Cool nights next to a fire with friends and family are the best!  Especially, when you add smores!  Fire features have always been a highly requested item when designing a yard for entertaining with us.  There is just something about gathering around the fire that is special.

There is such a wide variety of fire features now that weren’t around or as easily accessible when David Kopfmann started Yardscapes, Inc. 46 years ago.  When you think back over the years it’s been wild to see the evolution of the fire feature.  I am going to dive into some different styles that we have installed over the years.  We are going to start with the more traditional wood burning, fire ring and fire pit, styles that we typically install.  Thought we love to be creative and I will get to those at the end!

Obviously, going back to the basics, grab your own logs and start them on fire.  There is something about the smell of a fire wood burning and crackling in front of you.  It can put you into a coma like daze.  Fall nights in Minnesota are the best!  I chose a few to show you that didn’t require a lot of effort to construct. Most of these were installed over a gravel base for support.  Also, most cities require your fire feature to be installed at least 25′ from your home.


This wood burning fire feature is organically designed into lush gardens on an estate in Prior Lake, MN


This Lake Minnetonka home has amazing views from this beautifully constructed wood burning fire feature where we used a local Northern Minnesota stone


This limestone wood burning fire feature overlooks the Minnehaha Creek in Edina, MN


This Southern Minnesota Lake Home boast views on both side. The granite stone they choose for both the fire pit and seats are gorgeous!

Next UP…

These make a huge impact and feel more like you are sitting in your outdoor living room!  They do get a lot more costly and labor intensive though.  Building a structure like this will require a building permit to be pulled and filed.  Usually they require excavation of the location, then a concrete slab pored to support the frost footings.  Here is an example of the steps it takes to install a fireplace.

Lake-Minnetonka-Home-Outdoor-Kitchen-and-Fire pit-Preparation-for-Frost-Footings

Step 1: Lake Minnetonka, MN home preparing the outdoor kitchen and fireplace after excavation with a concrete base poured to support the frost footings


Step 2: Building the concrete blocks up to construct the frost footings for the future fireplace


Step 3: The masons designing and installing a natural limestone to finish the look of the fireplace and outdoor kitchen


Step 4: Lake Minnetonka home complete with fireplace and outdoor kitchen for entertaining and ready to use!

Now that you understand what goes into creating one of these fireplaces, here are a few more examples of ones that we have designed and built!


Modern concrete fireplace and bench in Wayzata, MN

Outdoor-living room-with-fireplace-on-lake-minnetonka

Wayzata, MN lake home with outdoor wood burning fireplace and benches with storage underneath for wood


Edina, MN home with limestone fireplace and cedar arbor on bluestone and paver patio

The ease of having a gas fire pit is amazing, just flip a switch and you have instant heat and ambiance!  Most gas fire features require a frost footing if they are going to have mortared stone surround.  It all depends on what type of stone and how heavy it is.  These require a licensed gas company to install the gas line, which usually feed directly off of the gas meter connecting to a regulator and then installed into the fire pit.

Once the gas is installed, you have many options of what type of material you would like to go on the inside.  If you want it to look like a traditional fire we have beautiful and realistic log kits, that come in many different varieties of wood-looks and shapes.  If you fancy a more modern feel, go with a glass rock, which comes in many different colors.  The glass rock against the flames creates a cool reflection and the flame dances through the rocks.  There are also several different stones to fill with, such as lava rock for a more contemporary feel .  With gas installation there are many different ignition options as well; wall switch, remote, or phone app to start your fire feature.  How easy is that!

Here are some examples of different types of gas fire features we have installed over the years.

Lakeside Fire Feature Gas Ignition

Lakeside fire feature built into a wall with seating on Lake Minnetonka, MN


Saint Paul, MN entertainers backyard with a gas fire pit and pizza oven


Custom pool installation with wall and patio fire features


Minneapolis, MN home with gas fire feature and custom dipping pool

We get request for fire features that aren’t your norm, whether it’s to fit a tight space or a movable unit, we have to get CREATIVE!  We have many resources to create a unique fire feature for any space!  Here’s a few that we have created.


Minneapolis, MN courtyard entertaining space with a custom gas (propane) fire pit on wheels


This Wayzata, MN homeowner wanted a unique gas fire feature which is created out of limestone with a custom metal and stone arbor


This Edina, MN homeowner wanted a more modern look and needed a smaller scale fire feature. This metal fire pit is piped in with gas

Hopefully this has help you with choosing the right fire feature for your family!  Always feel free to call us with any questions!



See the cities where we provide landscaping services in the Twin Cities metro area.

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