Transform Your Space with Outdoor Fire Features
Outdoor Fire Features
How can it be that we find ourselves amused by this orange hue of light we know as fire? Mesmerized by the way it moves and the way it brings warmth to us all. We humans are easily entertained, the fire itself brings many positive qualities, but fire features take that to the next level.
Our designers have found ways to make these outdoor fire features pop off, stand out, and have pushed them to be a must-have for your outdoor living spaces. It can be anything from a fire pit, a tiki torch, a centerpiece with a gas burner that displays a straight line of fire, and fireplaces of course. Outdoor fire features not only unite people and give a touch of excellence to your spaces, but they can also bring value to your home, complex, or property. There are many benefits to having fire features, the types that exist, designs and ideas, and many considerations to ask when planning on implementing a fire feature of your own.
Benefits of Fire Features
Fire features bring out so much from your landscape design, but it also captures the sociable aspect of things and by its pure existence brings everything together. Enough of the cliche wording, realistically outdoor fire features do carry a basket of benefits for more than just looking hot and pretty.
- Similar to an outdoor kitchen, a pool, or a water feature, this is a considerable upgrade that can help increase the value of your home.
- Creates a nice curb appeal and in terms of utility can be quite essential for entertainment purposes or cooking.
- Can be used to direct the eyes of the viewer as the center of attention; the flames of the pit can be quite satisfying really.
- Can be used for gatherings to lounge around, celebrations, eating around the fire, or simply just stare at it. Some people kind of like that.
- Having the fire feature can extend the season as you spend more time in the outdoor spaces.
Usage and Versatility
- Outdoor fire features have a variety of builds so it doesn’t always have to be a pit or a bowl, get creative with it.
- Can be used in the winter, summer, spring, or fall, it is a year-round type of thing.
- Used for bonding; bringing together people around and having a good time, restaurants used them for appeal, and people have them in their backyards and can be used in many spaces.
- Depending on your type of unit, just keep an eye on the functionality of the fire feature. Make sure your features are covered to avoid any corroded lining or rust on any type of metal if any.
- Make sure no shrubs, branches, or weeds are nearby to avoid any type of accidents or unnecessary fires.
- Covering your pits is best recommended when not in use; keeps your areas clean and free of debris.
Types of Fire Features
When choosing the perfect fire feature, there are so many to choose from that you feel you might get buyer’s remorse if you choose the wrong one. Not to worry, we’re here to guide you and encourage you to explore the different styles available.
Fire pits are one of the most convenient contraptions; they come in practically any shape and size, and the style pallet is very diverse. You can go from using high-end materials for an optimal build, DIY it with an assortment of materials of your choice, or if you aren’t looking for the wait of a build, the ready-built models are a great option as well. There is an array of fire features that are similar in the fire pit family such as fire bowls, walls, and columns. All serve similar purposes, but their different shapes and sizes bring a different feel and look to your outdoor spaces.
Fireplaces are one of the most conventional outdoor fire features since they have such a great output of heat, provide safety, and housekeeping is easily maintainable. One of the bigger qualities is that added touch for privacy. Can be used to obstruct views and give you that extra protection you want. With many of these fire features, fireplaces can be powered by natural gas, propane, or wood. A must-have for the outdoors since it does well in all weather conditions.
When you combine fashion and utilities, you get the best of both worlds. Fire tables are one of the most diverse and well-recognized fire features out there. Powered by gas adds an extra touch by having a small flame and warmth as you can feast around and set your things down. They come in various sizes; depending on their size, there is a range of options for placement for this distinctive outdoor fire feature.
A blaze coming from the ground is quite a spectacle to see. In-ground fire features bring an extra touch of class with their placement, layout, and design. Powered by an in-line burner and can be done in a number of designs such as linear for example. Reducing the risk of lighting overhanging plants or any combustible elements. Make sure to cover the pit when not in use to avoid any trip hazards or any damage from the weather.
Not an actual fire feature but carry similar qualities and share the same purpose. Torches can provide that extra touch that outdoor fire features can bring to the table.
What You Should Know About BTUs
The acronym BTU or British Thermal Unit is the measurement of the energy required to heat one pound of water by 1-degree Fahrenheit. Why should you care? Specifically pertaining to the sources of energy being used like natural gas, propane, and wood, it is a way to measure the heating and cooling for energy conversions.
