Propane Fire Pits vs. Wood Fire Pits

Cost wise, propane fire pits are more expensive than wood fire pits. However, the cost is worth it; a propane fire pit is a great investment that will pay off in the years to follow.

  • Compared to a fire pit that contains wood, a propane fire pit will bellow much less smoke, making it much more eco friendly.
  • Propane fire pits are much cleaner and have very little clean up compared to a wood fire pit.
  • Your clothes will thank you – there is no odor that will stick on them.
  • It takes minimal effort to set up, whereas with wood it takes time to gather up logs and actually start a fire.
  • You won’t feel uncomfortable with smoke blowing in your face.
  • You won’t need to store wood, which attract pests.

Guests will marvel at the pit, and you will have a piece of art right in your backyard. Though the fire pit is more expensive, you can consider it as a status symbol. Not everyone will be able to have one, and you can use it as a source of pride.

Because it’s more expensive, it makes it more exclusive and it limits the ability for others to have it. By owning this exclusive fire pit, you will feel good and it can help boost your self esteem!

The other downside to owning a propane fire pit is a smaller fire. It won’t be as warm as a wood fire pit, but the convenience of quickly starting it up surely outweighs the downside of having a smaller flame.

Having a smaller fire isn’t necessarily a bad thing; smaller fires are more controllable and they also don’t burn your face. It also allows you to have a more conservative look to your fire pit, and gives it a cozy feel.

Where Do I Start?

If you truly are starting bare bones, I go more in-depth in my guide about fire pit ideas.

Buying The Propane Fire Pit

There are many options in getting a propane fire pit in your backyard. You can shop online and buy an affordable portable pit, you can do it yourself and have a fun project to work on, or you can hire a local contractor to build it for you.

Personally, living in the Los Angeles area, a local contractor was the safest and most convenient choice for me. Your experiences may be different depending on the contractor you choose, but make sure you pick a good one!

Typically the perfect propane fire pits are created by experts, but they are also the most expensive. If you buy a fire pit online, it may be less expensive but you should also do some research behind it to make sure you get a good value.

Do it yourself is the most time consuming, but it can also feel rewarding bragging to your family and friends about how you built your own propane fire pit!

It would be less expensive, and you would also be learning a new set of skills by building it yourself. However, it may not be as sturdy as one being made by a contractor, so keep that in mind; if your fire pit were to fall apart, it could spell disaster to your backyard.

Do It Yourself

A DIY fire pit is the most rewarding option and it also allows you to show off your creativity to your friends and family. Don’t get me wrong, building a propane fire pit is HARD WORK that can run you up hundreds of dollars, and if you mess up, you could spend even more money trying to fix your mistakes.

You will also need to invest money in tools and the time to learn how to actually build a fire pit. There’s also a lot of trial and error involved in making the pit, which can lead to frustration.

Think of it as a learning experience. If you choose to go down this route, you will learn how to work better with your hands, and you will be able to improve in the area of home improvement. I admire people who try to build their own propane fire pits.

Building Materials

Typically, stay away from concrete when building a fire pit. Concrete tends to wear and crack very quickly, making your pit look broken and ugly. After a couple years, concrete will look like a heap of broken pieces.

An inexpensive idea would be to collect stones around where you live, which would give a nice natural feel to it. Also consider using firebrick, it’s a material that will last you a long time and looks great too. A popular new design using glass is starting to sprout up, and it could look very good if built right.


I’m a fan of a fire bowl style type of pit, which looks like a ring in your backyard. You can also consider a square table style. It all depends on how you want to compliment your backyard.


Typically tile, cement, or stone are the best surfaces to place a fire pit on. It’s dangerous to put it on a wooden patio because of the hazard it brings. Besides, a pit in a nice tile looks beautiful! Avoid concrete.

Here’s a quick video from Starfire Direct about setting up your own propane fire pit:

Hire a contractor

This is one of the easiest options if you want the best fire pit powered by propane. Not only are you saving yourself a ton of time and effort, but contractors will also take care of all the plumbing and gas that you’ll need.

They will also have knowledge of city ordinances so you are following all local laws about fires. The worst thing that could happen is if you spend all that time and money yourself on building a fire pit, and then the city comes and shuts it down!

You’ve spent all that time on building your masterpiece, but in the end, without knowledge of the law, you weren’t able to bring your plan to fruition. It’s the contractor’s job to know about it, so you should feel safe in their hands! Just make sure to find a trustworthy one.

What do I mean when I say “trustworthy” contractors? I mean you need to protect your money. I’ve heard of many people (including my own mother) being burned when hiring someone to build a project in the household.

Make sure you do not give them all the money upfront, because they can just run off with it. What you need to do is research the contractor you plan on going with, do not pay everything upfront, and look for detailed proposals.

If the contractor you plan on going with doesn’t have a detailed plan, it might mean that they don’t really know what they are doing. You want to hire an expert, and not someone who will build you a fire pit that will crumble after a couple years of use!

As with everything, you know what’s best for yourself. If you feel uncomfortable with contractors, then you might consider another option, which is buying a propane fire pit from Amazon.

This is a completely fine option; not only is it the easiest option, but you can also move the fire pit around. You may lose that rustic feel to it, but at least you are saving money and you won’t have to worry about it being stuck in one place.

Buying online

Amazon has a plethora of options to choose from, whether you want a propane fire pit table, something portable, or even a column. Though these propane fire pits aren’t very big or permanent, they still pack a good punch and allows your backyard to look nice.

In fact, it would be very hard to build one of these yourself; I have never seen a homemade fire pit column before in my life! Buying online is convenient, and allows you to skip most of the pain that comes with getting it installed yourself. And, the ultimate resource for buying fire pit online, read here.

I have a fire pit, now what?

There are several things you can do and keep aware of now that you have a brand new fire pit! Purchasing the best fire pit was the hard part, but now you can enjoy the fruits of your purchase and have a great time lounging around the fire! With a new fire pit, it brings the feeling of excitement and newness that won’t go away for a very long time. Not only does it make a great conversation piece, but you will have eye-candy in your backyard for years to come.


You may need to check local laws about fire pits. Make sure you do not need a license, and if you do, get one! Make sure the fire pit isn’t close to foliage or buildings or anything that’s burnable! Keep a hose close just in case a fire gets out of hand. Garden Decor has a quick video for more safety tips:


Consider investing in a spark screen for added safety. Don’t cut back on safety precautions, it can save your life! You’ll need a gas match to start the fire, or else your fire pit will be purely aesthetic.

Complimentary items

Buy a lawn chair or two to sit around the fire. Make sure you don’t have anything very flammable next to the fire pit!

Invite your friends and family!

The best reward is having your friends and family over to see your fire pit. Fire pits are meant to be shared! For a long time, gathering around the fire is a way for humans to connect and feel.

?Your propane fire pit will be a symbol of your connection to nature, and will be a dedication for the generations to come. Humans are social creatures, and what better way to be social than to have everyone gather around your fire pit and tell stories?

I hope you found this article helpful. Enjoy your propane fire pit! If you enjoyed this webpage, share it and let everyone know about the beauty of propane fire pit! Everyone should have one!

John Dean

I am a father, husband and a blogger. Because we live in the mountains that is usually cold, my family has had a history of fireplaces for a very long time.

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