Backyard Campfires

Last year, for our , I purchased my a fire pit table to go on our deck. What a great purchase! We’ve enjoyed hours upon hours of sitting around our “backyard campfire”. (Hint – you can get firewood dirt-cheap out of the or Lowes cull bins. And, make sure you save large branches from tree-pruning).

Here’s some cautions and suggestions from Jim Ames should you choose to pursue this fun outdoor decorating idea.

Fire Pit Tables Do’s And Don’ts
By: Jim Ames

One of the interesting trends in home and patio renovations are ; these can be fairly elaborate , or a couple of steps up from waste paper burning in a steel . However, as the trend has grown, a definite market has grown around people wanting a safe place in their to roast and socialize, hence the fire pit table.

The first and primary purpose of a fire pit table is to take the burning elements off the ground, where stray sparks can cause brushfires. By elevating it, you also gain the benefit of getting to sit around the table, in a comfortable chair, like a real human being. Particularly for those who’re a little older, it’s a lot more comfortable than kneeling or crouching.

Fire pit tables also make maintenance a lot easier; the burning elements are kept off the ground, and are usually removable from the table itself, allowing you to fill them with detergent or vinegar to clean them.

The basic configuration of a fire pit table looks a little bit like a stand – it’s got a , a cooking surface, and a recessed basket, usually with a cover, that you can build the fire in. Construction tends to be out of welded steel, or (rarely) aluminum for the low-end models. For the higher end models, the decoration gets more elaborate, as do the materials. Expensive fire pit tables that are made with and similar can set you back a couple of grand, so be sure it’s something you’ll either want, or will improve the resale value of your home…or buy a cheaper one, see how well and often you actually use it, and then decide if it’s worth doing a permanent installation.

Another concern for fire pit tables is durability and weathering. Particularly if you live in a part of the country that sees a regular freeze/thaw cycle, any kind of porous material will eventually crumble due to that. This rules out a lot of the fancier fire pits, like those lined with tile or ceramic overlays – the bonding agents generally can’t stand up to repeated freeze-thaw cycles. In very dry and arid climates, you may need to get special permits to have a fire pit at all.

While fire pits and fire pit tables add a certain rustic charm to your home and your backyard décor, and are very customizable, remember that they are a fire hazard. They may not be appropriate if you have small children around, and safety is always a must. Make sure you’ve got a good class C fire extinguisher handy near your fire pit table.

For more information about fire pits, visit:

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(Click here to read about how I built the deck. I plan to finish that saga soon with some completed deck photos).

So, in the mood for a little outdoor campfire fun? Outdoor fire pits make wonderful gifts, and there’s soooo many to chose from. I highly recommend the great selection and reasonable prices at Comfort Channel. Free shipping too! Just click the banner and a new window will open. Enjoy!


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