Tag Archives: Central SC outdoor fireplaces and fire pits

Is a Fire Pit Right for You?

Is a fire pit right for youIf you would like to extend the use of your backyard into the colder months, a fire pit may be the answer. When considering having a fire pit installed, here are some thoughts to consider:

Choices – the major decisions you will need to make when designing a fire pit are:

  • Natural stone or manufactured block
  • Designed for wood fire or gas
  • Location as to where to put the fire pit, and what kind of surrounding area do you want
Central SC firepit with retaining wall

Central SC firepit integrated into a patio with retaining/seating wall.

Materials – A natural stone fire pit is beautiful. It can be the landmark of a beautiful outdoor living space and a great place to spend time with your friends and family. The color choices are unlimited, and every custom-made natural stone fire pit is unique. It is also an expensive option – think two to three thousand depending on size and location. Natural stone is likely to crack (or even explode) due to direct contact with heat. If you are going to invest in a natural stone wood-burning fire pit, we recommend using a fire-brick liner to keep the stones from getting excessively hot. If you make this kind of investment you want it done right so that it will last.

Manufactured block makes a nice fire pit at less than half the cost of natural stone. It’s not as artistic, but it is very functional and can be the site of many good times. Also today there are many styles of landscaping block to meet your tastes. These projects range from the do-it-yourself kits from Lowe’s or Home Depot for two hundred dollars to professionally designed and installed projects which can cost between seven hundred and one thousand, five hundred. A block fire pit doesn’t necessarily need a heat liner, though use of a metal ring or fire brick may reduce cracking or excessive drying out and thus extend the life of the block.

Central SC firepit in actionWood or Gas – A wood fire can be enchanting as well as warming. When considering wood for a fire pit the primary driver is the charm of a natural fire. Design considerations include ensuring that the bottom of the pit will drain when it rains, and determining where fire wood is going to be stored.

Gas compared to wood has many pro’s and con’s. Gas is easier to start and quicker to extinguish, has less smoke, takes less effort to tend, and there is no need to buy and store fire wood. Gas fire pits are less costly to design for drainage and have less need for fire brick liners. On the other hand, it may be more expensive to install depending on where gas lines have to be run. Also you will want to design the structure so that if something goes wrong with the lines or the ignition electronics, you can access the parts in need of repair. A wide variety of glass crystals and beads are available for gas fire pits to enhance the look of the finished product.

In the end, the choice between wood or gas comes down to what works best for you.

Columbia SC custom fire pits

If you are ready to ignite your outdoor living enjoyment with a custom fire pit contact Archadeck of Central SC to learn more about  placement, size, construction, costs and much more. Call us today for free consultation (803) 603 – 2160 or via email at
centralsc@archadeck.net

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

You can see more inspiring photos of outdoor fire pit and outdoor fireplace designs by visiting our outdoor fireplace and fire pit photo gallery located on our website.

Archadeck of Central SC chronicles the elements that go into creating a custom fire pit in your backyard

Archadeck of Central SC custom fire pit on slate patio

Our most recent fire pit addition is this stunning stone fire pit integrated into an existing patio in Columbia,SC.

Whether you prefer to entertain guests outdoors or you simply enjoy spending crisp evenings outside, outdoor fire pits are a stylish way to get that special kind of warmth that everyone can enjoy. The concept of the outdoor fire pit evolved from our love of the campfire. You probably fondly remember sitting around a campfire swapping ghost stories, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows as a child. That feeling and the emotions tied to our campfire memories are how today’s fire pits were born.

Along with enhancing outdoor enjoyment, a fire pit addition in most cases is much more economical than adding an outdoor fireplace. Depending on the materials, size and burning medium you choose for your fire pit (gas-burning pits are usually more expensive than wood-burning pits) your price tag could be a fraction of what an outdoor fireplace might cost. Archadeck of Central SC is giving you a peek into two popular types of fire pits and the costs and elements involved in each.

