How Big Should a Patio Be For a Fire Pit? [Measurements]

  • A fire pit should be at least 10 feet (or 3 meters) away from any structure- use this as a baseline measurement to figure out patio size/fire pit orientation (Source)
  • Keeping a functional patio fire pit begins with optimal safety and comfort for your guests.
  • Experts recommend anywhere from three to six feet depending on how large the patio is. This counts for both round and square fire pits.
  • You can always try out a tabletop fireplace that’s portable if you don’t want to invest in a built-in patio firepit
  • Worth noting is, the type of fire pit you choose will boil down to the source of energy readily available in your area.
  • Six feet from the fire pit to the sitting area is recommended for optimal movement and leg room comfort.
  • For covered patios, only use gas powered fire pits to avoid the smoke hazards pegged to wood burning firepits which may make guests uncomfortable (check out wood firepit spark screens to protect against spitting flames)

How Big Should a Patio Be For a Fire Pit?

What better way to spend your family gatherings than reminiscing on fond memories around a well-built fire pit?

Besides the obvious aesthetics that come with watching spectacular flames, these trending garden accessories can act as great centerpieces for fun-filled activities such as barbecues, pool parties or even simple evening drinks with friends.

If you’ve been thinking of the perfect home improvement project to embark on, well, fire pits are the hottest commodities right now.

However, building a fire pit, especially on your patio requires proper planning in regards to the potential hazards involved, your local neighborhood regulations and construction requirements. (Learn how to build a firepit with pavers and learn how to build a firepit with bricks.)

To avoid getting into a hot mess, here are some tips on how to go about building a fire pit on your patio.

General Fire Pit Safety Tips

Before you can even think about designing and installing your fire pit, it is worth noting that these in-built patio fire pits should be safely tucked away from all combustible surfaces. Here are some of the general tips on how to safely enjoy your cool new outdoor accessory.

  • Ensure that your fire pit isn’t particularly close to the main structure which is your house.
  • It is advisable to install the outdoor accessory right in the middle of your patio where combustible surfaces such as trees, plants or shrubs aren’t common. This also leaves you with plenty of room to move about.
  • Avoid installing your fire pit under any covered area or places with hanging features around.
  • Here’s how to start your firepit for an optimal burn and how to start a firepit on grass, if you’re going the DIY route, or out camping.
  • Learn how to keep your fire pit going for long burning blazes.
  • Before lighting your pit, it would be in your best interest to check the wind strength and direction (check out how to make your own DIY fire pit screen cover)
  • Always ensure that your fire safety equipment is always on stand-by.
  • When your fire pit is lit, never leave animals or young children unsupervised.
  • Once the party is over, be sure to completely extinguish your fire pit in addition to covering the accessory with a fitting lid to mitigate hazards such as hot embers.

What is the Standard Patio Fire Pit Size?

Now that you have your safety tips at hand, the next thing you need to know is how to go about the design and installation features of your fire pit. So, how big should a patio be for a fire pit?

It essentially boils down to the design you want, functionality and purpose. Here’s what to look out for.

Round fire pits – For starters, how big should a patio be for a fire pit to be fully functional? Well, for round fire pits, experts recommend anything ranging from three to five feet depending on how big the patio is.

Round fire pits

Generally, the patio surrounding a fire pit should have an additional three feet – meaning a five feet pit can only be installed on an eight feet wide patio or larger.

The key here is to enhance maximum comfort by allowing ample room around the flame for the installation of seats and other outdoor furniture.

With such a setting, your guests should have enough leg room regardless of whether you want to pass buy for ash extraction from your pit, or serving guests with more drinks.

Square fire pits – Currently trending in home improvement are square fire pits and for good reason. These outdoor fixtures tend to add a formal touch to any setting, hence, giving a trendy, modern vibe to any landscape setting.

Square fire pits

In a nutshell, square fire pits complement well backyards with features such as infinity swimming pools among other modern accessories.

As is the case with round or circular fire pits, these square fittings also come in standard sizes ranging anywhere from three to six feet on all sides. In a nutshell, designing a modern square pit essentially boils down to the patio’s dimensions.

Experts recommend the patio to be at least six feet larger than the pit itself on all sides, meaning a six feet square fire pit should be installed on a twelve feet patio.

The Main Types of Fire Pits

The main types of fire pits are classified according to the source of energy used, meaning you can either choose to install a wood burning or gas burning fire pit.

Depending on the preference or availability of the source of energy to be used, homeowners can choose to source between the two. Here’s a breakdown of two.

Gas powered fire pits – unlike wood burning pits, these gas-powered outdoor accessories are suitable for both covered and uncovered patio designs.

In most cases, though, the pit will have to be approved in accordance to your city regulations. If you are thinking about how big should a patio be for a fire pit powered by gas?

Well, you will need to consider a number factors ranging from the height to width as recommended above. Also, of huge importance is the type of flooring of your patio, alongside the ventilation.

Wood burning fire pits – As mentioned above, it certainly won’t be in your best interest to use wood burning fire pits under covered patios for obvious reasons.

Besides producing toxic smoke that may make your guests uncomfortable in covered areas, these types of fire pits also tend to produce embers and sparks which can eventually ignite combustible surfaces.

Wood burning fire pits

To cap it, it is advisable to use wood-powered fire pits in open areas only with plenty of ventilation and far from any combustible surfaces.

The long and short of it is, there are numerous options out there depending on preference, type of flooring on your patio and general backyard design layout. All you have to do is embark on in-depth research to figure out what suits your home improvement project best.


Eugene Duke Pic

Hi, my name’s Eugene Duke and I love sitting by my fireplace reading a book and sipping on an adult beverage. Do you have a fireplace in your house? I’ll help you figure out the best type and style of fireplace for your home.


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