Image of a home with a masonry backyard fire pit

DOES a fire pit raise property values? (IF so, how Much?!)

As a homeowner, you have most likely made significant investments into your home while making it a cozy and welcoming place. One of the joys of owning your own home is entertaining friends and family, particularly outside! There are so many inventive and adventurous ways to enhance your outdoor living spaces, whether it’s a beautiful patio set, a pool, or even a fire pit. 

The recreational benefits aside, somewhere along the way you may have wondered aloud, “does a fire pit add value to a home,” particularly if you see yourself putting your home on the market in the near future.

Let’s move on and see if this backyard addition could help bump up your home’s market appeal and resulting selling price.

As a general rule, fire pits are a great way to increase your home’s value and can often make for a faster sale! Fire pits not only add a cozy feel while you’re living in your home but when it’s time to sell, more buyers will be picturing themselves moving in and enjoying that fire pit than if you didn’t have one. 

It’s become increasingly common for homeowners to enhance their outdoor space with something more practical that can appeal to a more diverse group of buyers: a fire pit.

Families will envision s’mores nights, a young couple can picture hosting cookouts, and any potential buyer will feel more at home right away.

Keep reading for some great ideas about how to make your space valuable.

Outdoor Fire Pits are Good for More than Fire

When you design or add an outdoor fire pit to your backyard oasis, you create much more than an outdoor space. By adding a fire pit to your home, you are also adding: 

  • Appeal – the pure ambiance of a fire is something many potential buyers will get excited about, just as you did

  • Comfort – fire pits provide warm and inviting energy to the recreational space

  • Marketability – use your fire pit as a secret weapon to stand out against other homes on the market

Customary or Customized Fire Pits

There is much to consider when adding a fire pit to your home. If you intend to sell your property in the future, a fire pit is a great way to set your property apart from the competition, especially if your house possesses the same infrastructure as others in the neighborhood.

Enhancing the outdoor space is a great way of thinking outside the (house) box! The possibilities are endless when it comes to adding a fire pit to your outdoor space:

  • Ambiance – enhance the energy and aesthetic of your backyard by making the fire pit the focal point while encouraging a friendly gathering space

  • Fire Pool – if you’re going to add a pool too, go crazy and design your pool around your fire pit for an on the water getaway right in your backyard

  • Outdoor Kitchen – transform your cooking by adding fresh air to every meal

An eye-catching fire pit can really transform a grass-filled backyard into an outdoor living area.

Backyard fire pits are known for bringing people together. Many of us can bond over nostalgic memories sitting around a bonfire with friends or family, and it is a great way to enjoy their company in the comfort of your own backyard. 

How Does a Fire Pit Add Value to a Home?

While fire pits may enhance your own home experience, attract potential buyers, or make you the talk of the community barbeque, their value can also have added monetary benefits. According to Jessica Yonker of HGTV Gardens, incorporating a fire pit to your outdoor living space may add 15-40% to your home’s value. 

Benefits of a Backyard Fire Pit

Fire pits are excellent home accessories. Depending on location and structure, many fire pits can even be designed to be used all year round.

Adding any twist or accessory to your home is going to increase its monetary value. However, the versatility that fire pits  bring increases your home’s value in other ways as well:

  • Bug Deterrent – While it may attract potential buyers, it will not attract bugs! A firepit is a great way to deter unwanted bugs, pests, and mosquitoes.

  • Cooking – Many firepits can be used for outdoor cooking and grilling. Can you imagine having such a show-stopping way to take your outdoor barbeque to the next level? 

  • Safety – Wood fires can be great, but they are often unpredictable. Constructing a firepit to contain the fire is a great way to avoid accidentally letting the flames get out of control. 

  • Warmth – A proper fire pit can keep you outside year-round, even on those chilly nights. 

Creative Expression or First Impression

A timeless activity is gathering around the fire pit, making s’mores, telling ghost stories, or just kicking back with a glass of wine.

While you are enjoying the fire pit, you’ll want it to have your desired vibe and ambiance. The beautiful space you created will only be the icing on the cake when it comes time to sell!

Check out some of these popular trends that homeowners and homebuyers are falling in love with:

  • Au Natural – many prefer the natural look of a fire encompassed by stone. It has a sleek, realistic feel to it that allows for easy maintenance and clean up. 

  • Dining – there’s something almost magical about a candle-lit dinner, and a fire pit only transforms that energy ten-fold! Just imagine dining in style outside by adding warmth to your meal and conversation.

  • The minimalist – fire itself is beautiful to watch, so a minimalist style may be for you! It’s sleek and simple look is made to last with seamless enjoyment.

