Pool & Spa Outdoor Blog

Category: Firepits, Fireplaces & Heaters

Firepits, Fireplaces & Heaters

5 Haute Patio Heaters

Stylish Outdoor Heaters to Warm Up Your Patio


   
Stylish Patio Heaters
Patio heaters are becoming a popular outdoor heating choice thanks to their large heat output—most models can heat from six to 20 feet in diameter—and ability to extend your outdoor entertaining season a few extra months or even year-round.

Along with their growing popularity, patio heaters have expanded in design and now come in an array of placement, style, and fuel options, including decorative gas heaters that look like interior lamps and sleek wall-mounted electric heaters that keep your patio warm and open.

Whether you want to entertain family and friends on a chilly summer night, host a backyard tailgate party in the fall, or expand your holiday festivities to the patio or terrace, here are some stylish patio heater options to keep your outdoor room cozy and chic in cool weather.


Photo courtesy of B. Gordon Builders Inc.



Freestanding Gas Patio Heaters

Gas patio heaters, which use propane or natural gas, are easy and convenient options to heat your outdoor area. These chic patio heaters from Kindle Living provide an attractive alternative to the typical stainless steel standby. Plus, they’re made from eco-friendly materials!

Stylish Patio Heater with Lamp DesignResembling an oversize table lamp, this patio heater from Kindle Living adds whimsical warmth and mood lighting to outdoor gatherings.

Available in both natural gas and propane operation, this freestanding heater features a battery-powered light base that can be used independent of the heater and illuminated in any of seven colors. Its classic silhouette makes it a beautiful complement to any style setting, be it traditional or modern.




Natural Gas Patio Heater with Lamp ShadeThough slim in design, this natural gas-powered patio heater supplies powerful heat performance. As heat radiates from the burner flame, it is enclosed in the fireproof shade and directed downward, wrapping bystanders in a soft and pleasant warmth.

Paired with a smooth shade (pictured), this sleek and sophisticated patio heater harmonizes well with contemporary venues.



Combo Patio Heater Lamp
Featuring a gently curved base with vertical ribbing (and hidden propane tank), this posh combo patio heater/lamp exudes style and personality. Its graceful design meshes perfectly with the casual charm of a coastal cottage, yet works equally well in formal or modern environments.

It’s versatile in function too: along with providing heat and light, an optional cocktail table accessory (not shown) can be placed over the base of the heater to hold drinks or snack plates when entertaining or lounging by the pool.




(Editor's Note: Natural gas and propane heaters are safe for outdoor use only. NEVER place or use a gas or propane heater indoors or in an enclosed area.)



Photos courtesy of Kindle Living



Wall/Ceiling-Mounted Electric Patio Heaters

Pergola with Electric Patio Heaters
If you’re looking for a more subtle way to heat your patio, then an electric patio heater may be your best option. The quartz infrared electric patio heaters from Infratech can be mounted to a wall or ceiling—and custom colored to match—to warm up your outdoor space without interfering with its décor.

The electric heaters contain quartz heating elements that emit a medium wavelength of light that transfers heat directly to nearby objects—such as a person, table, or floor—rather than heating the air, providing a comfortable and quick warmth.

An electric heater was bracket mounted to the wooden beams of a pavilion to keep this veranda cozy in cool weather without detracting from the pleasant setting.



Photo courtesy of B. Gordon Builders Inc.



Outdoor Room with Electric Heaters Mounted in CeilingBecause electric heaters do not produce heat by combustion, they require less clearance than gas heaters and can be used in enclosed patio areas.

To complement its contemporary design, six Infratech heaters were flush mounted into the ceiling of this outdoor room, making it usable year-round. The heaters are configured to a solid-state control system which allows the homeowners to vary their output with the current climate.


Photo courtesy of Infratech

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Outdoor Heating Choices >>
10 Outdoor Fire Pit Designs to Match Any Backyard >>
4 Products to Extend Your Outdoor Living Season >>
Top Outdoor Accessories for Fall >>

8 Fire Pit Safety Tips

8 Tips for Fire Pit Safety







By Patti Plummer


OW Lee outdoor furniture fire pit patioWhen the weather turns cooler, homeowners can continue to enjoy their outdoor living spaces by adding a heat source like a fire pit.

There are a variety of types, including custom-made and pre-fab, but no matter what type you choose, remember to keep a few crucial safety tips in mind before, during, and after you light the fire.

Before you purchase a fire pit or have one built, remember to check with your local government to confirm that fire pits of any make or model are legal in your municipality.


Photo courtesy of OW Lee, Co.



OW Lee fire pit table chairs1. Choose the right fuel.

It is important to select the proper heat source for your fire pit. If it is a pre-fab model, the manufacturer will list the correct type. If you plan to have one custom built, work with your landscape architect to obtain the type that best suits your needs.

