Fireplace have been a common feature for patios however, more and more people are acknowledging the fact that it is rather expensive and time consuming to have a permanent fireplace installed outdoors. Fireplaces also take up a lot of space which can be put to good use. A sensible alternative to an outdoor fireplace is a fire pit. This could range from a small hole in the ground to an elaborately structured pit complete with a gas burning equipment. They are made out of various materials including metal, brick and stone. They are basically used to contain fires in a specific area and preventing it from spreading. Fire pits can either be permanently fixed or portable depending the type you choose. They are excellent alternatives for outdoor fireplace. Checkout a few designs that you could consider for your home.