Built-in Fire Pit for Your Deck
If you're planning a new deck and know you want to have a fire pit, you can build the fire pit into the deck. The result can be very cool. Check out Google images under decks with built in fire pits. This kind of fire pit is most commonly round and built of stone. It is really an outdoor fireplace with no chimney. Built in fire pits can be surrounded by decking or they can be set in a circle of stone or tile. Contractors often build a circular bench around one side. This kind of fire pit is more elegant than most portable fire pits and certainly a lot more expensive. Aside from cost, though, there are some limitations. All of the built in fire pits I have seen pictures of are ground level. I am sure it would be possible to build a fire pit into a raised or second-story deck, but it would take some pretty special construction technique. Another limitation is that part of your deck will always be where a fire pit is. You can't use it for anything else. The advantage of a portable fire pit is that you can move it. Place it on the deck in September or October when the evening weather is perfect for sitting around a fire, and put it in the garage when you would rather have a glass table with an umbrella to sit around. Or in July, put an inflatable pool for little kids in that part of your deck. Another thing I would think twice about is the beautiful built in bench in a semi circle around the fire pit. My preference would be a chair that I could pull in closer to the fire to roast a marshmallow or stoke the fire with a poker. I would like option of moving the chair to a different side of the fire pit to avoid being downwind of the smoke. Built in fire pits are so elegant that I really would want one… if I had enough space and enough budget to build a sprawling, perhaps multi-level, deck with additional room for a dinner table, lawn chairs and whatever else. With limited budget and space resulting in a deck that you will want to use in a variety of ways, I would recommend an easily moved portable fire pit and of course a very easily moved DeckProtect to go under it.