Entertain In Style On A Backyard Floating Deck With Custom Fire Pit

A backyard floating deck with a built-in fire pit creates the ultimate space for entertaining guests in style. Elevated above the ground, a floating deck allows you to extend your usable backyard area, while a custom fire pit provides a cozy gathering place for family and friends. With the right design, materials, and personal touches, your floating deck and fire pit can be a beautiful and functional addition to your outdoor living space.

Read on to learn how you can craft a custom entertaining space that makes the most of your property.

What Is a Floating Deck?

A floating deck gets its name from the appearance of “floating” above the ground rather than being attached to it. Unlike traditional decks that require posts concreted into the earth or resting on footings, floating decks are elevated and self-supporting. This allows their installation, even on uneven yards, slopes, or areas where excess weight cannot be added.

floating deck with fire pit

Floating decks can be built from various materials like wood, composite lumber, or metal. Components are specially designed and reinforced to handle the span of the deck without ground contact. Support and stability typically come from an extensive framework, diagonal bracing, beams anchored to the home, and specialized hardware.

Advantages of Floating Decks

The main benefits of choosing a floating deck include:

  • Placement flexibility for tricky yards and landscapes
  • Minimal disruption or excavation of landscaping
  • Adjustable heights to match entries or fit uneven slopes
  • Underdeck space remains usable for storage or patios
  • Often lower long-term maintenance without ground contact

Floating decks must meet local zoning and building codes, which dictate construction specifications like size, height off the ground, and required railings. Working with an experienced deck contractor is the best way to ensure your design complies with regulations.

Designing Your Floating Deck

When embarking on a floating deck project, there are several key considerations that will inform your design:

Size and Layout

One of the first decisions will be determining the overall shape, footprint, and square footage. Local building codes will dictate the maximum sizes allowed without requiring additional engineering approvals. Consider the physical dimensions of your yard, allowing for regulated setbacks from property lines and the home.

Typically, floating decks utilize a simple geometric shape like a rectangle or square. Include projections or cantilevers for visual interest and to accommodate spaces like stairs. For entertainment decks, generous proportions are ideal to allow room for seating areas, dining tables, and circulation.

Height and Clearance

Floating decks must sit high enough off the ground for positive drainage, ventilation, and to meet minimum height requirements at entries. Elevation is often dictated by aspects like matching doorsills, integrating stairways, or managing slopes. Have soil temperatures and frost lines in mind if you live in colder climates.

For safety and accessibility, decking should be relatively level, with only a gentle slope for drainage. Railings are typically required for floating decks exceeding 18-24 inches from the ground. Consider ceiling heights for any covered portions and where you may be placing lighting or fans.

Material Selection

Wood, composite, aluminum, and wood-plastic composite are all options for floating deck boards and structural components. Your choice comes down to factors like budget, appearance, durability expectations, and required maintenance.

For fire safety, avoid combustible surfaces like plain wood decking immediately surrounding the fire pit. Use durable and fire-resistant materials like stone, concrete, or composite in these high heat areas.

Work with an experienced deck builder to select materials that will perform over time while matching your budget, expected use, and aesthetic preferences. Using quality components is well worth the investment for an entertaining space you can enjoy for years.

Adding a Custom Fire Pit

Integrating a fire pit into your floating deck creates an instant focal point for gatherings with family and friends. Flickering flames provide ambiance, warmth, and a mesmerizing place for people to congregate and connect.

When planning your fire pit, safety is paramount. Be sure to check local ordinances and fire codes, which dictate specifications like sizes, setbacks, fuel types, and safety features based on your neighborhood.

Built-In vs Portable

For permanent, low maintenance enjoyment, opt for a custom fire pit built right into your floating deck design. This allows tailoring of the size, shape, materials, and appearance for seamless integration. If weighting allows, you can also design it to be removable.

Portable fire pits offer flexibility to rearrange your space or bring the fire to different areas as needed. High quality portable fire pits ensure safety, durability, and resistance to rust, cracks, or leaks.

Fuel Source

Natural gas, propane, ethanol gel, wood, and wood pellets can all fuel backyard fire pits, each with different infrastructure requirements:

  • Natural Gas or Propane – Hard piped or connected to refillable tanks, best left to professionals.
  • Ethanol Gel – Self contained cans burn clean without smoke or ash.
  • Wood – Traditional fuel source but requires storage and cleanup.
  • Wood Pellets – Compressed sawdust logs burn slower with less spark and smoke.


Fire pit designs encompass a wide range of finishes and aesthetics. Choose styles and ornamental touches that match your personal taste and needs:

  • Contemporary – Sleek shapes and linear designs for modern simplicity.
  • Industrial – Incorporate metal materials and unique shapes or effects.
  • Rustic – Use natural stone and distressed finishes inspired by nature.
  • Custom – Collaboration with metal workers, masons, and landscapers yields completely personalized fire features.

Bringing It All Together

A backyard floating deck with integrated fire pit brings all the elements together for the ultimate outdoor entertaining space. Careful planning ensures your gathering spot not only looks stunning, but works beautifully as well.


