Outdoor Fireplaces vs. Fire Pits

Explore the pros and cons of outdoor fireplaces and fire pits with Archadeck of Chicagoland.

Adding a fire feature, such as an outdoor fireplace or built-in fire pit, to your Chicago area backyard creates an excellent space to entertain, roast marshmallows, and simply enjoy the great outdoors. How do you know if an outdoor fire feature is right for you? We’ve broken down the pros and cons of outdoor fireplaces and fire pits to help you decide.

Outdoor Fireplaces

Outdoor fireplaces are designed to withstand the outdoor elements, giving you the benefits of a warm and cozy fire while enjoying your backyard. Versatile designs allow you to attach an outdoor fireplace to your deck, patio, or screen porch, or to stand alone.


Outdoor fireplace in screen porch


Outdoor fireplace on TimberTech deck

See more outdoor fireplaces and fire pits by Archadeck of Chicagoland!

Outdoor Fireplace Pros & Cons

  • Provides a cozy environment and encourages intimate conversation, seating 4-6 people at a time.
  • A Large structure will become a focal point in your outdoor living space. Keep this in mind if you have a view that you do not want to be obstructed.
  • Outdoor fireplaces are easy to light in windy conditions, create privacy, and can also serve as a windbreak.
  • A fireplace directs smoke up and away, preventing smoke and flying embers from bothering guests.
  • Pricier than fire pits


Screened porch with stone outdoor fireplace

Built-In Fire Pits

Built-in fire pits are smaller and easily incorporated into your backyard space. Design options include gas lines, colorful fire glass, and ceramic logs. Traditional fire pits are circular; create a unique look with square or triangular fire pit designs, or by including patio walls.


Fire pit and patio


Belgard patio with fire pit and outdoor kitchen

Fire Pit Pros & Cons

  • Provides a more social environment, seating 10-12 people in a circle
  • Flexible designs allow you to make the fire pit a focal point or to create a more subtle look
  • Small structure is low to the ground, keeping the view open
  • Without anything to block the wind, a wood burning fire pit may be harder to light or there may be flying embers and smoke. Preventative options include installing a gas fire pit and using fire glass or ceramic logs.
  • Less expensive than fireplaces


Square fire pit with fire glass beads

Archadeck of Chicagoland is the premier Chicagoland builder for decks, patios, screen porches, and much more. If you’re considering an outdoor living space, we would love to hear from you! You may sign up for a free Archadeck Design Consultation or call our office at (847) 749-2373.

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