One simple accessory that can transform your back yard is a wood burning outside fireplace. Humans are naturally drawn to fire and there is nothing like an outside fire as a back yard center piece for your family to sit around and relax or entertain guests.
An outside fireplace can be as simple as a ring of rocks on the ground to an elaborate fireplace. If course you will want to check with local fire and zoning laws to see what kind of outdoor fires are allowed in your location.
The most simple outdoor fireplace is an open fire. An open fire can be built on the ground but a lot of people would rather spend their time on their patio instead of out in the dirt and you wouldn’t want to build a fire on your concrete slab. This is where an open pit fireplace will fit in. This is usually a simple shallow metal platform that sits on a stand that you build a fire in. Many of them are like a shallow bowl but some can be square.
A fire pit like this gives you that open campfire environment which is good for those who want an experience similar to sitting around the campfire or roasting marshmallows. This design is simple, light and easy to transport. There are even models that sit in the middle of a table. so you can all sit and share a meal around a fire.
The disadvantage of an open pit fire is they can smoulder and produce a lot of smoke which can be annoying. The slightest breeze can blow smoke into peoples faces. Anyone who has ever been around a campfire knows what this is like.
The other type of outdoor wood fireplace is the chiminea or vented fireplace. These types have a fire chamber that is partly contained with a smoke vent or chimney on top. Some have an opening on one side and the rest of the fire chamber is contained and others are open all the way around and may or may not have a fire screen.
There are several advantages of this style. They are more safe because the fire is contained. The air circulates in them in a way that creates a cleaner more efficient burn and the smoke is vented up above head level where it is less likely to bother anyone. Some even come equipped for baking food.
The disadvantage of this style is with some you don’t have 360 degree access to the fire and you don’t get as much of that open fire atmosphere.
Another thing to consider is the material the fireplace is made from. Cast iron, cast aluminum or copper will be the most durable. The thicker the material is longer it will last. Clay and thin metal won’t last as long.
The style you choose depends on your preference and what you want to do with it. A lot of people like the chiminea or fireplace style because of it’s advantages. For me I like the open pit style, I am willing to put up with some smoke because I like the open fire.
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