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When deciding between a wood-burning fire pit and a gas fire pit, both are attractive options for your outdoor living space. When you picture roasting s’mores in your backyard, the end goal is the same. However, there are differences between a wood-burning fire pit and a gas fire pit that may make one a better option for your hardscape design.

Wood burning fire pits require dry wood; however, you cannot burn wood in a gas fire pit. A gas fire pit is run on natural gas or liquid propane. If you have better access to one type of fuel, then that would be the natural choice for your fire pit hardscapes. However, if your concern is for the environment, the gas fire pit may be the better option for you as it burns cleaner.

If cost is your main consideration, then the wood-burning fire pit is cheaper. The total cost of a wood-burning fire pit including materials and installation ranges from $2,500 to over $3,500 while the total cost of a gas fire pit ranges from $5,000 to over $10,000.

Wood Burning Fire Pits Pros & Cons

Wood fire pits tend to be larger because they need to hold wood. You will also need to have space to store wood for the fire pit and keep it dry and away from your home as the wood can house termites. But you can install a wood fire pit yourself at home, just note that they require more maintenance because you will need to clean the ash and logs occasionally.


  • Less expensive
  • Easier/quicker to install
  • Can DIY install
  • It will provide a distinct sound/smell


  • Requires wood and wood storage
  • Harder to light
  • More maintenance
  • Easier to start hazard fires
  • Certain areas require permits for open, wood-burning flames

Gas Fire Pits Pros & Cons

Gas fire pits do not require wood to burn and are easier to light. Additionally, they are better for the environment because they are more energy efficient and produce fewer emissions. Gas fire pits do require storage for the tank of gas, and it will not be a pretty sight on your hardscape, so you may need to design your outdoor living space to hide the gas tank.

Finally, a gas fire pit should be installed by a professional because it requires running gas lines. The gas system will need to be checked for leaks occasionally but will require less cleaning than a wood fire pit because gas fire pits do not emit ash or soot.


  • Clean burning – better for the environment
  • Easy to light
  • Less of a fire hazard
  • Requires little maintenance
  • Will not emit smoke odors


  • More expensive
  • Can be dangerous with gas lines
  • Requires large fuel tank
  • Harder/longer to install
  • Requires professional install

At the end of the day, both options will increase your home’s value and up the usability of your hardscape outdoor living space. You can’t go wrong with either choice! Contact us at Kansas City Hardscapes for more information or to get started building your outdoor living fire pit today.

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