No matter which part of the country you live in there is no denying the allure of autumn. It is true that here in Austin our close proximity to the gulf makes us a spot filled with year round warmth, with spring and fall being hard to even tell apart. Our mild autumn temperatures however, still provide evenings filled with a “nip” in the air perfect for enjoying hot apple cider and telling ghost stories by the fire. To some residents fall is all about pumpkins and pine cones, Archadeck of Austin is changing those notions by creating a new tradition for many homeowners with the addition of an outdoor fireplace or fire pit to add sizzle to the season.
Outdoor fire features can enhance your outdoor enjoyment year round. The season of fall in itself exudes a sense of warmth and coziness that makes the perfect backdrop for outdoor living by the crackle of a fire. Can you imagine being able to roast marshmallows or melt s’mores in your own backyard on Halloween night? The entertaining opportunities and added function these features can add to your backyard are endless.
Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits not only increase the function of your outdoor space they can also anchor the look of your entire outdoor living space. By using dramatic mediums such as stone and various hardscape materials they are destined to make a bold statement in any outdoor setting. Whether you are planning to weave your fireplace or fire pit into an existing outdoor space, or start from scratch and use it as the glue that holds your new design together, adding a fire element is a solid choice.
A continued trend in fireplaces and fire pits is inclusion within a myriad of outdoor living combinations. Adding an outdoor fireplace to your covered patio, or covered porch can enhance your outdoor living experience and create a perfect gathering spot for friends and family. With that same comforting ambiance in mind, a fire pit integrated into your patio can also help set the mood while your patio is in use.
Archadeck of Austin can also ensure your new “hot” spot is packed with convenience as well. We can custom design your outdoor fireplace to include mantels, raised hearths, fire boxes for storing wood and even a recessed niche’ above the mantel perfect for hanging a TV. Our custom fire pit design options include built- in seating walls that make a great spot to sit and enjoy the firelight. Some of our fire pits can even double as a fountain or planter when not being used as a fire pit delivering diverse elements and options from one season to the next.
No matter which of these choices lights your fire, we can help make an outdoor fire element a reality in your backyard. We have many styles, shapes, and material options to choose from. Contact Archadeck of Austin to learn more about adding a little a little spark to your outdoor living season to beautiful season. Call us for a free consultation (512) 259 – 8282
See more outdoor fireplace and fire pit designs by visiting our outdoor fireplace and fire pits gallery located on our website.
Have you ever looked at your home and wished you could purchase adjoining acreage just to add on a playroom, living room other space to your existing home? Why not think about your ideal living space in a broader sense. The fact is there is a plethora of living enjoyment area right outside your back door that can be utilized more efficiently than an interior addition.
Living space doesn’t necessarily have to mean “interior” living space. There are a multitude of outdoor living structures that lend themselves to dining, entertaining, relaxing, and play. Today’s outdoor structure designs can be outfitted with all the same amenities an interior addition to your home can offer, and in some cases even more. Here are some ideas that will inspire you…
The covered patio or porch
Covered patios keep you cool on hot days, and offer protection from the elements as well. They can be constructed from a vast array of materials such as wood, brick, stone and other hardscape material. Covered patios can be attached to your home or your deck, or can even be used as a freestanding structure within the landscape. Covered patios can also be situated beside your pool for a cabana style covered patio. Covered patios can be wired to accommodate ceilings fans, sound systems, computers, telephone, and even flat screen TV’s. Patio covers can include built-in fireplaces and even contain fully functional outdoor kitchens with all the fixings. These include refrigeration, sinks, food preparation areas, warming drawers, microwave, smokers, and grills. You name it, we can include it into the design of your patio cover. If you are looking for the perfect place to watch the game, and prepare a feast for your guests all while watching the kids play, the covered patio is an all-around best outdoor structure. An outdoor living room with mother nature as the backdrop.
The screen porch
The screened porch is another way to utilize all the amenities of an outdoor living room, minus the insects. Here in Texas, the warm temperatures will give you the benefit of year-round enjoyment of your screen porch. We also refer to these as sun porches and they make a perfect spot to relax and rewind. The beauty of a screened porch is that you get the pleasure of the outdoors without actually being outdoors. A screen porch offers an extension of outdoor as well as indoor living space.
Multi-structure outdoors living areas
We are starting to see a trend in multi-structure outdoor living areas. These are outdoor living areas that contain the works. These can include open patios, outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, pergolas, outdoor kitchens and decks all in one. This offers homeowners the ultimate in luxury and convenience, not to mention adding to your home’s value. Our multi-structure designs are planned to compliment each structure as it flows together. Instead of getting an outdoor room, you are actually getting an outdoor paradise where each outdoor room or area caters to a specific function but also harmonizes with the other elements within the entire design. Imagine having an area right outside your back door where you can dine, cook, read a book, roast marshmallows, listen to the crackle of the fire on those cool Texas nights, entertain, or just enjoy the fresh air.
See more awe-inspiring outdoor living rooms by visiting our outdoor spaces photo gallery located on our website. For more ideas on covered porches and covered patios you can visit our covered porch gallery, and our covered patio gallery, also located on our website.