Most fire pits can safely control fires that are fueled by hard woods like cedar and oak or can be outfitted to produce heat through natural gas, propane, or gel.


Photo courtesy of OW Lee, Co.




Stonecrest Pools fire pit chairs seating2. Make sure your fire pit is on a stable, fireproof floor.

Your fire pit must be placed on a surface that can handle sparks or embers that might blow from the bowl. Any natural stones, like flagstone, travertine, slate, and granite, and manmade materials like concrete and durable fire-safe paving stones, are excellent choices.


Photo courtesy of Rugged Class Waterfalls & Pools; Photography by Stephen K. Wolfe




Rugged Class Pool fire pit patio3. Keep your fire pit away from anything flammable.

The rule of thumb is to maintain at least 10 feet of space between the fire pit and anything combustible. That means, when you use the fire pit, keep furniture and accessories at a safe distance. You will still feel the heat and enjoy the ambiance!



Photo courtesy of Stonecrest Pools; Photography by Sean Gallagher






Rugged Class pool patio fire pit4. Check weather conditions before lighting the fire pit.


Never light a fire pit in windy conditions. Not only will you have difficulty starting the fire, but you will also have a greater chance of flying embers or sparks blowing away from the controlled area.


Photo courtesy of Rugged Class Waterfalls & Pools; Stephen K Wolfe Photography




OW Lee fire pit table patio5. Keep your fire low and slow.


Be patient. If you are using wood in your fire pit, start the fire slowly. Once the fire is burning strongly, add more fuel until you have the level of heat you desire. Never, ever use an accelerant like gasoline—it’s too unpredictable and risky.

Photo courtesy of OW Lee, Co.



EP Henry dusk mesh fire pit cover family6. Use a mesh cover.

A good way to keep embers and sparks from flying out of the pit is to contain them from the beginning, and a wire mesh cover is a great option. The warmth and ambiance remains intact while the fire pit area has one more line of defense against unsafe conditions.




Photo courtesy of EP Henry







EP Henry fire pit couple lanterns7. Never neglect your fire pit


No matter the fuel, always attend the fire. If you are using wood, you should have a container of water or fire extinguisher on hand to quickly but carefully contain a flare-up.

If your fire pit is fueled by propane, natural gas, or gel, read the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, all it takes is a turn of the knob to extinguish the fire. It’s a smart plan to have a fire extinguisher nearby that can dowse your particular kind of fuel should it become necessary.

Photo courtesy of EP Henry



Fire pit patio Pools by John Clarkson8. ALWAYS make sure the fire is out before you leave the area.

When you are finished with the fire pit, take precautions to make sure the fire is entirely out. If you used wood, smooth the ashes and let them cool. Then, gently pour water over the cinders. Look for hot spots or smoldering embers; once the fire pit is fire-free, you can exit the area.


Photo Courtesy of Pools by John Clarkson, an Aquatech Builder; Photography by Ben Brewer Photography





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10 Outdoor Fire Pit Designs to Match Any Backyard >>
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10 Outdoor Firepit Designs to Match Any Backyard

Discover the Best Firepit Design for Your Backyard Landscape







Outdoor firepits add both sizzle and style to backyard living spaces and come in an array of shapes and materials to match any setting. Take a look at the 10 designs below to find the best firepit for your backyard setting and decor.


Copper Firepit Design
Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com


Copper gives this outdoor firepit unique character. Left untreated, the copper develops a patina which imparts an antique, Old World feel that is ideal for backyards with a rustic or Mediterranean theme. The metal’s shiny finish can also be easily maintained using a quality copper cleaner and polisher for a refined, contemporary look.



Square Firepit with Mission Style Base
Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com

This wood-burning firepit’s square shape and Mission-Style design is a lovely complement to Modern and Transitional style homes and landscapes. This firepit can also lend a contemporary feel to southwestern and desert settings. The ceramic tiles surrounding the steel fire bowl have a dark, wood-like finish and provide an elegant accent.



Firepit Table Design with Slate Tile Mosaic
Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com

Enjoy cozy conversation with friends and family around this attractive gas firepit table, which features an 11-inch surface area for resting drinks or snacks. The mosaic brown, green, blue, red, and yellow slate tiles adorning the firepit’s mantel provide an earthy feel and complement outdoor furniture with a Tuscan or Mediterranean theme.



Faux Stone Firepit Table
Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com

Layers of faux stone surround the base of this full-size firepit table, making it a natural fit for any outdoor setting. The gorgeous black granite tabletop and clear fire glass add a touch of refinement to suit more contemporary patios.



Firepit Table Design Wicker Pattern
Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com

Providing warmth, style, and function, this propane firepit table is the perfect gathering spot for backyard entertaining. The base of the firepit features an elegant wicker-like weave pattern, which merges well with the causal feel of tropical design themes. What’s more, its conventional shape and sophisticated color make it a great fit for traditional and contemporary style backyards.



