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Cheap Backyard Fire Pit Ideas


Having a gathering in your backyard with friends and family during cool weather, try one of these Cheap Backyard Fire Pit Ideas to keep all of your guests comfortable.  You don't have to spend a fortune on a fireplace or fancy fire pit to keep a warm spot for guests to hang around.

I will show you several examples that you can use and all will be under $200.  Depending on the power source you choose, each example will have its own requirements for extras.  I will expand this to include all of the stuff that you will need to keep everyone warm and comfy.

Now let us get into the details of each type of fire pit or heater.


Uniflame Cheap Backyard Fire Pit IdeasGas


Most cheaper gas fire pits will work well on any surface or tabletop.  Power will be supplied by a 20 or 1 pound propane tank that will have to be supplied at an extra cost.  The gas fire pit can be used on any surface, this would be the best choice for wood or composite deck surface.

Most will have an electronic igniter to start your fire.  This makes starting your fire pit a simple turn on the gas and set the control knob, then click the igniter.  Adjust your flame to the desired height and sit back and relax.  No wood to add, no clean up of ashes, no getting up to stir the fire to keep it going.

Clean lines and some will come in contemporary designs to match most outdoor decors.  Burn bowls will have a media to help with the heat distribution, some will have lava rocks, others will have glass rocks that will come in many colors.  Change the color of the glass rocks and you change the mood of the flame in the fire pit.

Many styles are available today in gas fire pits, for more of my information on these, see my series of posts here.

Accessories need for a gas burning fire pits are just a backup gas tank and a space to have a fire.  This will be the simple solution to having a fire to keep you and your guests warm on the cooler nights.  Can be used in remote areas without an electric power source.



  • Clean burn, no cleanup
  • Easy to start
  • can be used on wood and composite decks


  • May have to replace the gas source
  • May be hard to move with propane tank installed
  • Some do not produce a lot of heat

Sun Joe Cast Cheap Backyard Fire Pit IdeasWood Burner


If you want the best smelling and aesthetics of any fire pit the wood burner will be the choice.  You must have an area that can take the heat from the bottom of the fire pit, wood and composite decks will be not available unless you use some kind of heat protection, I have a post on a DecProtector system here for example.

The wood-burning fire pit will have a little more work involved for you, need to have a firewood source that is big enough to last the entire time you want to burn.  Starting your fire will require a starter log or some sort of starter wood.  Poker will be needed to keep your wood turned and properly burning during the time of the fire.

After the fire is over, you must make sure that it will not set anything on fire surrounding it, putting a spark cover on it will help.  Clean up will require ashes to be removed from the fire bowl before storage if you leave ashes in the bowl it may attract moisture and start the bottom of the bowl to rust.

Although this type of fire pit requires a lot more work to set up, start, keep the fire going, and cleanup, the aroma makes up for it very well.  I prefer to have a wood-burning fire pit at my home and at the lake.  We sit around the fire many cool nights and watch the fire and shoot the breeze over a cool drink.

The wood-burning fire pits have the most styles and designs available for your backyard.  I have a lot of posts on different styles of wood burning fire pits in my posts here.

A lot of tools and accessories are needed when using wood as a heat source.  I have a post of wood-burning fire pit accessories here for you to use.



  • Produces a lot of heat
  • More choices at a low price
  • Great wood aroma


  • Have to gather a woodpile for burning
  • Needs the most attention, you must keep adding and turning wood
  • Cleanup can take some time after a burn


Hiland Cheap Backyard Fire Pit IdeasElectric


The simplest and cleanest heating solution for any outside space is electric.  Many heaters are available to just plugin and turn on.  Some will be a tabletop model, sit on the floor model or the one pictured will mount to an umbrella pole and direct the heat down to the people sitting around a table.

The big drawback to this type of heat is that you need to be near an electric power source.  You should not use an extension cord to reach the heater as the cord may get hot and melt starting a fire where you don't want it.

Set up will be simple just plug into a 110-volt electric outlet and turn on.  This type of heater will be hard to use very far from the house and will be great for any deck or patio area that is attached to the house.

The type of heat works best for areas that have some protection from the wind and is close to a power source.  It is very clean and does not require any cleanup after you are done with it.  For more of my ideas of electric heat sources for your outdoor areas, see my posts here.



  • Just plug in, turn on
  • No clean up when done
  • Easy to point heat towards guests


  • Must have an electric source
  • Cannot be too far out in the yard
  • May not provide a lot of heat for open areas


Hiland wood burning Cheap Backyard Fire Pit IdeasWhat is the best choice of heat for your outdoor patio area


My choice would be a wood-burning fire pit for the smell and ability to cook over it.  Your outdoor space can dictate what kind of fire pit you choose.  Having a wood or composite deck will narrow your choice to electric or gas-powered unless you get some kind of surface protection from the excess heat.  I keep wood for the wood-burning fireplace in the house, so I always have a great wood source when getting ready for a fire.

I hope that you found this information helpful in your search for a heat source for you and your guests.  Any questions or comments use the forms below and I will get back to you shortly.

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