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Fire Pits are a Hot Trend for Backyards

backyard fire pit
Posted at 5:45 AM, Nov 04, 2014
and last updated 2016-07-04 12:06:04-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- The colder weather doesn't have to mean an end to your outdoor entertaining. In this Angie's List report, the benefits of a backyard fire feature.

Landscaping expert Randy Sorrell says fire pits are a hot choice for outdoor home design, helping to extend backyard use through fall and winter.

"So, it's almost a tradition or a dare to have a fire on Christmas, New Year's, certainly Thanksgiving. We're enjoying it," he said.

Fire features can typically be built year-round, but Angie's List says make sure you get the go-ahead before breaking ground.

"If you are installing a fire pit you really need to check with your homeowners association first because you certainly don't want to get sideways with their rules. Also check local regulations. You want to know what the fire code is for having that fire pit," recommends Angie Hicks of Angie's List.

You also want to keep a fire pit at least 10 feet from your home, and stay away from a tree canopy.  With fire comes liability, so make sure you're covered whether you build the fire pit or hire a pro.

"Don't forget to check with your insurance agent about your homeowners insurance. You want to make sure you fire pit is covered under your policy," said Hicks.

Fire pits come in all sizes, shapes and materials, from stone and concrete to metal, so it's best to determine a budget before designing. Boulder fire features, for example, typically run up to $1,000. But if you have the skills, patience and time, you can try to tackle the project yourself.

"Some of the big box retailers now sell kits that look pretty good and you can customize them and make them look phenomenal," said Sorrell.

If your fire pit plans require digging, Angie's List reminds you to call 811. You don't want to risk hitting any underground lines, pipes or cables.

Remember you can catch the latest Angie's List report every Tuesday on WTXL Sunrise.