Fire: it adds a nice warm glow to even the chilliest of fall evenings, but it also acts as a gathering spot around which friends and neighbors can huddle on a summer night. Roast marshmallows, tell stories, enjoy a cold drink: there are many things you can do around a fire feature. Getting warm is just one of the benefits!
Whether you use your fire feature for grilling food in the warm months or you just want to create some ambiance, the type of fire feature you choose says a lot about your lifestyle. Recessed fire pits are great for modern patios, preferably with no children running about. A stacked stone fireplace is a rustic, kid-friendly addition to any patio, or perhaps even a table-top four-unit pit that shows off your contemporary image.
You need a professional landscape construction and design firm behind you when determining which kind of fire feature is best for your yard. Here at Twelve Oaks Landscape, we can provide advice, take measurements, come up with a design and construct it — all under one roof for one affordable price. But determining what you want: outdoor fire pit or fireplace? That is the question. We’re here to help you.
There are many differences between fire pits and fireplaces. The one you choose will depend on how interactive you want to get and the purpose of your fire feature overall. If it’s for function, such as cooking outdoors, then a fireplace is the best bet. If it’s to gather around for recounting tales and roasting marshmallows, a backyard fire pit is the best choice. Here are some more differences:
From wood burning to gas models, you have many fueling options for your outdoor fire pit. Just like fireplaces, you have gas and propane fire pits for fuel efficiency and ease of use, along with wood burning fire pits that take longer to get going increase the ambiance. How you want to encase it is entirely up to you. Custom stone fire pits will give you the permanent, sturdy look you want that will last the test of time. Plus, you can choose from a variety of colors and styles of stone. These are dug into the ground, in a circular, rectangular or square design with a gravel bottom and natural stones around the perimeter. If you would rather a portable, free-standing unit, try a cast-iron fire pit with wheels that you can easily move out of the way when not in use.
Outdoor fireplaces can be built into your landscape and patio or they can be standalone models like chimineas. Outside fireplaces tend to be safer because they are enclosed within a structure so you don’t have to worry about smoldering ashes, wind gusts, and flying sparks. There are many materials to use in their construction, including stone, brick, steel, clay, cast iron and cast aluminum. Built-in fireplaces made of mortar and bricks or stone provide a study, permanent structure that can withstand Mother Nature for many years. A professional must build custom outdoor fireplaces, which increases the price but this is the best way to ensure a long life span for the unit.
Steel fireplaces are less expensive and lighter, usually available with a 360° see-through screen for easy viewing. Grills and charcoal options can be added so as to make outdoor cooking easy. Clay offers a rustic look at a more affordable price; however, it’s heavy and can’t stand up to the weather as well as other materials. Cast iron units are sturdy yet heavy, which means they’ll have to take up a permanent place on your patio. Cast aluminum is lighter and less expensive, better able to withstand the elements than its cousin, cast iron.
The way you fuel your fireplace can also differ. There are gas and propane fireplaces for fuel efficiency and ease of lighting, as well as wood burning fireplaces that take longer to cultivate but add more ambiance.
If you’ve been searching for the perfect way to bring everyone together in your backyard, look to our professionals to install a fire pit or fireplace. Contact us today at 256-997-9005. We are your trusted landscape construction and design firm throughout DeKalb County and surrounding areas.