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Add a Fire Feature to your Deck

There is nothing quite like sitting around a fire with good food and great company. Fire adds a welcoming atmosphere to your deck, provides a focal point, lets you enjoy your space on chilly evenings, and can even serve as a cooking spot. But what kind of fire feature will you install? There are lots of great choices!

Fire pits come in three varieties; wood-burning, natural gas and propane. They can be made from brick, stone, concrete or metal. You can have one custom made, do-it-yourself or buy a prefabricated unit. Just remember that a fire feature needs to sit on fireproof tiling, fire bricks or a fire mat and must be at least 10 feet away from the house. A fire pad should extend at least 24 inches beyond the fire pit in all directions. Make sure there are no pipes underneath and no electric wires overhead. Also keep foliage and trees a safe distance away. Check that your deck is strong enough to support a fire pit. If you’re tackling the project yourself and are unsure, talk with a local deck contractor before construction begins. Try to find someone with expertise in fire pit design.

  • Wood burning fire pits: It’s wise to check your local wood burning laws and codes before installing a wood burning fire pit. Wood burners are fairly common and inexpensive. If your fire pit comes with a screen, keep it closed as much as possible to reduce the chance of jumping sparks. Always keep a fully-charged fire extinguisher, container of water, and/or a hose nearby to deal with any mishaps that occur.
  • Chimenea is a free-standing wood burning fireplace that has a hollow body connected to a narrow smoke vent. It takes a while to heat up but provides rustic charm, requires little tending and when used with a fire screen reduces the possibility of shooting sparks and a runaway fire.
  • Propane fire pits are cleaner than wood burners, require little maintenance, and are more efficient than natural gas burners. No wood to chop. No sparks to contend with. No odor that will stick to your clothes. You can turn on your propane fire pit with the flick of a switch and bask in the glow of the flames. The flame burns bright enough to be seen even in sunlight. One drawback, you occasionally need to run to the gas station to refill the tank.
  • Natural gas fire pits are fueled by a gas line that attaches to your home so there is no need to refill tanks and, if properly installed, no sparks. They too can be turned on with the flick of a switch. Natural gas is less costly than propane and burns cleaner, reducing the possibility of soot. One drawback, you need a professional to install a gas burner which adds to the installation costs.
  • Table top fire features: Try a gas or propane fueled table top fire feature. Light, compact, and self-contained they allow you to enjoy the ambience of fire without using a lot of space and without all the requirements and restrictions of installing a large fire pit.

If your deck is a favorite gathering spot, enhance it with the addition of a fire feature. Dancing flames enrich any gathering and make lingering after dinner a special treat. No matter what type of fire feature you choose, you will find that it adds warmth, enhances enjoyment and extends the time you are able to spend on your deck.

For all your deck questions and needs choose the Calgary based deck experts, Econo Decks. From simple upgrades to complete renovation to new builds, Econo Decks is committed to providing the best quality work for their customers. Call Econo Decks at 403-768-0151 or email us at or