Thursday, August 14, 2014

Maintaining and Refurbishing Your Wicker Patio Furniture

Wicker patio furniture does not require much cleaning and maintenance and  it is a user-friendly choice for patios, porches and other outdoor spaces. Because wicker is not a material, but a weaving technique, the kind meant for outdoor use is manufactured to be quite hardy. They can usually be left outdoors for long periods of time without deterioration, unless in a place with a very extreme climates.  
Caring for Your Wicker Furniture
In order for you to enjoy your wicker furniture for a longer period of time, you need to properly care for it. Wicker material might not require as much cleaning as other outdoor furniture materials, but this does not mean that you will not take steps to make sure that it looks its best all the time.
  • Brush it every now and then to keep it dust-free. Keeping it clean extends its life as other organic material can collect in the crevices of the weave and cause mildew, leading to mold and decay.
  • When the weather is too cold, it can become stiff, or a bit more elastic when it is very hot. Also, too much moisture can make it sag and cause mildew.
  • A simple solution for extending the lifespan of your wicker furniture is to cover it up or move it to a more protected spot when the temperature is too hot or cold.
  • It is a good idea to inspect the weave from time to time, and if there is any shifting, just move the weave back into place with your fingers.
  • Wicker furniture is usually painted, and the finish can be damaged over time. Touch-up spray paint can be used to fix it. It can also benefit from repainting every now and then.
Refurbishing Your Wicker Furniture
You may need to prolong the life of your wicker furniture, but the time will come when it will look old, shabby and run down. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make repairs. When this happens, it is now time to restore it by using the following tips.
  1. Gather all the tools needed: rubber gloves, scrub brush, toothbrush, detergent, wood glue, primer, paint and sealer.
  2. Take your furniture out to the lawn and rinse and wash thoroughly  with a hose. You might want to turn on each side to wash off a much dirt and old paint as possible.
  3. Rub the surface of every furniture piece with the scrub brush to remove any remaining paint and stains. Use a toothbrush for those hard to reach areas.
  4. If there are traces of mildew, clean with a solution of detergent and water. After this, rinse the pieces with water and wait for them to completely dry.
  5. If there are broken reeds, stick them back together by using the wood glue and allow the glue to dry up. Follow the instructions on the glue you are using.
  6. Now you can repaint your furniture. It is advisable that you use oil paint, not latex, as it is more resistant to the natural elements. Leave the furniture to completely dry.
Buying New Wicker Furniture
If you think that refurbishing your furniture will not work, or you believe that it is time for you to update your outdoor furniture with new wicker furniture.  Here are some great choices for consideraton
Anchor All Weather Wicker Round Dining Set by Alfresco Home
The All Weather Wicker collections are made from high density polyethylene; they are hand woven onto high grade T-5 powder coated tubular frames. These frames are also treated with color, temperature and UV stabilizers. This makes all of these  collections suitable for four season climates.

Enjoy your patio with elegance all year round with the wonderful Atlantic outdoor collection. It has great quality, stylish designs made of aluminum and synthetic wicker. It works great against the effects of air pollution salt air, and mildew growth.
Kingston 24" Barstool Counter Height by Meadow Decor

With this Meadow Décor Kingston counter height stool, you can create a cozy, fashionable setting in your private outdoor living space. These durable cast aluminum stools with American powder coating were designed for comfort and built to last for years.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Important Considerations When Buying Outdoor Wood Furniture

During summer, our patios become an extra room in our homes.. Outdoor wood furniture can be used to give any outside space a natural look, making it fit into the outdoor  environment. The best quality patio wood furniture is made from center-cut heartwood lumber with a consistent grain. Fastenings should be zinc plated, or crafted from corrosion resistant stainless steel. Go with furniture that has screws instead of bolts so that you can tighten the screws when they come loose. Here are some examples to get you started:
This set includes an oval extension table with 4 teak dining chairs, made from genuine Teak and finished with a light teak oil. It also has a 2 inch umbrella hole with solid brass fittings and conveniently designed lower pole catch eliminating the need for an umbrella base or pole weight.

