An outdoor fireplace is both a focal point and a gathering place. Because of its function and beauty, it is a welcome addition to your landscape and outdoor kitchen in Kings Park, NY. Incorporating an outdoor fireplace need not be complicated, as long as you keep these few points in mind, and have the expertise of an Above All Masonry Design and Outdoor Living professional at hand:
Design and Material
An outdoor fireplace can be made to seamlessly blend with, or accent the style and surfaces of, your existing outdoor kitchen. The exterior of the fireplace can be made of many different kinds of material. Whether modern stacked stone, natural river stone, classic brick, contemporary concrete units, or even stucco for a classic southwestern look, your fireplace will be a reflection of the taste and style of your home and landscape. Typically outdoor fireplaces are rectangular in shape, but they can also be designed to be round, oval, or square, in order to fit into many different kinds of spaces. Additionally, there are many custom features, like decorative tiles, a custom mantle, or an extended hearth, that can be added to make your fireplace a unique addition to your outdoor kitchen.
A wood-burning fireplace puts out more heat and is less expensive to operate than gas, but it does require a chimney to burn adequately. A wood-burning outdoor fireplace creates a lot of smoke and so there are specific code regulations that must be abided by for the sake of safety. A gas-burning outdoor fireplace does not require a chimney, only adequate venting. A gas-burning outdoor fireplace does require a gas line that will need to be connected to the house. Thus, if your outdoor kitchen is located some distance away from the house, there may be potential restrictions. A professional will be able to determine which fuel option is best for your space.
Particular attention must be paid to safety and the prevention of fire hazards. An outdoor fireplace requires proper ventilation and shielding to prevent sparks from igniting. The fireplace cannot be placed under a roof or wall without an airway to provide ventilation for smoke. Thus, an outdoor fireplace can’t be placed just anywhere. The careful planning of a professional will ensure that your fireplace is safe and meeting all of the codes and regulations of your area while not compromising aesthetics.
Storage and Placement
A professional will make sure that there is adequate space for storing fire-related necessities before installing the fireplace. Space in close proximity to the fireplace should be reserved for the storage of wood or propane, a fire extinguisher, cleaning supplies, fire-tending tools, and cooking utensils. In addition to storage, a professional will pay close attention to placement. The outdoor fireplace should be placed in a dry spot that allows for proper drainage. Drainage is an important consideration when living in Kings Park, NY. Snow and ice can damage your hardscape and hardscape structures if a proper drainage system is not in place.
Size and Seating
Outdoor fireplaces come in a variety of sizes. Your local professional will help you to choose a size that is proportionate to your outdoor kitchen. An outdoor fireplace should not be so small that it looks misplaced, or so large that it takes away from the outdoor kitchen as a whole. Additionally, before installation and with the guidance of a professional, the seating arrangement must be considered. Is additional seating needed? Is there adequate space available for seating? If not, can seating be incorporated into the walls of the outdoor kitchen?