Fire features are amazing ways to add a little ambiance, warmth, and light to your evening landscape.

In fact, they become almost irresistible in the Greater Chicago home landscape where they extend your outdoor enjoyment in numerous ways. The heat they emit makes night parties cozier, the flickering flames create interesting shapes and shadows that make more memorable get-togethers, and that overall elegance they boast gives your yard an elevated appeal.

But as you consider adding a fire feature to your landscape, you probably have a lot of questions. It’s one thing to see them in someone’s yard all majestic and complete, but it’s another thing to look at your blank canvas and try to envision whether a fire pit or a fireplace is best, or whether you should choose the gas- or wood-burning option.

Let’s look at all the common questions that tend to come up when we’re talking to customers about fire features in their landscapes to help you better plan your new landscape addition.

4 Most Common Questions About Backyard Fire Features

S’mores parties. Backyard barbecues. Intimate gatherings with close friends. Fire features can be at the center of all of these types of events.

Even though it may not seem like it when you see a completed fire feature in someone’s landscape, planning a fire feature takes a lot of planning and preparation. You should never feel rushed through this process since there are quite a few things to consider.

patio with seating areas and firepit

To achieve a fire feature you’re going to get the most out of, you need to ask yourself quite a few questions about outdoor fire features so you can narrow down the options to your perfect choice.

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There are some important details you’ll want to reflect on to ensure you get a great fire feature that blends and connects with your entire outdoor living area.

1. Where Can I Put My Fire Feature?

The answer to this question about outdoor fire features is really based on the specific municipality you live in within the Greater Chicago area.

patio with beautiful plantings and fire pit

Some municipalities will dictate that your fire feature be placed 10 to 12 feet from your home, while others require that your fire feature be 25 to 30 feet from your home. Whether you choose a gas- or wood-burning option may also change these rules.

So the first task on your landscape professional’s list is to check your municipality’s specific regulations before they begin any design to give you guidance and make sure it’s installed correctly.

2. Should I Choose a Gas or Wood-Burning Fire Feature?

There are two main choices for most fire feature options: gas or wood burning.

A wood-burning fire pit or outdoor fireplace will require a regular supply of wood for burning, as well as some cleanup of the ash, soot, or debris that a fire can create. But you get the cracking sounds and the true ambiance of a classic fire element, and you can cook over it if that is something fun you and your family would enjoy. A full outdoor fireplace versus a fire pit can be a cleaner or safer option than a more open fire pit when choosing the wood-burning option, so you’ll want to consider some of these things in your planning.

gas firepit on patio with outdoor kitchen pergola and hot tub

A gas fire feature, on the other hand, does not require wood to burn or matches to light your fire. You just turn on the gas valve and hit a button and flames instantly appear. This type of fire feature does require a landscape company that can bring in a licensed plumber to ensure the specialized pipe fittings and connections are done correctly.

3. What Does a Fire Feature Cost?

When it comes to adding the warmth and ambient light a backyard fire feature can bring to your yard, you’re probably wondering how much a project like this costs in Chicagoland residential landscapes.

fire bowl on patio with pergola and pool

The cost can vary quite a bit, depending on what you’re looking for. A modular brick fire pit that is simpler in design and is built to burn wood can start at $3,500. If you’d prefer a gas fire pit, your cost can rise to around $7,500 due to the additional gas line and plumbing you’ll need.

If you’re seeking an outdoor fireplace made of stone that creates a vertical presence in your backyard, those can range from $25,000 to more than $50,000. The add-ons and intricate details that can elevate costs include mounting an outdoor television on your fireplace, making your fireplace see-through, and adding a convenient place for wood storage.

4. How Long Does it Take to Design and Install a Fire Feature?

In today’s world of instant gratification, you may have made the decision to add a backyard fire feature and now you want it .. yesterday.

But having a good understanding of how long a project like this takes can help you in your planning. Depending on the size of your fire feature, how quickly you approve designs and materials, and how long the permit process takes in your municipality, you can be waiting roughly 6 weeks before your design and installation are complete.

family sits on patio around fire feature

Once the permit is obtained, which takes roughly two weeks, then your project can be scheduled. The actual installation can be as little as a week for a small patio and fire pit to as long as 6 weeks for a pavilion and outdoor kitchen with fireplace.

It’s always best to talk with your landscape professional about upcoming expectations and timeframes to ensure you both are happy with your backyard fire feature plan.

Get The Fire Feature Of Your Dreams in

You have questions. Luckily, we have answers.

Talking through all of your considerations when it comes to adding a fire feature to your landscape is an essential step in getting the fire feature that is perfect for you.

The answers certainly can mean the difference between enhancing your space or detracting from it.

You want a fire feature that gives you enjoyment and not headaches. You deserve that.

Still confused on what type of fire feature would work best for your space? Give KD Landscape a call. Our experts can provide you with some great design concepts and pointers on what type of fire feature will work best based on your space and entertainment needs.

Ready to see how KD Landscape can give you the fire feature you’ve been longing for in your Chicagoland landscape? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can add just the right amount of warmth and light to your backyard.

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