By Fanny Ungar. Fireplace. Published at Monday, September 24th, 2018 - 00:10:55 AM.
Wood burning fireplaces can become complex even when we are building outside. The atmosphere created around a wood burning fireplace is comforting, calming. The crackling and popping of the wood and the smell that permeates the entire yard adds enjoyment to the functional heater. However, building a custom fireplace can become expensive and complicated. In addition to the firebox and the mantle that we devise as the custom plan, a flue and chimney must be built up through the roof and terminated above the roof line. For many homeowners we have worked with, the expense of cutting through a roof, plus the associated laws and inspections attached to resealing a roof and the expense of building a chimney places the project outside an acceptable budget.
The benefit to a ventless gas log fireplace outdoors is convenience and cost. The process of building proper ventilation and a chimney can often double the expense of custom fireplaces indoors or outside. Convenience is the ability to create a perfect flame pattern as easily as turning on a barbeque grill. Many gas log fireplaces have complex valve options that allow variable remote controls that alter flame height, on/off remotes, wall switches and thermostatic controllers that turn the fireplace on and off based on the temperature read at the thermostat. I do not recommend any of these valves in your backyard. A manual safety pilot kit has a standing pilot light that stays on always. As long as the pilot is burning, the fireplace can be controlled with a simple control knob. A couple of decorative ceramic pinecones or wood chunks hide the controls. Remotes, wall switches, thermostatic controls and other valves use batteries. Even a gas log fireplace that is under an overhang will be affected by moisture in the air. Here in Florida where humidity is tremendous, a battery operated valve will corrode within a year in most backyards.
There is no doubt that there is a great deal of joy to be had from an open fire, especially on a cold winter’s day, and nothing quite adds as much character to a room as a beautiful open fireplace. An open fire gives us the kind of primeval comfort that our ancestors probably felt while enjoying the crackling of a burning logs and the scent of wood smoke. There is an unmistakable quiet pleasure to be gained from watching soft flickering flames dancing in an open grate. While there are a lot of obvious advantages of using a wood burning stove there is nothing to touch the charisma of an open fireplace in your home. It not only adds tangible warmth to a room but it also serves as a focal point, especially in the country home where there is more likely to be natural fuel easily to hand.
Selecting an appropriate stone fireplace means picking a design that is right for your home, for instance there is little point in installing a magnificent and huge fireplace which then dwarfs the room, leaving virtually no actual living space. Do also bear in mind also that once installed the stone is not easily changed so it is important to select a stone material that you don’t easily tire of. This said you certainly can’t beat the permanence and illustrious looks of a stone fireplace which can appear as simply a box in your living room with a hanging mantel or with a mantel that has legs fastened on the wall. For large rooms with tall ceilings, a stone mantel can stretch up to the full height of the ceiling and display paintings or even a old tapestries.
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