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Can a Fire Pit Go Under a Pergola? (7 Factors to Consider)

Can a Fire Pit Go Under a Pergola? (7 Factors to Consider)

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Your patio is almost perfect. All you need now is a little ambiance lighting to get the mood going during those cold nights out.

A fire pit will bring all you want and more to the table. Can a fire pit go under a pergola, though?

The answer to that question is yes. We’ll also cover other topics that’ll help you, such as why you should have a fire pit for your pergola, and what you need to know for safety purposes.

So, Can a Fire Pit Go Under a Pergola?

Yes, a pergola can handle a fire pit to some degree. A fire pit is a popular choice to add to your patio, but there are still some concerns we need to address like the following:

1 – The Furniture You Use in the Pergola

Anything flammable shouldn’t be near an open flame. The same goes for the furniture you use around a fire pit under a pergola.

There should be a 5-foot distance from your fire pit. Additionally, the furniture should be made out of fire-resistant materials and upholstery.

2. -The Placement of the Fire Pit Itself

When handling anything with fire, it’s best to give it as wide of a berth as possible. Provide enough space between the fire pit and your seating arrangement.

Give enough room for your guests to freely walk around the fire pit without disturbing it. Moreover, it’s recommended to have the fire pit at least 10 feet from your house for safety.

3 – The Material You Use for Your Pergola

The pergola itself should be made out of materials that won’t catch fire from the fire pit. Materials such as vinyl, PVC, and fiberglass are durable, non-flammable, and low-maintenance.

The color you choose for your pergola is also worth noting since exposure to smoke can lead to permanent staining. Might as well opt for darker or more muted shades.

4 – The Amount of Ventilation Present

Pergolas are thankfully very well-ventilated. The extra accessories are the ones that might hinder the pergola’s ability to regulate airflow.

If it’s possible, retract the canopy if you have one, or remove any curtains you might have around. Any fabric can be highly flammable.

5 – The Presence of Plants Near Your Pergola

Any plant can be flammable. If you have vines over the rafters or potted plants on the pergola’s columns, you should clear them out.

You have to consider the health and safety of the plants as well. If you don’t want to clear them out, then maybe reconsider having a fire pit because too much heat and smoke can seriously harm any vine you have.

6 – The Regulations in Your City or Community

An important thing you need to do before continuing with your fire pit project is to look over the local regulations. There’s a chance your surrounding areas have laws against having fire pits anywhere near homes.

You’ll find specific rules you can follow about the usage and parameters of owning a fire pit. Some possible rules might be about what type of fire pit you can own to the right height of your pergola to accommodate it.

7 – The Overhead Clearance and Height of the Pergola

Typical pergolas are high enough for you and your guests to stand in. Their high and wide structural design is also helpful if you choose to add a fire pit under your pergola.

The spacing of the columns and the rafters gives you enough room to safely enjoy a nice open fire. To achieve this, the standard width and depth of a pergola should be 19 by 13 feet.

As for the height, 8 to 10 feet should be enough for any fire pit. The ideal height for the overhead clearance is at least 15 feet, so it can be higher than the structure.

Why Is It a Good Idea to Have a Fire Pit Under Your Pergola?

An outdoor living space like a pergola is a safer option for fire pits because of how it’s built. If you want to add a fire pit to any part of your home, under a pergola is the way to go.

Most, if not all, pergolas have an open roof, with or without a retractable canopy. Plus, the side of a pergola tends to be open as well.

A pergola is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while simultaneously feeling sheltered from the outside world. It provides ample ventilation, letting the smoke out while allowing the wind to breeze through.

Can You Have a Wood Fire Pit Under a Pergola?

Yes, but it’s not the safest or the best option. Fires made from wood are notorious for being unpredictable and quite powerful if left to their own devices.

A lot of people still prefer a wood fire pit because it can be cozier. This is due to the sound of the embers and the extra warmth it brings.

If that’s the case, get a durable fire screen for your wood fire pit to avoid any accidents.

Can You Have a Gas Fire Pit Under a Pergola?

Yes, you can have a gas fire pit for your pergola. It’s better to use gas fire pits for pergolas anyway.

Gas fire pits utilize natural fuel sources and, more commonly, liquid propane. These gases give off a clean burn, which is less of a fire hazard than using wood.

Can You Have a Fire Table Under a Pergola?

Yes, you can have a fire table under a pergola. The pergola has to have the right height to accommodate your fire table and the flames it can produce.

The good news is that fire tables generally don’t give out that powerful of a blaze. Newer versions of fire tables are safer to use with your pergola since they’re powered by gas.

Can’t a Fire Pit Damage a Pergola?

A fire pit can damage a pergola if it doesn’t have the right deck for the job. A typical wooden pergola can get scorched by a fire pit, but you can still work around it.

You can have a deck made out of natural stone, clay bricks, steel, or even fire glass to hold up your fire pit. There are other options too, like a fire pit mat for even more protection.

What Are the Safety Precautions for Handling a Fire Pit Under a Pergola?

Whatever kind of fire pit you’ll choose to put under your pergola, you still need to employ the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of yourself, your family, and your friends. Here are just some of the basic methods you can use:

  • Make sure to have a fire extinguisher ready
  • Always check if the fire in the pit is completely gone when you’re done
  • Set your fire pit on a steady and even surface
  • Never start a fire in your fire pit and leave it unattended
  • Never let children near the fire pit unattended
  • Don’t use starter fuels or gasoline
  • Don’t use contaminated lumber for the fire
  • Turn off the natural gas or propane tank when not in use
  • Use a spark screen to prevent any embers from flying away
  • Memorize every safety precaution regarding fire or anything flammable

Final Thoughts

Can a fire pit go under a pergola? Yes, you can have a fire pit there, but with some considerations.

Do remember to think about the placement, the materials, and the regulations regarding the usage of a fire pit. In this way, you’ll cover all the basics before starting.

The type of fire pit will also determine anything else you need, including damage control and safety precautions. Although, in whatever state your fire pit might be in, it’s always best to be prepared with all of the necessary fire safety protocols.

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