Do you want to enjoy your backyard in every season? Would you also like to add a stylish focal point, and extend your outdoor living space? This can all be accomplished with the addition of a fireplace or firepit.
There’s nothing quite like the cozy glow of an outdoor fire. Most people find them an irresistible gathering place to warm up on a chilly night and perhaps even roast a marshmallow or two.
Fireplaces and firepits are becoming more common features of outdoor living spaces. While traditionally made from brick or stone, today’s outdoor fireplaces and firepits come in a variety of materials, sizes and styles. There are also several different options available to fuel your fire, including wood, propane and gas.
Deciding between a fire pit and fireplace is an important decision when creating an outdoor room. While both extend the enjoyment of an outdoor living area, they have important differences that should be considered.
A fireplace provides a cozy setting for a small group. It lends romantic ambiance and encourages intimate conversation.
A fire pit is ideal for entertaining a larger group. It provides 360 degrees of enjoyment and a campfire-like environment. A fire pit is also low to the ground and won’t draw away from an amazing view.
If your property is affected by wind, an enclosed fireplace is preferable and can even serve as a windbreak to protect guests. While a fire pit is open and the flames can be more easily enjoyed, it will be difficult to light and enjoy in windy conditions.
If smoke makes it hard for you to enjoy a fire, or you feel nervous or unsafe around an open flame, a fireplace is preferable since it directs smoke up and away and is less likely to produce flying embers.
Consider the Location
The next thing you’ll need to do is select the perfect location. Many people choose to build directly adjacent to their home on a patio or deck. Others prefer a more distinct location, like a separate gathering area in another portion of the backyard.
An important thing to keep in mind is that wherever you locate your fireplace or firepit, you want to ensure that all bushes and overhanging branches are clear, and that there isn’t an abundance of dry grass nearby since ashes from the fire pit will tend to float upward.
Some factors that might influence your decision include the size of your outdoor living space, and whether it will be wood burning or powered by propane or natural gas. If you plan to fuel it with wood or propane, it can be located more or less anywhere outside.
Natural gas is usually fed from the home. This doesn’t mean that your fireplace will need to be located directly adjacent to the house, but the configuration of your gas line may be a limiting factor.
What’s Your Style?
Once you’ve chosen a location, it’s time to think about a style. There are many options, from a traditional brick façade to more elaborate stonework. Think about whether you want the style to be unique, or if you’d rather it match the overall aesthetic of your home and outdoor space.
Next, you’ll need to think about a design. Many homeowners choose a “built-in” style, attaching a fireplace to an outside wall of the home or another wall in the outdoor space. Others prefer a freestanding fireplace or firepit.
For either style, you’ll have a variety of material choices. Bricks, different types of stone, marble and even fire-resistant glass are some of the many options available.
Once you’ve decided on the type, location and style, you will be ready to build. If you’re struggling with any of these decisions, now is the time to get expert advice.
At Epling, every fireplace and firepit design is tailored to complement and enhance your outdoor environment and suit your individual needs. Call Epling to discuss the best options for your home, and you’ll be making s’mores before you know it!