Turning the idea of an outdoor fire pit into a reality can be quite simple if you understand how they work and what to consider.
The notion of having a fire to gather around outside conjures appealing images of long evenings staring at the stars, conversation and watching the dance of firelight. Transforming the idea into a reality can leave you at a loss as to where to begin. Here’s a start:
There are 4 considerations when planning for an outdoor fire pit:
Although it is often the fire pit design and the allure of flames that first inspires us, deciding which fuel you will use should be your first step. The fuel type and source will impact where you place the fire, which model you choose and will determine what preparation is required.
If you are building a new project that includes a piped gas system, or if you have an existing gas system that can be connected to, you can run your fire pit directly off of it. You will require a gas line to be run up under the fire pit where it will connect to the burner. All Paloform fire pits are available with CE certified propane or natural gas burners.
In cases where there is no piped gas system you have three options: gas cylinders, wood burning or ethanol.
- If you are using fuel cylinders you will need to consider where the piping will be run; overground, underground, under decking etc., and include a cylinder housing in your plan. You can use gas cylinders with all of our fire pit designs.
- Wood burning models can be placed on any exterior surface that will not burn or be adversely affected by high heat. Our wood burning models are Bol & Caldera.
- Ethanol burners do not require any external connection and can be placed in any exterior setting with adequate clearances and ventilation. Fold 48 & 72, Robata 54 & Soba can all be fitted with Ecosmart ethanol burners.
When installing gas lines always engage a certified gas fitter.
The next step is deciding which type of ignition is appropriate for your project. Wood burning and ethanol fire pits are lit in the old fashioned way by match (or long bbq lighter) but with natural gas and propane you can choose either a match-lit or an electronic start.
- Our match-lit system is straight forward; you push a handle to start the flow of gas and ignite the pilot light using a long bbq lighter. Each of our match-lit burners includes a safety shut off which will stop the flow of gas should the fire blow out.
- Electronic ignitions provide the convenience of being able to start your fire pit using a wall switch, timer, remote control or smart home system. If you select this option you will need an electrician to run an electrical line up into the underside of your fire pit and connect it to whichever control type you have chosen.
Once you know the practical requirements of your fuel source and start type you can decide where to place the fire pit. The shape and flow of your space and the intended use of your fire will largely inform its placement: will it be a central feature for gathering, or a more hearth-like installation against a wall? Will it have seating arranged radially or along a banquette?
The location should be level and provide a stable surface for the fire pit to sit upon. Clearances to combustibles should be strictly adhered to. To determine the required clearances see the technical drawings on each product page at http://paloform.co.uk/fire-pits.
Logistics are also a factor. How you will move your fire pit from the curb side where it is delivered to its final location should be given some thought. You can see the weights and dimensions of our entire collection at the back of our 2017 brochure here: http://paloform.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Manuals/Fire-Pits-Brochure-sml1.pdf
The final layer of the process is to choose the shape, material, colour and decorative topping of the fire pit to suit the practical and aesthetic sensibilities of your project. Concrete, powder coated metal and Corten are all beautiful, durable materials and each have their own particular characteristics.
Additional design options include powder coated metal table tops (Bento, Miso, Soba & Caldera) and protective glass screens for areas where winds are consistently 16 km/hr or higher, or where safety or regulations require. (Bento, Fold, Komodo & Robata).
Ultimately, all of these decisions should come down to creating an exceptional space where the experience of fire can be enjoyed.
Contact us if you would like to know more about modern outdoor fire pits.