An Outdoor Fireplace for your long island Home
According to Houzz Landscaping and Garden Trends 2015 report, nearly half of all homeowners who are undertaking a landscape project are adding a fire feature. Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits create instant ambience for gatherings and make an excellent addition to an outdoor space.
Why have an outdoor fireplace?
The biggest advantage of a custom outdoor fireplace is that it can transform a day-use area into the perfect spot for convivial gatherings at night and therefore provide a way to extend the outdoor season. The bonus is that an outdoor fireplace allows homeowners to cook al fresco; this is mostly practical during the hot seasons when the idea of cooking or baking in a house doesn't seem so attractive. Lastly, it is impossible to ignore the aesthetic appeal that a custom outdoor fireplace can add to your backyard. Despite the fact that custom outdoor fireplaces can cost well into the thousands, the unique and upscale flair they add to the property is completely worth it.
Things to consider
Where do you plan to put your fireplace? The perfect spot for a fire feature is an area in which it doesn't obstruct views but rather highlights or complements a view - like a serene mountain. If that's not possible, a fire pit or fireplace can also be positioned as the focal point (the view!) for an outdoor living room - creating the center of activity. Naturally, the location of your fire feature should be conveniently accessible to other outdoor areas like a patio or a pool house. The closer (while keeping safety in mind) to other areas, the more you'll find you, your family, and friends using it.
The first point with the size of your fire pit or fireplace really depends on your property space and where the fire feature will be placed. Next, your typical group size as well your once-in-awhile group size should be considered. If you plan to entertain dozens of guests, you'll need an equally large outdoor fireplace with adequate room for guests to move around and sit nearby. Even if you plan on this larger gathering to occur less often or further out in time, you should always build for the future and consider how you'll accommodate these larger groups. This can be done with furnishings (e.g. placing pillows on built in seating to make the large seating area space feel more intimate) or use a combination of built in seating and space for additional seating when necessary.
There are a variety of options for fireplaces including stacked stone, brick, river stone, flagstone, concrete, and limestone. Obviously, each material has its pros and cons and it's is up to you and your designer to weigh out the trade-offs. Whereas brick lends a timeless appeal and is available in various colors and textures, rock materials also offer interesting color variations and textures that instantly add an earthy appeal to your outdoor space. Most importantly, the style should match the rest of the outdoor areas as well as your home's architecture.
4. Fuel: Wood-Burning Vs. Gas
Although a wood-burning fireplace creates a type of ambience that cannot always be matched by the gas-fueled alternative, wood-burning fireplaces are also notorious for producing too much smoke and posing a safety hazard. Here are some other key differences:
Pros- Doesn't need a gas line, adds instant ambience, puts off a lot of heat
Cons-Harder to build a fire, makes it harder to get a permit, need to cater for chimney, storage and safety issues
Pros- Safer than wood, easy to light, no smoke, no chimney needed
Cons-There's a need to run a gas line, doesn't produce much heat
So whether your home is in the dunes of Montauk or a rustic country barn in Amagansett, an outdoor fireplace is the perfect finishing touch. Make the most of your outdoors with fire features that add light and warmth to any social setting. And if you need help, contact us.