The Winter Solstice has come and if you’re a stargazer, you know exactly what that means…that’s right the longest night of the year! On that date, the sun is above the horizon roughly nine hours and if you subtract twilight, the night is fully dark for almost twelve hours. Combine this lengthy darkness with a clear sky and the southern position of the sun, and a very large part of the constellation-filled night sky can be seen in just one night. What better place to enjoy Mother Nature’s complete holiday “twinkling light” display than in your own backyard while sitting around the warming flames of your custom fire feature?
One of our favorite aspects of winter is the stillness of the outdoors during this season. It almost beckons us to slow down and drink in our surroundings. With all of the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, decorating and other preparations during the day, our festively-adorned home becomes the evening rest stop in which to recuperate. At times, it can be a sensory overload with so many lights and the hum of technology from the TV, the stereo or the computer. Your outdoor living space is the perfect place to escape, and with the addition of an outdoor fire feature such as a fireplace or fire pit, you are sure to enjoy your Central South Carolina backyard even during the winter months. The flames of a fire feature are almost hypnotizing while sparking conversations for those gathered closely around it.
Whether you are custom designing a whole new outdoor living space or renovating your existing deck or patio, choosing between a fire pit and fireplace is an important decision. You should consider these two questions alongside the desired budget or investment you wish to maintain: What will be the main function of your fire feature and how many people do you wish to accommodate? As strong design focal points, both types of fire features generate an abundance of ambiance as well as light and warmth, but which is the higher priority for you…a design element to anchor your oudoor room with seating close by or a heat source in the round where many can gather and enjoy more of an open space? While an outdoor fireplace is a design feature as much as a heat source, a fire pit is more of a function feature choice; more people can fit around the fire pit at the same time than in front of a fireplace. In fact, a fire pit gives you more value, as it typically costs about half the price of an outdoor fireplace depending upon the materials, size and burning medium you select.
Heat resistant, waterproof material choices such as stone, concrete and brick may be combined in your custom-designed and built outdoor fire pit. Each of these materials has the capability of safely burning wood, gas or charcoal, making the fire pit suitable for cooking as well as heating. Unlike the “fire pit in a box” options at your local lawn and garden retail centers, your custom fire pit is essentially a permanent structure that is more durable and custom designed to complement your home’s architectural design without obstructing your views.
Imagine it’s the evening of the winter solstice, just after supper…the whole family heads outside for the best stargazing event of the year, each snuggled up in their own blanket with a mug of coffee or hot cocoa, ready to make family time memories. There’s nothing like the crackling of a fire of an outdoor fire pit for everyone to gather around to stay warm and cozy, while having the best seats in the “house” to view the constellations and maybe even wish upon a star. Or perhaps you’d like to skip the crowds of party goers or the heavy traffic this New Year’s Eve, and would prefer to ring in the New Year with your friends and family discussing the good times of the past year with hot toddies or cocktails around the fire. A friend of ours has a New Year’s Eve tradition in her family where each person makes a list of their top three New Year’s resolutions and their top three “negatives” of the past year. A few minutes before they ring in the New Year, everyone throws their “negatives” lists into the fire pit and then they each silently read their resolutions to themselves before they make their toasts and share hugs and kisses. She described this as a cleansing of the poor memories of the old year and a personal affirmation of their goals for the New Year.
No matter how you plan to utilize your fire pit or in which season, you can be confident in your investment in the enhancement of your outdoor living space. Extending the use of your backyard with a fire element, so you and your family can enjoy it year round, adds value and style not only to your property, but to your quality family time as well. Shared moments making s’mores, drinking coffee, telling ghost stories, reminiscing about good times, stargazing or just enjoying the stillness of winter and the mesmerizing flicker of the flames in your fire pit are all memories in the making, just waiting for you to begin.
If we have fanned the flames of your desire to add a fire feature to your existing outdoor living space or have sparked your interest for more information regarding the custom designing and building of a new outdoor living space with a fire feature for year-round enjoyment at your home, contact Archadeck of Central South Carolina to learn more about placement, size, construction, costs and much more. Contact us today for your free consultation at (803) 603-2160
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