18th November 2019

6 things you should know before getting a firepit

Having a firepit in the garden is certainly a growing trend! They can bring warmth and ambience to your evening outdoor party, where often it’s nice to sit around a burning fire and just chat. We also happen to think they make ideal additions to satellite decks!

Now is the time to start thinking ahead and put plans in place for any changes you’d like to make in your garden next spring. Outdoor living and kitchen spaces are big news in the garden world, and why not – who doesn’t love sitting outside with friends and family, creating special memories in the great outdoors?

Fire bowls, pits and spheres add a special kind of ambience to your outdoor space, turning it into a warm and inviting place that can be enjoyed all year round. If it’s cold and chilly outside, then all you need to do is stoke up the fire, serve out some hot chocolate and get cosy under blankets. We’re drawn to crackling flames, and you’ll be surprised at how everyone gravitates towards a firepit during garden parties or firework evenings.

We’ve included many a firepit in our treehouse designs, like the Escape To Narnia treehouse, Outdoor Living and The Hideout. Take a look at our helpful hints and tips for installing a firepit into your garden:

1. Be a good neighbour

Unless you live in an area with specific bylaws preventing fires, householders are generally free to have barbeques, firepits, and build bonfires on their own properties. If you live in a very rural area, then you shouldn’t encounter any problems with your neighbours, but if you have people living nearby, then you should think about how the smoke might affect them if you’re planning on using your firepit regularly.

While you’re enjoying your cosy outdoor marshmallow roasting session with the grandkids, the smoke might be causing problems for neighbours with open windows or asthma. We recommend speaking to those living nearby first. It should be relatively easy to convert it to either propane gas or natural gas by purchasing a gas kit if they are not overly enthusiastic. This will make your firepit smoke free, easier to clean and quicker to turn on.

2. Light up your garden in style!

A fantastic array of fire pit styles are available to choose from, whether you purchase a ready-made model or work with a craftsman to make one custom for your space. An excellent first step is to think about your garden’s style and explore designs that will complement the look and feel of your outdoor space. A chunky, modern fire pit might look a little out of place in a wild, country garden, for example. Next, consider how you might want to use your firepit.

You can find beautifully detailed firepits that double up as garden sculptures during the day, such as those from our friend Andy Gage at The Firepit Company. If you’d like the fire to warm you from your seat, aim for a lower fire pit. Do you want the flexibility of a portable model for parties? From a practical perspective, you want to quickly get the logs into your firepit and clean it out, so make sure you consider the size of the openings if you opt for a sphere.

3. Location, location, location

It goes without saying that you should try and avoid building fires close to buildings or boundary fences. Think about how smoke might drift into a neighbour’s property and position your firepit accordingly. If you’re planning to add built-in seating, keep a reasonable distance between the back wall of the seating area and the fire. Leave lots of room for both chairs and mobility so people can walk around the fire safely.

The biggest mistake that homeowners make is to fix seating too close to the fire pit and then realise how hot the flames can get without being able to move the seats back. You will want to make sure your fire pit is easily accessible from the main house, so you can head inside for drinks, jumpers or another pack of sausages!

4. Protect your patio (or decking)

Your deck or patio may get stained from the firepit, especially if you have a particularly porous stone paving such as sandstone. Try to look for a fire pit that has been treated to produce a rust patina finish, which hardens off after a few months of being exposed to the natural elements. The best approach is to protect the surface under your firepit with a heat shield, like decorative stones or pavers.

5. Keep everyone safe around flames

Everyone in the family must be taught the safe way to be around open flames. If you’ve got younger children around your firepit, keep the fire smaller as it is easier to control. Always clear any flammable debris from the vicinity before setting alight, such as fallen leaves or twigs. You’re likely to have a lot of this in the winter.

Never ever start your fire with petrol, a good old crumpled piece of newspaper will do just fine and ensures everyone keeps their eyebrows. It’s good practice to have a fire extinguisher close to hand, perhaps in the garden shed or just by the back door, incase things go wrong.

6. Maintenance and care

Don’t forget to empty out the ashes regularly, as they can be corrosive to the metal when wet. Wait for the embers and ashes to cool thoroughly first. Simply scoop out using a shovel and throw into your compost. Ash is rich in potassium, so your plants will love it, and it helps to keep rid of pests.

Bring a special feel to your garden with a spectacular firepit, which will turn your outdoor space into cosy and welcoming place that can be enjoyed in any season.

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