Everyone loves the ambiance and relaxed feeling when sitting around a fire on an early spring or fall evening.
But not all fire features are created equal. Let’s take a look.
The traditional bonfire and campfire have been transformed into a must have in many backyards across America. The new fire pits that burn wood can be as simple or as elaborate as your imagination and budget can stretch.
The basic fire pit can be constructed of small border or retaining wall block and can be any diameter or size you need or want. Generally they’re round, at 5 to 6 feet outside diameter and approximately 20 inches in height.
They can be dug into the ground and lined with blocks for a true pit look or built above ground. We like securing our fire pit block with a concrete adhesive for durability and sustainability. We also highly suggest a steel fire pit ring, which are fairly inexpensive at your local home improvement stores.
But, please check your local open fire codes for size, distance from structures and health concerns.
Next, let’s discuss the most popular; gas fire pits.
Some don’t like the hassle of the real wood burning fire pits due to storing and maintaining dry firewood, the worry of attracting insects and rodents and the fear of where the sparks fly!
A gas fire pit gives another option and offers peace of mind from all the disadvantages of a real wood fire pit. Not to mention, no smoke and no clean up!
A gas fire pit can be constructed like the wood burners, but with more options in size, shape and look. One of the gas fire pits we’ve built was rectangular, sporting an “S” shaped burner under turquoise colored fire glass. It’s stunning, unique and our customers love it!
When choosing the gas fire pit route, two choices are available; propane gas (bottle) or natural gas. The propane bottle attaches to your fire pit just as it does to a gas grill. Although, this can somewhat put a burden on the wallet by replacing the bottles throughout the season and depending on how often the fire pit is used. It’s best to be prepared, as you don’t want to plan an evening entertaining and the gas bottle goes empty. Not fun!
If choosing the natural gas option, it is recommended to involve a plumber early on in the discussion and planning phases. They can help determine where your gas fire pit can and should be placed and offer an estimate on costs for running and placing the natural gas line that will fuel the fire pit.
Again, most cities have local codes, so it’s always best to check with them before any money is spent.
Another option that is gaining popularity is the free-standing fire pits and bowls.
These come in all shapes, sizes and colors that you’re sure to match to your theme and design!
We have designed dozens of projects around our customers purchase of a free-standing, portable fire pit.
Many of these pits are set at the center of a paver patio we’ve installed. While many others have had us build sitting walls with columns around a free-standing fire pit. This is a beautiful look as it adds a more intimate look and feel to the area. Plus, our clients love decorating the sitting walls with accent pillows and throw blankets to give pops of color!
Remember, if it is a portable fire pit, it more than likely, requires a propane gas bottle. If it is decided that this option of fire feature will not be moved, then it’s worth looking into having a natural gas line hooked into it.
Lastly, let’s discuss outdoor fireplaces. Ahhhhh.
Outdoor fireplaces offer that family room atmosphere, which so many of us try to copy. More and more homeowners are beginning to utilize their outdoor space as ‘another room of the house’. And rightly so! With so many options for outdoor living available, this only makes sense.
Outdoor fireplaces can be purchased as a complete unit or designed and built by a block by block system. Keep in mind that an outdoor fireplace can get a bit pricey, but we guarantee that the return on investment is much greater when/if you sell your home. Our realtor friends back us up on that!
Just like fire pits, options available are wood burning, propane (bottle) and natural gas. And not to mention the several outdoor gas inserts that your fireplace can be built around.
If you’re wanting to spend more time outdoors and looking to transition your outdoor space into a relaxing oasis, make sure you look at all the options available for fire features. We guarantee you won’t regret it!
Have questions about outdoor fire features? Contact us, we love to chat and discuss your options!