The Luxe Modular Seating Collection exhibits classic elegance with intricate detailing that provides modern comfort. The modular style provides flexibility to accommodate any décor. Built with extra thick Grade A Teak and Sunbrella cushions to last for generations.

Patio wood furniture is available in numerous types. To choose the best furniture that’s perfect for your patio and pocket, you need to know the main characteristics of these different wood types. Also, you need to look into factors like weather and sun exposure, durability, space available, storage areas, and comfort level. You might want to think about care and maintenance, along with the furniture’s cost and how it aligns with your budget.
Weather Conditions
There are wood and furniture designs that can withstand weather extremes better compared to others. Untreated wood might crack and splinter in hot, dry weather, while constant exposure to moisture can make others buckle and swell. The best way to prevent this is to seal or paint the wood, put the furniture under cover, or condition the wood with oil twice a year.
Different wood types have different levels of durability. Hardwoods like jarrah, shorea and teak can last up to 50 years while roble and redwood can last up to 25. A longer lifespan usually  equals are bigger price tag, you should only buy more expensive and longer lasting furniture if you are sure that it will never go out of fashion. Nuts, bolts and screws should also be made from a non-corrosive material like stainless steel so they last longer.
Space Constraints
The outdoor furniture that you choose should fit into the space available in your outdoors. However, this is not the only space that you should consider when buying outdoor furniture. Many types of wooden patio furniture should be stored indoors come winter time to lengthen the lifespan. You should take into consideration the amount of storage space when shopping.
Comfort Features
Even when it is beautiful and stylish, patio furniture will be of little use if it is uncomfortable. If the chairs do not come with cushions, you can purchase or make them. When making or buying cushions, make sure that they are able to somehow withstand the stresses of the outdoors. And during winter or when they are not in use, take care to pack them away.
Care and Maintenance
There are some types of wood that require more care than others, something that you need to carefully take into consderation. Generally, treated wood requires less care compared to untreated wood. You should be realistic about the amount of time you have available – along with your level of motivation – for cleaning and taking care of your wooden outdoor furniture.
Cost and Budget
Of course, the cost of the furniture and your budget will ultimately shape your purchasing decision. Doing research regarding the value of outdoor furniture and the different types of wood will give you a better idea of when a bargain really is a bargain. Remember that you get what you pay for, although this is not really the case all the time.
These days, you can easily own beautiful wood furniture without damaging the environment, thanks to FSC certification. The FSC or Forest Stewardship Council promotes responsible management of the forests of the world by setting standards, certifying and labeling products. Certification is only given once all steps in the manufacturing of wood products comply with the social and environmental standards and requirements of the FSC.
Wooden patio furniture is a great, natural-looking outdoor furniture option. Patio furniture is crafted from a wide range of wood types, including timber from both softwood and hardwood tree species. You should pick wood with the characteristic that are most desirable and one that best suits your needs.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Important Safety Tips For Installing Outdoor Patio Swings