When you close your eyes at night to dream does your mind take you to a place where you can hear the crackle and feel the warmth of the fire amid comforting images of roasting marshmallows and relaxing with family and friends? Then chances are you are dreaming of your own outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Homeowners are taking their backyards to a new level by adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Owning one of these glorious feast for the eyes and the senses has become the crown jewel of outdoor structures. Being able to entertain, or just “hang out” with the element of fire close at hand takes being outdoors to a place where all your senses come into play, and the result is as unforgettable as some of the outdoor fireplace and fire pit designs that come to us in our dreams.
Deciding to add an outdoor fireplace or fire pit to your backyard, or in addition to your existing outdoor structure can be a big step for many homeowners. Archadeck of Austin has been in the business of creating award-winning outdoor fireplaces and fire pits for our customers here in Austin, TX for many years now, and we know a thing or two about the correct way to ignite quality and style into the construction of your outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Here are some of the important considerations to think about when deciding to add one of these stunning structures to your life.
Light my Fire?
There is more than one method to obtaining fire in your outdoor fireplace or fire pit. There is of course, the traditional wood-burning structure that we are all familiar with. When considering a wood burning structure the dimensions of the fireplace itself are important. The smallest capable wood burning fireplace can be built no smaller than 5×8 and has to be at least 2-3 feet deep in order to function properly.
Outdoor fire structures can also be lit by gas through a gas started system or full burning gas log kits. In either case the “draw” needs to be correct on a fireplace or fire pit, and this can only be achieved by having a professional outdoor fireplace contractor build the structure for you. Improper drawing on a structure such as this can be dangerous and cause a safety hazard, so the chimney itself has to be designed and constructed properly to achieve an appropriate draw.
When considering the design mediums that outdoor fireplaces and fire pits can be built with, typically the wood burning structures are either masonry or stone. Archadeck of Austin uses a great deal of flagstone for our outdoor fireplace and fire pit designs, it looks the part and is a high quality stone that functions well with the fireplace itself. The main aspect when looking at material choices is that they are acceptable for use on a fire structure and that they hold up well under the conditions. Flagstone is strong, beautiful, and can take the heat well and will look gorgeous for many years to come.
Another design consideration is whether to embellish or add anything to the structure. Some homeowners add mantles which can serve as a focal point for your structure. We place the mantle 12″-18″ above so it is not flush with the grade therefore the heat can radiate at a similar level. Mantles provide more aesthetic appeal in form than in function and aren’t really used much. However, fireboxes are a useful addition to your structure. You don’t want the firebox area to be too large, but large enough to hold wood or other essentials. If you are thinking of integrating the firebox into the structure itself, it will have to comply to building codes and be built within certain dimensions.
Fireplaces and fire pits match to a T
As any seasoned outdoor fireplace designer can tell you, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are the perfect companion to other outdoor structures. They look great built with and alongside covered or uncovered patios, covered porches, pergolas, and even screened porches. It is not just about beauty though, functionality plays a key role in the attraction. Being able to enjoy an outdoor fireplace or fire pit in conjunction with your outdoor structure adds ambiance and fun beyond comparison. There are certain codes and rules associated with building a fireplace in and around another structure that require the chimney and flue stack be a certain elevation higher and a certain distance from surrounding walls, especially where a wood structure is concerned for the risk of heat build-up. In these cases wood will have to be a certain distance away from the structures internal flue. Each state and county has certain criteria to follow for safety reasons and your outdoor fireplace contractor will see that these guideline are met accordingly.
Archadeck of Austin can make your dreams of fireplaces and fire pits come true. We construct dozens of these structures a year. They are not only stunning, but they are a structure the whole family can enjoy. Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits can add value to your home and your life. Here is a video that showcases some of our fireplace and fire pit creations…
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Guest post by Marc Mommsen
Outdoor fireplaces are becoming more and more popular. You might think they are the fad of the moment but the homeowners who we’ve built outdoor fireplaces for tell me it’s the best investment they ever made. Sure there is some novelty. Your friends will be very interested, or even anxious, to share a meal, glass of wine, or a board game on the patio where your outdoor fireplace stands.
They’ll want to see if it throws heat or if the heat gets lost in the cooler air that spans the distance. They’ll want to see how clearly they can hear the crackle of the flames while socializing. Like an indoor fireplace, the amount of heat felt is easily adjusted by moving closer or farther away from the fireplace. And, like an indoor fireplace, the sound of the crackle of the fire can be heard more easily when other noises are reduced.
But the feature of the outdoor fireplace that needs to be experienced for full appreciation is the sense of “romance” that a crackling outdoor fireplace creates. Think about your first camping trip and the feeling of sitting around a fire and smelling the sweet aroma of burning firewood through the cool night breeze. Think about the first time you sat in front of a fireplace with a date. The magic is magnified with the romance of a burning fire in a fireplace.
The design decisions you will want to consider are the material, size, and adjacent area. Your outdoor fireplace needs to be built with a fire safe material – concrete, stone or brick. We can build using a combination of these materials to attain the design sense you are seeking. As you can see, this particular fireplace is a substantial size. That’s because this family wanted the fireplace to double as a privacy wall. You also want to consider the adjacent area. Do you want built-in seating? Do you want a built-in area for keeping logs? Do you want to build in room for cabinets to keep other fireplace items such as matches?
The great thing is you only need to have some ideas when we have our design consultation. We have a great deal of experience in designing and building and you have many ideas about what you want. Put together, this amounts to a great design and build that’s just the way you like it.