By melisa elkins. fire pits design. Published at Friday, November 10th, 2017 - 10:24:13 AM.
Wood vs. Gas burning Convenience - The advantage of gas is that you can have instant flames with no effort. There is no preparation required and best of all, nothing to clean up afterwards. Burning gas does not produce smoke so it is ideal for locations where this may be an issue. Unless you have gas lines to your fire pit you will have to change the gas tanks when empty but if you are burning wood then you will require a stockpile of logs. You will also have to build a fire before lighting it, keep it stoked, extinguish it and then finally clear out the ashes. More work perhaps, but for some people, the smell of burning wood, the sounds of a crackling fire and all the memories these evoke more than make up for it. Safety - Gas burning fire pits do not produce sparks or flying embers and have a flame which you can control. When you switch off a gas fire pit at the end of the evening you know the fire is completely extinguished. Wood burning fires require a bit more care and attention before retiring to bed with peace of mind. Many gas burning models come with glass or Pyrex shields. This safety feature not only helps protects those gathering around from the flames by creating a barrier it also reduces the effect the wind has on the flames. As for wood burning fire pits, use a safety screen to reduce sparks and embers and only use dry seasoned wood.
Maintenance - This depends on the material it is made from and the fuel it uses. Gas fire burners and valves must be cleaned regularly to avoid blockages by insect nests and dirt buildup. Although this is easy to do, its is advisable to get them inspected every so often by a professional. A well built wood burning fire pit should require very little maintenance over the years other than emptying it of ashes. If you are using it for cooking then additional cleaning may be required to remove build up of grease and residue. Some metal fire pits will require further maintenance to keep them rust free and looking their best. Using a weather resistant cover is a good idea to increase longevity. Aesthetics - Fire pits of any kind are an attractive addition to any back yard or patio. Gas fire places are great if you are leaning toward a more contemporary look. You can cover the burners with lava rocks, treated tumbled river rocks, fireplace logs or fire glass. Fire glass comes an amazing array of colours, it can provide the impact that takes your fire pit to a spectacular level. Ecological impact - Fire pits may be magical but there is not avoiding the fact that they are used more for pleasure than necessity. So if their ecological impact is important to you, choose natural gas and propane as they are clean burning. After all there is no doubt that wood smoke is a pollutant.
The build 1. The first task is to find a suitable location. This should be away from buildings and other flammable materials and vegetation. The area should be generally flat and well drained. 2. Next, sand or chalk should be used to make a visible impression of the pits shape on the ground enabling the pit to be excavated. The base of the pit should be made of at least 6 inches of concrete, or better still 6 inches of compacted hardcore with a further 6 inches of concrete on top. This would require a dig of about 18 inches. This should require nothing more than a spade. Important: If you intend to build the "fire pit wall" on a concrete base, then the pit diameter should be adjusted to allow for the additional width of the fire pit wall. This will save the need for a separate footing. 3. Once the fire pit base is complete and the concrete has set, it will be possible to build the fire pit wall. The wall will run around the perimeter of the fire pit and enclose it. This wall may be made of loose-laid stone or brick, or of mortar bonded masonry. If the latter is the case, then an additional mortar layer can be used to line the internal surface of the wall. In either case the stones or bricks should be staggered for stability and appearance. 4. Whilst this completes the main fire pit project, pavers, paving slabs, cobbles or brick sets can be used to create a clean and hard wearing surface around the fire pit. Additionally, a simple but attractive seating area can be built around the fire pit by using the same style of stones or bricks to make a basic flat topped bench.
The basic design The main functional feature of a fire pit is an excavated hole in the ground. This hole is usually circular and has a diameter of not less than 18 inches. Most fire pits will be between 2 and 3 feet in diameter and the base of the pit will be between 6 inches and one foot below the surrounding finished ground level. In order to make the fire pit more functional, more attractive and more versatile, a small wall is built around the perimeter of the pit. This enclosing wall will usually be between 12 to 18 inches high. It acts to contain the fire, tidy up the appearance and radiate and convect heat outwards from the fire pit. A more complete design also supplements the fire pit with some surrounding hard landscaping and masonry bench seating.
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