Summertime is a great time for playing outdoors, and what backyard would not be complete without a tree swing? Outdoor patio swings can give years of fun, but it is important that you install them in a way that ensures both your safety as well as the health of the tree. Below are some tips for the safe installation of a tree swing.
Choosing a Tree and Branch
If you are hanging a tree swing, make sure that you consider the following:
  • Tree type: The branches of a sturdy hardwood tree, preferably oak, are best for a tree swing. Avoid evergreens, fruit trees or trees that easily split.
  • Branch Size: A tree swing requires a horizontal branch with at least 8 inches diameter that is no more than 20 feet off the ground.
  • Branch Condition: The branch for a tree swing should be healthy. Inspect the branch from trunk to tip and avoid branches with signs of splitting, disease or infestation. Never use a dead branch.
  • Clearance: The branch should be big enough so the swing hangs at least 3 feet away from the trunk without the branch bouncing.
Attaching a Swing to a Tree
In general, there are two main approaches in installing a swing to a tree:
  • Eye bolts: Carefully drill a vertical hole all through the center of the branch and insert at least a ½-inch diameter, corrosion resistant eye bold, using nuts and washers to secure it to the tree. Eventually, the tree will grow around the bolts for a permanent installation. This eliminates the friction on the bark, although it causes damage to the tree.
  • Rope: A tree swing can be attached to the branch using rope if you take steps to prevent the rope from cutting into the tree bark. If you opt to tie the rope round the tree branch, using a running bowline that will loosen when the swing is not used, so the tree can grow larger without being girdled by the rope.
Choosing the Tree Swing Rope
Use at least a ½-inch thick rope for your swing, in any of these materials:
  • Polyester rope: Braided polyester rope is perhaps the best choice among synthetic ropes for a tree swing. It holds up well to the elements, gives maximum strength and has little stretch.
  • Nylon rope: This might be the strongest rope, but nylon is susceptible to stretching and can be slippery for little hands to grasp.
  • Polypropylene rope: Lightweight and inexpensive, polypropylene rope makes for a poor choice as it rapidly deteriorates in the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  • Natural fiber rope: These are ropes made from natural plant materials like help, manila, sisal and cotton. They are not as strong as synthetic, so replace it every year or two.
  • Metal chain: It is not as attractive as rope and can pinch small fingers, but corrosion resistant chain is strong and holds up well to the elements.
Essential Swing Safety Tips
Follow these tips to maximize the enjoyment and safety of your tree swing:
  • Inspect the tree branch, along with the ropes and the swing itself, on a regular basis. Look for fraying, splitting or other damage, and repair it immediately. A properly installed swing should not cause grooves or damage to the tree.
  • Plan on replacing the ropes once every couple of years.
  • Move the swing to new eye bolts if the tee grows over the ends.
  • Ensure that the carabineers, rope and hardware are rated for the maximum weight.
  • Make sure the knots are securely tied to prevent unraveling.
Top Tree Swing Style Choices
Here are some stylish and comfortable tree swings from renowned brand Vivere:
Take time to relax with the help of the Parachute Nylon Hammock in Navy/Red Fabric by Vivere Hammocks. Inspired by a memorable vacation, this hammock promote relaxation and healthy lifestyles – in your backyard, camping, or anywhere outdoors.
The Brazilian Style Hammock - Double Deluxe in Natural Fabric by Vivere Hammocks is a hidden gem. This hammock is complimented by an elegant hand crocheted fringe that would make anyone feel like royalty. An excellent addition to any backyard or cottage.

Cotton Rope Hammock - Double in Natural Rope by Vivere Hammocks
The Cotton Rope Hammock - Double in Natural Rope by Vivere Hammocks is made from 100% Cotton and tightly woven for increased body contact. It is made with 3-ply twisted Cotton rope that enhances strength and durability, but at the same time it continues to breathe for dry relaxing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Purchasing, Cleaning and Maintaining Resin Patio Furniture

Entertain your guests in style with resin patio furniture in your backyard. Resin is one of the most popular materials for outdoor furniture, and it is easy to see why. It is durable, inexpensive and looks great in many different settings. Resin outdoor furniture is also known for being easy to clean, making it the perfect choice for those with busy lifestyles. Whether you want resin furniture to freshen your patio’s look, or resin garden furniture for your landscaped backyard, the following suggestions will help you find the right furniture that complements your home and make entertaining all the more easier.
Tip #1: Look for resin furniture in a myriad of  colors
White resin furniture might be iconic and give your home a quaint, old-fashioned touch, but you might want to buy wicker furniture in darker colors, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain. Look for reddish-brown furniture sets to give your space a laid-back, earthy feeling, or black or green pieces for a more contemporary look. Update  these resin outdoor furniture sets with thick cushions in contrasting colors as well. Consider putting cream or white-colored cushions on black wicker patio furniture for a fresh, clean vibe.
Tip #2: Buy wicker furniture finished with vinyl or resin for durability
If you live in a snowy or rainy climate, you will want to look at resin or vinyl furniture that has been treated with water-resistant coatings like the Ares Resin Square Dining Set with 4 Chairs by Compamia. Resin wicker furniture is also able to resist fading and cracking in extreme color or eat. You can also buy furniture sets that feature aluminum frames if you are worried about natural wicker pieces being damaged or growing brittle over time.

