If you're looking for a great way to spice up your backyard, adding a fire feature is the perfect way to do it. But, if you're going to spend the time, money, and effort to invest in something fiery for your own yard, you'll want to ensure that it gets a lot of use. Here are 4 tips for making sure everyone gets outside and enjoys your fire feature.
Cover It. If your weather varies from spring through winter, you may find that you use the outdoor entertainment spaces only occasionally for most of the year. One trick to avoid this problem is to place your fire pit, fireplace, or gas fire pit table under a solid roof. Protecting the space from the elements allows you to use it during the cold of winter and the heat of summer afternoons. If bluster and wind are your problem during the spring or fall months, you may want to add a temporary side protection such as clear vinyl panels, dwarf trees in containers, or decorative acrylic panels.
Keep It Close. It's a handy rule of thumb that the closer you place the fire to your home, the more it will be used. Look for a point that's easily accessible from an interior room with a similar purpose (such as an outdoor dining room adjacent to the inside kitchen) for the best flow. If you can't place the fire feature close to the house's exit point, be sure you build a wide and well-lit walkway leading directly to it.
Change Elevations. If you want to build a fire pit that really wows your guests, try adjusting the height of the fire itself. Since most fire pits are around "knee level" with guests, installing one that's higher or lower can change the entire atmosphere of the entertainment area. Try a built-in fire pit that's sunk into the ground itself. Or, how about a fire table that raises the fire to eye level while your guests enjoy an evening meal outside? Either way, it gives new life to an old idea.
Keep It Center. Design your outdoor room around the fire feature for the best use of it. By making it a central -- and regular -- part of your entertaining or relaxing routine, you'll ensure better use of it. If you're using a fireplace, for example, place it where it will be prominently seen as you exit the house. Surround the fire pit with comfy, inviting furniture. Or, use a fire table as the center of your outdoor kitchen, dining room, or bar.
Whatever type of fire feature you want to use in your hardscaping, following these few tips will help you create one that everyone will love no matter what time of day or season.