Fire Pits: Friend or Foe

In the age of social media, aesthetics has become a popular element amongst homebuyers. In fact, the Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey of 2018 ranks fire pits as the leading outdoor home accessory in all categories:

  • Dining – A great way to mix up family dinners, game night, or wine night

  • Lighting – To take the perfect photos and remember the memories made

  • Seating – Communal seating is a crowd favorite, especially if you love to host events

Although beautiful, fire, even just the word, can sometimes seem alarming, especially when thinking of the destruction it has caused. Some may have safety concerns, and fire safety should always be prioritized when constructing your fire pit. There are many ways to create and keep your fire pit safe and enjoyable, but here are the basics:

  • Fuel – If you’ve ever enjoyed a summer bonfire, you probably remember smelling like it for two days. Opting for a gas fire pit will not only prevent your clothes from smelling like ash, but it will also let you relax. Without flying embers and popping wood, many accidents can be avoided.

  • Location – Placing your fire pit will be a weighing decision, as it may very well be the focal point of your yard. To help narrow down the choices, placement should be decided with safety in mind by keeping it 10 ft away from trees, fences, and other structures.  

  • Maintenance – When you use natural gas, there’s no need to turn the wood and tend to the fire. Once you’ve got it lit, it’s ready to go until you’ve had enough. No more accidental burns and far more predictable flames, the shifting log days are over!

Fuel for Thought

Designing your fire pit can be an exciting and creative experience and requires little planning in many cases. However, before spending any money, and even before planning out your fire pit blueprints, there are a few additional things to consider:

  • Community Rules and Regulations – It’s important to familiarize yourself with your city fire codes. Some cities do not permit fire pits at all, while some may have size restrictions. This is for the safety of you, your neighbors, and the surrounding environment.

    When researching city codes, you may also discover that outdoor fires are permitted only in certain months as some areas are prone to widespread fires.

    To get some clear guidance on the local fire ordinances, call your nearby fire department. These heroes are well-versed in the rules and regulations surrounding everything fire-related.

  • Fire Safety Rules – Safety has been mentioned a few times because it is that important! Be sure to check on your homeowner’s insurance policy or establish coverage, as well as adhering to the 10ft rule!

  • Longevity – Take time to consider your long-term plans for the property. Some homeowners prefer to have a stone or cement fire pit that is immovable for added versatility and safety. Others prefer a lighter option that is portable, such as a fire bowl or chiminea. 

  • Materials – This can be a relatively small project, nothing like renovating a kitchen in comparison. A fire pit can be as decadent or minimalist as you want it to be. 

It’s all in the Details

Once the nitty-gritty has been worked out, and it comes time to select your firepit, your fire pit’s materials and a heat source are the next decisions that you’ll need to make.

More importantly than the style, the material components of the fire pit will affect its longevity. 

Fortunately, there are several exterior materials for homeowners to choose from based upon their individual needs:

  • Cast Iron – highly popular, lightweight, available in many sizes

     
  • Copper – more expensive than other options, this material won’t rust but may develop a patina over time

  • Stainless Steel – rust-free and extremely durable, one of the more expensive styles on the market

  • Steel – offered at varying price points and quality, steel fire pits can avoid rust if it is powder-coated steel

  • Stone – not easily moved, but a great way to show your personal style

  • Tile – typically a permanent structure, tile fire pits are often more uniquely designed

Heat sources include:

  • Canned Alcohol Gel Fuel – provides approximately five hours of heat, with only fifteen minutes needed to get it warmed up

  • Natural Gas and Propane – user friendly, this is the most common style amongst homeowners as they require very little maintenance

  • Wood – easily accessible, sometimes even free! 

Some fire pits may even call for heat conductors, which add an extra safety feature by working to warm the space while reducing the flame size. 

  • Fire Glass – this substance is tempered, comes in several shapes, colors, and sizes, and is a great way to personalize a fire pit. 

  • Lava Rock – this familiar conductor is the most cost-effective and performs better at heat dispersion than the glass alternative, but it is more limited in its options. 

Some High-Value Fire Pit Options

If you’re interested in buying your fire pit rather than building it from the ground up, several options range from fairly inexpensive portables to permanent fixtures. Below are just a few examples of what we found for each fuel option.

Wood-burning Fire Pits with Protective Screens – Having screens covering your wood-burning fire pit significantly limits the number of sparks and even ash that float away. This safety feature helps prevent unintentional fires.

  • Sunnydaze Crossweave Outdoor Burning Fire Pit – This 4.7 out of 5-star round wood-burning fire pit has screened cutouts on its sides to allow the glow of the flames to shine through them brilliantly. The screened cover protects you and your neighbors from floating sparks and ash. At only 29 pounds (without any base sand or rocks), it’s transportable too.

