Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits in Garden Design
As the nights draw in and autumn turns to winter, many of us look at how we can extend the usability of out outdoor spaces and gardens. There will always be days and evenings amongst the gales and constant down pours when we can wrap up warm and enjoy still evenings or crisp sunny afternoons outside with the addition of an outdoor fireplace. As well as providing a visual focal point and stunning effect, an outdoor fireplace or fire pit will also help to keep you warm on chilly days or into summer evenings.
Not all outdoor fireplaces are equal. Some are great for flames and dramatic effect, some for heat and some for both. Here are some top tips for choosing a fire to suit your needs when designing your garden.
What do you need?Heat? dramatic flames? something to cook on? The type and availability of outdoor fireplaces has grown rapidly recently along with the types of fuel available to service outdoor fires. As garden designers we focus on two main criteria – Looks and practicality. Any outdoor fireplace has to look good wether or not it is in use. Secondly, if a client needs a low maintenance garden, why would they want a high maintenance fire? Adding another log to the fire is a romantic notion however carrying heavy logs to a roof terrace or cleaning ash from a wet fire bowl is not a preferred option when we explore other options available on the market.
Bio Ethanol traysMuch of the stunning impact of an outdoor fireplace comes from the structure as well as the actual fire. Bio-ethanol fire trays allow us to design a contemporary or traditional structure and place a suitably sized reservoir tray in the structure to provide a quick and easy solution for starting an outdoor fire with impact. The fuel is easy to top up and readily available. Downside? The flames will often take 15-20 minutes to fire up and actual heat given out is limited however this is a superb solution for hard to access areas and roof terraces.
Gas - Mains supplyAlthough this can be a costly way of installing an outdoor fire, a registered gas engineer can be brought in to provide a supply to give an instant flame and an instantly stunning visual flame that can be arranged in a bespoke hearth and fireplace with the option of low maintenance faux timber/logs or coals.
Gas - Bottled SupplyBottled gas will give good heat and a consistent flame across the fireplace. The design of the fireplace will need to allow to accommodate the gas bottle and often a space. Think about practically being able to move and exchange bottles in and out of the house where side return access is not available.
Traditional Log firepitsTraditional log fire pits or fire bowls are widely available as an affordable accessory to any garden design in a range of colours and finishes. These are also available in some cases to double up as a BBQ or cooking unit. Think about availability of logs, smoke output, time to achieve heat and if it will be practically possible to clean the ashes and debris from the fire.
Do you live in a smoke free/control zone?Most BBQ’s and outdoor fire appliances are exempt from smoke control zone rules however we would always advise checking with your local authority. As London works to clean up it’s act on air quality we all have a part to play and the Mayor of London is looking to update rules, fuels and appliances covered. We will carry out research for all proposed appliances in our garden designs.
Outdoor Fireplace Garden Design London
Our unique garden design service specialises in providing stunning bespoke solutions for London gardens and our experience covers every aspect of design and installation of outdoor fires, fireplaces, outdoor kitchens and landscaping. If you would like to work with us then please get in touch!