Fireplace or Fire Pit – A Burning Question for Custom Homeowners

Home Builder with Javic Homes

With our area’s recent chilly days, we thought it was time to discuss ways to warm up those outdoor areas that we Floridians love so much. Deciding between a fireplace and fire pit is a decision that we find ourselves discussing in many of our custom homes. Both have great features for providing warmth, light and enjoyment, but there are some key differences.

As a Tampa home builder, we have learned that it comes down to a few key questions to make this decision work best for each homeowner.

  1. How many people are you looking to have around the fire? A fireplace is ideal for a few people (less than 4), but a fire pit is better for larger groups. The 360 design of the firepit provides more seating like a camp fire setting.
  2. What kind of mood or atmosphere are you trying to create? If you’re going for the romantic, cozy setting – then the fireplace is best. If your aim is for a more social setting with storytelling and s’mores eating, then the fire pit typically is the better choice.
  3. Does your property have a view that you want to focus attention? If you have a fantastic water view overlooking the bay or gulf, a fire pit is low to the ground and won’t compete with the view. If you would prefer a new focal point outdoors, then a fireplace’s height and mass, along with all its decorative elements (hearth and mantel) may be the better choice.
  4. How do you feel about an open flame and smoke? If you get nervous or feel unsafe around an open fire or if smoke bothers you, a fire pit may not be the best choice. With a fireplace, the smoke is directed up and away and flames are contained with the fireplace.

Both fireplaces and fire pits are great choices. If you’d like to learn more about how you can make the best choice for yourself, watch the short video below or contact us.

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Comments (5)

Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Good post; I have a fireplace in my house, and LOVE IT, and spent all day yesterday outside around a fire pit, which I have not done much of this year.

Feb 13, 2012 12:20 AM
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Fireplaces are more elegant and a more formal atmosphere, but there is something about a fire pit that is cool. You can sit all around it, it's more of a campfire setting. You may have issues if there is a burn restriction in your area, but I vote for fire pit.

Feb 13, 2012 12:21 AM
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Thank you for posting the video on making the right choice.  It was very helpful.

Feb 13, 2012 12:36 AM
Linda Edelwich
William Raveis Real Estate - Glastonbury, CT
Glastonbury Office's #1 Top Producing Agent-not on

Both grea toptions but I think more people will enjoy the pit -

Feb 13, 2012 01:20 AM
Leslie G. Rojohn
MoonDancer Realty - Sylva, NC
GRI, ABR ~ MoonDancer Realty

If your going with gas the fire pit is fun to gather around.  If your actually burning wood, the fireplace is safer and less allergenic.

Feb 13, 2012 01:32 AM

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