With friends or family, enjoying the evening by an outdoor fire is always pleasant. Whether baking marshmallows, warming up on cooler evenings, or simply creating a cozy ambiance, outdoor fireplaces are as decorative as they are practical.
Are you interested in incorporating this element into your landscaping? Regulations and location are the first things to consider. You certainly wouldn’t want to burn down your trees or your house because you haven’t placed your fire pit in a safe place! You should also consider the fuel type of your outdoor fireplace ( propane, wood, or ethanol ). The desired effects and the degree of maintenance expected are all different from one fuel to another.
In short, to discover all the aspects to consider when setting up an outdoor fireplace, you are reading the right article!
Check the regulations for outdoor fireplaces
The regulations for outdoor fires are different from one municipality to another. It is important to check with yours before starting any installation of an outdoor fireplace. For example, in Sherbrooke, the outdoor fireplace must be positioned at least 6 meters from any building, 3 meters from any combustible such as trees or shrubs, and 6 meters from any flammable liquid. In addition, the structure of the fireplace must be made of stone, brick, or metal and equipped with a spark arrester.
Depending on the time of year, other restrictions may be issued to reduce the risk of fire, especially during dry spells.
The ideal location for your fire pit
To properly arrange your fireplace while harmonizing your terrace, the location of the outdoor fireplace is one of the first elements to look at. Would you like a fireplace on the terrace near the house to easily prolong the evening outside? Do you prefer a fireplace that is further from the house for a more intimate atmosphere? Depending on the mood you want to create, the location and size of the fireplace will make all the difference.
The size of your patio fire pit
Indeed, if you want to organize evenings with all your friends or family, opt for a larger fireplace. The location of your fireplace will also depend on its size of it. A small fireplace will find a place more easily on your land: balcony, poolside, terrace, etc. However, the arrangement of a larger hearth will have to be thought out in advance.
The shape of the hearth according to the material: stone, concrete, cast iron
Also, plan the shape of your outdoor fireplace. There are a host of shapes, not just square or round fire pits! The shape is usually given by the materials you will use. Many people choose stone or brick to build a traditional fire ring or a complete fireplace. Others opt for concrete to mold half-spheres. Also, steel fireplace models can be purchased at most hardware stores. However, this type of material tends to rust over the years if it is not made of stainless steel.
Fireplace fuel: propane, wood, or ethanol
Several types of fuel are available for your outdoor fireplace depending on your budget, your needs, and your expectations regarding its installation and maintenance.
Outdoor propane fireplace
A propane fireplace offers a very trendy and modern look; gemstones and glass crystals can be placed on top of the fire. Gas fireplaces, often outdoor table fireplaces, present a less imposing and more discreet look than wood-burning fireplaces. Be aware, however, that a trench must be dug on your land to install the gas line. Due to this professional installation, the cost is higher than the wood-burning fireplace. Alternatively, you can hide a small gas canister in a compartment of the propane fireplace.
Outdoor wood-burning fireplace
The wood-burning fireplace is reminiscent of camping evenings. The smell of smoke and the intense heat offer very natural and comforting aspects. In addition, you can easily use it all year round, both in summer to scare away mosquitoes and in winter to keep you warm. This type of fire pit is easier to install than the outdoor propane fire pit because there is no gas line to connect. On the other hand, the wood fireplace requires more maintenance. You will need to cut or buy the logs and empty the ashes regularly.
Outdoor ethanol fireplace
The ethanol fireplace resembles the outdoor propane fireplace in its style as well as in its installation. The only difference is that it is more environmentally friendly! Indeed, it is a gas of vegetable origin. It is, therefore, less polluting! In addition, just like the propane fireplace, it is a smokeless outdoor fireplace, which can become a significant advantage for those who cannot tolerate the smoke created by wood-burning fireplaces. However, it gives off less heat and light than the other two types of fireplaces. You will therefore use it more during the summer season.
The functions of the outdoor fireplace
As mentioned earlier, how you plan to use your fireplace will influence your decision. If you want to use your outdoor fireplace as a barbecue, choose a wood-burning fireplace. You can therefore grill and even smoke your food there. The wood fireplace also gives off much more heat than other types of fireplaces, so it can be used in winter.
If you are looking for a more modern look, an outdoor gas fireplace will be the perfect item to put on your terrace. It’s even the perfect fire pit to burn your marshmallows!
And There you go! Now that everything is said, you can make the right decision. Remember that it is important to check with your municipality to find out the rules in effect on outdoor fireplaces. With this information, you will be able to choose the most appropriate location for your outdoor fireplace, the type of fuel, and, by extension, the style of your fireplace.