Even as the weather begins to turn a little cooler, there is no reason you have to abandon your backyard until spring. Installing a fire feature is a great way to brighten up your backyard and create an entertaining space that you can use year-round. Imagine roasting s’mores gathered around a warm fire, or even having a great space to host a tailgate, a backyard fire feature provides fantastic ambiance and the warm glow you need to keep your backyard entertaining year-round.
There are a lot of different styles, looks, and functionality when it comes to backyard fire amenity. The designers at the Ohio Valley Group are here to help you work through the pros and cons of different solutions, guaranteeing that you’ll end up with the perfect backyard fire area.
What are the different kinds of backyard fire features that I should consider?
When you think of backyard fire installments, the thing that probably first comes to mind is firepits. While firepits are the most common that you’ll find, there are also some other great options, including kitchens and fireplaces.
An outdoor kitchen can provide a fantastic entertaining space and include a grill, open flame, or other cooking surfaces. Many are constructed with full-service bars, granite countertops, dining areas, and even storage. If you are a fan of cooking over an open flame, an outdoor kitchen with a fire feature may be a great addition to your home.
Another often-overlooked option is an outdoor fireplace. Built into the side of your home or a stone wall on your patio, an outdoor fireplace with a great seating area is like bringing your living room to your backyard!
When it comes to firepits, there are a lot of different options as well. You can find portable models at your local hardware store, or you can choose a more permanent option built out of stone or metal. You can choose a square, round, or any shape in between. It’s important to consider how you want to use your fire pit in the early stages of design to make sure that the result suits your needs.
What design decision should I consider from the start?
Once you’ve chosen what kind of backyard fire feature you’d like to install, you get to make a bunch of fun decisions! You are on your way to creating a fun backyard entertaining space that will brighten up your evenings and warm up your spirits. As you start the process, you’ll need to answer several questions that will guide you smoothly through the process.
The very first thing you need to consider is the available space and what size and type of fire feature that space can safely accommodate. Standard fire pit sizes are usually between around 20” in diameter to around 45”. Once you decide on the size of the feature you want to install, you need to consider placement.
Most experts say the general rule of thumb for you to consider is to leave seven feet of space between any permanent fixtures you may have and your fire feature. Built-in features can be constructed closer, but really what you’re looking for is enough room for people to move around the fire feature safely.
What are my options when it comes to fuel?
Deciding on the type of fuel you want to use will also play a significant role in how your fire feature is designed.
The three most common types of fuel for a backyard fire feature are wood, natural gas, and propane. Each has its unique pros and cons.
There is nothing better than the smell of a wood-burning fire feature in the cool, crisp air. But, you’ll need to make sure there is plenty of space for the fire feature to ventilate properly, giving you plenty of space to stay out of the smoke if it gets windy. Wood-burning features require the most amount of cleaning, which is something else to keep in mind. You’ll need to regularly clean out the ash and other debris.
To install a natural gas fire feature, the primary requirement is that there be existing access to natural gas. Installing a natural gas feature will require running a gas line from your home to the feature. Among their benefits is the ability to control flame and heat, which makes them a great option if you only have a small area.
Propane gives you the most portable option. Unless it’s built-in, you can use a propane-fueled feature anywhere in your yard that is safe. One downside is that you’ll need to keep watch on your tanks so that they don’t run out in the middle of your party!
What is the first thing I should do if I’m considering adding a fire feature to my backyard?
That’s the easy part! Give us a call at the Ohio Valley Group. We’ll lead you through all the available options, and our designers will create a plan that will bring your backyard fire feature to life.