With your outdoor spaces, it is important to know how many BTUs you will need; it’s key to know that the larger your area, the more BTUs you will need to either cool the area or provide heat. For example, a firepit can generate anywhere from 30,000 – 100,000 BTU.
Many factors can determine the output of BTUs; the mix of what is in the air, airflow, fuel used, and the pressure emitted.
For more information feel free to check out the EIA’s page on the basics of BTUs and BTU conversions.
Fire Features Design
Who would’ve thought that the little things in life could bring us so close to each other? The crackling sounds, the smoky smell, and more importantly the young flame continuously burns to not only give us warmth but gives us life in many ways.
The construction and the design of your outdoor fire feature shouldn’t be seen as just an accessory, but it should be just as important as the foundation of your home and the landscape that surrounds your areas.
You just won’t add this piece to add clutter into your outdoor spaces, but more importantly, this is something that brings more depth into your spaces. An essential that gives definition and value to your home. With that, we carry many years of experience with masonry work, construction, and the design of outdoor fire features. Check out below a few of the many designs we have created for our clients and their homes.
Questions and Considerations Before Installation
There are many questions when considering installing or operating your fire feature. Here are a few of the top considerations when it comes to asking questions or pondering any thoughts about outdoor fire features.
How important is the placement of my outdoor fire feature?
One of the bigger questions always asked. It depends on the size of your area and what you plan on setting up and utilizing it for. Some ideas that many have shaped their outdoor fire feature installs is to make their outside space like an extra room in a sense, a home for entertainment, or the main attraction to your outdoor spaces.
Continuing with the consideration of placement, make sure to plan accordingly the placement of the outdoor fire feature and on what surfaces. Coordinating with a designer and checking with a local building inspector can help how far you can place the fire feature from the house, and in certain areas to avoid any issues. This also can help with the size of the fire feature, determining how many you would host and such.
There are several types of surface material for the placement of the fire features. Depending on the project and the style, you can use anything from sand, tile, chip granite, concrete, and stone hardscapes.
What can I place around my areas for my installation?
One of the easiest things that give out noticeable detail is patio furniture, seats, lighting, pots and planters, and utilities that can be used to enjoy the fire features. You might even go an extra step and have a built-in feature like a seat wall to give that feeling that this experience isn’t moving away from here.
What is the preference over burning gas or fueling my fires with wood?
From the natural smell of campfire wood ablaze to the convenience of having fire just a button away, you would think the answer would be clear, right? There are many personal preferences and variables that can dictate what kind of fuel you are to use.
When using natural gas or propane, the flame tends to burn cleaner so the worry of having smoke in your face or the smell is out of the question. I mean you have the fire ready to ignite just a click away. The real concern arises when lines are installed, where they are placed, and if they follow city regulations. Specifically distance from the house, other flammable sources, and such. Otherwise, if you have something smaller, then that’s not so much of an issue.
When using wood over different types of gasses, there are a few pros to its use. As a natural energy source, you get a sensational cracking out of the wood, a real campfire-type vibe. It also gives you something to do as the fire starts to dim, you can always hack another log into the fire and watch it rise again. A few issues arise when the wood gets wet, otherwise, the moisture in the long won’t allow it to start. The maintenance of having to keep clear of soot and ash can be tedious, but for some, the old-fashioned way stands true.
Professional Design and Cost
Are you planning on enhancing your outdoor experience? Maybe installing a fire feature that houses 6-10 people? Or maybe you plan on having a throne with built-in everything to keep the company coming. Depending on your area, your budget, and a specific design style you may have in mind, it’s best to contact a landscape professional.
Our in-house design team carries the knowledge, tenacity, and experience needed to create your desired outdoor fire feature. Design is everything and, in many cases, the first step to figuring out the possibility of your outdoor creation. Our team will take you step by step and guide you every single step of the way. This way things are done the right way, just as they should.
We’re Here to Help
When you’re ready to install the outdoor fire feature of your dreams, we’ll be happy to help! As award-winning landscape designers in Colorado, we have decades of experience to bring out the best in your outdoor spaces. At EDI, the landscape design principles we follow help us create visually pleasing and creative designs for all of our clients. Contact us today to get started on your design or to learn more information about what we do and many of the other in-house services we provide.