Site your floating deck with views and exposure in mind. Position it to showcase lovely areas of your property, gardens, or landscaping without unsightly views. Have prevailing winds in mind so smoke and ashes do not blow directly into entertaining areas.

Set incorporated seating around the fire pit to promote conversation and connection. Ensure adequate clearance from combustible materials like fences, plants, or overhead trees based on your fire code.

Weight Considerations

A crucial aspect of floating deck design is calculating the total load capacity to ensure it can safely handle the span and cumulative weight. Determine the occupancy limits based on the weight of guests, furnishings, decor items, and the fire pit itself. This will dictate the specifications of structural reinforcements and hardware systems.

Personalize It

Make your backyard oasis your own with fun touches like:

  • Comfortable weather-resistant patio furniture with throw pillows in your style
  • Ambiance lighting such as string lights, lanterns, or spot lighting
  • Speakers and a sound system to set the mood with music
  • Storage for firewood, blankets, or extra entertaining supplies
  • Heating and cooling features like ceiling fans or infrared heat lamps
  • Green elements like planters, vines, or living walls

Taking time to incorporate personal flair and thoughtful amenities will have your space looking photo shoot or interior design magazine worthy.

Maintaining Your Space

Proper routine maintenance keeps your floating deck with fire pit in top shape for years of use. Establish inspections, cleaning routines, and upkeep based on manufacturer specifications. Key areas to address include:

Safety Inspections

Check for signs of damage, wear or structural issues at least yearly, examining:

  • Decking for cracked, splintered, warped or rotting boards
  • Railings for corrosion, loose joints, or missing components
  • Support structure and anchoring points
  • Hardware – tighten any loose nuts, screws, or fasteners


In extreme weather climates, extra protection prepares materials for the elements:

  • Sealants for wood surfaces
  • Anti-slip treatments for icy decking
  • Waterproofing for integrated elements like planters or benches

Fire Pit Upkeep

Routinely clean out ashes, debris, water, and other combustion remnants from your fire pit. Yearly inspections look for damage like cracks or leaks. Repair any issues with fuels lines, controls, or ventilation right away.

Maximizing Enjoyment and Function

Thoughtful planning helps you get optimal use from your floating deck and fire pit installation. A few ideas for maximizing enjoyment include:

Perfect for Entertaining

Rearrange patio furniture to accommodate the type of gathering. Cluster seating around the fire pit for more intimate groups. Open up the space with scattered seating and surfaces for buffet-style meals or mingling.

Serving Essentials

Incorporate conveniences like side tables for drinks and snacks, a refrigerator or cabinet for storage, a built-in kitchen for prepping food, or a serving cart to transport everything outdoors.

Weather Protection

Allow your floating deck to be used in any season by incorporating weather protection elements. Retractable awnings, umbrellas over seating areas, and wind screens help block undesirable conditions.

Ambiance and Function

Get double usage from your space by creating a cozy, welcoming ambiance after dark. Strategic lighting transforms the area for late night gatherings or a peaceful spot to unwind.

Further heighten appeal with sound systems, heating elements, and video screens. Your backyard will become a beloved oasis for making memories from dusk ’till dawn.

With smart planning, creative design, and quality construction, a backyard floating deck with custom fire pit creates the ultimate outdoor entertaining space. Elevate your alfresco fun by leveraging the flexibility of a floating deck and the ambiance of an integrated fire feature.

By understanding building specifications, considering layout, traffic flow, and personalization, your backyard will become a beloved gathering place for years to come. Get ready to entertain in style with tips from this guide on crafting your own floating deck oasis.

Utilizing Natural Stones for a Unique Fire Pit Design

For a fire pit with rustic character, consider a custom design utilizing natural stones. Arrange irregularly shaped flagstone in an appealing layout, mortaring stones together for stability. Round river rocks also create textural appeal. Layer complementary hues and sizes for depth and dimension.

Incorporate a steel liner to contain the fire if not building with solid masonry units like brick or concrete blocks. Natural stone brings organic beauty that contrasts modern decking for visual interest. It also blends seamlessly into surrounding nature-inspired landscaping.

Incorporating LED Lights

Strategically placed lighting takes your floating deck and fire pit to the next level once the sun goes down. ENERGY STAR-rated LED lights add a beautiful glow for evening enjoyment.

Accent the structure with LED strip lighting around perimeter edges or risers. Dramatic downlighting spotlights architectural features or lush plantings. For ambiance, wire fairy lights through rafters or trees surrounding the space.

Lighting placed under seating elements or stairs improves safety and visibility. Control lighting conveniently through Wi-Fi-enabled apps. Program scenes like “dinner party” for the right brightness any gathering.

The tranquil sound of flowing water combined with a glowing fire pit creates a zen backyard oasis. Add a simple fountain within your landscaping or go big with a custom pondless waterfall installation.

For smaller spaces, a wall-mounted water fountain adds serene texture. Position it near the fire pit so the scenery can be enjoyed from seating areas. The inclusion of water features brings natural beauty to maximize relaxation within your outdoor living space.

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