Deciding to add outdoor heating to complete the transformation of your backyard is the easy part! Now, you have to narrow down your options and decide on which product best fit your needs, your patio size, and the architecture of your home. 


Fire Pit, Fire table, or Outdoor Heater?

Is your patio small or large? The size of your backyard or patio can greatly determine the type and size of heating solution you should buy.

Wood burning fire pit: this is ideal for families with ample space in their backyard and are looking to enjoy the aroma of a crackling fire. You will want to make sure to follow the fire code guidelines necessary in your area to before you ignite. Most often, it is recommended that your fire pit be at least 10ft from any structure and never place it under a covered porch or on a wooden deck. 

Fire tables and bowls: this can be a little more of an investment compared to a wood burning pit, but there are many benefits. One of the most compelling features of a fire table is that it can serve as dining table with the added advantage of having a captivating and adjustable flame in the middle. These can be portable or fixed, depending on the product that you choose, and portability can be a nice feature if you plan to move homes or want to store it in the winter. Options will vary by style, size, shape, and fuel source. 

Patio Heater: If you are simply looking to turn up the heat in your backyard, a patio heaters may just be the thing.  These come in many shapes and sizes, and you often are given the choice of fuel type. Note: When comparing different models, make sure to check the maximum BTU output of the heater, and read our section on BTUs below.


Gas, propane, or wood?

Wood: Wood may be the most common fuel source for fire pits. While wood gives that alluring campfire smell and has a nostalgic glow about it, it does however require a little more time and effort to get started and maintain. Unlike the fire tables and bowls, this can generate a fair amount of smoke, sparks, soot, and debris. Pro tip: If you or your neighbours complain of the smell of smoke, try to source high quality, hardwood to burn. Often this will cost you a little extra, but your fire will burn longer and cleaner, with far less smoke. Depending on where you live, we recommend Larch, Birch, or Oak in Canada. 

Propane: Fire pits that run on propane have propane tanks attached to them and are often portable. With fire tables and bowl, control is paramount, and gas gives you more control over the fire than traditional wood burning options. It is easy to start and maintain, and you can instantly increase or decrease the fire and warmth with a twist of the knob. Among other things, you don’t have to worry about soot or ash. 

Natural gas: This option will require that you have your fire pit built in and connected to the gas line in your home. You get an amazing level of control and it can be significantly less expensive than other options, depending on gas prices of course. This fire source is easy to use, friendly on the environment, and clean; again with no soot or ash to deal with. Added bonus: You will not need to worry about your propane tank running dry!

Whether you want the gentle crackle and smell of burning wood, or the gas/propane powered option that offers more control and ease; Smash Backyard Heating offers a wide range of high quality fire pits and tables to help you make the right decision for your space. 


Ceramic or metal? 

The material of your fire pit determines the usability, quality of heat and warmth, and portability of your fire pit. 

Ceramic: this style is very much on trend and will certainly enhance the overall look of your backyard oasis. Adding an upscale fire table or bowl will give you the ability to match existing outdoor features and will help you to create that seamless indoor-outdoor living space that has been highly sought after.

Metal: Perhaps most notably, fire tables and pits made from metal can be less expensive compared to its ceramic and concrete counterparts. Though, many people choose to go this direction simply because they are relatively lightweight, moveable, and offer a wider range of shapes and sizes. Depending on the material you chose, and the weather in your region, a your fire pit or table may be susceptible to rust, impacting its lifespan. Though, not all metals are created equal, so do your research, and if you aren't sure, just ask!


You’re getting an outdoor fire pit/table for warmth and heat; so, it is only right that you know how much heat you can anticipate from this purchase!

The heat output from your outdoor heating source is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units), and is typically in the thousands. Essentially, the higher the BTU, the more heat and warmth you can enjoy. Each fire source has its maximum BTU output.

Note that for outdoor heating, the BTU of your heating source will be affected by your patio space, wind chill, and weather. Burner size, fire rings, as well as the diameter and length of your gas or propane line also affect BTU output. Using a line with large diameters and a shorter distance from your fuel source increases the BTU output, while larger burners also maximize BTU outputs. Be sure to install your fire pit/table in a way that optimizes its BTU output. 

Is your space covered? How much wind does your backyard get? Do you wish to simply sit next to the fire on a cool summer's eve or are you hoping to stretch out the seasons and fire it up all fall, winter, and spring? These are the questions that you should be thinking about when deciding on how many BTUs you will require to heat your space. Understanding that not all products are created equal and assessing the maximum BTU output will help you in making an informed decision while shopping for your fire pit or table.   

Whatever your choice of outdoor heating, the architecture of your home, and your preferred style, Smash Backyard Heating offers a variety of deigns, styles, fuel type, and materials to choose from. 

AND HEY! If you are feeling overwhelmed or are just not sure on which product is best for you, reach out! Our product and design specialists would be more than happy to help you in making this decision. Send us an email or call us today.

"The fire will eventually extinguish but the family memories built around it will burn in your hearts forever"
~Author Unknown~