Anyone can purchase an off-the-shelf fire pit and plop it in their backyard. Here are 5 things you should consider that will help you from committing a common design mistake.
- WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?
Fireplaces (also including the term “fire pit”) paint the romantic image of sitting around with loved ones and chatting, right? What if yours is the centerpiece to a striking landscape design and is more for aesthetic? Is yours a destination tucked away in a remote corner of your backyard? Just spending a few moments deciding how you intend to use your outdoor fireplace will go a long way to helping you enjoy the design process and ultimately being happy with the result.
- IS YOUR SPACE BIG ENOUGH?
Usually backyards and patios aren’t centered on a fireplace—largely because they’re seasonal. More often than not an outdoor space is geared towards an outdoor dining function, a beautiful garden, or play area. If you are limited on space, there are fireplaces that are indoor/outdoor and really help to not use up too much valuable landscape. Though because they’re part of the house, this method can be costly and is only recommended for those considering a significant remodel. Another space-saving feature is a fireplace that can double as another surface. Also many fireplaces are mobile and can be stored out-of-sight when not being used. If your space is large enough to have “zones,” having a separate fire pit area located remotely is a nice touch.
- WHAT’S ACTUALLY ALLOWED?
Many municipalities and HOAs won’t allow wood-burning fires outside. Some won’t allow gas, either. A quick call to your local building authority will inform you on what you can safely do or not do. It would be really unfortunate to install the outdoor fireplace of your dreams only to find out the city will cite a fine and force you to remove it. And even in the worst-case scenario, there are fun options out there of totally mobile gas-fired units that are safe and still provide a nice ambiance.
© Roll Fire – Conmoto
© Travel Mate – Conmoto
- WHAT’S YOUR STYLE?
There are great fireplaces out there—some are flashy and sleek, while others are integrated into the design and draw little to no attention to themselves. Admittedly, designing around a cool object is much more challenging—but can also be very rewarding. Assuming you made your way to our blog because you appreciate modern design, I’ll highlight some of the coolest fireplaces I know of here:
- HOW BIG?
Do you plan to keep warm next to your outdoor fireplace? If so, wood-burning will provide you the biggest bang for your buck. However if you are more safety conscious or just want to avoid the mess of wood-burning, gas is the way to go. To get a truly warm fireplace requires quite a bit of gas. You should familiarize yourself with how much gas you have coming to your property and what’s available for a fireplace. A quick call to your local utility provider should help you find this information. Generally speaking, you want to be in the 60,000 BTUH range for an all-around space-warming experience.
Image Courtesy of Houzz