This fall, once again this year, fire features are all the rage! Everyone enjoys lengthening their ability to enjoy their out of door spaces, even when the weather turns colder.
Fire features can be as simple as a boulder outline for your Fire Features pit, or can be as elaborate as a custom outdoor fireplace with a built in kitchen and pergola as shown at left.
The fire feature that is right for you can be determined by several factors: Not every fire feature is right for every customer. There are several ways to determine which is right for your family:
1. What is your style? Do you live in a log home or in a more informal setting? A formal brick fireplace may not be right for you. In these applications I would use boulders, stacked stone or concrete block retaining wall units to create a fire pit for these outdoor rooms. The natural look of these materials will blend nicely in a natural setting, while still giving the style and function you desire. Of course, your fire pit can have some added 'luxery' amenities such as a gas starters, or even gas logs if you are not interested in using wood for fuel.
2. What will you use the space for? You will need to think about how this space is to be used. Will you use the fire feature year-round, or will you need more flexibility in the space? For example, a fire pit in the center of a new patio dictates how you will always use that space. If the fire pit is moved to the perimeter of the patio, however, it allows more flexibility in allowing for comfortable seating, or a table for dining in the space.
3. What is your budget? These fire features can vary widely in cost, based on the size, scope and material selection. The most economical fire feature is a free standing unit, which you can find at many home improvement stores. These also allow for the flexibility, as stated above, to change the space for different uses. The next most economical fire feature is the constructed fire pit. The cost of this feature is also dictated by the size of the fire pit and the materials selected. The most expensive of the options is the custom fire feature or fireplace. This again is determined by how large a fire feature will suit your needs and the ultimate material selected.
Check out some of my latest fire feature designs:
This first one illustrates a more informal design with the use of Belgard Weston Wall retaining wall units and caps for the fire pit. The patio is constructed of Belgard Dublin Cobble pavers.
This example is of a more formal, or traditional design. Here the fire feature resembles more of a traditional fireplace you would see in someones home. Here we used brick to match the house. The pavers are Belgard Cambridge Cobble with a mortared brick border.
Formal or Informal, you can find a fire feature this fall to meet your needs and your budget!
About the Author:
Lori Hawkins, RLA, ASLA has been a registered landscape architect and active in the landscape design/build industry for over 25 years. For additional inspiring project pictures, design ideas, or great garden gifts, take a look at these websites:
GARDEN ART AND GIFTS: WWW.TriadGarden.com