Home is where the hearth is

Create a cosy environment and enjoy more time outdoors. Fire tables, pits and fireplaces bring the campfire feeling home, providing a place to gather and relax.

Space and location

Available space will dictate a lot. Outdoor fireplaces need to be installed in an undercover area and are generally set into a wall. If you are thinking about a larger building or landscaping project that includes a covered patio, gazebo or an outdoor room, this is a good option.

A fireplace can be used to divide larger areas into smaller zones for dining and entertainment and, because it’s undercover, you’ll be able to enjoy it day or night and in all weather conditions.

For the most part fireplaces face in one direction, while fire tables and pits offer 360˚ seating – more like a campfire. Fire pits are generally more open to the elements, meaning you will not get much use in rainy weather but gathering around a fire pit or table is the perfect way to spend a winter’s evening, staying toasty warm while sharing a drink with friends and family.

Fire pits need plenty of room for seating, and you’ll need to make sure that the location is reasonably protected and appropriately distanced from the house, your neighbours and overhanging trees or shrubs.  You can also opt for a portable or built-in version, depending on the available space and budget.

Fuel facts

The next decision relates to fuel. A crackling wood fire may seem romantic, but not everyone wants to continually stoke the embers, deal with the smoke, or carry and stack a load of firewood in a suitable weatherproof space.

Gas burning fire pits, tables and fireplaces offer a low maintenance alternative. Aside from lighting and extinguishing instantly, using gas means you don’t have to worry about smoke and embers and there’s no messy ash to clean up. You won’t the crackle, but it’s also a lot less hassle.

What are you looking for?

There is something almost magical about fire and the way it draws us in. We’re attracted by the heat and by the mesmerising appeal of a flickering flame…and who doesn’t enjoy toasting a marshmallow or two?

Think about who’ll be sitting fireside and how much work they are willing to undertake to start it, keep it burning, safety extinguish and clean up afterwards. When budgeting, think realistically about the likely usage – it’s not worth spending a fortune to use it once or twice a year.

There are literally hundreds of options to choose from, so start looking at outdoor furniture stores and heating specialists to get an idea of the budget required. If you are thinking of heading down the custom-built path, check out some landscape architects, designers and builders, who can all offer advice and show you examples of their work.

Whichever option you decide on, creating a cosy outdoor space in the cooler months helps you make the most of your existing investment and gives family and friends a reason to gather around and spend time together…and what could be better than that?

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