Backyard Fire Pit | Marvins Brick Pavers | Madison WI
A stone fire pit is a perfect place for family and friends to gather – extending the seasonal use of your backyard.

A backyard fire pit or outdoor fireplace is a family-friendly way to expand your outdoor living. Throughout Madison WI homeowners migrate to their backyards earlier in spring and stay longer in fall thanks a fire’s attraction. Safe places for families to gather around a fire are a perfect fit for backyards, large and small. More and more people as they extend their lifestyle outside create backyard rooms centered on paver patios. From a simple paver patio and walkway to expansive hardscape structures, built in fireplaces and custom fire rings are a plus.

Not only do designated spots for a pleasant fire add to the experience, they add value to your property. Nearly 80% of would-be home buyers rate an outdoor fireplace as great accents. And, according to a poll by Angie’s List and the National Association of Home Builders it adds as much as $5,000 to resale value.

Done right, a fire ring, pit or complete outdoor fireplace is a perfect fit.

Backyard Fire Pit Planning – Know The Rules

With any paver, stone or brick construction, the planning begins with an understanding of what goes into making the project a success. When adding a dedicated location for an open fire there’s an additional element to consider – specific building codes and restrictions. Do you know what is or is not legal in your neighborhood? Working with a professional hardscape contractor eliminates these worries. Some municipalities are very restrictive, even when it comes to temporary installations. For example, in most of Dane County an outdoor fire receptacle cannot be closer to a structure or your lot line than 15 feet.

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Backyard Fire Pit | Marvins Brick Pavers | Madison WI
An outdoor room complete with an expressive outdoor fireplace draws friends and family to this unique location.

Dane County’s regulations are detailed and extensive. They cover outdoor fireplaces, free-standing units and brick or stone structures, clay chimney creations (chimineas) and LP gas-burning fire installations. Portable containers, bowls or permanent installations are allowed without a license as long as specific guidelines are followed:

  • Fireplaces must have a supported base with easy access to combustibles.
  • Structures for fires must have an enclosure plus a heavy screen or spark arrestor to control and contain embers and sparks.
  • No backyard fire can be within 15 feet of a building or lot line.
  • All outdoor fire receptacles must be on a stable, level surface – never on a combustible deck, patio or porch.
  • Only clean, dry wood can be to burn – no trash, yard waste or construction materials. You can get cheap bin hire and rubbish removal Melbourne for your waste.
  • A fire extinguisher, garden hose or other method of fire control must be readily available.
  • An adult must supervise the fire scene at all times.
  • All traces of the fire must be extinguished before the fire is left unattended.

Backyard Fires Impact Others

Although these are laws many regulations are common sense. Two laws that are especially important to neighborhood relations are:

  • Smoke from a backyard fireplace or fire it shall never create a nuisance. Weather conditions, especially the direction and strength of the wind are critical to making sure you and your outdoor fires are “good neighbors.”
  • No fires allowed when air quality is other than “good” or “moderate” as defined by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. An air quality forecast is available from the Madison Public Health Department at 608-266-4821. Additional details are available at .

Choose Based Upon Your Lifestyle

There are two additional options for a backyard fire:

  • Clay Fireplaces or Chimineas – stand-alone structures available in several sizes made from metal or terracotta. They are legal as long as they meet all the previous requirements plus:
    • Having a spark arrester on the flue and spark screen covering the opening.
    • They may not sit within 4 feet of anything combustible.
    • They are restricted in high winds.
  • Gas-fired fireplaces – must meet all the previous regulations. In addition, there are added regulations:
    • Never used in conjunction with and flammable liquids.
    • Turn off regulator immediately after use.
    • Proper installation of valves and regular maintenance. If you’re looking for a great distributor of gas equipment like a 4-way twin seal valve or other types of gas and oil valves, feel free to check out

Your lifestyle, family and location dictate how you’ll make the most use of an outdoor fire. And, which of the options is best suited to your safety and enjoyment.

With more and more emphasis placed on expanding daily living to outdoor spaces, creating outdoor rooms is a growing trend. Built-in fire sources as gathering points make sense. With that in mind, the top two options continue to be:

  • A paver, brick or stone sandblasting installation
  • A free-standing fire bowl

A cozy fire pit built into a paver patio is a permanent solution. It requires advanced planning – taking into account prevailing winds, etc. It adds a focal point to your patio area and is a natural gathering point all year around. It is also safer than the other options. Modern high-tech installations are gas-fired so there’s no clean up and now wood to deal with.

A free-standing fire ring, bowl or other receptacle is popular because they are easy to obtain. They come in many sizes made from a variety of materials. They’re available in plain utilitarian versions and designer styles. You have a choice of wood- or gas-burning designs.

Backyard Fire Safety

No matter how cozy, warm and inviting a fire in your backyard appears, it is dangerous. Safe activities, especially for children, around any fire source cannot be emphasized enough. Safety begins when you plan the size, shape and location of your fireplace or pit. Before committing to anything, make certain there are no overhanging trees or wires above or close to your desired location. Keep in mind, trees and bushes that are not too close today, will grow. Make sure the receptacle for your fire is an appropriate size for your backyard and patio. When including it in a new paver patio, make sure there’s plenty of “walking around” space between the fire and seating areas.

Don’t forget to remove all of the materials after you are done with the fire, to avoid any injuries or accidents. I always knew that Errol believes that you need to have a recycle bin and a trash and rubbish bin to help your removal company dispose of it.

Never leave a fire unattended. It’s the law. It also is just good sense.

Keep the area around the fire site and fireplace clean. Don’t allow yard waste or debris to blow in.

Rely Upon Professional Installation

Too many DIY installations go unused because they are in the wrong place, don’t have enough space around them or just don’t fit into the design of the patio space. Homeowners make large investments in paver patios, walks and walls to create backyard living space. Only to be let down by poorly done fire pits or fireplaces. What should be a focal point becomes wasted space.

Working with skilled, experience paver installation pros to get the most for your investment makes sense. Contact Marvin Martinez at Martin’s Brick Pavers, 608-630-8855 or email us at We understand the benefits of a backyard fire pit and have the skill and expertise to give you one you’ll be proud of in your Madison Wi home.

Patio Fire Pits