Five Tips And Ideas For Building A Fire Pit On A Wooden Deck

Posted on: 19 January 2017

An outdoor fire pit is great for entertaining, relaxing, or even doing a bit of fireside cooking. In many cases, homeowners dig fire pits into the ground or put them on stone patios. However, if you have a wood deck, you may be wondering if there is a safe way to put a fire pit on your deck.

Although you have to be careful, the answer is yes. Here are some ideas to explore as you create your design.

1. Use a Small Fire Pit

For the simplest solution, consider using a premade firepit. These are typically metal bowls or ceramic chimeneas. They sit up above the surface of your deck, and they allow you to safely start a fire inside them without worrying too much about it spreading to the deck.

You can also find patio tables with small fire pits located in their center. In all of these cases, you should use a lid on the fire. That prevents embers from spilling out onto the decking.

2. Invest in a Zero-Clearance Firebox

If you want more permanence and stability than you can get with a standalone firepit, consider investing in a zero-clearance firebox. This is essentially a fire pit with a stick-framed and sheathed chimney chase around it. An insulated flue passes through the chase.

This setup can work inside on a three-season porch, but it can also work outside on a deck. The entire fireplace is relatively lightweight because the sheet metal used to create the firebox and flue are relatively thin and the frame of the fireplace is made of wood. To make the area safe, you may need to add a fireproof hearth in front of the firebox. A lightweight sheet of metal can work perfectly.

3. Build a Brick or Stone Fireplace

If you prefer the look of brick or stone, you can build a firepit on your deck. Depending on your style preferences, you may build a small circular firepit in the middle of the deck, or you may decide to put a masonry fireplace around a firebox.

Building a fire pit can be as simple as arranging stones in a circle and putting the fire inside of it. However, you need to ensure that the wood of the deck is protected from the base of the fire pit. To that end, consider putting a piece of concrete sheeting underneath the firepit. These sheets are made of concrete with special fibers embedded in the mix. The balance of these elements allows the sheet to be flexible and thin without shattering. However, if you accidentally drop it, it may shatter, so be careful as you work with it.

4. Reinforce the Deck as Needed

If you decide to build a heavy stone fireplace on your deck, you will need to reinforce the deck. This process is relatively inexpensive. It simply involves adding more joists and support beams. However, to ensure you add ample support, you may want to hire an engineer to advise you.

5. Add Wood Storage

Finally, regardless of the type of fire pit you select for your deck, you may want to add some wood storage. That allows you to start a fire easily almost any time you want. You can convert the area below a raised deck into wood storage, or you can add bins with lids around the perimeter of the deck. They can double as seating and wood storage.

Ultimately, regardless of the type of fire pit you decide upon, you need to focus on safety. In particular, when burning any fires on a wooden deck, you always want to ensure the fire is attended and fully extinguished when you are done using it. For more information, contact a company like Alpine Fireplaces.