Articles & Adice
Fire elements, fire pits or fireplace.
Fire has a magnetic attraction for people and as gatherings continue on into the evening, you will find most of your family and guests huddled (close) in intimate conversations near the fire. Fire is a compelling effect and may be implemented into the design in a number of ways. Fire bowls, tiki torches and fire water combinations are possibilities. Fire pits and fireplaces are traditional favorites. The main difference between the two elements besides cost (10/1 roughly), is that fireplaces are large architectural elements in a design but tend to be more of a backdrop. Where as a fire pit is typically an element that people tend to surround and converse across. With that being said, fire pits can take up quite a bit of everyday space for an item of occasional use, so plan the location accordingly.
A fire pit with traditional lava rocks 4”-8” in size heats the best and the longer the pit is on the hotter the rock becomes. Colored glass and sand are often used in lieu of lava rocks. While the visual effect is attractive the heat generated or “held” is a bit less. Elevate the pit 12” for comfortable placement of your feet atop it while you sit adjacent to it.
Most heat on an outdoor fireplace is vented up and through the chimney. One must sit in close proximity to the fire to feel its warmth. When selecting a fireplace, strongly consider a raised hearth, thereby elevating the floor of the firebox to seat elevation. Sitting close to the fire atop a cushion on the hearth can be a completely different experience. The old fashion wood burning fireplace will burn considerably hotter than a natural gas burning (feaux fire). Design in a wood storage area in close proximity to enhance ease of use. There are many low cost prefabricated fireplaces for those who prefer an easier atmosphere to clean up after use.