Some of life’s best memories can come from sitting around a campfire with friends or family roasting marshmallows, telling stories, or enjoying the outdoor coziness in other ways. And one of the best ways to enjoy a cold winter night is to gather by the fireplace while the wind howls outside.
But you don’t have to pack the car full of camping gear or relegate yourself to the indoors to experience the benefits of a nice fire. Few things enhance enjoyment of a property the way an outdoor fireplace does, and few things add value to a property the way an outdoor fireplace does, too. With so many options available, though, it can be difficult to decide what fire feature is the right one for you, though.
So we hope this planning guide will help by asking some important questions that will get you moving in the right direction!
What will you use your fireplace for?
We’ve put this one first because it’s really the basis for everything else. What will the purpose of your fireplace be? An intimate backdrop for outdoor dinners? Enhancement for an outdoor entertainment area? A cozy spot for the family on cold nights? A way to stay comfy while you binge-watch your favorite show on the patio? Knowing the main use for your outdoor fireplace helps you answer the rest of the planning questions.
What size will you need?
Once you settle on the primary purpose of your outdoor fireplace, you’ll be able to figure out the size. If it’s mainly for ambiance, for example, you’ll probably just need a small fireplace. If you’re wanting it to warm up the family on chilly nights outside or to complement gatherings, then something larger is in order. You also don’t want the size to be disproportionate to the surroundings, which can make it look underwhelming or out of place.
How does it complement your home?
Similarly, you want the design of the fireplace to “fit” the design of your home. For instance, a brick fireplace goes nicely with a brick home. And if you actually want the fireplace to contrast with the existing design, you of course always have that option.
Do you want other features in your fireplace area?
Quite likely, you’ll want furniture or other features (a particularly lovely effect is adding a water feature to accentuate, or be accentuated by, the fireplace) to go with the fireplace in your outdoor living space. Planning all of that out in advance will help ensure that you have both the space and the budget for everything you want.
Wood-burning or gas-burning?
Unless local regulations leave you no choice, this is also a consequential decision
Many people love the crackling sounds and the pleasing scents of a wood fire. On the other hand, wood fires produce more smoke and present more of a fire hazard, you have to keep firewood stocked, chimneys are more subject to strict building codes, and the fireplaces require more cleaning.
Gas burns cleanly and doesn’t produce ashes, embers, and smoke. Chimneys are simpler and sometimes not even necessary. However, connecting to a gas line may affect where you can build the fireplace. Gas fireplaces also typically do not produce as much heat as wood fireplaces do, especially outside.
Professional Design and Construction by Landart Solutions
Once you have some basic answers to these questions, it’s time to consult a professional installer. Landart Solutions has been beautifying North Carolina homes for years now, and we’ll work with you every step of the day and do all of the work so that you can sit back and enjoy the results.
Looking for help from the pros, including our landscape architect to help you perfectly plan your fire feature? Contact us today!