I have been traveling quite a bit lately. Additionally, I have been fortunate enough to have gone to some really neat locations. Just a few visited in the past few months are Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, Winterpark, Colorado, El Paso, Texas, and the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. When I go to a new place, I love the opportunity to walk around and explore the old and new.
One thing that seems timeless is the fireplace built in an old house lot. They still stand, absent the house or an old cabin. I love walking around these towns and noticing great outdoor fireplaces built in new areas, at shopping malls, at apartment complexes, and even outdoor patios of fancy bars and restaurants.
The old vintage stone fireplaces through their cracks and stains can sometimes tell a silent story, letting your mind wander at how much they have seen and been witness to over the passing years. Who graced the hearth and seating around these graceful structures? What conversations and decisions took place in front of the fire?
Imagine the fireplaces in the homes and parks of West Virginia that kept home owners and those fighting in the civil war warm. They used them every day during the harsh winters. Imagine the fireplaces in the Grand Canyon lodges that kept tourists warm during the 1930s when the park was really becoming a destination. Now those are old fireplaces with stories too abundant for us to even imagine.
How About the New?
But let’s think about how we can create our own memories and stories around an outdoor fireplace. When you spot an outdoor fireplace at an outdoor shopping center, stop and check it out. Sit on the hearth and if it is providing heat, enjoy it for a few minutes. Relax and even grab a drink if you have time. Become the history that can be told by that fireplace 100 years from now.
Pay attention to where you are and if you see an old or even a new fireplace that needs to be in a photograph, take a pic and send it to us at, firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know where and how you found it.
Oh my…the Christmas season is in full swing and decorations are being added to everything indoors. Why not add some spice to the outdoors too? Add some small things or even some big things to your fireplace and make it spectacular. Some people add great decor to their structures and turn them into a “Christmas Fireplace”. We have seen some spectacular outdoor fireplaces this 2017 Christmas season that we just have to share.
Does it get much better than a decorated outdoor structure with signs of noel and joy? I don’t think so. Check out the mantel covered in red berries and a green pine wreath above it. With the vases full of flowers, this fireplace makes me want a warm glass of cider or some hot chocolate with extra marshmallows.
It doesn’t take much to turn an already gorgeous outdoor fireplace into a seasonal masterpiece. Another wreath makes this fireplace step right into the Christmas season and the lighting overhead adds a lot too. By adding reds and greens, as well as lighting and images of Christmas, you will turn a nice space into an even more welcoming space.
What are some of your holiday decorating ideas? Write a comment and let us know and even share a picture of how you designed. Thanks and we hope you have a great holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Care to add a DIY fireplace to your backyard? Visit us at www.backyardflare.com for great information and ideas for your next project.
I was surfing the web the other day as I do quite often and I noticed differences between good and bad drafting structures. If you know what to look for, it’s very apparent, an it almost always has to do with the outdoor fireplace draft. Some of the best looking fireplaces seemed to be the dirtiest. I started paying attention to the fireboxes of some of these fireplaces.
Gas Fireplaces – The Good and Bad
A lot of fireplaces are designed and plumbed to burn natural gas or propane. Gas fireplaces are easily controlled and can be turned on and off quickly. This can also be problematic if the structure isn’t built correctly.
Even with a gas fireplace, burning either natural gas or propane, which are very popular, soot build up can still be a problem. This occurs if the fireplace does not vent well. Heat rise in a fireplace is most often referred to as the draft. The single most important aspect of any fireplace, inside or outside, is its functionality and whether the smoke rises effectively. This will be either through the chimney or out the front of the firebox and up the front of the structure.
Now some may think that because a gas fireplace doesn’t produce smoke that it shouldn’t matter. The truth is that gas fireplaces are sometimes dirtier than a wood burning fireplace when it comes to soot discoloration of the structure.
Pay attention to the inside of outdoor fireplaces that you see around your town. Stick your head inside and look up. Do you see a tiny chimney opening, or a large opening that will collect the smoke before allowing it to evacuate upward? Most of the time, there will be very apparent issues with regard to the path of least resistance. When a firebox height in is equal to the chimney opening, you will have problems with a bad draft.
Importance of a Good Fireplace Draft
The smoke or invisible soot from a gas burn will exit the structure through the front when draft is affected. This smoke and/or soot will travel right up the front of the structure and the front will turn black. A wet rag and some dish soap can easily remove the soot from a fireplace. It’s just a hassle to deal with.
If you’re interested in building a beautiful outdoor fireplace in your backyard or if you just want to explore the possibility and learn more about them, please visit us at www.backyardflare.com. Thanks for reading.