The Appeal of an Outdoor Fireplace
If you are looking for a way to elevate your backyard living space, there is nothing quite like an outdoor fireplace or firepit. Fire features are hot right now- no pun intended- but they are also backyard fixtures with real staying power and lasting value. Whether you are imagining yourself roasting marshmallows with the kids or hosting an elegant outdoor dinner party, there are options to meet your needs and suit your style. In fact, once you decide you want to add a fire feature, your decisions are only just beginning! Let’s look at some outdoor fireplace ideas and ask some questions to help you narrow down the options that will work for you.
Fireplace or Firepit?
This is probably the factor you should narrow down first. There are great options in both categories, and it is up to you to determine which you prefer. What is the difference between a fireplace and a firepit? A firepit is designed to have seating all around it, and can be permanent or temporary. A fireplace, on the other hand, is a permanent structure, much like an indoor fireplace, and will typically have seating only on one side. There are different design options, however, and you can get a little bit creative with your fireplace. Still, it is a built-in, permanent feature.
How do you decide? Consider your unique needs. If you are hosting large gatherings, a fire pit is likely to accommodate more people. If your gatherings are small and formal, a fireplace is a better option. For homes with young children, a fire pit could be dangerous, and firepits also tend to be smoky. If you have safety concerns, want something to visual anchor one end of a space, or are very concerned about smoke, go for a fireplace. If you have a small budget or want something unobtrusive that doesn’t obstruct your view, a firepit may be a better bet.
Temporary or Permanent?
This, of course, only applies to firepits, as fireplaces are permanent. Some people prefer more of an outdoor furniture firepit that can be moved as desired. Others want a built-in, permanent fireplace, to enhance the back yard’s function and landscape design. Whichever you choose there are plenty of options available. Outdoor firepit ideas range from rustic to elegant, and some outdoor firepit table designs even incorporate features like colorful stones, decorative fire glass, or even water. You can purchase a firepit that is moveable, that you put into place and bring chairs over to put around it, or a permanent outdoor firepit set, with built-in seating. Firepits can be fueled with wood, but it is very popular to put a gas firepit outdoors, to avoid having to gather wood and deal with excess smoke. If you choose a permanent firepit with a permanent fuel source like gas, make sure to have it professionally installed to make sure it will be safe and last for years to come.
Pre-made or Custom Made?
Just as you can purchase a firepit or have one built to your specifications, an outdoor fireplace can be pre-fabricated or custom made. If you have the budget and want something custom made, you can have a fireplace custom built in just about any design you desire. You can choose the shape, materials, and features, to make it the fireplace of your dreams. If you are going to do that, you will probably need to design the hardscaping around it, as well as the mantel and backsplash.
If you don’t really need that level of customization, though, there are some beautiful prebuilt fireplaces available. This is a more cost-effective solution and can be more quickly installed. Additionally, you can talk to your design team about custom touches that will make even a prefab fireplace uniquely your own.
Outdoor Fire Features to Consider
There are a few other factors to take into consideration when you are building a backyard fireplace. First, how do you plan to fuel it? An outdoor wood burning fireplace offers a traditional look and cozy atmosphere, with the comforting sounds, smells, and look of a wood burning fire. However, you will have to keep a supply of firewood on hand to use it, and you’ll need to clean up every time you have a fire. Outdoor gas fireplaces are convenient, and you won’t have to worry about cinders or sparks. If you are planning for an outdoor patio fireplace, gas is probably a better option, because it won’t produce as much smoke or require the extent of ventilation needed by a wood burning fireplace. Of course, a gas fireplace requires gas lines, so if you are looking for a plug-and-go option, you might be better off with an outdoor electric fireplace.
Trust Outside Living Concepts with Your Outdoor Fireplace or Firepit
When you are ready to upgrade your backyard by installing a fire feature, call the experts at Outside Living Concepts. A luxury landscaping company in the Metropolitan Phoenix Area, Outside Living Concepts specializes in custom landscape designs and backyard remodeling, with the goal of providing an unprecedented level of customer service. We design and build with quality and value as our top priorities, and create spectacular outside living environments that serve as a natural extension of the home. By providing a resort-like feel, we create an outdoor living space we like to call the “Great Room,” and it often becomes the most used room in the home. We are dedicated to designing beautiful landscaping and hardscaping for families large and small, tailored to each family’s lifestyle. Not only does the finished product add value to your home, but the process is timely and fun because our crews are so talented, courteous, and dedicated to bringing to life one of your largest, most thoughtful, personal investments. For more information about our landscape design offerings, call 602-581-8225 or contact us through our website.