Wood vs Gas Fire Pits. Left side of image shows a gas burning fire pit while the right half of the image shows a wood burning fire pit.

Wood vs Gas Fire pits: Which is Right for Your Landscape?

When designing your outdoor space, choosing between wood fire pits and gas fire pits can be a crucial decision. Both options offer unique benefits and potential drawbacks, making it essential to weigh your choices carefully. This guide will help you decide which fire pit is best for your landscape by breaking down the pros and cons of each.

The Appeal of Wood Fire Pits

Wood fire pits bring a timeless, rustic charm to any landscape. The crackling sound of burning wood and the nostalgic aroma of a wood fire create a cozy and inviting atmosphere that’s perfect for gatherings. For many, the experience of tending to a real fire is irreplaceable.

Pros of Wood Fire Pits

Wood burning fire pits installed by South River Landscape.
Wood Burning Fire Pit Installation by: South River Landscape

Wood fire pits are often more affordable to install than gas fire pits. They do not require complex installation or connections to a gas line, making them a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts. Additionally, wood fire pits can be placed almost anywhere in your landscape, providing flexibility in design and location.

Cons of Wood Fire Pits

Despite their charm, wood fire pits come with a few downsides. They require a steady supply of firewood, which can be a hassle to store and manage. Starting a wood fire can be time-consuming, and maintaining the fire requires constant attention. Moreover, wood fires produce smoke, which can be bothersome and potentially harmful to the environment.

The Convenience of Gas Fire Pits

Gas fire pits offer a modern alternative to traditional wood fire pits. They provide a clean, efficient, and easy-to-use option for homeowners looking to enhance their outdoor living space. With the flick of a switch, you can enjoy a warm, controlled flame without the fuss of gathering wood or dealing with smoke.

Pros of Gas Fire Pits

Gas Fire Pits. Installation by: South River Landscape
Gas Fire Pit Installation by: South River Landscape

One of the primary advantages of gas fire pits is their convenience. They ignite quickly and easily, providing instant warmth and ambiance. Gas fire pits produce a consistent flame that can be adjusted to your desired height, offering precise control over your outdoor experience. Additionally, they do not produce smoke, making them a healthier option for both your family and the environment.

Cons of Gas Fire Pits

However, gas fire pits are not without their drawbacks. They typically require a more complex installation process, including connections to a gas line, which can increase the overall cost. If your landscape does not already have a gas connection, this can be a significant expense. Moreover, gas fire pits lack the traditional charm and sensory experience of a wood fire.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Both wood and gas fire pits require maintenance, but the type and frequency differ. Wood fire pits need regular cleaning to remove ash and debris, and the firewood must be stored in a dry place. On the other hand, gas fire pits need occasional checks to ensure the gas line and burners are functioning correctly.

Aesthetic and Design Considerations

When it comes to aesthetics, both wood and gas fire pits offer a variety of design options. Wood fire pits can be crafted from materials like stone, brick, or metal, adding a natural and rugged element to your landscape. Gas fire pits often feature sleek designs with materials like glass, stainless steel, and concrete, providing a modern touch to your outdoor space.

Making the Decision

Choosing between a wood and gas fire pit ultimately depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle. If you enjoy the traditional experience of building and tending a fire, and if you appreciate the rustic charm of a wood fire pit, then wood might be the right choice for you. However, if you value convenience, cleanliness, and modern design, a gas fire pit could be the better option.


Whether you choose a wood or gas fire pit, integrating a fire pit into your landscape can enhance your outdoor living space and create a welcoming atmosphere for family and friends. Consider your priorities, the design of your landscape, and the level of maintenance you’re willing to undertake. With the right choice, your fire pit will become a cherished feature in your outdoor sanctuary.

By understanding the pros and cons of wood and gas fire pits, you can make an informed decision that complements your landscape design. At South River Landscape, we specialize in creating beautiful and functional outdoor spaces that include fire pits, hardscapes, rock gardens, and lush grass areas. Contact us today to start designing your dream landscape.

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