something a little different, we suggest that you try using pops of color with a neutral color scheme. Such a combination will draw the eye to the areas of your outdoor entertainment area that you hope to accentuate.

4. Choose a focal point. We may be biased, but at Woodland Direct we believe that there's nothing like an outdoor fire feature to bring people together. Whether you enjoy summer campfires and toasted marshmallows over a comfortable fire pit or prefer to entertain around ornate outdoor fireplaces, these fire features will add an ambiance of intimacy and warmth to your gatherings. Fire pits and fireplaces are available in many different styles, finishes, configurations, and gas types - perfect for matching unique decor and design. You can even choose to design your own unit by selecting an outdoor DIY fire pit kit. 

 Rockwood Victorian FireplaceOutdoor fireplaces are an ideal focal point, because it's simple to build your room around them. You can further outfit your outdoor room with chairstables, even lighting - the opportunities are endless. 

5. Embrace practicality. Before selecting any fire pits, furniture, or other accessories for your outdoor room, determine what kind of maintenance is required. You'll want to choose materials that are rated for outdoor use. Even more specifically, you'll want to be conscious of what metals rust. Garden and patio furniture made from aluminum will be lightweight, while cast iron pieces are heavy, but both will stand up against corrosion. Similarly, stainless steel will not easily corrode, rust, or stain with water - but that doesn't mean it's completely rust-resistant. Educate yourself, and choose wisely.

6. Remember - not everything has to match. Unless you're a traditionalist. You can also add personality to your outdoor room by using abstract, eclectic pieces to offset traditional furniture. Search thrift stores, small vintage shops, and even your grandma's basement for these unique treasures. These "found objects" will stand out against the rest of your finished outdoor room. 

If you're doubting how many of these eclectic pieces to use in your decor, practice the 80/20 rule - 80% of your style should match, while the remaining 20% can be can be from other varied fashions. Just use what you love! 

If you have any questions or want more information about selecting furniture or outdoor fire features for your outdoor room, contact one of our NFI-certified professionals at 800.919.1904.

Fire Pit Art - Product Review

Frustrated by the tendency for fire pits to decay and lose their appeal over time, Fire Pit Art’s owner and creator set out to design a fire pit that was not only fully functional but would stand the test of time and also maintain its appearance.  Often appropriately described as “art you can use”, these fire pits are nothing short of custom made masterpieces. 

The appealing design doesn't leave you wanting for quality.  Each fire pit is meticulously hand crafted by a Mennonite trained expert craftsman.  Using the heaviest gauge metal used in any fire pit on the market, the one quarter inch thick steal ensures you will be enjoying this functional art piece for years to come.  The iron oxide patina beautifully weathers in an outdoor environment eventually taking on a lovely and permanent dark finish over time.  The inside is coated with a high temperature resistant paint and includes a drain on the bottom to prevent rain water from collecting in your fire pit.

Fire Pit Art fire pits are available in a wide range of designs unique to the company or, for something even more individual to your taste, the owner is happy to work with you to create a completely custom item.  Whatever piece you choose you can be certain it is a one of a kind and was created just for you.  Each fire pit is individually plated, numbered, and handcrafted in the heart of Tennessee.   

Fire Glass Types

Fire glass makes a beautiful accent to any fireplace or outdoor fire pit. Fire glass is a heat tempered glass that is processed through a tumbler to prevent sharp edges. It doesn't burn or break down and can be used for years and years. There are many different sizes, shapes, types, and colors of fire glass. Hopefully this guide will provide you a better understanding of your options.


At Woodland Direct we have standardized the different sizes of fire glass into three categories: small, medium, and large.
Small Fire Glass - 1/4": This fire glass is made of color infused 1/4" tempered glass. This size is considered to be the standard of the industry. It allows the glass to take on the look of liquid fire by allowing fire to flow underneath and around it. You can use one color as a base and include additional colors to create your own unique combinations. The small size of fire glass can also be used as a filler for some larger glass in the display.

Medium Fire Glass - 1/2": Medium glass can be used by itself or as a covering over 1/4" fire glass or crushed lava rock. This glass is made from 1/2" thick tempered glass with infused color. Medium fire glass fits better in large fire pits as opposed to a smaller size.

Large Fire Glass - 1"- 2": This is glass is the largest size available and resembles glass rocks. This particular size looks best as accent pieces in your fireplace. Large fire glass doesn't hold gas below its surface as well as smaller glass does, so keep in mind that you will have a smaller flame when using it. Like the other sizes of fire glass, it's also tumbled to prevent sharp edges and is made from color infused tempered glass. 


Accent Fire Glass- We recommend that you add this glass on top of regular glass to create a unique and dynamic look. Mix and match colors to create your own design, adding a personal flair to your decor. This fire glass is made by melting color infused, non-tempered glass into large bricks. Non-uniform pieces are chipped off using a grinder. The pieces are then taken and tumbled to remove the sharp edges. It also comes in a variety of colors for your choosing!

