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Fire feature, anyone?
Natural gas or propane, fire table or fireplace, linear flame or round, torch or candle - I hope to illuminate and shed some light.
A few years ago, one of our suppliers invited me to an open house. As I walked in, a fire table greeted me at the entrance to the showroom. Flames were shooting 3 feet high, beating out 65000 BTUs and giving off a great display of fire and heat. This amount of flame beats the cold on any winter day. It's just one way to extend the fantastic outdoor enjoyment in your landscape.
Since that day in the showroom, we have installed many fire tables or fire pits.
While there are other options for fire in your garden, such as an outdoor fireplace, a firetable is a more economical way of achieving almost the same thing.
Fire creates a wonderful ambiance for your conversation. It puts a little spark in the evening and extends the time you can enjoy the outdoors.
Should you use propane or natural gas? First off, propane wins in the budget and the portable department. However, it loses when you are hosting a lovely evening with guests, and you happen to run out. Not cool. Now you must leave your guests, run out, and fill the tank. Running out of gas won't happen with a permanent natural gas line running to your fire table.
Fire tables are a cosy way to host an evening with friends. They create a wonderful ambiance for your conversation. It puts a little spark in the evening and extends the time you can enjoy the outdoors. A fire feature is just plain 'cool' to look at any time of year, but in spring, fall or winter, it also adds warmth.
BTUs? A good one will shoot out 65,000-75,000 BTUs. Argh, Argh, Argh. This kind of power will melt the pelt off a beaver and make any neighbour jealous. So how much do you need? The heating range is around 4 to 5 feet from the feature or less in cold, windy weather. The smaller tabletop models, which produce only 30,000-40,000 BTU's may only provide warmth within a couple of feet of the heater. A large flame will warm a larger area. Remember that manufacturers will exaggerate to the high end of the scale when discussing warmth.
Prices for cheaper propane fire table models (aluminium) with 40,000 BTUs go from around $300 to $600. Lightweight GFRC concrete fire tables cost $3,000 to $6,000 but give you 65,000-75,000 BTUs.
What about height? A good rule of thumb is 12-18 inches high, which makes it great for sitting around.
Fire features like these come in linear/rectangular shapes; round ones are called fire bowls.
The last thing to know is running a permanent natural gas line to your new fire feature will cost another five thousand dollars.