Dining Firepit Table
Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com

Combining sophistication and comfort, this exquisite dining firepit table will become the centerpiece of any backyard patio. The circular marble tabletop offers versatile style appeal and can be outfitted with three different fire kits for a more customized look. Choose ceramic lava rocks (shown) for a look that’s both rustic and elegant, ceramic logs for a more traditional campfire feel, or clear glass or lava granules for a unique contemporary design.



Steel Firepit Design with Mosaic Slate Tabletop
Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com

A coffee table shape allows for more family and friends to gather around this lavish steel firepit, which houses two propane tanks inside its base for extra convenience. The gorgeous mosaic slate tabletop boasts a palette of neutral tones to fit any backyard setting and décor, including Tuscan, traditional, and contemporary designs.



Firepit Table-Basket Weave Design
Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com

This firepit table is a combination of classic elegance and lived-in comfort, making it the perfect addition to traditional backyards and décor. The base of the firepit is made from solid cast resin and features curved sides and a slate-like tabletop. The basket weave pattern on the sides of the base gives the impression of wicker and adds subtle texture to the design. Arctic flame glass enhances the fire’s allure and entices guests to stay a little while longer.



Round Stone Resin Firepit
Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com

This stylish round firepit design is a sharp match for any backyard décor—from traditional to modern to tropical. It features a stone resin base in a wicker pattern and a granite tabletop. This firepit also serves double-duty as an elegant side table: just place the granite tabletop cover over the stainless steel burner.



Concrete Firepit Table Design
Photo courtesy of R.H. Peterson Co.

Made from concrete reinforced with glass fiber, this ornate fire table is a great conversation piece. The intricate carving pattern and stately arches on the sides of the table provide a formal look to suit traditional and Italian landscape designs.   







Top Outdoor Accessories for Fall - Fabrics, Fire Features, Lighting & Decor



Outdoor Accessories and Decorations for Fall







With its brisk air and vibrant foliage, fall is a beautiful time of year to enjoy the outdoors. By adding a few outdoor accessories and decorations, you can experience the vivid scenery and crisp weather from the comfort of your backyard patio or deck all season long.

From outdoor fabrics in rich colors to fire features that keep you warm in the cool autumn temperatures, here are some outdoor accessories and decorations that will enhance your outdoor space for fall.

Outdoor Fabrics for Fall


Summer Classics Outdoor Furniture

Photo courtesy of Summer Classics
Outdoor fabrics are used for a variety of outdoor furnishings and accessories, including patio cushions, pillows, canopies, and outdoor rugs. Available in a wide range of fabric colors, textures, and patterns, these outdoor accessories offer a quick and simple way to update the look of your patio furniture for fall.

For instance, patio cushions in brightly colored fabrics and summery designs can be swapped with outdoor cushions and pillows in warm harvest tones like pumpkin, cinnamon, sage, plum, and cranberry.

Patio with Outdoor Rug and Fall Theme
Photo courtesy of Whitecraft, Inc.; photography by CKM Photographics Inc; designed by William Herren

An outdoor rug lends seasonal impact when adorned with nature-inspired colors or designs, such as leaves, flowers, or pinecones. Additionally, a rug can establish a cozier atmosphere outdoors by defining a smaller area of the patio.

To refresh the look of your outdoor dining table for the season, make a table runner or placemats from fall-colored outdoor fabrics. Adding this small touch will help tie your patio’s fall theme together.



Patio with Outdoor Fireplace

Outdoor Fire Features for Fall


To properly update your patio or deck for fall you have to prepare for the change in weather. Outdoor heaters such as firepits, fireplaces, and patio heaters will keep you warm in the chilly autumn temperatures, as well as add a charming focal point to your backyard sitting area.

Portable outdoor fire features, including firepits, fire bowls, firepit tables, chimineas, and fireplaces, are easy to set up and come in an array of materials and styles to match your outdoor setting and décor.

While all of these fire features will lend a warm glow to your patio, some options are better suited for different climates. If you live in a mild climate region, an outdoor firepit, firepit table, or chiminea will provide sufficient heat since temperatures never drop too low. To ward off the nippy fall breezes in colder climates, an outdoor fireplace or patio heater will supply better heat coverage (patio heaters can typically heat about a 6- to 20-foot radius).



Photo courtesy of
Brandenburg Pool



Outdoor Decorations for Fall


An easy way to decorate your yard for fall is with the array of harvest items. Pumpkins, gourds, hay bales, and dried cornstalks embody the natural textures and colors of the season and can be placed around your patio or deck in a number of ways. For example, dried corn stalks can be tied to deck rails with twine; pumpkins and gourds of varying sizes, colors, and shapes can be arranged in a corner of the patio or scattered along the top of deck rails; bales of hay can be positioned throughout your outdoor space to serve as a rustic touch as well as additional seating or tables during outdoor gatherings.

Outdoor Decorations for Fall_Pumpkins & Gourds
Photo courtesy of EASYdesigns (www.easydesigns.biz); photography by Elisabeth Secocky

Additionally, an assortment of fall blooms such as chrysanthemums, pansies, carnations, violas, and alstroemerias can be planted in containers or hanging baskets and dotted around your patio or deck. 



Outdoor Patio Lighting for Fall

As the days get shorter, outdoor lighting will keep your patio well lit so you can stay outside on a crisp fall day well into the evening. Some deck and patio lighting ideas include outdoor tabletop lanterns, chandeliers, and string patio lights. These outdoor lighting fixtures serve both function and style by illuminating sitting areas and adding autumnal charm to the patio landscape.

Outdoor Patio Lighting for Fall
Photo courtesy of Environmental Landscape Associates

Outdoor lamps that look like their indoor counterparts are another lighting option and can make your patio feel just as warm and inviting as your interior rooms.

For added safety, install outdoor lighting on steps, walkways, and along the edges of your patio or deck so you and your guests can carefully navigate the area when darkness settles in.




4 Ways to Extend Your Outdoor Living Season

Four Products That Extend Outdoor Living




The Outdoor GreatRoom Company


The arrival of fall means the days are getting shorter, the nights are growing longer, and the weather is beginning to cool down in many areas of the country. But your time spent outdoors doesn’t have to end. Enjoy your backyard well into the fall season by adding one or several of these items to your outdoor space:


1. Fire Features –
Outdoor fireplaces and firepits bring the warmth and ambiance of your living room to your backyard, creating a cozy place for your family and friends to gather on a chilly fall night. An outdoor fireplace is permanently installed as either a stand-alone structure or built into an existing wall. It can be surrounded with brick, stucco, stone, or concrete to complement the architectural style of your home and can use wood, natural gas, or propane for fuel.


Firepits
range from a permanent pit in the ground enclosed by brick or concrete to a portable bowl-shaped structure made of metal. Firepits can use wood or natural gas to create a controlled bonfire in your backyard.

(Note: Be sure to check with your local municipality office before adding a fireplace or firepit to your backyard. There may be regulations regarding the type of fireplace you can have or the type of fuel that can be used.)

For a list of firepit companies and resources, visit our Outdoor Heaters & Firepits Buyers' Guide.



2. Outdoor Heaters
– Outdoor heaters radiate a pleasant circle of heat so you can relax or dine al fresco amid the vivid fall foliage. Tall, freestanding patio heaters with an umbrella-style top are the most common type of outdoor heater. They’re often used at restaurants with outdoor seating, but these are also available for at-home use. They operate on natural gas, propane, or electricity and can heat an area of up to 20 feet in diameter. Though made of stainless steel, these heaters are available in several different finishes—including bronze, copper, black powder coat, and custom paint—to fit the style of any deck or patio.

Tabletop heaters
are a smaller version of the traditional freestanding units and come in a variety of finishes and designs including decorative styles that look like lamps. Available as gas or electric units, tabletop heaters provide a heat radius of up to 8 feet and work well for patios with small outdoor seating/dining areas. 

 
Wall-mounted patio heaters are typically powered by electricity and concentrate heat in a small area using infrared technology. Though limited in style, a wall-mounted heater works well for small decks and patios because it doesn’t occupy floor space. Most patio heaters feature manual heat adjusters and an automatic shut-off that turns off the heater when it reaches a set temperature.

(Note: Outside heaters are not designed for indoor use. Installation of an outdoor heater must confirm to your local codes and ordinances.)



3. Gazebos
– Another way to extend the season is with a gazebo. Gazebos create a beautiful focal point in your backyard and provide an inviting place to relax with your coffee on a crisp autumn morning or host a tailgate party with your closest friends. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, including wood, vinyl, and metal. Though gazebos are traditionally open-sided structures, newer models allow for removable vinyl or plexiglass windows that extend their use in cooler weather by offering protection from chilly winds. Window options range from simple roll-down  vinyl panels that are fastened to the gazebo’s wall posts with Velcro to track-style vinyl or plexiglass window panels in an aluminum frame that mount to the wall sections of the gazebo.




4. Lighting
– As the days get shorter, proper lighting will keep you and your guests out of the dark on lovely fall evenings. Place path lights along walkways, driveways, and other small areas of your backyard to provide an illuminated route to your patio or deck. Add both beauty and function by lighting up the perimeter of you deck with lantern-style solar LED post lights. If you have a covered patio or gazebo, try hanging a wrought-iron chandelier or string lights for sparkle and ambiance.

Photo courtesy of The Outdoor GreatRoom® Company




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