Do you want to create a cozy area in your backyard? Are you planning to host outdoor game nights?
Installing a fire pit is what you need.
A fire pit provides warmth and light, and creates a focal point in your patio or backyard. You can use it for adding aesthetic value, cooking, or simply extending your outdoor seating area for a fantastic ambiance.
But how much do fire pits cost? Is it more cost-efficient to build your own or buy a readymade one?
Adding outdoor features can be expensive, although they can significantly increase your property’s value. So, I’ll explain in detail how to calculate fire pit costs in this guide.
The average price of a fire pit is around $830. But most homeowners usually pay between $250 and $5000 for building or installing one.
The bigger and more customized a fire pit, the more expensive it will be. But you can still customize one within budget to fit your outdoor area and surrounding hardscape elements.
Fire pits are expensive because you should invest in high-quality materials to withstand the heat. Otherwise, the fire pit will crack and break.
Moreover, the technology used to turn the fuel into heat energy is expensive. This is why charcoal fire pits are less expensive than natural gas and electric models.
Moreover, you should buy a high-quality fire pit that follows safety standards. A lot of money is spent on these technologies, but they’re essential.
Several factors affect how much your fire pit will cost.
The fire pit’s size is probably the most crucial factor that affects its price. You should measure your outdoor area and select a fire pit that is big enough to provide warmth and light to the number of people you’ll likely host.
A bigger fire pit costs more because it takes more materials and labor to make and install.
A small fire pit measuring about 36 inches in diameter usually costs between $200 and $900, depending on the materials used.
A medium-sized fire pit with a diameter of 40 inches costs up to $1300, a 44-inch one costs $1600, and a large one with a 48-inch diameter costs about $2000.
Yet, some homeowners prefer to install large fire pits. Although these are ideal for big gatherings, there are a few things you need to know about them.
In addition to the high construction and installation costs, large fire pits require more fuel. They also require more maintenance, so they’ll cost more in the long run.
Unless they’re properly installed, I think a large fire pit can represent a safety hazard.
In addition to the size, choosing between an above-ground and an underground fire pit will affect the cost.
Above-ground fire pits are more budget-friendly. You can find these in home improvement stores, and they can be installed anywhere you like.
They’re usually made of metal like stainless steel or aluminum.
You can buy an above-ground fire pit for $200 or less. These models are also portable, so they will work for small spaces.
Some portable fire pits can be as cheap as $50.
This might be a basic fire bowl with a spark cover. You can also find cheap campfire-style tripods for less than $200.
However, the safety hazard of above-ground fire pits is higher. The fire flames or embers can be too close to the people sitting around the fire pit.
In-ground or underground fire pits are more expensive. These fire pits require digging and are usually made of stone or bricks.
A small to medium underground fire pit costs between $1000 and $3000 because it requires more work to be built. Nevertheless, it’s safer and can be customized to match your backyard’s décor.
Fire pits are available in various materials to match every décor, taste, and budget.
Concrete is the cheapest material you can find because it can be easily shaped. You can buy a concrete fire pit for about $200 or use this material to build one on your own.
You can install a concrete fire pit that burns charcoal, gas, or wood.
Stainless steel is suitable if you want a modern-looking, corrosion-resistant, and rust-resistant fire pit. These models are durable and easy to clean but stay hot for long periods.
Brick paver fire pits are durable and aesthetically pleasing.
You can use more heat-resistant firebricks or line the fire pit’s insides with a heat-resistant material. Otherwise, the bricks will crack.
Stone fire pits can be made of marble, granite, or slate. They’re suitable for adding a vintage or classic vibe to your outdoor space and come in various colors and shapes.
The fuel type you pick affects your fire pit’s installation and operational costs.
Charcoal-burning fire pits are the most budget-friendly ones. You don’t need any special tools, and charcoal is cheap to buy.
However, these fire pits take longer to heat up and can become messy. They also require more frequent cleaning.
Propane-fueled fire pits are the most common because they burn clean. They don’t smoke and are pretty straightforward to use.
Although a propane fire pit is budget-friendly, you must buy a propane tank. This can be costly.
Wood-burning fire pits are perfect for enjoying rustic vibes in your backyard. They can also be used for grilling food because different wood types will enrich your food with a tasty aroma.
However, installing and using this fire pit can result in a lot of smoke if you aren’t mindful of the wind direction.
Electric fire pits are expensive and difficult to install. But they’re perfect for beginners because they’re the easiest to use.
You can also control the intensity of the flames without the hassle of the charcoal or wood.
I recommend going for an electric fire pit if you want an easy-to-clean fire pit. Building one on your own will be challenging unless you have the needed skills.
You can go for a natural gas fire pit if you have a gas line installed. These models are safer than other types and are cost-efficient to operate.
But installing one can be pretty expensive if you don’t have a gas line, as you’ll have to pay for it first.
Depending on the fire pit’s size and type, the installation and related labor costs greatly vary.
For example, a charcoal-burning or wood-burning fire takes only a few hours to install, while an electric fire pit requires hiring an electrician.
In general, above-ground fire pits require less effort and cost less to install than underground fire pits.
You’ll generally pay a handyman between $60 and $75 per hour. Some more experienced handymen can charge more than $130 per hour to install a fire pit.
You can add a few features to enhance the look of your fire pit. A built-in seating area is one of the most expensive features to add.
You can also install safety screens, fire grates, and a fire pit ring. Their cost ranges from several tens to several hundreds of dollars.
A sunken fire pit is more expensive than other types because it requires more labor.
The average cost of a customized sunken model ranges between $3000 and $8800, depending on its size. Some smaller models can cost less.
This cost includes excavating the dirt, installing drainage pipes, construction materials, and seating area.
Building your fire pit as a DIY project is cheaper in terms of money but not time.
You’ll have more control over the materials used, and you can customize the fire pit to fit your area perfectly. A DIY fire pit can cost between $300 and $1000 on average.
If you hire a contractor to build one according to the design you’ve provided, you can pay up to $1500.
This is still cheaper than buying a similar fire pit from the home improvement store. But a readymade one will come ready to install, and the warranty might benefit you in the future.
Several factors determine the cost of fire pits. Luckily, there are several materials and types to suit your budget and taste.
You can build your DIY fire pit, and although it costs less, it will take more time and effort.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
If you want more backyard tips including recipes, how-tos and more, make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel