Many homeowners love to customize their homes. Whether it’s indoor or outside, people love to feel like their houses are more than just a building someone else designed. So, whether you start from scratch or you inherit your design from the previous owner, decorating your backyard is a key part of creating a “home” feel. One great way to do that is to build a gas fire pit. Here’s three things to consider when you want to build your own gas fire pit.
Choose your “style”
Along with the growth of information sharing over the Internet, ideas of different fire pits travel further. Adding to this craze of pictures and blogs are sites like Houzz.com, which is the home designer’s dream website. So take a look around at different sites and ask lots of questions in the comments to get an idea of what you like and don’t like.
Add up the costs
One “must-do” of any project is to project the cost of the whole project before you start. Breaking budget happens on far too many home projects, and gas fire pits are no different. If you’re building it yourself, make sure to factor in costs like pounds of fire glass, running a gas line to the location, hoses and valves, and labor costs. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of running the gas fire pit over time too! Your gas bill will certainly go up some, and then any maintenance on the fire pit could add up quickly. Using high quality materials will help offset some of this cost too.
Consider long-term plans
If you’re planning to or have a chance to move in the next two to three years, you may want to reconsider building a permanent fire pit. After putting in all the time, effort and thought into a permanent fire pit, moving away makes it that much harder to leave. Look for other options (like a fire table)that are portable if you think there is a chance you could move.
So should I build my own gas fire pit?
All things considered, gas fire pits are an enjoyable investment into your lifestyle and home’s value. There’s no smoke, no wood to chop or store, they are simple and if made correctly, very safe (because of the controlled fuel source). Your neighbors won’t hate you for starting a wildfire or smoking out their evening, and your kids will love roasting marshmallow in the summer. Consider these three factors and see if a gas fire pit is something you can add to your home!
Backyards are the best place to entertain a family or party of friends when the weather is nice. This is particularly true if the landscaping and decorations are inviting and well organized. A well, laid out and decorated backyard can seem bigger and more inviting than one that is relatively barren, although trees, grass and bushes can have their drawbacks.
By placing trees near the edges of property, you can disguise the fence lines, and make the yard appear as though it goes further than it does. Grass requires a significant amount of work, especially when compared to other ground covers. Bark chips and gravel are generally much easier to care for, and also are much cheaper to maintain. Lawns tend to use a lot of water, and are actually the most water-intensive need Americans have, on average. That is, more water is used for grass in the United States than anything else. Of course, this average is skewed a bit by golf courses and other large tracts of non-wild grass, but many homeowners wish to be water-conscious in their backyard designs.
One way to make grass drought-friendly is to keep it contained in strategic locations. Instead of a huge meadow that fills the entire yard, consider gravel or desert landscaping for most of the yard, and smaller patches of grass. A smaller patch of grass is not only easier to maintain but also will use far less water. If placed correctly, it will not seem much smaller than a fence-to-fence lawn.
Another way to spruce up a backyard and make it more inviting and enjoyable to relax in is to add a focal point such as a fire pit. Even a simple wood-burning pit can be a cozy place for party-goers to relax, but has a few drawbacks. One down side of a wood burning pit is the wood. Firewood must be purchased or harvested from a forest, and then split and stored before burning. It can be messy, and tending the fire can be annoying. Furthermore, wood fires can be smoky, especially if using wood harvested from a forest (which can be a little damp or dirty, both of which create smoke).
A cleaner, easier option for a fire pit is a gas burning fire table. Gas might sound sterile or uninviting at first, but a gas fire table, such as what is available at All Backyard Fun, will have fire proof glass beads that dissipate the gas between the burner and the open air. Because the gas emerges from the bowl of beads much more randomly than the controlled, steady flame from a propane burner, it creates that flickering effect so cherished by those who enjoy a wood burning fire. But, because the fire pit is gas powered, there is zero hassle and very little smoke. It’s the perfect addition to any backyard.
Gas fire tables are already a massive improvement in convenience compared to their wood-burning fire pit relatives, but did you know that you can convert an Oriflamme Gas Fire Table to natural gas? Natural gas has gained popularity in recent years due to the convenience and growing-availability of it. Grills, pools, hot tubs, spas and fireplaces can all be heated with natural gas, and now so can your favorite fire table. With a simple conversion piece, the Oriflamme is one of the easiest conversions to natural gas on the market.
Want to see how easy it really is? Watch this video to see!
We here at All Backyard Fun always recommend using a local gas professional to install and hook up your natural gas fire pit table. A professional will have the knowledge and expertise to help you hook up you fire table to natural gas.
Memorial Day weekend: The real beginning of summer.
The first official day of summer is the Summer Solstice (June 20th this year) according to scientists and calendars, but everyone else knows that summer begins Memorial Day weekend. Schools are getting out, it’s a long weekend and the weather is heating up. Parades, BBQ’s and parties all weekend long. Memorial Day weekend has come to symbolize that we are a summer-loving, fun time country. It’s a time to reflect on our freedoms given by troops, and to enjoy being with family and friends. One way I love to do this is by sitting around a fire pit in the backyard.
Backyards and summertime go together like warm days and ice cream, so to me having a backyard fire pit is like adding sprinkles on top to the summer days and nights. Summer can be the busiest time of the year, but also the most relaxing. The kids are out of school, vacations are underway and the days go by too fast. Relaxing in the backyard is a great way to slow the time down and enjoy it. We all have good memories of sitting around a fire pit roasting marshmallows and hot dogs, telling ghost stories and camping in the backyard in a tent. So this Memorial Day, kick off summer right by roasting a hot dog on the wood burning fire pit, enjoying the parades, and preparing for many more days just like it. After all, Memorial Day is the Official Unofficial beginning of summer.
When my fiance and I began to plan our wedding this Spring, I began to understand why little girls start dreaming up their weddings before elementary school; because of the massive amount of detail to the event. While I’m letting her handle all the finer points (like the difference between deep purple and plum color bridesmaid dresses) I have started to think of the other things people remember about weddings. Usually it’s not the color of the candles around the room or the table cloths, but things like the stories shared about the couple after the reception over a glass of wine. Since this is what I remember from weddings, I looked for something that could bring people together outside on the September night of our wedding.
I love being outside on a warm fall night with my fiancé, and that’s one of the reasons we picked a September date for our wedding. Having the reception at a place we could go outside was important to us, so we picked classic style club house overlooking the course. One thing I’m looking forward to having on the deck of the clubhouse is a gas fire table. The more I’ve looked into these particular fire tables, the more I’ve wanted one at our wedding reception. It looks classy but is a fun and interesting centerpiece for guests to mingle around after dinner. One idea we had for the fire pit is to set up some comfy chairs to sit around it in and then have a bag of marshmallows for the kids (or adults!) to roast over the flame.
Since we have 3 different colors for our wedding, we could mix in those colors into the fire glass on the table to add a personal touch for the evening. Another fun idea to do with the fire glass would be to spell out the date or our names in glass in the gas burner. One would be great to sit around with guests on a beautiful fall night. Since the deck on the clubhouse is larger, we could have a couple of different fire pits on the deck so more people could migrate outside. Since the fire pit would run on gas, no one will leave smelling like smoke or get dirty in the ashes. Anyone who has set up decorations at a wedding knows it could be a nightmare if it’s too complicated, but a fire table is so simple to set up we won’t waste any time while we decorate.
I would love to look back on our wedding and see photos of people mingling, laughing and relaxing on a beautiful fall night. My fiancé and I both hope to have a classic wedding that people we will remember for a long time, and will have had a full night of enjoyment. Gas fire pits would be an awesome addition to a wedding reception, something people will remember sitting around for years to come!
Using a fire element as an accent piece can be a difficult task if not thought of in advance. It is important when you are planning your space to be aware of the flow of traffic. Sometimes making your new fire pit table or fire pit the center of attention can break up the flow of traffic in way that isn’t necessarily ideal. If there are already elements in your yard, such as a pool, children’s playground equipment or other non moveable structures make sure to allow proper walking areas for guests and their children alike. For busy or over crowded areas, the placement of a fire element or feature such as a fire pit table should probably be best situated into a corner with low level seating or even set into the ground if possible. This will give the space a more intimate feel without having to build walls or structures around the area. It is also important to make sure that the structure around the fire pit table is 4 feet or higher to avoid a potentially dangerous situation for a young child. If there is a pool in the center of your yard, think of also incorporating the fire feature into a non-usable waterfall that flows into your pool. Keep your mind open to possibilities for building an outdoor space that involves several different features and you will have a result that is not only multifunctional but also dynamic in design.
Sometimes when planning out an outdoor space, there are too many options and not enough ground rules. When getting inspired remember to think about what may work for your space and only your space. The outdoors can have a dramatic effect on how we use the space. If your backyard is a total blank canvas and has no preset design elements, think of how you would like to use the space and what you would do most in the space. For example, if you are thinking that you will use it as a retreat like setting set up areas for reading, listening to music or simply relaxing. If you think that you may entertain, make sure to incorporate seating through the use of a traditional table and chairs or around a fire pit table. This will ensure that your guest will have a comfortable spot to rest when they enjoy your yard. On the other hand, if you have children and need a play area for them as well, build a sand plot inside a planter like shape along the wall of your fencing. This will prove to be a very flexible spot for when they grow, you can focus on growing that garden you always wanted. Whichever direction your design goes, make sure to think about the use of space beforehand. This will ensure that you and your guests will enjoy your new outdoor space now and hereafter.
