Today, Art of the Yard in Denver discusses having a fireplace vs fire pit, as a lot of our clients want to know what the best choice for their backyards is. Here, you will be able to see the differences, benefits, and drawbacks of each, so read on to learn more.
Fireplace vs Fire Pit: Safety Codes
Wood burning fireplaces produce a significant amount of smoke. Whereas gas fireplaces do not, and they do not even require a chimney. They do however require a gas line to be trenched, piped and connected to the house gas lines.
If you choose to go with a wood burning fireplace, building codes require the chimney height be 2 feet taller than adjacent structures. Both the flue and chimney must meet the dimensions needed for safety (downdraft cannot push smoke out of hearth), so be sure to consult a professional who knows the rules.
You may know already that in many Colorado counties, wood fire pits are not permitted. So, go with a gas fire pit to avoid any hassles. Just like a gas fireplace, a permanent gas fire pit feature will need a line trenched, piped, and connected to the house gas line.
Fireplace vs Fire Pit: Size
Your new outdoor fireplace can be custom built to any scale ranging from 3x2x4 feet all of the way up to 15x4x15 feet. However, you don’t want to overwhelm the space by installing too large a fireplace in too small of a backyard. So, consider the plans you have for it. Are you planning on entertaining guests or will it mostly be your family using it?
No matter what, the fireplace will become the focal point as we are all drawn to the light and warming effects of fire. Consider adding an extended hearth for additional seating. If you are planning to cook on the fireplace, extra storage for utensils and supplies will improve the utility. Also, adding a dining table and chairs will help bring the space together.
A custom fire pit, however, is much smaller and lower to the ground, so there is no real need to balance with the size of the yard. Basics guidelines include 18-20 inches tall if you plan to include seating and 12-14 inches tall if you want to be able to put your feet up on it.
Fireplace vs Fire Pit: Design
A new fireplace build is a permanent structure with a firebox containing the fire and a chimney ventilating the smoke. They can be nearly any shape or style you can imagine, as well as made of brick, stone, river rocks, flagstone, limestone, and concrete. Features such as a mantle, ironwork, extended hearth, tiles, fire screen, storage, fireplace tools and more can be included in your unique design.
A custom fire pit can be placed just about anywhere in your yard, as part of the terrace or patio or not. The interior must be lined with fireproof materials and grout for safety. They can be rectangular, square, oval or round and are usually covered with bricks, stone, tile, concrete, or stone. Building a ledge for seating is a popular design for fire pits as everyone will gather around as soon as it is lit up.
Now that you have a good idea about a choosing a fireplace vs fire pit, contact the trusted team of designers and contractors at Art of the Yard in Denver to get started on your unique backyard design.