Reflective Fire Glass- Reflective fire glass offers an even more dynamic flame display then the other types. By reflecting the light of the flames, this accessory amplifies the intensity of the fire. During the day the glass continues to shine as it catches the light of the sun. Reflective fire glass is made from the same color infused tempered glass as our accent fire glass. However, reflective fire glass has been vigorously polished to give it a mirror like finish.

Smooth Fire Glass- Smooth fire glass resembles flattened marbles. It is made of a smaller and irregularly sized tempered glass. Smooth fire glass is color infused and has a fairly translucent finish. It also creates a less porous surface than even the small fire glass size. This means that the flames will flow under and around this glass, creating an even greater look of liquid fire.

Fire Balls, Shapes and Stones- These balls, shapes and stones are an artistic alternative to ordinary ceramic logs. Whether you choose geometric shapes or natural looking stones, you are sure to turn your fireplace into a piece of art. These fireplace alternatives are made from high-heat resistant ceramic and come in many different sizes and colors. They work great by themselves or can be placed on to a bed of fire glass to create an entirely new look. 

What do I need to build my own fire pit?

As do it yourself (DIY) projects become even more popular, you might find your interest building as you think about keeping warm on cool Summer nights. It can be very beneficial to build your own fire pit instead of buying one. Following are some pros and cons for building your own fire pit.

  • The choice of your design is entirely up to you!
  • You can choose different burner pans to allow for different flame sizes.
  • There are many kits available so that you don’t have to start from scratch.
  • It will add a unique touch to your backyard.

  • You will potentially have to follow strict codes or ordinances.
  • If you choose to use gas, you will have to hire a professional for installation.
  • It requires labor!

Let’s get started!

The very first thing that needs to be considered is the fuel. The two types of fuel that you can use are wood and gas. Wood is considerably more popular and is very easily accessible. With a gas fire pit, you will have to have to install a burner and can pick between propane or natural gas.

Wood: This is the easiest, most common fuel for fire pits. Just grab some sticks, logs, and kindling, and you are ready to go. The only con to the wood fuel system is the labor behind keeping the fire going.

Natural Gas: This is a more permanent solution for fuel, as it is hooked up directly to your home's gas line. When using natural gas, a professional is required to install it. It uses a gas burner pan, which makes ignition very reliable and very easy.

Propane: This is going to be very similar to using natural gas. You will use a burner pan, making ignition very dependable.

Fire Pit Accents

If you do choose to go the gas fire pit route, you have several options to make your fire pit unique and exciting. You can add fire glass, ceramic logs or lava rocks to your fire pit to give it distinctiveness. DO NOT use any normal stones in your fire pit, because the steam build up from heat will cause them to explode.

Fire Glass: Fireglass comes in all shapes, sizes and colors, so you can choose what best suits your outdoor entertainment area. It's made from tempered glass, which is color-infused. The glass is processed and tumbled, so it is not sharp and can be easily handled. The benefit of fire glass is that it will not create soot, ash or smoke. The glass will also never lose its color, burn, melt, or let off any fumes. Fire glass will generate more heat than ceramic logs when it is used in a vented fireplace or outdoor fire pit. With its reflective surface, this decorative accessory will radiate 3-4 times more heat than wood or artificial logs.

Lava Rock: Lava rocks will help your fire pit with its combustion efficiency, while still maintaining an organic look. The lava rocks are guaranteed to be fire-safe and will add a natural look to your fire pit. Because these rocks are formed naturally, their size and shape will vary.

Gas Logs: To get the look of rustic, wood logs without the hassle of continuously replenishing your fuel source, an outdoor gas log set is for you. They come in vented or ventless systems, depending on the type of fire pit you plan to build. You can also use a log system that includes a burner and is certified for outdoor use because of the high heat output and stainless steel design.

DIY Fire Pit Finishes

The best part about a DIY fire pit is that what it looks like is entirely up to you! There are many materials that can be used to surround you fire pit. Metals, bricks, clay rocks, even stones and concrete can be formed into the size and shape you want for your fire pit.

Mix and match stones to create a unique surround that brings out the natural ambiance in your outdoor living area. Large, medium and small round stones can be placed strategically around its form and cemented into place. If you want to use flat rock, you can even stack it for a layered look.

Bricks are also a very popular finish for fire pits. They come in many different colors and sizes and are very durable. Since they are stackable, you can also adjust the size of your fire pit to fit your setting.

Some people use solid concrete pads to construct the surround; it provides a look similar to a brick frame with less time required. There is also coloring available to add to the concrete mixture, providing you with the versatility and uniqueness desired when completing a DIY project.

Fire Pit Safety

Before building your fire pit, it is important to check with your local fire department for city codes and ordinances in your area that apply to fire pits and fireplaces. Laws vary and you may have to get a permit or additional insurance before installing your DIY fire pit.

Choosing the right location for the new addition to the yard is also an important decision. First, make sure that you select a location that is not on a slope. Also, make sure to build your fire pit away from trees, plants, buildings or anything else that could possibly catch fire from a spark. And remember, it is always a good idea to have a hose close by in case of an emergency.

