If you’re looking to add a fire feature to your outdoor living space, you’re likely trying to decide if you want to invest in a fire pit or an outdoor fireplace. Choosing between these two fire features is tough. This is because both are excellent additions that improve the visual appeal of your outdoor living space and increase the value of your property when the time comes to sell. Continue reading to learn about each option to help you decide which one to add to your property.


What are the benefits and drawbacks of a fire pit?

A fire pit with wooden rocking chairs surrounding the area in Encinitas, CA.

When considering adding a fire pit to your outdoor living space, you must look at both the benefits and drawbacks of having one on your property. Here are some benefits of fire pits:

  • They provide a 360-degree view of the fire, which is perfect if you want to gather around the fire with a lot of people.
  • It promotes a more interactive environment as people need to gather around it to feel the warmth.
  • You can add seating to all sides of it, allowing for a lot of people to enjoy the fire at one time.
  • It is more cost-effective when compared to an outdoor fireplace.

Here are some drawbacks to a fire pit:

  • They are weather reliant. If it is raining outside, you can not use the fire pit.
  • They need to be routinely maintained in order to keep them looking their best.
  • The heat that they provide only goes so far, so you need to stay relatively close to them to feel the heat.
  • The smoke from them can be spread around and wind can blow it towards people.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of an outdoor fireplace?

Fire place installed for a backyard patio in Del Mar, CA.

Outdoor fireplaces are also a great fire feature to add to your property. However, just like with an outdoor fire pit, they have their own benefits and drawbacks. Some of the benefits of an outdoor fireplace include:

  • They create a stunning focal point that will command attention.
  • They provide a more intimate experience when enjoying a fire.
  • Because they are relatively large, they can provide privacy if they are strategically placed.
  • The smoke they produce will go up the chimney, so you don't need to worry about it getting blown in your face.

Here are some drawbacks of an outdoor fireplace:

  • They offer limited space for seating, so this isn't the best option if you plan on entertaining a lot of people.
  • They typically cost more than an outdoor fire pit.

Choosing Between a Fire Pit & Outdoor Fireplace

In the end, your decision will rely on your style and preference. If you want more interaction and a 360-degree view of the fire, go with a fire pit. However, if you're looking for a more upscale addition that offers increased privacy, you might want to go with an outdoor fireplace. No matter which option you choose, you can be sure that you'll be adding a beautiful feature to your property that will increase your property value.

If you're having a hard time making the decision, our professional landscape designers can help you choose between a fire pit and an outdoor fireplace!


We offer both fire pits and outdoor fireplaces. Give us a call today to schedule an installation.

Whether you want to add a fire pit or outdoor fireplace to your property, we are the company to turn to. At Southwest Outdoor Services, we've been installing these fire features since 2000, so you can count on us to have the tools, experience, and know-how to install either of these options perfectly! We offer fire pit and outdoor fireplace installations to properties in Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas, Carlsbad, CA and nearby areas. Call us today at (858) 335-4650 to get an estimate!