Tip #3: Find resin furniture that complements your home
Resin patio furniture might seem cozy and simple when loveseats and armchairs are grouped together, but you can also make your favorite pieces look sophisticated with the right styles and colors. Purchase resin furniture sets with angular, boxy shapes if you want modern décor like the Club 5-Piece Deep Seating Group by POLYWOOD®. On the other hand, go with chairs, side tables and rocking chairs with rounded, smooth edges if you want to set a more traditional space.

While resin patio furniture is generally easy to clean, it is still important that you keep it well protected.  Keeping them in the shade as much as possible will help preserve their color.  During the winter, store them covered to keep it clean, and make it easier to get it ready for another season. Contrary to what many might think, cleaning resin patio furniture is not hard, but it is important that you use the right techniques. Here are a few tips to help you out.
  1. Use a hose to wash off any surface grime and dirt. If you have one or you can get one, use a pressure washer set on the lowest setting.
  2. Rub the whole surface of the furniture piece with a damp cloth dipped in soapy water. Use a mild dish detergent to remove any stuck grime and dirt.
  3. Protect the surface of your furniture from getting dirty by applying a paste made from water and baking soda. Mix the paste together until it gets a thick consistency, rub it on the furniture, and rinse completely.
  4. Use a mixture of detergent, bleach and water to remove stubborn stains from your resin furniture. Mix a cup of bleach, a gallon of warm water, and a couple of squirts of your favorite dishwashing liquid. Apply the mixture to the stains, and let it stand for at least 10 minutes, and rinse it away. Repeat this as necessary.
  5. Remove scuff marks with a paste made from water and a quality cleanser like Ajax. Apply the paste and let it sit for 10 minutes before you hose it off.
  6. Let the newly cleaned furniture dry, and wipe away any remaining moisture using a clean, soft cloth.
Always wipe away any new spills so they do not have a chance to set it. Wash away tree sap or bird droppings before they  can damage the furniture’s surface or mar the finish. Clean every piece of furniture when you get the hose out to water your yard, garden or flowers. A few extra minutes a week can help keep your resin patio furniture looking like new, making the next spring cleaning a little easier.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Outdoor Patio Umbrellas - The Central Theme to Enhancing Your Outdoor Experience

Outdoor patio umbrellas are  a great way to help you enjoy your outdoor space and an investment that will add value to your home. With the right outdoor fabric, a patio umbrella can protect you from the dangerous UV rays which cause skin cancer while giving you and your family a great place to entertain and relax. Overtime, the designs of patio umbrella manufacturers have improved and become somewhat of a fashion statement for the outdoor room decorator. They have become a centralizing theme and a fun element to enhance  patio and home décor.
The wide range of fabric alternatives available today can be thrilling, but it can be a challenge to uncover wonderful bargains. But which of these choices is the right one for your home? With so many available options and so many materials, it can be a bit difficult to choose the right one.   By reviewing the basic umbrella categories, you should find the  style and feature that is best for you.
Garden Umbrellas
This is the traditional look of the patio umbrellas with an unmistakable feature: a unique bell shape appearance that hearkens back to a time when patios and backyards were the heart of a home’s recreation.  They  have adorned luxury garden furniture sets for years.
Typically small compared to modern day umbrellas, they are great enhancements to courtyards, backyards and small patios. For making the classic look complete, complement them along with rattan or wicker furniture for that  old world goodness.
Wood Market Umbrellas
Wood market umbrellas are  all about rustic luxury. They are inspired from the original DIY outdoor umbrella, which is the street market umbrella.  The timber market outdoor umbrella today has now come a long way. This creates a chic atmosphere, and are usually one of the more popular styles. It is the best way to create a relaxing environment in your home, perfect for those staycations. Choose an umbrella that made of teak or hardwood like the Square Wooden Umbrella by Jordan Manufacturing Company, as they are usually water repellent and bug free.

