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Summertime means more time outdoors for many families, and adding a fire pit to your backyard or favorite outdoor space adds the potential for many enjoyable activities. Something about the ambiance of a soft fire nearby triggers feelings of nostalgia, camaraderie and relaxation. Fire pits and summertime BBQs are a great combination for good old fashioned backyard fun in DC.

Outdoor Cooking Over Your Fire Pit

There’s nothing like cooking over an open fire outdoors, and a fire pit in the backyard allows you to enjoy this experience even in the environs of Washington, DC. What are some favorite activities you can enjoy with fire pits? Telling stories, impromptu sing-alongs, or sharing a nice bottle of wine are a few things that come to mind. Kindle up a steady fire, gather your favorite ingredients, and enjoy the taste of outdoor cooking. In addition to roasting marshmallows or classic S’mores, there’s plenty of BBQ meals and tasty treats that are easy to prepare over your backyard fire pit. Think hot dogs, burgers, kebabs, and chicken, just to name a few. 

Here’s an idea: Make S'mores with a Twist – Instead of using traditional graham crackers, try using chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter cups for a unique twist on this classic treat.

Hardscaped Fire Pits

While simple metal fire pits can be found, a hardscaped fire pit will add more permanency and character to fit in beautifully with your historic brick home. Concrete, stone and decorative brick can all be used to create any size or design of fire pit that mixes aesthetics and function. Creating a customized fire pit for your backyard allows for cooking, warmth and aesthetic appeal. Be sure to surround it with a well-planned seating area for entertaining. 

Fire Pit Safety 

Of course, fire pit safety is a must to protect your property and guests. Follow these basic safety precautions to have fun and stay safe: 

  • Keep flammable materials at least 10-20 feet away from your fire pit. 
  • Consult local municipal or HOA codes about fire pit regulations. 
  • Install fire safety mats over the surface, including stone or pavers, as a foundation for the fire pit, creating an excellent protective barrier, that can withstand heat up to 1400 degrees (F). 
  • Always have a fire extinguisher handy. 
  • Use spark screens to contain the flames.  
  • Avoid using your fire pit during windy conditions. 
  • Cover your fire pit when not in use. 

More Ideas For Enjoying a Backyard Fire Pit

The wonderful thing about installing a fire pit in your backyard is that it’s versatile all year round, not just as a summertime BBQ spot. As summer turns to fall, you can continue to enjoy the outdoors with the added warmth provided by a fire pit.

Telling funny or scary stories is a great pastime any time of year, and gathering around the fire pit after dark for a round of storytelling makes incredible memories. 

Here's some suggested storytelling activities to get you started: 

  • Ask each person to tell the story of their name.  
  • Participants share a story about their family, favorite vacation memory, or a ghost story
  • Improvise a random story around the circle. Each person contributes a single sentence until the story is completed.

Set up a projector and screen near the fire pit and have a movie night under the stars. Don't forget the popcorn – why not pop it old-style over the flames? 

Sometimes you just need a little peace and quiet. Build a fire, grab a beverage, watch the sun set and relax as light gives way to a star-studded sky. Quality alone time can be ideal for reflection and relaxation. Regardless of which of these summertime activities appeal to you most, a fire pit will provide hours of entertainment and memories. 

The historic brick home experts at Renaissance Development offer a free consultation for all your interior and exterior needs. When you decide a fire pit is a good fit for your backyard, they’ll use their expertise to help source the perfect materials, such as old brick that matches your home’s style and complements your overall property aesthetic. Contact us to learn more. So, gather family and friends, light up the fire, and let the summertime backyard fun begin!

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Post by Christina Wilson
Jul 27, 2023 8:30:00 AM