Archadeck of Central SC’s basic fire pits range in cost from about $750 to $1,000. These fire pits are either a kit that is built on site, or what is called “pre cast” fire pits, such as Belgard’s Country Manor fire pit. These fire pits make a beautiful and functional addition to enhance your outdoor living. These fire pits arrive via an all-inclusive kit that includes a metal fire ring, clay fire brick and even the stone dust needed for Archadeck of Central SC to install at your site.

As with every fire pit installation or custom construction, the area chosen for placement of the pit needs to include ample drainage. To ensure proper drainage is achieved, the site is dug out and the center is filled with gravel. 12″ to 18″ is a good height for most fire pits, so the hole will be dug out accordingly to be proportionate in diameter with these measurements. This step also entails adding the first course of fire brick into the ground. Proper fire pit installation requires that the area is lined with fire brick in order to keep the flames off the material chosen for the decorative outer face of the pit. Additional gravel is then added to the interior of the fire pit between the outer “face” and the fire brick within. When using a fire ring in the construction of a pit, we add gravel if the diameter of the ring doesn’t reach. The goal is to keep the fire a safe distance away from your hardscape material used on the exterior of the fire pit. This is for both safety and aesthetic reasons. Exposure to heat and flame can cause your hardscape to degrade over time, and some natural stone, such as river rock, contains moisture and can explode when in contact with heat.

Completed fire pit by Archadeck of Central SC in Columbia SC

Completed fire pit by Archadeck of Central SC in Columbia.

Instead of using a kit, Adding a custom fire pit is another option. Archadeck of Central SC’s custom fire pits range in cost from $2000 to $3000, and can be as fancy or conservative as you desire.  As with any fire pit installation, we always check with local and state fire codes to ensure your fire pit is built in accordance with these codes. Since a fire pit involves fire, rules for placement vary by area with some fire pits requiring a clearing of up to as much as 30 feet from any trees, overhangs and homes. Archadeck of Central SC always obtains all the necessary permits needed for each fire pit we build.

As location and placement are key to gaining the most benefit from your fire pit, we are quick to caution that we do not recommend wood-burning fire pits on a wood or composite deck for obvious safety reasons, as well as the risk of damage and melting from the sparks and heat associated with a wood-burning pit. If you are considering integrating your fire pit into one of these scenarios, it is best to discuss this with your builder as some gas-burning fire pits can be integrated into these settings safely.

We recently completed a beautiful custom fire pit addition here in Columbia, SC. The fire pit was integrated into the homeowner’s existing slate patio. We documented the construction in phases with pictures to outline the progression of the project from beginning to end.

Beginning the process a custom patio in Columbia SC

In order to accommodate the integration, we began by cutting a hole into the slate and digging down to the earth below.

Constructing a custom fire pit Archadeck of Central SC 2jpg

Once the area is excavated properly and to the correct measurements, a layer of gravel is added to ensure proper drainage of the pit. Fire brick is installed on top of the gravel.

Phases of building custom fire pit in Columbia SC

The interior of the fire pit is constructed using the same fire bricks that were laid into the bottom of the pit in the previous photo. A fire brick, firebrick, or refractory brick is a block of refractory ceramic material used in lining furnaces, kilns, fireboxes, and fire pits. A fire brick is built to withstand high temperatures and usually has a low thermal conductivity. Firebricks will not spall (break apart) under rapid temperature changes.

Central SC custom fire pit details

Notice the gap left between the fire brick layer and the regular brick that will serve as the base to which the stone is applied to the exterior of the fire pit. This gap ensures that the heat and flames will not compromise the decorative stone exterior or the slate edge.

Fire pit construction in Columbia SC

Fire pit prior to adding decorative exterior stone.

Columbia SC custom fire pits

Voila! The stunning finished project. This fire pit is finished using stack stone with a slate edge to match the slate of the existing patio.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

If you are ready to ignite your outdoor living enjoyment with a custom fire pit, contact Archadeck of Central SC to learn more about  placement, size, construction, costs and much more. Call us today for a free consultation (803) 603 – 2160
centralsc@archadeck.net

You can see more inspiring photos of outdoor fire pit and outdoor fireplace designs by visiting our outdoor fireplace and fire pit photo gallery located on our website.