Wind Resistant Fiberglass Umbrellas
Fiberglass was traditionally the costliest building material for umbrellas. Fiberglass is stronger and better at tolerating  higher than average wind conditions compared to wood or aluminum. What makes them stand out is that fiberglass ribs can flex and bend under wind pressure, but snap back into shape quickly.
A fiberglass outdoor umbrella can easily withstand winds of up to 50mph, which is why they are called wind resistant umbrellas. Because they effectively flex, turnovers and forward falls coming from accidents or rough  play will not crack the ribs, which typically  send umbrellas to the trash.
Aluminum Umbrellas
Café-style modern aluminum outdoor umbrellas are very popular these days because of their durability and their features. Aluminum is lightweight and does not really rust. It is also available in a plethora of frame finishes that can go with just about any home’s  décor.
Aluminum patio umbrellas will usually have specialized characteristics, such as automatic tilting. Outdoor fabrics are available in so many varieties, so you can create practically any look that you like, like an elegant hotel or a sidewalk café.
Offset Umbrellas
One of the challenges with an outdoor umbrella is the middle pole. The shade covered by an outdoor umbrella is great, but the center pole gets in the way of conversation, or limits the usable surface on tables. Usually seen in stylish cafes and restaurants, offset umbrellas position to the side, or offset from the center, leaving the shade cover over you or in the place where you want shade. This frees up room and make new possibilities for creating room.
This umbrella like the Offset Umbrella by Jordan Manufacturing Company is great over the pool, or in a spa. You can shade your little ones while they are having fun without stressing about an umbrella falling over or getting in their way. Entertaining close friends outdoors will be an entirely new experience without having to look around a pole to have a discussion.

A patio umbrella was once treated as simply a useful accessory, but it can, and usually is, a key theme to your outdoor space. Take your time in choosing the best outdoor patio umbrella for your home. With the perfect choice, it can change your outdoor décor entirely, and you can be the envy of your neighborhood with a large, beautiful and comfortable umbrella.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Patio Dining Sets to Suit Your Outdoor Space

The months of spring and summer signal the return of barbecues and enjoying the great outdoors with family and friends. If you are thinking of sprucing up your outdoor area for al fresco dinners in the coming months, a dining set that gives ample table top surface area and comfortable seating is essential. A nice patio dining set will make you and your family comfortable when you entertain or just choose to relax and unwind outside.
From bistro-style chairs and tables to more traditional wood pieces, the best patio dining sets are those that will fit your outdoor space without making it feel overcrowded. Also, they should also be able to withstand the elements of the changing seasons. Most importantly, your outdoor dining set should complement your preference and style. If you are considering one right now, here are some general things you need to keep an eye out for.
Choose the best materials. Sturdy metals and wood like powder-coated aluminum and teak are popular choices for outdoor dining furniture. Teak furniture, like the 5 Piece Extension Javenese Teak Outdoor Patio Dining Set with Solid Brass Fittings by All Things Cedar, stands up to the elements very well, and is more durable than most other varieties. After sunlight and rain exposure, teak also develops a nice, shiny patina, aging well over time.
Consider versatility. On the other hand, aluminum furniture is best for seasonal use as it is lightweight, yet still sturdy. Also, the powder-coated varieties are usually available in a wide range of colors, making it versatile for many different outdoor environments. Also, rattan and wicker pieces are easy to move, and outdoor chairs crafted from these materials can usually give the most comfort because of their tight cushy weaves.
Decide on size. The size of your dining set will depend on your outdoor space. Usually, bistro-style sets (which are made up of one table and two chairs) are best for small decks and patios. So if you are looking to create a small corner for relaxing, these can be a great option. However, if you are considering taking your meals outdoors, opt for a full dining set, which can range from four- to eight-seaters depending on the amount of space you have available in your garden.
Think of the surface. Wood table tops need the least amount of maintenance because they can easily be wiped clean with some mild soap and water. Metal tables can heat up quickly hen left out in direct sun for long periods, so it is best that you put them in shaded areas or under a patio umbrella. Glass table tops are also easy to clean and should make for a pretty accent in a garden. However, their fragile nature means that they are best for covered porches, decks and patios. Also, they are weak against the elements so they should be moved indoors during colder months.
Sometimes, particularly when it comes to outdoor furniture, price does matter. This means that quality patio sets can be expensive, but there are a number of ways to get a good deal on outdoor furniture. Here are some tips to help you find an inexpensive patio dining set.
  • Shop when summer is over. Many stores hold sales on patio furniture once the weather gets colder. You might get a good price as retailers would want space for seasonal winter items. Whatever the season may be, you can check for sales ads.
  • Price does not guarantee quality. Not all costly outdoor furniture is high quality. Do not judge the quality of a dining set just by the price tag. When shopping for a set, try to go with a durable and beautiful patio dining set.
  • Look for a set that lasts. Sit on the chairs to ensure that they are sturdy and comfortable. If the set comes with cushions, ensure that they are mildew resistant and are made to withstand outdoor conditions, like the ones in the Bellagio Dining Table Collection by Anderson Teak.
  • Compare prices. Take some time to look for different patio sets at different stores. Take notes when doing your research. Then make a short list of your favorite sets, and pick the one that offers the best quality for the lowest price.

