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How Much Does it Cost to Install a Fire Pit - Complete Pricing Guide

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Fire Pit - Complete Pricing Guide

As you consider adding a fire pit for outdoor use, the first question is often: how much does a fire pit cost?

The average cost to install a fire pit in 2023 is $850. However, prices can range from as low as $200 for a small portable unit to $5,000 or more for a custom-designed permanent fire pit.

In this complete guide, we’ll break down the different factors that impact firepit installation costs so you can budget accurately and get the best backyard fire pit!

Key Takeaways

  • The average cost to install a backyard fire pit is $850 but can range from $200 for a portable unit up to $5,000 for a custom-designed permanent fire pit.

  • Key factors affecting cost include fire pit type (in-ground, above-ground, portable), size, materials (concrete, brick, stone, metal), and fuel source (wood, gas, electric).

  • Opting for add-ons like fire pit covers, screens, grates, and decorative rocks increases costs from $100 to $500+ extra on average.

  • Hiring a professional typically costs $250 to $4,000+ but yields higher quality. DIY fire pits cost much less for materials at $50 to $1,000+.

a concrete fire pit surrounded by wooden chairs and a pergola at the back

    Average Fire Pit Installation Cost

    While $850 is the average price, you can expect to spend anywhere from $300 to $2,200 to install a new fire pit, depending on several key factors:

    • Type of fire pit
    • Size
    • Materials
    • Fuel type
    • DIY vs. professional installation
    • Extra features and accessories

    Looking at each of these cost factors will give you a better sense of what goes into the installation price and help you estimate your total expense. Getting quotes from multiple landscaping companies is also wise to compare rates.

    Now let’s examine the key details that affect your overall firepit installation costs.

    Key Factors Affecting Fire Pit Installation Cost

    Many variables influence the cost of installing an outdoor fire pit. The major factors include:

    Type of Fire Pit

    The most basic decision is what type of fire pit you want. With various designs to evaluate, a detailed purchasing guide for fire pits helps simplify the process so you select the ideal option for your backyard.

    The three main options are:

    • In-ground - Fire pit dug into the ground, often lined with stone or firebrick ($300-$5,000)
    • Above-ground - Free-standing fire pit construction ($200-$1,500)
    • Portable - Prefabricated fire pits, flexible placement ($75-$500)

    In-ground fire pits become a permanent backyard fixture while portable models offer flexibility. Above-ground fire pits provide a middle option. Typically in-ground fire pits cost more than above-ground due to digging and construction labor.

    Size of Fire Pit

    The size of your fire pit directly correlates to its price. Standard sizes range from:

    • Small - 24-36 inches ($150-$500)
    • Medium - 36-60 inches ( $500-$1,500)
    • Large - 60-72+ inches ($1,300-$4,500)

    Match the fire pit dimensions to the available backyard space and the number of people you plan to gather around it. Larger fire pits accommodate more people but cost progressively more in materials and installation work.

    Fire Pit Building Materials

    The building materials also affect the fire pit price tag. Typical fire pit construction uses:

    • Concrete - Poured concrete or blocks ($150-$800)
    • Brick - Brick pavers or firebricks ($300-$1,500)
    • Natural stone - Granite, limestone, fieldstone ($500-$4,000)
    • Metal - Steel, copper, or cast iron ($75-$300)

    Concrete and metal fire pits rank among the most affordable DIY-friendly backyard upgrades. Natural carved stone fire pits add visual appeal. However, they also top the price list requiring special tools and masonry expertise.

    Fuel Type for the Fire Pit

    The costs vary significantly depending on whether you select:

    • Wood burning - Traditional ambiance ($75-$1,500)
    • Gas (natural gas/propane) - Convenience and consistency ($300-$4,000)
    • Electric - Maximum safety and environmental-friendliness ($100-$500)

    Wood-burning fire pits channel that cozy campfire vibe. However, keep in mind that you'll need to handle firewood, sparks, smoke, and cleanup.

    Gas fire pits deliver convenience and control. Installation requires running a gas line or placing a propane tank. While gas fire pit installations start around $300, total costs run higher paying a contractor to install the gas line which can add $500-$1,500 or more.

    Electric fire pits eliminate sparks and smoke concerns, create instant ambiance, and run completely hassle-free. However, they don't radiate the same level of comforting warmth.

    DIY vs Professional Installation

    Who tackles the project also pushes total expenditures in different directions.

