Aiming to embrace outdoor living this summer and make the most of your garden? An outdoor fire can really help to make the garden the place to be after the sun goes down and the temperatures drop. Let’s face it, the cold is generally the first thing to chase us indoors! However, with so many options on the market it’s hard to know which one best suits your garden and lifestyle.
Read our handy guide to choosing a fire for your outdoor space.
Choose Your Purpose.
Do you simply want to keep warm or are you dreaming of toasting mallows? Are you creating an atmosphere, purchasing for heat or a bit of both? For many, you can’t sit or eat outside without the atmosphere of a real burning fire.
Both outdoor fireplaces and fire pits have the ability to create incredible ambiance and coziness for an outdoor space, and are a natural focal point around which the overall spatial design can revolve – but they do this in very different ways.
Clay chimineas tend to retain heat more than their cast iron alternative but an outdoor gas fire can be adjusted to suit your needs depending on the temperature without having a naked flame.
A fire pit whilst a beautiful feature isn’t for everyone. The picture-perfect idea of sitting around one, toasting marshmallows and sharing tales into the night takes planning and preparation. An outdoor gas fire simply needs switched on and requires little attention.
Installation, Style and Space.
Stylish clean lines or rustic charm? It’s essential before you start shopping to choose your style and work out how much space you have, this will help narrow down your search. The installation and associated costs of the different types of fire feature can also be very different.
For example, an outdoor fireplace unit, requires an enclosure or wall that will house it. This can take on a number of forms: a chimney-like structure, a wall that divides or encloses the space, or you can even just create a low box that is slightly larger than the firebox. You can create a mantel or a very minimal, flush enclosure. Whatever you do, you must ensure that the materials you use are weather and rot-proof in addition to meeting any combustible clearance requirements of the fireplace you select.
The costs associated with building an outdoor gas fireplace can include running a gas line and hooking up the fireplace (depending on the model), the cost of the fireplace burner itself, and the labour and materials for the aesthetic elements that you choose to build the fireplace out with.
Fire pits may also be quite involved in their construction if you opt to have one custom-built, but like outdoor fires, there are also many smaller, self-contained options available.
Choose Your Atmosphere
Any wood burning fire with an open flame will have your clothes smelling like a bonfire, metal fire pits or (the slightly less smoky) chiminea. For some people smoke can be an irritant if you sit too close to the fire, so many end up sitting further away and needing a blanket defeating the purpose. A gas fire, however, won’t give off any scent, just warmth.
Storage and Maintenance
A chiminea needs to be taken in during winter as they can crack with frost. Like any wood or multi-fuel fire, both fire pits and chimineas require regular maintenance and cleaning to ensure they are working efficiently.
Whilst some outdoor gas fires require you to connect the fire to a permanent gas connection, many have the option to connect to and house a gas bottle and as a result these fires are entirely portable. This ensures optimum enjoyment of your garden or patio when you require and the ability to easily wheel it into the shed or garage when the kids decide on a footy match in the back garden or you’re off on holiday.
Make More of Your Garden
Whatever style and design you opt for, an outdoor fire immediately adds atmosphere and appeal to any garden. Producing comfort radiating warmth meaning you can stay out much later making the most of your outdoor space.