Make sure that you pick a patio set that will look good with your outdoor space and landscape. Use the simple tips above to find the best patio dining set that is perfect for you and your family without having to spend too much.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Patio Furniture Legs that Will Define Your Style!

Patio chairs  are typically made up of a back, seat, legs and, at times, arm rests. Chairs come in various shapes and forms, from simple to ornate, and are made from various materials.  With patio chair furniture it is the  leg that gives the most  information about its character - like its style and the period where it came from or was inspired from.
  • Cabriole Legs. These are shaped in two curves: a convex upper curve and concave lower curve. The front of the legs might be a ball and claw or a club. The knee is usually carved with an ornament like a scallop shell. This is originally from the ancient Greeks and Chinese, but in the 18th century, European chairs and tables were popularly fitted with cabriole legs. An example is the Fleur de Lis Cast Aluminum Bistro Set by Alfresco Home.

  • Marlborough Legs. These are straight legs that are heavy, fluted and fitted with a block foot. These types of legs were used in English and American furniture, especially during the mid-18th century. The leg’s name is derived from the Duke of Marlborough for furniture designed for him. Thomas Chippendale favored this style of legs for his furniture.
  • Spiral Legs. These are straight and carved so they look like a twisted or spiral rope with a winding groove or flute. Their roots originate in India and Portugal, and were popular during the Restoration period in the late 17th century.
  • Hock Legs. These are a variation on the cabriole leg, and feature a broken curve on the inner side of the knee. This means that the legs feature a straight, perpendicular section between the upper convex section and their  foot. An example is the The Djursholm Arm Chair by Control Brand.

  • Lyre-Shaped Legs. These two legs come together to form the shape of a lyre, a hard-like instrument used in many French and English designs. The lyre motif is also used extensively in back chairs. These were popular among chairs in the early 19th to mid-19th century during the Empire Period;  often referred to as the Classic Style.
  • Tapered Legs. These are wide at the top, gradually becoming narrower at the bottom. English furniture designed by George Hepplewhite in the 18th century usually had tapered legs. Shield back chairs made by Hepplewhite had tapered legs, as were many of the early-classical style chairs.
The tips that cover the feet of your patio furniture might seem insignificant, but they provide  a lot more than just extra flourish. Depending on the size of your chair’s feet and its construction, there are many available options for tips.
  • Nail Head Glides. Wood and wood frame wicker furniture with rectangular or square feet may use nail head glides. These glides put a PVC plastic head on a nail that is driven into the foot’s bottom. When installed on larger feet, they are completely hidden and will not spoil the design of the furniture while protecting the chair and your patio.
  • Plastic Leg Inserts. Steel and aluminum furniture made from hollow tubing usually use plastic inserts as tips on their feet. These inserts pound into the open end of the chair leg with an overlap on the top that covers the leg’s metal edge. Because these feet attach to legs through friction, you should size them exactly to  the chair’s leg.
  • Teflon Glides. Traditional felt glides soak up moisture and do not give the protective barrier to maintain your furniture against the elements, but Teflon versions of stick-on glides work well in an outdoor environment. Available in many sizes, opt for a low-profile teflon glide smaller than the leg so it is hidden underneath the leg while the chair is placed on its feet.
  • Crutch Tips. Rubber tips that slip over the outside of a chair leg, they are available in several styles and colors, and are sized to match the leg size of the furniture.
  • Forever Glides. They combine  the sliding and durability aspects of teflon glides with a self-leveling foam pad.  Forever Glides directly affix to the base of your chair legs and are available in shapes that fit inside recessed leg tips or screw directly into wood or the plastic bottom surface if the feet.
Aside from protecting the surface of your deck or patio, chair tips also help keep your furniture off the ground, preventing the quick deterioration or oxidation that come in constant contact hard surfaces.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Outdoor Firepit Planning Essentials