    • DIY fire pit - Major cost savings but DIY fire pit requires skills/tools ($50-$1,000+)
    • Professional installation - Hire an expert for maximum quality ($250-$4,000+)

    As with any major home improvement project, DIY enthusiasts can complete basic fire pit installations solo to conserve cash. Alternatively, for more complex designs or if specialized skills come into play, homeowners often choose to hire a professional landscaper or mason. Professional installation offers reliably attractive, long-lasting results.

    Additional Features and Accessories

    Extra amenities can enhance your enjoyment and functionality of the backyard fire pit. Typical options include:

    • Fire pit cover ($20-$200)
    • Fire pit screen ($30-$300)
    • Fire pit grate ($10-$100)
    • Fire pit poker ($5-$50)
    • Artificial fire pit logs ($50-$500)
    • Decorative fire pit rocks ($20-$200)
    • Fire pit table ($200-$2,000)
    • Fire pit seating ($100-$2,000)

    Take time to decide which fire pit accessories fit your lifestyle. For example, a spark-arresting screen proves critical for safety assurances. On the other end of the spectrum, items like custom-crafted seating simply add extra comfort.

    A cozy outdoor seating area with a fire pit, wooden furniture, and cushions, in front of a blurred indoor space with people.

    Fire Pit Cost Breakdown by Type

    Now that we’ve examined the critical cost factors, let's drill down to fire pit price specifics starting with the installation costs for different fire pit types.

    In-Ground Fire Pit Installation Cost

    Custom-built in-ground fire pits make a permanent backyard centerpiece. Typical steps for professional installation include:

    • Initial consultation - $99-$250
    • Excavation - $200-$500
    • Material transport - $50-$150
    • Construction labor - $300-$1,500
    • Total cost - $700-$3,500 on average

    With proper permits, safety precautions, and skills, an in-ground fire pit works as a DIY project to save on labor. Homeowners need the capability to dig the hole dimensions per local code specs, transport, and place materials, level the base, and align the structure.

    Above-Ground Fire Pit Installation Cost

    Freestanding above-ground fire pit units allow flexibility in placement. Typical professional installation steps include:

    • Initial consultation - $99-$250
    • Material transport - $75-$200
    • Site preparation - $50-$150
    • Construction labor - $200-$1,000
    • Total cost - $500-$1,700 on average

    For homeowners with moderate DIY proficiency, building an above-ground fire pit works well as a weekend project. Pre-fabricated fire pit kits make construction even simpler for novice DIYers.

    Portable Fire Pit Cost

    Functional and budget-friendly portable fire bowl options allow you to relocate the fire pit anytime. Prices range widely based on size, materials, and extra features.

    Expect to invest:

    • Basic steel portable fire pit bowl - $100-$300
    • Decorative ceramic/stone tabletop fire bowl - $250-$500
    • Deluxe outdoor fire pit (large bowl, safety screen, log rack) - $400-$900

    Portable fire bowls work well for small spaces, apartment/condo dwellers, and anyone favoring flexibility in their outdoor fire pit placement. You can easily move portable fire pits anytime to accommodate shifting weather conditions or seating arrangements.

    A collection of portable fire pits and outdoor cooking appliances displayed on grass with a forested background.

    Cost to Install Fire Pit by Size

    The physical dimensions of your fire pit directly correlate to how much you'll spend on materials and installation. Carefully measure your patio area first when deciding on fire pit size.

    Small Fire Pits

    For a cozy gathering area of 2-4 people, a mini fire pit up to 36 inches diameter works well. At this compact size, you can create a standard fire pit for as little as $150. This assumes basic cinder block or gravel construction plus a metal bowl. Opting for more decorative natural stone or brick would raise costs closer to $500-700.

    Medium Fire Pits

    A medium size fire pit spanning 36 to 60 inches diameter comfortably accommodate 4-6 gathered guests. Typical installations cost $550 on the low end for concrete block surrounds and a basic metal pit purchased from your local home improvement store. Custom designs with stone or brick facades and more decorative bowl finish quality run $1,200 to $1,800 installed.

    Large Fire Pits

    Sprawling fire pits over 60 inches wide work beautifully as the showpiece of large outdoor living spaces. However, the installation price definitely rises in proportion to the increased diameter. Materials alone for a huge fire pit often run $1,000 to $3,000 for high-quality stone or custom-fabricated steel bowls, not even accounting for site preparation and masonry work.

