Brick Paver Firepit Installation Metro-Detroit

There’s something undeniably captivating about gathering around a crackling fire on a cool evening. Many people get to enjoy that when camping away from home, but what if you could have that experience right in your backyard?

A fire pit can be a valuable hardscape element to add to your outdoor living space. But when it comes to researching fire pits, you’ll find a long-standing debate between wood and gas options. 

In this article, we’ll explore the nuances between natural gas and wood-burning fire pits and how to choose the best fire pit for your outdoor living spaces.

What to Consider First

There are some basic but important considerations to address when deciding between a wood or gas fire pit, including the rules and regulations of your locality, maintenance requirements, fuel storage, and, of course, the installation cost. Let’s look closer at each variable.

HOA Rules & City Ordinances

It’s important to check with your homeowners’ association (HOA) and county government about the rules and regulations for gas or wood fire pits where you live. Most counties and HOAs require that an adult supervise every fire at all times. Additionally, in some localities, there are restrictions on the types of materials you can burn, as some of them emit foul-smelling odors or dangerous gases.

Other rules are in place to protect proximal neighbors and wildlife from smoke and other offensive emissions. Similarly, burning some types of foliage, like poison oak or poison ivy, can cause bronchial irritation and other potential health problems. So, be sure you understand and adhere to all relevant guidelines.


Wood-burning fire pits require a bit more maintenance than gas ones because they burn real logs and accumulate ash. Gas-burning fire pits typically only burn propane and heat up lava rocks or similar material, making them easier and cleaner to operate.

Fuel Storage

Both styles require a fuel storage area. If you’re using a wood-burning fire pit, you’ll need an area to store your logs and protect them from the rain (wet wood can attract termites and other pests). And with a gas-burning fire pit, you’ll need somewhere to house the gas tank and keep it protected and separated from children.

Wood Advantages

three logs placed on top of charcoal in a fire pit are being burned.

The various advantages associated with wood-burning fire pits include:

  • Wood fire pits are less expensive than gas fire pits, both initially and long-term
  • Wood is a renewable resource that is completely biodegradable
  • Wood fires can create more heat 
  • Natural wood logs crackle and pop while they burn, which is aesthetically pleasing for some

Plus, the exotic mesquite smell of wood burning creates an inviting, comforting atmosphere that gas fire pits simply cannot duplicate.

Wood Disadvantages

A few drawbacks linked to wood-burning fire pits include:

  • Dry conditions are needed to use the fire pit
  • If there has been little to no rain for a while, you may not be able to use the fire pit due to wildfire warnings
  • Storing the wood is messier than storing a gas tank
  • Wood produces a lot of smoke that can bother your neighbors or even infiltrate your home
  • More physical work is involved with loading logs into the pit and cleaning out the ash later than simply pushing an igniter switch, as you do with a gas burner.

Is a Wood Fire Pit the Right Option for You?

A wood-burning fire pit may be the best option for you if:

  • You are on a budget
  • You want a more natural, camp-like experience or enjoy the smell of burning wood
  • You need an option that’s easier to install
  • You don’t want to mess around with gas or store propane

Gas Advantages

An unlit gas fire pit filled with fire glass pellets and surrounded by a glass enclosure

Some advantages of gas fire pits include:

  • They don’t require you to continually tend to the fire after lighting it
  • They’re generally perceived to be safer than wood-burning fire pits
  • They do not require dry environmental conditions for use
  • They burn cleanly with minimal smoke

Gas fire pits also come in a wide range of designs, sizes, and construction materials compared to their wood-burning counterparts.

Gas Disadvantages

One serious disadvantage of gas fire pits is that if you don’t already have a gas line installed, you’ll need to hire an HVAC company to install one for you. Gas-burning fire pits also require routine checking for gas line leaks and ensuring the propane tank remains filled. And again, gas fire pits have more upfront and long-term expenses. They also produce less heat than wood-burning fire pits, which can be concerning for many people during the brutal winters in Northeast Michigan.

Is a Gas Fire Pit the Right Option for You?

If you’re still not sure whether a wood-burning or gas fire pit is the best option for you. We recommend selecting a gas fire pit if:

  • You already have a gas line installed
  • You have more wiggle room in your budget 
  • You’re looking for a more versatile design 
  • You want something generally safer to use
  • You want something you can potentially use every day

Contact All Brick for Fire Pit Design & Installation Services

Homeowners across Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb Counties in Southeast Michigan trust All Brick for innovative and affordable propane and wood fire pit brick design, installation, and repair services. Our skilled and experienced craftspeople are dedicated to building safe, aesthetic, and functional fire pits designed with Michigan weather in mind.

If you need help designing and installing a fire pit, please contact us today to schedule a project consultation. Please note that we do not install gas lines—if you want a gas-burning fire pit but need to install a line, you must hire an HVAC company. We’re happy to connect you with HVAC companies we know and trust!

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