Light My Fire: Wood vs. Gas Fire Pits

Summer evenings in Pagosa Springs are a magical time, and a backyard fire only further sets the mood. From relaxing moments to lively social gatherings, a fire pit is the perfect staple for your outdoor living area. Now the question is: Do you choose a wood-burning or gas fire pit? Both are great options; it just depends on what you prefer. We’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons to help you select the right choice for your home.




  • Traditional

The wood fire is the traditional alternative to gas fire pits. It allows for entertainment by involvement, with the fire requiring attentive hands. It’s always fun to throw another log on the fire and watch the flames dance and grow in size as they engulf the wood. Wood fire pits also allow you to have bigger fires than gas fire pits.

  • More cost-effective to install

Wood fire pits are typically cheaper to build than gas fire pits. They also require less time to install. You can always start out with a wood fire pit and test it out to see if this is the right fit for you. If not, you can typically convert your wood fire pit to gas by installing an insert that runs between $100 and $400 depending on size.

  • Heightened ambiance

The flickering of bright orange flames against the deep hues of dusk. The nostalgic scent of campfire drifting into the night. The wood fire pit has the gas fire pit beat here.


  • Smell is trapped in hair and clothes

Although the initial smell of campfire is pleasant, the smell that lingers afterwards is not as appealing to many. The smell remains on clothes and in hair until washed out, which can be inconvenient.

  • Wood fires are time consuming

A wood fire requires time to build. If you do not have a woodpile, wood must either be purchased or collected and seasoned. Once you have the wood for your fire, getting the fire started can be time consuming and requires your attention. Wood fires can also be messy, with the ashy aftermath and the potential bits of bark that can become scattered around the pit. This means you’ll also be spending more time cleaning up afterwards.

  • Local ordinance awareness

It’s important to know whether the county you live in allows open fires, or whether fire bans are in effect during drier months. This is where gas fire pits have wood fire pits beat. If any restrictions exist, then wood fires are prohibited at that time.




  • Easily managed

Gas fire pits are perfect for the person that wants a simple and convenient fire pit. With the push of a button or flip of a switch, the fire is emitted in an instant. When you are done enjoying your fire, simply turn it off. No need to smother or douse with water.

  • No lingering smell

For those that want the comforts of a fire but don’t want the smell that sticks to clothing and hair, a gas fire pit is the perfect choice for you. Gas does not give off that smell that is associated with wood-burning fires.

  • No smoke

No matter how many times you position your chair in different places around a wood-burning fire, you cannot escape the smoke. Gas fire pits do not give off smoke, so there’s no need to constantly reposition yourself around the fire pit.


  • Cost-prohibitive to install

Gas fire pits are quite a bit more costly to install than wood fire pits, and require more time to build. Depending on what your budget looks like, it’s important to take into consideration the initial cost.

  • Smaller fires

Gas fire pits do not typically produce the immense flames that a wood fire pit does, thus taking away from of the visual appeal of fire. If one of your reasons for having a fire pit is to have a big, bold fire, then we would recommend going with wood.

  • Fuel storage is not aesthetically pleasing

Gas tanks can take away from the overall look and feel of a fire pit. It’s recommended that you have a place to conceal or store your gas as to not take away from the fire pit you have spent so much on.

Hopefully knowing the pros and cons of both styles of fire pit can help you to make your decision a little easier. Once you’ve made up your mind, or if you have any other questions, give us a call or stop on by! At Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces, we are more than happy to help you select and install the best fire pit for you and your outdoor living area.