  • Pleasant Hearth Martin Burning 26-Inch Fire Pit – If you’re hoping to use your wood-burning fire pit as an outdoor grill, too, this deep, square option is for you. With 4.6 out of 5 stars, this option includes a chrome-plated cooking grid and still has a mesh cover to keep sparks under control.

Propane-fueled Fire Pits – One of the nice things about using propane is that you won’t have to worry about sparks flying. You do need to remember to turn the propane off when you’re finished enjoying your fire pit, but you can have hours of relaxing enjoyment.

  • Giantex Outdoor Natural Backyard Stainless Steel Fire Pit – Do you want a ready-to-go fire pit that looks like it was custom-made? This 4.5 out of 5-star option covers the stainless steel with a faux rock surface. This fire pit includes a one-step starter for easy ignition. It also includes a 10-foot lead to allow a safe distance between the fire pit and the propane tank. With this option, you also will have a knob you can use to control the amount of flame that the fire pit creates.

  • U-MAX Auto Ignition Tempered Tabletop Certification – If you prefer a rectangular-shaped propane-burning fire pit, this could be your ideal option. It offers a table-top configuration along with a glass windshield that will prevent winds from impacting your enjoyment of the flames dancing from the top. With 4.6 out of 5 stars, this fire pit’s double burner provides you with consistent flame along the entire length of the fire pit.

Natural Gas-fueled Fire Pits – If you have an outdoor gas line that you want to connect to your fire pit, these are something you’ll definitely want to consider. They’re similar to their cousin, the propane-fueled fire pits we just discussed, but have some higher-end features. 

  • Elementi Natural Table Caribbean Firepit – This rectangular fire pit has been designed specifically for natural gas usage.

    It is made of marble and porcelain to make it durable and able to withstand outdoor elements.

    It comes with over 19-pounds of blue fire glass media that will make the flames dance and reflect their glow.

    At 353 pounds, this sturdy fire pit can be moved, but it would take some significant effort.

    As you might expect, this option has a one-button push start for ease of use.

  • Elementi Manhattan Furniture Auto Ignition Stainless – If you like a more modern look, this square concrete fire pit may be more along your preferences.

    This treated concrete is designed specifically for natural gas fuel and can withstand high temperatures. This square-shaped fire pit weighs about 150 pounds, so it is slightly easier to move than the larger option discussed above.

    The lava rocks that disperse the flames add to the concrete finish’s rustic feel and will give you hours of enjoyment.

Gel-Fueled Fire Pits – These options tend to be much smaller and can be used indoors or outdoors. Most are table-top options and are easily transported. Another benefit to these is that they don’t require venting.

  • Anywhere Fireplace Oasis Indoor Outdoor – This 4.5-rated gel-fueled table-top option weighs a mere 13-pounds, so you can use it wherever you feel the need for some comforting flames.

    This round table-topper is made of brushed stainless steel for some clean lines.

  • Anywhere Fireplace Empire Indoor Outdoor – This inverted pyramid-shaped table-top option has been given a rating of 4.5 out of 5 and only weighs six pounds.

    Whether you use this small, brushed stainless steel gel-burner indoors or outdoors, you will be able to enjoy some quick and easy relaxing flames.

Gather and Sit ‘Round the Campfire

The possibilities are endless, and an easy way to add a personal touch to your backyard. Depending on the style of your fire pit, you may even be able to have a choice in your selection of seating options. Some popular finds:

  • Adirondack Chairs are an outdoor staple that offers a sturdy spot to lounge

  • Benches are a great way place for the kids to sit in one place so you can keep eyes on them at all times

  • Curved, backless benches can be moved around the fire, pushed together, and are built to last through the elements

  • This Patio Furniture can create the ultimate luxury backyard experience, with reclining, cushioned seating

In closing

The cost of building your fire pit is completely up to you. The memories you’ll make during and after its construction, well, those are priceless.

With a 67 percent return rate, according to the National Association of Realtors and National Association of Landscape Professionals 2018 report mentioned prior, the added value from adding a fire pit to your home extends far beyond money.

With two houses to choose from at a similar price point, your fire pit is sure to be will be what seals the deal! 

For more on adding a fire pit to the home, check out my article on safe fire pit placement, Fire Pit Placement: Picking the Right Spot for Your Fire Pit.

Thanks for reading and take care!

John

Sources:

https://ssfirepits.com/how-a-fire-pit-can-add-value-to-your-home/

https://www.firepitsdirect.com/blog/five-ways-a-fire-pit-increases-home-value/

https://www.homelight.com/blog/does-a-fire-pit-increase-home-value/

https://www.lakehomes.com/info/articles-and-news/whats-in-a-flame-the-latest-trends-in-outdoor-fire-pits-for-lake-houses