Summer is here and with it comes long lazy days spent outside enjoying everything summer has to offer. But what about the evenings?

At Rockford Homes, established home builders in Columbus, Ohio, we love being outside in the evenings, spending time with friends and family and wishing for a longer summer. Making s’mores, lingering over late dinners, and soaking up all of the summer evening fun can be enhanced with outdoor heating features, especially on cool summer nights. Using an outdoor heating source can prolong the time we spend outside. But what outdoor heating features are worth adding to your porch, patio, deck, or backyard?

No matter what you choose, you want to think about how it is going to be used. Is it warming a certain area, creating ambiance, being used as a focal point, or does it require a certain amount of seating around it? An outdoor heating feature adds drama and design to your outdoor space, and can be as elaborate or simple as your heart (and wallet) desires.

Fire Pit:

A fire pit is a popular feature to use in a backyard. Once you determine the best placement for it, the sky’s the limit in design. They come in many shapes and sizes, a variety of materials, and are fueled by wood, gas, or propane. There are fire pits available already put together, kits available to build, you can design it yourself, or have someone build it for you. They can be portable, above ground, or placed at ground level, depending on your design and needs. Having a fire pit gives you an instant entertainment spot, a way to toast marshmallows for s’mores, grill hot dogs, and warm up on a chilly evening.

Outdoor Fireplace:

An outdoor fireplace is more of an investment, and seeing as how it will be a permanent structure, needs more thought and planning. Is it a focal point, a way to create privacy, or a way to anchor an outdoor living space or kitchen area? They can be custom built, a unit ready to install, or a DIY weekend project. Build one using a variety of materials and choose gas or wood for your heat source. Having a fireplace on a patio makes the space feel more like an extension of the home. An outdoor fireplace ratchets up the entertaining possibilities, and creates a romantic vibe for those nights when the kids are gone. It will even add value to your home. 

Chimineas & Patio Heaters:

If you really want some warmth and ambiance, but you’re not ready to try a fire pit or fireplace, you might want to consider a chimenea or patio heater.

Patio Heaters

Patio heaters are usually either electric or propane, and are perfect to put beside a table or in between a couple chairs to warm up the space. They can be fairly inexpensive, making them a good option. You can purchase stand alone, tabletop, or mounted ones, depending on what purpose you want it to serve. Some are literal works of art, and can really set a mood. Have you ever been on a patio with the dancing flames of a patio heater surrounding you?


Chimineas are a less expensive option to heat an outdoor space. Choose one that has a spark screen and won’t tip over. Because they are portable, you can use it wherever you need to outside and create an instant fire feature. Most will use wood for the heat source, but you can find ones that run on propane or gas.

Have fun outside this summer and savor the evenings. If you’re entertaining, want to prolong time spent outside, or the kids want s’mores, one of these outdoor heating features might be the way to go. Just be sure you know what your neighborhood or city allows, as some do not allow smoke fires from wood. We have amazing homes for sale in Columbus, Ohio with perfect outdoor spaces for entertaining and hanging out with the family.