A custom fire pit from Archadeck of Central SC enables you all the ambiance and allure of a fireplace at a fraction of the cost!

Outdoor Fire Pit

An outdoor fire pit makes the perfect “go to” destination in your backyard!

Walk up to any newsstand in America and peruse the outdoor living section. One of the first things you will probably notice when you open the glossy pages of your favorite outdoor living magazine is the popularity and allure of outdoor fire features. I am not making a pun when I state that “outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are hot”, because here in the Columbia area they are at the top of the outdoor living most-requested list!

According to a 2013 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects earlier this year, American homeowners are increasingly  interested in creating outdoor rooms for entertaining and relaxation on their properties. The survey also shows from all the categories polled, 97 percent of respondents rated fire pits and fireplaces as somewhat or very in-demand. The results of the poll are not surprising. As the economy begins to steadily improve homeowners are looking to invest in their property while maximizing the amount of enjoyable use of their outdoor spaces at the same time. Adding a fire feature to their outdoor living space is one of the best ways to get both.

outdoor fire pit aerial photo

Aerial photo of outdoor fire pit integrated into a low maintenence deck with built-in seating.

Choosing between a fire pit and fireplace is an important decision when creating an outdoor room. Both features extend the enjoyment of an outdoor living area by providing warmth, light, relaxation and ambiance. However, they have important differences that should be considered. Along with the number of people you are trying to accommodate, and the function you want to achieve with your fire feature, the amount you wish to invest is also an important consideration.

Columbia SC outdoor fireplaces

An outdoor fireplace can add rustic appeal to your outdoor room and serves as the perfect spot for freinds and family to gather.

A fireplace will create a cozy, romantic feeling & a fire pit will encourage storytelling, laughter and s’mores!

An outdoor fireplace will help anchor an outdoor living space such as an outdoor living or dining area. You also want to decide whether you want a fire feature where guests can surround the structure or cozy “up to” the feature. Fire pits become a gathering spot enabling more enjoyable open space within the backyard. A fire pit will not obscure the landscape because of its low profile. It has minimal impact on the landscape and allows you to still enjoy an unobstructed view of your plantings and trees. A fire pit will also serve as an open refuge for good times when used in conjunction with a deck or patio. Outdoor fireplaces serve as a dominant design feature even when not in use, and take up more linear space than that of a fire pit because more design components are involved. In order to make the best decision to fit your spatial needs and lifestyle it is important to be aware of the size demands of both a fire pit and fireplace.

The Fire Pit is the central element of this outdoor space

The Fire Pit is the central element of this outdoor space.

Outdoor fire pits evolved from our love of the campfire. You probably fondly remember sitting around a campfire swapping ghost stories, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows as a child. That feeling and the emotions tied to our campfire memories are how today’s fire pits were born. However, in modern outdoor room settings it is often too messy and unpredictable to have a wood-burning bonfire — not to mention illegal in most areas of the country. Along with enjoyment, adding a fire pit to your outdoor space is also more economical than adding an outdoor fireplace. Depending on the materials, size and burning medium you choose for your fire pit ( gas-burning pits are usually more expensive than wood-burning pits) your price tag could be half of what an outdoor fireplace would cost. This is a welcomed thought for homeowners wishing to create backyard bliss on a budget!

Timber Tech Composite Deck with Curved Bench and Fire pit

Timber Tech Composite Deck with Curved Bench and Fire pit.

If you are ready to ignite your outdoor living enjoyment with a custom fire pit, or outdoor fireplace addition, contact Archadeck of Central SC to learn more about  placement, size, construction, costs and much more. Call us today for free consultation (803) 603 – 2160
centralsc@archadeck.net

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

You can see more inspiring photos of outdoor fire pit and outdoor fireplace designs by visiting our outdoor fireplace and fire pit photo gallery located on our website.