Fire features are some of the most powerful features you can have in your garden. There’s something primeval about a large open fire as a gathering point for human activity. It goes beyond our memories of gathering around a campfire. The connection between an open fire and a gathering spot for us to commune, relax and get together with other people is written down in our genes.
This makes the fire pit or fireplace more than just the feature itself or the light and heat it spews out into the environment. A fire feature is a conversation pit, a fireplace is a living space for people to relax and unwind. It symbolizes that we are in a space where humans control the elements and we are safe from cold, from the darkness. It’s the ultimate symbol of a human using the elements for their own benefit.
Speaking of benefits, you can’t talk about fire features without mentioning how atmospheric they are. How their influence in a yard radiates out in the form of warm glowing light that turns even the smallest fire feature into a romantic or contemplative space that encourages us to slow down. Around a fire feature gone is the rhythm of life, the treadmill we create for ourselves with screens and electrical light. We are seduced by the dancing flames to go down a gear and recalibrate to be in rhythm with the fiery waves, and with that rhythm, we can also feel our mood change, to something more bearable, more humane, more natural.
So what do you need for such an oasis of light and atmosphere? We’ll fire pits come in different degrees of prefabrication. Some you can buy already assembled and you just hook up to your gas main and see them burn. Others require assembly and you need to assemble the pit, call a specialist to hook up the burner and get some fire covering separately, like fire glass to make your fire pit dazzle.
But the best fire features are those that you build from scratch because you can build on for cheap or order it to fit your exact specifications and visual appeal. While the number of options in terms of how a fire feature looks are unfathomable, and only limited by your imagination. Your specifications will limit your options quite a bit.
Here are some limits you should consider that will limit the type of fire feature you can install in your yard, deck or patio.
- Building codes. Check with your county officials and your gas company before considering anything else. She what are the legal possibilities and complete all the prerequisites before installing anything.
- Do you have a gas main? This is a simple issue, most homes have it, but if you live in a log cabin surrounded by trees, you’re probably better of with a log fire, which would look stunning with a heat resistant ring of dark ruby red fire pebbles all around it or some dark green Saffire glass.
- Fuel type, fuel logistics, and fuel costs, all go together, check with the manufacturer for an estimate on all your options and think about how much you plan to use it. Per minute of use, gas is by far the cheapest option usually, unless you live right next to a forest.
- Space, location, size and convenience. For the most part, this is probably the main criterium that will affect whether you get a small in table gas fire. Or in a ground fire pit or a large fireplace. Consider what is appropriate for your space, bigger is not better, especially with a radiant asset like a fire feature. Some notes, light drops out after 20 feet for anything smaller than a bonfire size flame. And smaller has a lot more character during the night because it doesn’t try to act as a discount Sun.
- Cost limitations. This is the second biggest consideration. A smart design will always look better than an expensive design. Check out our blog for more on how design magic can happen.
- Climate, theme, and taste. Some people really love the look of a fireplace. It’s ancestral. So do it, the concrete is the same, the finishing can make it work with your side wall and deck. Make it happen. Here’s a <<guide>> on just how versatile outdoor fireplaces can be. You can make it work with a little know how in any garden theme if you really want to.