CREATING A FIRE FEATURE IN YOUR OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE
For many Santa Clara County homeowners, their outdoor space is a place to gather family and friends and enjoy the beautiful weather. One feature that is gaining in popularity is adding a fire feature to an outdoor living area. Whether it’s a beautiful finished outdoor fireplace, or an open stone fire pit, adding a fire element to your outdoor space can keep your living area usable well into the night, and is a perfect amenity to keep your family enjoying the space during those chilly fall and winter night.
An outdoor fireplace or fire pit can be a significant functional element as well as a beautiful focal point in your outdoor design. Both have their own particular charm and which you choose entirely depends on your personal preference. Let’s look at some of the key differences between the two, along with some elements you’ll need to consider when planning your fire feature.
ADDING AN OUTDOOR FIREPLACE
There’s nothing quite as relaxing as cozying up to the fireplace with your family, or as romantic as spending time with your significant other watching the dancing flame under the open sky. A brick or stone fireplace has a beautiful, timeless rustic charm to it. Here are some reasons to consider a fireplace over a fire pit for your outdoor landscape.
• It creates an intimate environment to enjoy with family and friends
• It can create a stunning focal point by adding an element of elegance and drama to your outdoor living space.
• The fire is protected against the wind, so it’s great if you live in a windy area.
• You can add a stone oven or pizza oven converting it into something more functional.
• It’s a great option if you enjoy entertaining.
CONSIDERING A FIRE PIT IN YOUR LANDSCAPE DESIGN
Adding a fire pit to your outdoor space is a great idea! They’re easy to construct, affordable and offer an entirely different experience when compared to a formal outdoor fireplace. Here are some reasons to consider adding a fire pit to your outdoor space.
• It’s a great addition if you love to socialize. Group chairs around your fire pit and you can gather with friends and family, stay warm and have fun.
• It’s a permanent campfire right in your backyard. You can grill over it, roast marshmallows, and tell stories.
• Guests can sit all around a fire pit so there’s plenty of space. Unlike a fireplace, a fire pit offer360-degree views.
• Unfortunately, unlike a fireplace, a fire pit is open to the elements and may not be viable for year-round use.
SOME CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE YOU START…
Here in California air quality concerns and periodic burn bans can effect parts of our state. Some homeowners ask whether or not a fire pit is legal in California. The short answer is yes, but cities and municipalities do have different ordinance regarding their construction. That’s why working with a local professional hardscaping contractor is the best choice. They will be aware of any restrictions or codes regarding construction.
ALTERNATIVES TO WOOD BURNING FIRE PITS
In the event your locality doesn’t allow open wood burning fire pits, a great alternative is a propane or natural gas burning pit. They offer a more environmentally friendly fuel that burns cleaner and therefore are not typically affected by burn bans.
PLACING YOUR FIRE PIT OR OUTDOOR FIREPLACE ON YOUR PROPERTY
Another consideration is the size and placement of your fire pit or outdoor fireplace. Most communities require a minimum distance from your house and your neighbor’s property. Each city has different laws about where your fire pit or fireplace can be placed. Again, your local contractor will have knowledge of local codes.
WHAT IS THE BEST MATERIAL BRICK OR STONE?
The choice of materials depends on your aesthetic taste, style, and budget. Concrete bricks or pavers come in a variety of styles and colors that can be matched to your existing hardscaping. Concrete is also more temperature resistant than certain stone, which can be important if you choose to burn wood.
A fire pit or outdoor fireplace can be the focal point of your entire outdoor living space. Combining fire and water features like pools, fountains or waterfalls can create a spectacular feature in your landscape. Using creative materials can also enhance the look. Granite, marble or slate slabs can add a sense of elegance and luxury to your landscape. No matter what your creative vision, your professional hardscaping contractor can help you to create the outdoor fireplace or fire pit you’ve been dreaming of.
If you’re planning on adding a fire feature like a wood burning fire pit or freestanding outdoor fireplace to your Santa Clara County home, give the experts at Bayside Pavers a call at 1-866-287-2837. We can help you design the perfect fire feature to meet your family’s unique needs. Our knowledgeable team members are ready to help you create the outdoor living space you’ve been dreaming about!
If you’re in the San Francisco Bay area, our location in Concord, CA at 2455 Bates Ave, Ste K, services East Bay and South Bay homeowners. Our Santa Rosa, CA location at 1619 4th Street Ste 12 can help you with your North Bay hardscaping projects.