The class and style of your West Bloomfield Township, MI property could be instantly elevated with the addition of an outdoor fireplace. Well-crafted, durable, and beautiful outdoor fireplaces raise the elegance factor and enhance the usability of a landscape. It’s not a small project, however, and the process of deciding on a design and moving forward with the installation of a new outdoor fireplace will require finding the right resources and expertise for a satisfactory end product. Here are the details you will need to consider at every step.
The Design Phase
In the earliest phase of the process, you’ll want to convey your vision and expectations for the project to a landscape designer and contractor. To see if your vision matches what’s possible, an early inspection of the construction site is a wise idea and should result in a realistic estimate of the time and budget required for the project. Moreover, during this time, you can leverage the experience of the designer and contractor to exploit any overlooked areas of your yard where a fireplace would be best located as well as other hardscape features that could be added onto the project, to get the most use out of your outdoor living space.
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Design Style and Materials
An important part of the design process is determining which type of fireplace would be the best fit for how you will use it and how it will meld with the other elements in your yard. For homes with a modern exterior, a sleek and minimalist fireplace featuring straight lines and clean edges are ideal. The use of modern materials such as glass and steel in the construction can also enhance this aesthetic.
For more traditional landscapes, a classic fireplace with a brick-style construction, large hearth, and towering chimney is a better match. The colors and textures of the materials used should also match that of existing masonry around the exterior of the home. Keeping the design of the fireplace compliant with its surroundings helps to make it seem like a natural part of the yard, as if it has always been there.
Much like the design style, the proportions of the fireplace deserve some consideration. For larger yards, a traditional fireplace can be accommodated easily and can help to close in a big empty space for a sense of intimacy. It stands to reason then that a small fireplace would work best for a smaller yard—the fireplace should not overpower everything else in the landscape. You may find that a minimalist design for the smaller unit can also reduce the visual impact of the fireplace and ensure your yard won’t seem cramped by its new addition.
Location and Safety
The location of the outdoor fireplace is one of the most important considerations in its construction. Fireplaces are typically placed close to a patio, or the outdoor dining area or kitchen. Those congregating areas’ ambiance will be greatly enhanced by the light and warmth offered by the fireplace. The location has to fulfill more practical considerations as well, such as the easy availability of utilities if you’ll be using a gas fireplace or if you will be incorporating landscape lighting into the project. Lastly, the location will need to comply with the local fire safety standards to ensure the safety of you, your family, and any guests. In addition to placing the fireplace far from flammable softscape features and overhead branches, other local laws and regulations could affect proper placement—this is an issue that a local expert contractor will be sure to address prior to installation.
Outdoor fireplaces are inviting for their appearance and warmth, but you won’t get as much use out of yours if it’s standing-room only. You’ll want to consider how people will gather during your quiet nights at home as well as during parties, and provide adequate seating arrangements to accommodate both scenarios. In addition to patio furniture, fixed stone seating is also a viable option.