Homeowners were always content with just a wood deck and a barbecue to enjoy their outdoors. Today, outdoor living is all about flower beds, ponds, outdoor kitchens, and fire pits. In fact, the  outdoor patio firepit has become so popular that some builders make them as part of the package for high-end residences. But, of course, you can still get one without spending all that much.
Firepit Buying Considerations
With the various styles, sizes and materials available, your choices should be based on your available space, budget, and local ordinances. Here are some important things to consider before planning a fire pit and dreaming of cool nights enjoying  s’mores with family and friends.
How Much to Spend. You can spend as little  as $100 if you want a small fire pit by buying your own stones and digging the hole yourself, or by buying a simple unit at a big box store. They can also creep up  to several thousand dollars, especially when seating is added. Still, they are less expensive than an outdoor fireplace which can be as much as $10,000, depending on width, height, method and materials.
Permanent vs. Portable. A great way to start planning is to think in terms of permanence is to think if you want a fire pit that is built in, or something that is lightweight and potentially portable, so you can take it where you want. Regardless of which way you go, you need to make sure that you are using the proper materials. Make it proportional to the size of your yard, and make sure you have room for seating and circulation.
For a built-in design, you would want to match materials to  the garden or house. You can go “DIY”  and assemble the materials yourself; use a pre-made kit from a big box store; or go custom, with a contractor or landscape professional doing the design and building it.
Portable fire pit options are just as varied. There are fire bowls that come in varied materials; copper and stainless steel like the Stainless Steel Urn Fire Pit by Well Traveled Living are mostly lighter, but cast iron bowls do a great job of radiating heat. Fire tables are the same as bowls, but are usually made at coffee table height. There are also chimney-style options.

Wood or Gas. There are many alternate fuel types like the Nest Firetable - Square by American Fyre Designs, that is wood, which is the most common choices. There are those who prefer a true outdoor experience, but this requires flames to keep it  going. It also requires a steady supply of firewood.

An alternative is to use propane or gas for an instant fire, although it is not as hot as a wood fire and you do not get the same smoke and crackle. There are some dual-fuel fire bowls and tables that will let you do both; and you can design a built-in fire put to do the same if you have the budget and inclination.
What to Set It On. It is best that you set a portable fire pit on to of a natural surface like slate, concrete, gravel, brick or stone. Putting it on a wood deck can be dangerous if embers fly. A permanent fire pit is mostly built on a base of gravel somewhere in your  back yard.
Where to Set Up. Many communities require at least a 10-foot distance from your house and neighbors’ yards. Some do not require a permit if the fire pit fits meet the set size requirements; while others require a site inspection from local fire officials to ensure that your proposed location is safe. In some communities, there is an outright ban on open fires. Check with your local officials before getting going with your plans.
How to Create the Ambience. To get maximum night enjoyment, consider installing outdoor lighting near the pit. Make it subtle so you do not destroy the camp-fire mood. You can plug energy efficient LEDs into a nearby outlet without making it necessary for you to hire an electrician. Also consider seating, like metal Adirondack chairs, or a low stone wall.
In some parts of the United States, like those prone to wildfires, disclosing your fire pit might be required for your homeowners’ insurance policy. It might also be a good idea to check in with an insurance agent to understand any potential impact a fire pit may have on your coverage.