How Much Does a Fire Pit Cost?

Katy Willis
Written by Katy Willis
Updated July 13, 2022
friends hanging out by large outdoor fire pit
Photo: Trinette Reed/Stocksy / Adobe Stock

Highlights

  • The average cost to build a fire pit is $850.

  • The typical price range for a fire pit is $200–$3,000.

  • Above-ground fire pits are less expensive than in-ground.

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Keep the party going as evening falls with a fun fire pit in the backyard. It costs an average of $850 to install a fire pit. This figure assumes you've chosen a 36-inch above-ground fire pit that burns propane. 

For a simpler unit, such as a charcoal-burning model of the same size and type, you may pay as little as $200. At the other end of the scale are 48-inch in-ground fire pits that burn natural gas. These behemoths can run you $5,000 or more to install.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Fire Pit by Type?

Fire pits are available as in-ground or above-ground installations. Which one you choose depends on your budget, the size of fire pit you want, and which aspects you find best fit your needs.

Above-Ground

modern fire pit on patio
Photo: jdoms / Adobe Stock

Above-ground fire pits cost between $200 and $1,500 to install, all in. Above-ground fire pits are fairly safe for pets and children, as long as they're used with supervision because the retaining wall provides a natural barrier. Raised above the surface of your yard or patio, these units make a real focal point. 

However, because the fire is raised above ground level, there's a greater risk of sparks or embers floating and setting fire to grass, bushes, trees, or structures. 

In-Ground

In-ground fire pits cost between $1,000 and $3,000. They're more expensive than their above-ground counterparts because they require more labor to install. If you hire a local handyperson to install an in-ground fire pit, they'll first need to excavate the area in order to build the fire pit below ground level.

If you want the fire pit built into an existing patio, expect to pay up to $5,000 for the project, as this creates a lot more physical labor.

In-ground units are considered a lower fire risk because the fire is below ground level, so there's less chance of flying embers igniting something. However, there's no safety wall, so in-ground pits are less safe if you've got pets or children.

Cost to Build a Fire Pit by Size

You can build a fire pit of almost any size you want, but there are some standard sizes your pro will likely recommend. Take a look at the most common fire pit sizes and how much you can expect to pay for each.

Size (Diameter)Price Range (Installed)Average Price (Installed)
36 Inches$200 – $900$550
40 Inches$165 – $1,300$730
44 Inches$200 – $1,600$900
48 Inches$250 – $2,000$1,120

Price of Building a Fire Pit by Material

Fire pits can be made from all kinds of materials, as long as they're fireproof. Concrete is one of the most common and is a budget-friendly option, with prices starting at $200, including installation. Natural stone is the most expensive, with costs reaching $3,000 or more. 

Take a look at the typical prices of 36-inch fire pits constructed from the most popular materials.

MaterialCost Range for 36-Inch Pit (Installed)Average Cost for 36-Inch Pit (Installed)
Concrete$200 – $1,000$600
Stainless steel$250 – $1,200$720
Brick$300 – $2,200$1,250
Stones$350 – $3,000$1,680

Concrete

Concrete fire pits cost between $200 and $1,000. At the lower end, basic concrete blocks make a fire pit that's purely functional, with no decorative features. Toward the upper end, you'll find concrete fire pits that mimic other materials, such as stone, and ultra-contemporary fire pits with sleek, modern finishes. Concrete is durable and budget-friendly, but it's bulky and heavy, too. 

Stainless Steel

For a 360-inch stainless steel fire pit, expect to pay between $250 and $1,200. Stainless steel is common for portable fire pits but can be used in built-in ones, too. It's lightweight, corrosion resistant, holds up to intense heat and inclement weather, and is suitable for use with all fuel types. 

Because it's thermally conductive, a steel fire pit radiates heat, so it's a great choice for climates with cooler weather.

Brick

Brick fire pits cost between $30 and $2,200. These offer a high-end look and match particularly well with brick homes. Aside from the appealing look, brick is a popular fire pit option because it absorbs and slowly radiates heat, even after the fire inside goes out, so you'll stay toasty warm while entertaining your buddies on chilly evenings. 

With brick, it's important to remember that the interior layer that comes into direct contact with the fire needs to be firebrick for safety. If you try to use pavers or regular house brick on the inside, it can crack and explode, ruining your fire pit and posing a serious safety hazard for anyone nearby.

The exterior layer is usually the more decorative brick pavers. They absorb the heat from the firebricks and radiate it out into the surrounding air, keeping everyone warm and cozy.

Stones

Stone fire pits cost $350 to $3,000, and each one is unique, because the materials are natural, so have different inclusions, colors, and shapes. For fire pits, choose dense, non-permeable stones, which are either metamorphic or igneous, such as granite, feldspar, basalt, quartzite, and soapstone. 

These types of stones don't absorb or retain moisture and have high heat tolerance. Plus, unlike soft-structured sedimentary rocks, these ones won't explode when exposed to the heat of a fire pit. 

Fire Pit Installation Cost by Fuel Type

The fuel you want to burn has a big part to play in the cost of the fire pit and the ongoing running costs. There are also pros and cons to each fuel type, and which one you choose depends on your location, safety concerns, and preferences.

Type of FuelPrice Range (Installed)Average Price (Installed)
Charcoal$250 – $350$300
Propane$300 – $950$625
Wood-burning$300 – $1,000$650
Electric$350 – $1,500$925
Natural gas$400 – $3,000$1,700

Charcoal

Charcoal fire pits typically cost $250 to $350, or an average of $300. They are budget-friendly and considered safer than wood. Their increased safety lies in the way charcoal burns compared with wood. 

Charcoal doesn't send up sparks or embers, so it won't cause unintended fires. And it doesn't produce much, if any, smoke, so won't make your clothes take on that distinctive campfire smell.

