Fire Pit Feature in a Landscape

Stone Fire PitThe element of fire is always an attractive feature to any back yard project.  Winters in Florida aren’t like winters up north, but we do have some chilly nights where a glass of wine with someone special by a fire can lead to a memorable moment in life.  Ahh… life is good.  Fire is that which gives light, warmth… and life!  Having a fire pit in the landscape design gives a sense of usable space to the area it is in.  Most people don’t even use their back yard until they add features which make the area more usable.  This one creates memories!

Adding Value to your Home

One great way to give someone a sense of value is to have something they want.  Most people go put in a swimming pool to a home that doesn’t have one.  This is not a wise investment, as a pool owner will tell you the experience is more hassle than pleasant.  Pools are high maintenance and the amount of maintenance far exceeds the actual usage.  Besides, the market is saturated with pool homes in every price range and in every neighborhood across the country!  Pools return very little on the investment and the cost to keep up with it never goes away!  Adding value to your home with a fire pit is much better of an investment, as the fire pit may need to be cleaned out once in a while.

Benefits of the Fire Pit

You don’t need chemicals or weekly service to keep it up.  You will use it for more than a a casual cold evening by the fire.  You can use it to burn identity sensitive documents privately in your own back yard.  If you have children, campfires make for fun times with the family and S’MORES are loved by all (and easily made by running inside to get a few things)!  I sold my home in 3 days on the market.  My real estate agent said the fire pit sealed the deal!  Although very happy, I wasn’t surprised at all… I loved that feature in my yard.  I had many great memories around it, and best of all… I get to keep them.  The first thing I did at my new home was mark the area my new fire pit was going to be placed.

 

my-new-fire-pit

My New Fire Pit

 

For more on Fire Pits, check out this article I wrote for Angie’s List here.

Fire Pits in the Landscape Design

The Element of Fire

Adding this awesome element of nature to your outdoor living space has many benefits. First, it is a great way to unwind from a stressful day. Fire has a mesmerizing effect on the spirit that is unexplainable. Just sit in front of it and see how long you can resist looking into its dancing flames! Next, ever had a need to thoroughly destroy old bank records or sensitive documents that if in the wrong hands can result in theft of your identity? Sure there are paper shredders, but good luck piecing together ashes! I would have to say the most valid reason to consider a fire pit in your landscape design would be this: Memories are made here.

Yes folks, fire pits are a gathering point at any outdoor function. If you had ever been to an outdoor party where a fire pit was in use, did you not see people gathered around it? The element of fire has been a gathering point for humans since man first discovered it. Fire is an element of life, like water, without it we couldn’t survive. It is easy to see why this would make a great focal point in any landscape design.

 

Fire Pits in the Landscape Design

Fire Pits come in all sizes and shapes. Some are made of concrete and stone, some are made of metal.

Metal though being strong may rust or corrode over time. Water is known to crack some metal ones when dousing them while they are hot. Stone and concrete pits can last for many years, but some stone materials will not take the extreme heat and may crack or split. If stone is being used to construct a pit, samples of the stone materials should be fire tested to make sure that it can take the heat. When in doubt, Lava Stone works well… and looks awesome!

Stone Fire Pit

The Element of Fire

Fire Pit Safety

No matter the size, shape or materials one thing they all have in common is that they contain the awesome force of nature we call “Fire”. To do that safely, a few things need to be kept in mind.

  • Never place a fire pit under tree canopies. – Heat raises far above the pit, so if there are tree limbs growing near the pit, prune them away so there isn’t a chance of setting the trees on fire.
  • Keep the fire inside the burn area. – The bigger the fire, the greater the potential of it getting out of control.
  • Never use gasoline to start a fire. – Gasoline fumes can build up and cause an explosion!
  • Always make sure your pit is at least 10 feet or more from a structure or flammable material storage. – Really? Do we need to explain why?
  • Always have a source of water close by and ready to use. – Fire can get out of control quickly, and may spread out of control while you run for the hose, so have it next to the pit and ready to go before you light the fire.
  • When not being attended, put the fire out. – Don’t just pour a little water on it and go to bed. A hot fire can smolder for hours and restart while you are asleep or away. Monitor the pit until the fire is completely out before walking away.
  • Always check with your local Fire Department for fire codes before installing a pit.

When it comes to fire safety, a little common sense goes a long way… it can even keep you, your loved ones and neighbors safe to enjoy many nights by the fire.

 

 

 

 

The Mesmerizing Effects of Fire.

The element of fire is a very powerful being. It has destroyed entire civilizations and built massive empires. Fire has a way of calming the mind and pulling you away from the stress of everyday living. Within human physiology, fire corresponds with energy which in turn accentuates your will, inspiration and creativity. To understand its attributes and respect its authority is the first step towards making the decision to include a fire feature in your xeriscape.

 

A fire pit is an ideal addition if it’s properly incorporated into your landscape design. You must consider the practicality of having one. Two questions you must ask yourself are: “Will it be put to use?” and “What for?”. You must decide if there is an appropriate place for it to be installed. You will want the aerial above to be free and clear of all trees and limbs so there is a place for the smoke to escape. Would you prefer your fire pit to be above or below ground? The amount of people you think you will entertain on an average will help you determine a suitable circumference and what kind of seating should be arranged.

 

As with pools and water features, if small children are a factor, a barricade should be constructed to endure the safety and well-being of all those involved. Domed screens are also an available product that is tasteful and functional. As always, be sure to check your local fire codes and if there are bans currently in place .

 

If you believe a fire pit is appropriate for your home, consider this: fire pits bring the family together to a place where new memories are created.  It is this quality that makes this landscape feature priceless!   Whether roasting marshmallows with loved ones or reading your favorite book in a dynamically relaxing environment, it will be useful and low-maintenance for the duration of it’s existence.