    Labor Cost to Build a Fire Pit

    If you decide to hire a professional contractor, expect to pay an average hourly rate of $50 per hour with total labor bills ranging $200-$5,000 depending on project scope.

    Many homeowners choose to hire a mason for custom natural stone fire pits which demand specialized skills and experience. Typical masonry pro hourly rates run $60-$80 per hour.

    Additional Costs to Factor In

    Beyond the primary fire pit construction budget, factor in potential permit fees, underlying patio construction, landscaping, and more.

    Permits for a Fire Pit

    Local county and municipal governments often require construction permits for permanent backyard fire pits to ensure safety precautions and code specifications meet standards. Permit fees commonly run $25-$150. Regulations vary significantly across different counties and municipalities. Check with your local zoning office to understand the requirements for your specific area.

    Landscaping and Patio Around the Fire Pit

    You may wish to construct an underlying patio surface or add landscape elements like retaining walls, planting beds, etc. These secondary projects each require separate budget allocations potentially adding thousands of dollars depending on the details. Even basic four-inch concrete patio slab construction costs around $6-$11 per square foot professionally installed.

    Gazebo or Pergola Over the Fire Pit

    To extend the patio season through unpredictable weather, add an overhead wood structure like a gazebo or pergola. This optional protective covering typically costs between $1,500-$4,000 for professional installation. Expect closer to $3,000-$6,000 for a larger custom cedar framed gazebo structure covering ample entertaining space.

    Here is a quick overview of expected fire pit construction and installation costs across various options:"

    Cost Factor Low End Average High End
    Fire Pit Type Portable ($75) Above-ground ($850) Custom In-ground ($5,000+)
    Size Small (24-36")($150) Medium (36-60") ($850) Large (60"+) ($4,500+)
    Materials Concrete ($150) Brick ($850) Natural Stone ($4,000+)
    Fuel Type Electric ($100) Wood-burning ($850) Gas ($4,000+)
    Installation DIY ($50) Professional ($850) Custom Professional ($4,000+)
    Extras Basic (None) Medium (Cover, Screen) Everything (Seating, Table)
    Permits $0 $50 $150
    Landscaping/Patio None ($0) Basic Concrete ($2,000) Premium ($15,000+)
    Overhead Structure None ($0) Gazebo ($3,000) Pavilion ($15,000)
    People grilling a variety of foods on the JAG 8 Grill with a grassy field in the background.

    Final Thoughts

    Hopefully breaking down the different modern fire pit types, size possibilities, material, and fuel options along with add-ons helps provide realistic insight into what budgeting for your dream outdoor fire feature entails.

    With the endless design varieties possible for fire pits, focus first on identifying your top priorities whether that’s budget, maximum heat, or minimum hassle operation. This will narrow down the choices available to your unique needs and desires.

    FAQs

    How much does a custom-built fire pit cost?

    A built-in fire pit typically costs between $1,500 and $7,000. This range takes into account various factors such as the material, whether it is a wood, propane, or natural gas fire pit, and the complexity of the design.

    What's the price difference between a prefab fire pit and a diy fire pit?

    A prefab fire pit can range from $100 to $2,500, while a DIY fire pit generally costs between $50 and $500 in materials. This price range dramatically changes depending on the materials used and whether you opt for a wood-burning, natural gas, or propane fire pit.

    What's the impact of fire pit material on the average cost?

    The material plays a significant role in the average cost of a fire pit. For instance, a stainless steel fire pit or a concrete fire pit may cost significantly more than a brick fire pit. Similarly, if you opt for specialty materials like fire glass or fire brick, your cost can increase substantially.

    What's the cost of installing an outdoor fire pit within a patio?

    The cost to build a patio fire pit area varies depending on the size and materials of the patio and fire pit. Generally, it could range from $1,500 to $5,000. This includes the cost of a fire pit and the patio installation.

    What's the best fire pit that offers value for money?

    The best value for money often comes from prefab fire pits since they are less expensive and require less labor to install. However, your final decision should be based on your specific needs, budget, and aesthetic preference.

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    About The Author

    Andy Wu - Resident Expert

    Andy Wu - Resident Expert

    Andy Wu is the resident backyard products expert and hails from Atlanta, Georgia. His passion for crafting outdoor retreats began in 2003.

    As a fellow homeowner, he founded Backyard Oasis to provide top-quality furnishings and equipment, collaborating with leading manufacturers.

    His main focus is on sheds and generators!

    In his spare time he like to hike the tallest mountains in the world and travel with his family.

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