Who needs television when you have a cozy fire? Bonfires and roasting fires are central to the outdoor experience once the sun starts to set. When constructing a firepit, hearth or outdoor fireplace, concrete offers stellar options.
When you first start planning, there are a few things to consider. Will it be a gas-fed fire? If so, access to natural gas lines or propane needs to be safe and feasible. From where does the homeowner want the fire to be viewable or accessible? Often, it’s a good idea to place the fire near a spa, dining area, or with a view from the indoor living space. You will also want to make sure the fire installation has seating and social areas nearby. Safety should always be consideration number one.
When designing and building the firepit, hearth, or fireplace, make sure all materials are suitable for heat exposure. Some concrete mixes may contain aggregates not suitable for fire exposure, for example. It is also important to determine whether a firepit, fireplace, or first accent is best. Firepits, for example, are best for larger social groups and entertaining while fireplaces are best for smaller, more intimate groups.
Typically, the firepit or fireplace itself tends to be made from heat-resistant masonry or stone with a decorative concrete patio surrounding it. Precast concrete bowls, boxes, and rings have gotten popular as well. Consider a colored and stained concrete apron or coping around the top of a masonry or stone firepit. This provides a durable ledge to prop up feet, sit, or rest food and drinks while complimenting the surrounding concrete patio.