Choosing Outdoor Fire Pits in Ottawa – 5 Things to Consider


Backyard Fire Pits in Ottawa

There are various styles of outdoor fireplaces and fire pits in Ottawa’s backyards. When it comes time to adding a fire pit or fireplace to your backyard, the sky’s the limit.

Sure, you could go out and source an upcycled wheel well to get the job done, but that won’t add much style and grace to the rest of your landscaping. There are better ways to go about adding a fire pit to your landscaping design.

To create a fantastic fire pit feature in your front or back yard, you will first need to consider:

  1. Size and Shape of the Fire Pit

The size and shape of your outdoor fire pit will be determined based on your overall outdoor design. In other words, your property size and other landscape features will dictate how big the unit can be and where it will go.

To decide on a shape, start be identifying how you want people to gather around the feature or use the fire pit, taking into consideration any small children or pets that will be using the same space. In this case, you’ll need to factor in space for seating, as well as the height of the unit.

Will you be adding on to this design in the future? If so, you’ll want a modestly sized fire pit that is easy to relocate, should plans change in the future. In another example, you might choose to have your fire pit be at the heart you design, or else have it off to the side in favour of having something else be your backyard centrepiece.

So, the first decision to make is, will your new fire pit feature be front row centre, or take a back seat to say, your pergola, hot tub, or waterfall feature?


  1. Various Uses of Fire Pits in Ottawa

Another big thing to consider when it comes to adding a fire pit feature to your landscape design is what you plan on using it for. For example, you must ask yourself:

  • Will I be using the unit to cook on?
  • Will I be using the unit for a source of heat?
  • Will it be the main focal point of my backyard space?
  • How many people do I reasonably expect to have gathered around the unit?

The answers to all of these question will help you decide on the size and shape, as well as the location. Not sure how the answers will influence your design? Consider enlisting the help of a local landscape design and build company before breaking ground.


  1. Wood or Gas Fire Pit?

Choosing either wood or gas for your future fireplace or fit pit in Ottawa is another important decision to make. The smell of a wood-burning fire can be very therapeutic, especially when coupled with the sound of a steady, crackling fire. It’s also the easier of the two methods to install, as it doesn’t require the special installation process of gas. One potential drawback to having a wood-burning feature in your backyard is the cleanup and storage of the combustible materials.

Gas fire pits come in a lot of designs, ranging from anything that resembles a wood-burning fireplace, to a table-top decorative centrepiece, and anything in between. If you are using natural gas, you won’t have to worry about cleanup or wood storage, but there is a cost to have the gas line trenched to the unit and a licensed gas technician to hook it up.

  1. Materials of the Fire Pit

Outdoor fire pits in Ottawa must be made out of materials that meet local building codes. That being said, in Ottawa, there are few limitations when it comes to using natural stone products that are either dry-stacked or mortared together.

The dry-stacked method, which refers to stones that are simply stacked on top of each, is quite simple to pull off, whereas natural stone that is mortared together and grouted gives more of a veneered, polished look.

Either way, encasing a steel bowl fire pit with the use of natural stone really adds a touch of elegance to the unit and is the ultimate way to blend it into your existing landscape and create a truly customized look.

  1. Overall Look of the Fire Pit

The last thing to consider is the overall aesthetics of the feature. Designs can be as traditional or modern as you’d like. Do you want a fire pit unit that looks like an outdoor fireplace? This style sees the unit low to the ground in a simple circular shape. It’s a simple design that never goes out of style.

However, for a more remarkable design, some people choose to have their fireplaces slightly elevated off the ground by about 3 or 4 feet to create a bar atmosphere so people can stand around it and also use bar stools. This look is awesome and really adds dimension to the fire pit and the whole backyard look. It will set you apart from the rest of the neighbours, and is even safer for pets and young children.

No matter what type of fire pit design you end up going with, keep in mind that before you get started, it’s important to research and follow the applicable bylaws and building code requirements of outdoor fire pits in Ottawa. You might also have to apply for any necessary permits before you are able to start enjoying your elegant backyard centrepiece.

For questions about any of the above tips on adding a backyard fire pit to your landscape, contact Ottawa Home and Garden today. We’d love to hear from you!


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