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Outdoor spaces have been a must-have for many house owners. This extension provides a perfect setting for any occasion, especially this summer.
Imagine enjoying an outdoor party with s’mores and hot choco under the moonlight. It would be impossible to endure the cold without a way to keep warm. Fireplaces and fire pits are features that can add depth to your outdoor activities. They are still the most requested outdoor features for many homeowners.
Having an outdoor fire source seems like a lot of work for some. But why should you wait to travel to a campsite to enjoy when you can have it in your own backyard? There is a lot of reasons why you should install your own outdoor fire pit or fireplace.
So you have finally decided to add a fire feature. Good for you! Is it a fire pit or a fireplace? Both serve the main purpose of providing warmth but they still have differences.
The National Association of Landscape Professionals says that this is an important decision. These two fire features can affect the activities you can do in your outdoor area.
If you plan to place it in the middle so more people can gather around it, you can consider a fire pit. This also good if smoke will not be an issue and you want to cook food with your fire pit. But practice some caution with open fire pits especially with children around. Fire pits or fire tables are great for socializing and other informal settings.
Your fireplace will most likely be in the corner or end of space, so only a limited number of people can gather in front. This can also be good to control smoke for residential areas. You can install it even in enclosed outdoor areas connected to the main house. Fireplaces provide an intimate vibe perfect for lazy nights and unwinding.
Just like other parts of your landscaping, neglecting your fire feature is a no-no. Making certain considerations is important before and after installation.
Check with local authorities about building codes or regulations about fire features. Chances are, there will be specifications to meet for safety and environmental reasons. There could be requirements to put a safe distance between fences or trees and the fire. Other places do not allow wood burning but will allow natural gas or propane fire pit tables. If you live in an apartment or condo, some building owners will allow rooftop fire pits or fireplaces.
Fire pits and fireplaces are easy to customize. Landscape architects suggest connecting it to your backyard’s design. Customizing on size and shape is up to you and your budget.
There are many finishing options like tile, bricks, stone, or stucco. Each material can bring challenges. Most materials are durable. Concrete, for example, can be prone to accumulating soot over time. Ensure that installation is quality if you are using stone. Staining is natural but if installed wrong can crack due to heat. (That will defeat its purpose!) If you consult with experts, installing a mix material fireplace or fire pit is possible
Fire pits can also be portable! Innovative designs are available so that you can transfer it anywhere you would like. Portable designs can cost from $300 to $2,000 while built-in ones can cost $1,000 to $5,000.
There are currently three options available: wood, propane, or natural gas. Wood is the classic fire source and is available anytime. The natural crackling sound of burning wood is not possible with gas or propane. Make sure to store your firewood well. Wet or damp firewood makes it hard to start a fire and it produces more smoke.
A lot of regulations prohibit using wood because of the smoke it produces. That is why more and more people opt for smoke-free options like propane and natural gas.
Both natural gas and propane requires opening a valve and opening the switch to get a fire. Propane gas needs a well-concealed tank that is still accessible for refills. Natural gas is much more expensive. You will need to pay more for the gas line installation. A permit is also needed to extend your gas lines.
At the end of the day, you are sure to enjoy your fire pit or fireplace. Choose experts that have years of experience and expertise.
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