Finally, if you are going to be using gas as your preferred fuel, you will want to have a technician evaluate the area. Similarly with natural gas, the technician will need to do the installation for a permanent feed.

Gas Burning Fire Pits - Ignition Systems Comparison

Gas fire pits have various ignition system options available to make it quick and easy to get the fire burning. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to try and understand the differences between them. In this post, we are going to provide you with a guide for how each ignition functions, so you can be better informed to make your decision on what will be best for you. Read the information below and feel free to post comments with any additional questions you may have! 

 Match Lit Ignition – When lighting a manual lit ignition fire pit, you must open the gas valve (normally done with a valve key) and then hold a lit long match or long-stem lighter near the burner until the gas ignites. You can adjust the height of the flames by using the valve to control gas flow. You do not want to have the valve completely open when lighting the gas, as this can cause a dangerous flame burst. Remember that stainless steel burners are best for outdoor use.

Manual Spark Ignition – A manual spark ignition is a little more efficient than the match lit because of its battery-powered spark. To start, you will press and hold a push button while opening the gas valve or dial. This push button will trigger the battery-powered spark to fire, causing the burner to ignite. Once the burner has ignited, you will release the push button and use the valve to adjust the flames to your preferred height. The spark will fire continually until the flame is lit (much like a BBQ grill).

Safety Pilot Ignition – Safety should be a high priority when using a gas burner. This safety pilot ignition was built so that if the pilot light should ever blow out, the fire pit burner will automatically shut off. To ignite, you will first open the valve to feed gas to the pilot chamber. While the gas valve is open, push the ignition button to light the pilot and hold the gas valve open for about twenty seconds before releasing. This ensures the pilot has enough gas flow to keep burning and generate enough heat. Once you release the gas valve, a thermocouple will sense the pilot flame is burning and will use it to ignite the burner pan. The safety feature will shut gas off if the pilot is blown out.

Intermittent Pilot IgnitionIntermittent pilot ignitions are full electronic push button systems. By pushing the ignition button, the gas valve will open and an electrode will spark to light the pilot gas. Once the pilot flame has been lit, it will then ignite the main burner pan. The pilot flame will only exist when the main burner is operating. These ignition systems do not feature standing pilots, which are hard to maintain in outdoor conditions. Please note that if the main burner is off, the pilot will also be off. 

Hotwire Ignition – This system’s single push button start sends electricity to a small coiled wire near the pilot assembly. This wire heats up to about 1200 degrees and ignites the pilot flame. The thermocouple senses the pilot flame and opens the valve to light the main burner. In the event that the pilot flame goes out, the thermocouple on this unit has a 60 second drop-out time before the main gas flow is shut off. If the main burner is extinguished, the hotwire ignition system will attempt to relight up to five times.

No matter which ignition system you choose for your fire pit, make it a priority to read all of the included safety instructions and follow them as directed. Also, be sure to check local codes for any ignition requirements or regulations before choosing your fire pit system. If you are looking to design your own custom fire pit, Woodland Direct has a large collection of DIY fire pit component systems for you to shop.

Discover the Benefits of a Rust Patina Finish

With its earthy color palette and softly worn exterior, a rust patina finish offers the surprise of unexpected beauty. From weathered bronze doorknobs and antique iron patio furniture to bed frames, fences and fire pits, this finish option has seen a resurgence over the past few years, particularly because of the rustic, unpolished look that's been made so popular in cities and other industrial areas. 
Rust patina is a simple oxidation process that forms on the surface of similar metals like copper, bronze, iron, and steel. When rusting metal chemically, metal artists can create reactions by introducing different elements to each other, turning the item a variation of colors. This finished product can have shades of orange, red, yellow, or brown pigments. Natural oxidation continues to occur with its exposure to oxygen, allowing items with a rust patina finish to gradually develop and change color over the years - sometimes fading, sometimes darkening. This process will accelerate when introduced to rain, sun, snow and other natural factors.
Patina continues to be such a favorite finish for homeowners exactly because no single finish is alikeIn an era where individuality is king and we're looking for any escape from the commonplace, this finish offers a versatile look for your entertainment space. It's been spotted coating accessories indoors and out; however, this finish really looks great under the warm summer sun.
If you're interested seeing how a rust patina finish looks for yourself, you can review fire pits from a number of our vendors - all of who use this finish on their products. Fire Pit Art crafts unique fire pits made from re-purposed propane tanks. These handcrafted units are made in the USA and feature a durable 1/4" thick steel construction. You may also want to check out Ohio Flamea United States artisan who designs his fire pits with a special two piece weld so that they'll last through a lifetime of bonfires. The Fire Pit Gallery hosts intricate steel cut-out designs, featuring everything from a northern wildlife scene to a stylized sun. Sojoe fire pits turn into outdoor grilling units, while Patina Products allows you to cheer on your favorite sports team from around a cozy fire pit.
Have you thought about replacing your outdoor fire pit lately? Do any of these fire pits look like something you would like for your own backyard?