When searching and shopping for fire pits, you may find yourself wondering if the process of installing a fire pit is something that can be turned into a “do it yourself” project or if the hiring of a professional is necessary. There are several aspects of installing a fire pit properly that can be quite complicated and may need the assistance of a professional, but with the right tools some fire pits can be made into a weekend project.
Please do NOT attempt to install any kind of gas fire pit by yourself. These kinds of fire pits are NOT good candidates for self-installation. Please consult the advice of a contractor or licensed professional.
Pre made wood burning or some propane fire pits typically come in pieces and may or may not have installation instructions. Before attempting any installation, please visit your local hardware or general supply store to review the instructions with a knowledgeable individual. This is not a project that is recommended to unskilled persons or first timers. Taking the instructions to your local store will give you another insight into the overall picture and process of installation. If afterwards, you and your trusted secondary handyman feel that the project is a viable candidate for self-installation, follow all directions, take necessary precautions and plan everything in advance. If the project is deemed as a professional install only, do NOT attempt to take on the project yourself. Many times hiring a professional can save you from injury and more.
Safety of you and your home is number one when attempting to install a fire pit into your outdoor space. The simplest and easiest way to avoid accidents is planning and taking precautions before, during and after the installation process. When starting installation, make sure you have all materials organized and review your layout for the pit itself. For example, if you are attempting to create a circular area for the fire pit, make sure that you leave yourself enough room around the outside radius for people to walk. That being said, place the seating far back enough for walking space and for a comfortable heat level. These are both areas where consulting with a professional could be very useful. They would be able to advise you as to how much area to measure, what the proper materials are to be used and more. The more you know about the installation process the better.
Ultimately, hiring a professional can ensure that the installation process of your new fire pit is done correctly without fail. With weekend projects, sometimes people can feel rushed or hurried by life’s other events. A contractor can be expensive at first, but can save you money in the long run, not to mention save you from a potentially exhausting weekend and should always been seen as an option for installation purposes.
There are many places where you can make the purchase of a fire pit table or other outdoor fire feature. If you are looking to make a purchase, it is always a good idea to price match stores and retailers and never be too shy to ask about price matching. Some stores may not be able to allow this feature, but don’t check those retailers off the list for good. Shipping costs and other fees may also be bargaining factors and could dramatically influence your decision to purchase with them.
First and foremost, before making any kind of purchase- planned or not- make sure that you know your product and have done plenty of research. Many people aren’t sure as to which style will suit their yards décor and soon find themselves buying most anything off the rack. Avoid this at all costs! Planning and mapping out your yard and making decisions on design, color scheme and more could help save you hundreds in the end. Research styles, designs and types of fire pits and fire pit tables before going ahead with a purchase will set you in the right direction. This is especially important when hiring a professional to install your new fire feature. If you aren’t prepared for the look and feel that you are wanting from your outdoor space, you may end up with a yard that is far from enjoyable and may reflect someone elses tastes or style.
In all, the purchase of even the most basic of fire pit table or fire pit can be from a variety of stores or online retailers, but make sure you read their return policies, pay attention to shipping and handling costs and compare quality of product. Just because it’s cheap in cost, doesn’t make it the best choice. You may pay later on for a purchase that wasn’t thought out and planned for in advance. Good, quality retailers stand behind their product and will provide adequate information about their inventory. Ask as many questions as you feel necessary to make the right purchase and always remember that your investment in your outdoor space is just as important as making a renovation in your home. You are, in reality, expanding your homes square footage by creating this outdoor area. Make the purchases count, go with a reputable, quality retailer, plan ahead without making impulse decisions and you will be sure to add immeasurable value to your homes overall appeal.
Building, remodeling and starting in on renovations can be haphazard to your sanity and your budget if not done correctly. When planning your renovations, think of what the overall budget is that you are working with and stick to it! The key is planning ahead, putting money aside and even afterwards, having an extra stash of money just in case things really get out of hand. You will thank yourself afterwards if you end up with more money in your pocket than what you had originally planned for.
One of the main things that should be thought of is the overall cost of the elements that you are choosing to put in your outdoor space. Elements such as fire pits or fire pit tables, for example, have a gigantic price range and finding one that fits your budget is important.
Most gas fire pits tend to be a better choice if you are budget conscience. Plus they also are less upkeep than traditional wood burning fire pits. That being said, if you aren’t planning on using your fire pit every week to every other week and only want to use it for special occasions, a wood burning fire pit might be a better choice. You only have to use wood once in a while and this can be a major cost saver in the long run.
Other elements such as fountains and small ponds also have a broad price range, but like the fire pits each model or kind is also going to have a set up keep that needs to be performed in order to maintain a good overall water quality, fish life period and more.
A good tip is to keep a list when shopping of all the prices that you see, whether it be in store or online. That way you can reflect on the pros and cons of each model and type of element. Taking these factors into consideration will nearly guarantee that the price will always be in balance with the quality and lifespan of your outdoor space’s elements and features.