Fireplaces and Fire Pits
Outdoor Fireplaces generally cost more, sometimes upwards of $10,000, although with a little help from your landscape designer, a beautiful outdoor fireplace can be assembled with modest effort for much less. Generally, fire pits are less costly than traditional outdoor fireplaces and custom-built ones can start as low at $1500.
Proper fire pit design will help you get the most warmth and beauty for your dollar; custom outdoor fireplaces are constructed to conserve warmth around their perimeter. Walls and masonry should be placed close by to absorb heat and gently radiate it back on people enjoying the fire pit.
Your outdoor fireplace must meet local codes, and these usually specify firebricks made to withstand the high heat of outdoor fireplaces. Safe design and ventilation are crucial, especially if your outdoor fireplace shares your home’s exterior wall.
Design and décor may include tiles, concrete, or stone façade elements, stucco or brick. If your landscape plans include a pool or spa, locate your fireplace or fire pit close by, so guests and family members can use both and stay warm on cold afternoons.
Fire pits can burn propane, natural gas, or wood, depending on your preference, but size and heat output will vary. Your climate, foliage and available space will help determine which type of fuel will work best. Here are a few fireplace-planning tips.
- Make sure your fire pit is placed away from structures or other fire hazards.
- Fireplaces and fire pits should harmonize with existing landscaping and architecture.
- Design for utility so your fire pit can also serve as your barbecue, social setting, and an effective outside light source.
- Fire pit elements should be sturdy and weather resistant and design should consider how weather and prevailing winds might affect enjoyment of the surrounding space.
- Make sure gas fittings, cleaning handles and other maintenance items are fully accessible, not buried in concrete that requires a jackhammer to replace.
- Locate fire pits or fireplaces where they can be seen from your living room.
- Include outdoor water, gas and electrical stub-out in your home and landscape design plan, for easier hookup later.
- Masonry fireplaces are heavy, so include a solid foundation for large outdoor fireplaces, particularly in seismic areas.
Air quality is an increasing concern in many parts of the Valley, particularly where winter weather inversions can make fireplace smoke a major pollutant source. Check with your city and county about outdoor fireplace rules but don’t be discouraged if traditional wood fireplaces are outlawed; low-emission type closed system fireplaces that meet most urban emission laws are now available for outdoor use. Here are a few different outdoor fireplace types and themes:
–Integrated fireplaces can be part of the design of your new custom home, whether attached or freestanding. Designed in to an exterior wall, an integrated fireplace is close enough to your patio entrance for a quick trip inside on cold nights; plus, you will find that using the exterior wall provides a great windbreak.
–In-ground fire pits. These features are usually made of block or stucco and constructed in the center of a small circular enclosure. Seats may be designed into a low circular wall to add privacy, while conserving heat. Gas percolators are often buried in this type of fire pit, allowing the gas to percolate up through sand or lava rock and burn at the surface. In-ground fire pits usually provide more even, less intense heat.
–Masonry fire pits and fireplaces lend a woodsy, traditional charm to your home. Slate, river rock and designed concrete façade elements capture the flavor and tradition you’re looking for, without the high cost of real rock.
Stand-alone fire pits occupy center stage in your landscape design and should be used where they won’t overwhelm your outdoor spaces. Increasingly popular are large stucco, beehive type fire pits, which are excellent for wood fires because they conduct smoke up and away from you and your guests. No matter what you decide for your fire pit, the craftsmen at Outdoor Design Creations can build it.
Call today for a free estimate and design consult and start enjoying your outdoor fireplaces right away
Note, per the Arizona Register of Contractors we must state “we are not a licensed contractor”, we are a “Design Consultant”. With over 4000+ jobs completed as a direct contractor we always have past and current clients for references. Our job as a consult is to meet with our clients, help our clients find the best product/price for their budget and bring the right installer to the project. You as the client always have the option to choose whomever you want do the installation, and we as the “Design Consultant” will always guarantee your satisfaction. Please ask your Design Consultant for any additional clarification of this policy.