Propane

Propane-burning fire pits are priced between $300 and $950, with most people paying around $625. Propane gives off less heat than wood or charcoal, but it burns cleanly and efficiently. Propane fire pits do require some maintenance, as the fire ring that produces the flames can easily get dirty and clogged.

And you'll need to keep the pit topped up with firestones or similar to simulate the look of a real fire. You'll also need to periodically replace the propane tank with a full one when the old one empties. Unlike natural gas pits, propane models don't connect to a main gas line. Instead, they use gas bottles that need replacing or refilling.

Wood-Burning

Expect to pay around $650 for a wood-burning fire pit, or between $300 and $1,000. Wood is the traditional and most common fuel type for fire pits, and the fire pits and wood for fuel are both budget-friendly. However, wood is dangerous because of the potential for embers and sparks starting an unintended fire and potentially causing costly fire damage to your property.

Wood fire pits are popular because of their low cost, easy installation, and traditional, campfire feel and smell. And they tend to burn hot. But they're also messy and you'll need to clean them out and dispose of the ash regularly. And wood burns faster so needs replenishing the whole time you're actively using the pit.

With wood fire pits, there are also often strict local rules governing their use, so before you go building one, make sure you understand the local regulations. In some areas, you can only use a wood-burning fire pit on certain days or at certain times of the year. 

Electric

Electric fire pits generally cost between $350 and $1,500, with most people paying around $925. With an electric ignition and gas fuel source, electric fire pits burn efficiently, cleanly, and safely.

When the ignition is engaged, it heats up until it reaches a high enough temperature to light a pilot light. The pilot light heats a thermocouple. The thermocouple converts the heat into an electrical charge, then that charge activates the gas valve. At this point, the gas is released and starts to burn, generating the fire pit flames and heat.

It's this multi-step ignition process that makes electric fire pits so safe.

Natural Gas

The average price of a natural gas fire pit is $1,700. Prices range between $400 and $3,000. Natural gas fire pits are extremely efficient. Compared to wood, for example, they are 99% more efficient.

Like propane, natural gas doesn't produce as much heat as wood, but these fire pits have long lifespans, are low-maintenance, and carry a higher resale value compared to other types when homeowners sell their property.

These fire pits are more costly because they require natural gas lines to work, so the cost of running a new gas line is included in the installation fee.

Fire Pit Building Price by Shape

While you can have fire pits in any shape you want, hexagonal, round, square, or rectangular are the most common. Hexagonal fire pits are the most affordable and, like round models, are great for hosting large gatherings inclusively, with everyone seated equidistantly from the center. Round and hexagonal fire pits tend to be more about function than form.

Square and rectangular models are more expensive and tend to have more formal or contemporary designs. They're often decorative, with colorful mosaic finishes or sleekly modern aesthetics.

Shape of Fire PitCost Range (Installed)Average Cost (Installed)
Hexagonal$120 – $1,000$560
Round$150 – $1,500$820
Square$165 – $2,800$1,480
Rectangular$185 – $3,000$1,590

Fire Pit Installation Cost Breakdown

Fire pit installation mainly consists of materials and labor. Depending on the size, shape, and material, labor may cost you 50% of the project total.

Materials

For an average above-ground fire pit of 36 inches, of the typical $850 budget, around $400 to $500 of that will be materials. Obviously, the bigger the fire pit, the more you'll spend on materials. You'll pay less for concrete and steel, and significantly more for brick and stone.

Labor

Hiring a handyperson costs $60 to $125 per hour, and they should be able to complete a fire pit installation in under a day, putting labor costs between $400 and $500. If the fire pit needs a gas or electrical connection, you'll also need to hire a local electrician and a plumber in your area.

Labor costs can quickly rise if the project is large or unexpectedly complex, or the location isn't easily accessible. Similarly, you'll pay significantly more for labor if you're installing a large in-ground unit. 

Running a Gas Line

The cost to run a natural gas line is $15 to $25 per linear foot. While this cost is often included in the price of a natural gas fire pit installation, it's not always, so be sure to check with your contractor before you sign the contract.

Cost to Build a Fire Pit Yourself

You can potentially build a simple fire pit yourself, and you'll save around 50% of the project total, because you won't be paying any labor costs. However, these savings are offset by having to pay full price for the materials instead of trade price, and having to transport them yourself. 

Heavy materials, such as brick, concrete, and stone are costly to transport, consuming a lot of fuel and putting a lot of weight and wear and tear on your vehicle. 

Building anything more than a rudimentary above-ground fire pit is extremely hard work, too, so this isn't a project you'd want to tackle unless you're physically fit. Building an in-ground fire pit is more complex and time-consuming because you have to excavate the area first.

Note that you cannot run a natural gas line or electrical lines yourself, so even if you build the fire pit yourself, if it has an electric ignition or burns natural gas, you'll need to hire the right pro to run the lines and connect the fire pit.

Questions and Answers About Building a Fire Pit

How much does it cost to build a patio with a fire pit?

To build a patio with a built-in fire pit, expect to pay an average of $6,750. The cost to build a patio alone is an average of $3,500. Although the cost of construction is higher, the patio and fire pit combination offers a better resale value than a patio alone or a patio with a fire pit add-on.

How big should a fire pit be?

How big a fire pit should be depends on how many people you want to get around it on a regular basis, and how big your space is. The average fire pit size is between 36 and 44 inches. However, if you regularly host big gatherings and have the appropriate outdoor space, you can go as big as 72 inches.

How far should a fire pit be from my house?

The minimum distance for a fire pit from another structure is generally 10 to 15 feet. However, the exact requirements vary by location, so check with your municipality.

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