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The Growing Trend of Outdoor Living

IMG_1458Outdoor living isn’t just another buzzword; it’s a growing trend among homeowners and families in the United States. And with the spring season officially here, more and more people are turning off the TV and going outdoors to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and warm weather.

Of course, there are dozens of different ways to enjoy your outdoor living space. Instead of viewing your lawn as nothing more than grass and trees, think of it as an extension of your home. This environment can be transformed into a brilliant, fully functional area where you, your family and friends can gather for entertainment for activities. For instance, you could set up a fire pit on your back deck or lawn to gather around in the evening. Fire pits offer the perfect combination of aesthetics and utility; they can be used for cooking, warmth, or just to create a relaxing ambiance.

In addition to using a fire pit, however, there are other ways to enhance the outdoor living space surrounding your home. According to Michelle Snyder of the American Society of Interior Designers, many homeowners are now installing kitchens with brick pizza ovens and even living rooms outdoors. This is a complete transformation of the traditional patio, allowing homeowners to fully utilize their outdoor living space in the most efficient manner possible.

Fireplaces, kitchens with brick pizza ovens, dramatic al fresco living rooms that go way beyond yesteryear’s uncomfortable patio furniture — the transformation of the American yard is a long-simmering trend that’s really taken off in the last two years,” explained Michelle Snyder of the American Society of Interior Designers.”

Why are so many homeowners interested in the outdoor living trend? Well, there are numerous factors at play, including a growing interest in health and well-being. As we learn more about the dangers of living a sedentary lifestyle, individuals are taking a proactive approach towards their health by spending more time outdoors. Instead of watching TV or playing videos, they are choosing to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air.

Outdoor living may also provide benefits in terms of home value. Installing a fire pit, setting up outdoor furniture, and performing other enhancements to your home’s exterior can increase its selling value. So when you decide that it’s time to move, you’ll reap the benefits of a higher asking price.

If you have any questions regarding  how an S&S Fire Pit can enhance your outdoor living space; We can help.

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Choosing the Right Wood for Your Fire Pit

fire-227291_960_720After purchasing and setting up your fire pit, you may feel inclined to give it a “test run.” Before doing so, however, you should first check to make sure you have the appropriate wood. Some people assume that all wood is the same, but this isn’t entirely true. Subtle nuances in the species/variety,  moisture content, added chemicals, etc. can yield big differences in a fire pit. So, how do you know which wood is best suited for your fire pit?

Don’t Use Pine

Even if it’s readily available in your surroundings, it’s best to avoid burning pine in your fire pit. Pine burns significantly faster and hotter than many other varieties of lumber, making it a poor choice for fire pits.

Don’t Use Treated Lumber

Under no circumstances should you attempt to burn treated lumber or wood in a fire pit. While this may seem harmless enough, it can place you and your family at risk for illness. Pressure-treated lumber is often blasted with chromated copper arsenate, which is essentially a type of poison. Upon burning treated lumber, it will release toxic fumes into the surrounding environment. Steer clear of treated lumber and look for a different source of fuel for your fire pit.

Do Use Native Wood

Ideally, you should stick with a dried wood, native wood that grows naturally in your respective region. In Georgia, for instance, oak and hickory are often used in fire pits because they are native here. Oak and hickory are both excellent choices, as they burn slow, emit a moderate amount of heat, and are easy to store.

Don’t worry if you are unable to harvest the wood yourself, as most suppliers will gladly deliver and stack it for you.

Full Cord vs Face Cord: What’s the Difference?

You’ll probably hear the terms “full cord” and “face cord” being used to describe wood for sale. A full cord is wood that is 4’x4’x8′, whereas a face cord is one stack of wood measuring 4′ tall and 8′ long.

Tip: when storing wood to use in a fire pit, it’s recommended that you keep it covered and off the ground. When wood is stored directly on the ground, it becomes susceptible to rot, termites and other pests. Covering and storing your wood just a couple inches off the ground, however, will keep it safe and dry.

If you have any questions regarding Fire Pits, steel vs stone, give us a call; We can help.

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Can I Safely Use a S&S Fire Pit on My Deck?

IMG_1271This is a question that many homeowners ask. Purchasing a fire pit will open up a whole new world of social activities for you and your family, from roasting marshmallows to watching the sunset around a toasty fire. Being that wood burns when exposed to high enough heat, however, you might be wondering if it’s safe to use a fire pit on your wooden deck.

It’s true that wood DOES burn when exposed to heat. According to the Argonne National Laboratory, dry wood (not artificial) burns at approximately 451 degrees Fahrenheit. But the good news is that you can still use an S&S Fire Pit on your wooden deck without fear of it burning your deck, although you’ll want to take a few precautions to protect the wood.

Preparing Your Deck for a Fire Pit

Before using a fire pit on your deck, you should fire place some type of “base” layer down. Doing so will create a barrier of protection between the fire pit, which of course will become hot, and your deck. One of the great things about S&S Fire Pits is that they are elevated high enough so the bottom of the bowl isn’t close to the ground. By keeping the base elevated, the heat remains away from the deck/ground; thus, reducing the risk of an accidental fire. Nonetheless, when it comes to fire, it’s best to err on the side of caution by taking additional measures to prevent fires.

There are several different types of base layers that can be used on a wooden deck, one of which is a layer of stone. Head to your local home improvement or gardening store to pick up some stone pavers. Once you’ve installed them on your patio, you can safely use your new fire pit without fear of it sparking a fire. The stove pavers will absorb the heat, protecting the wooden materials underneath.

In addition to using a base layer on your patio, you may also want to invest in a snuffer. When you are finished using your fire pit, you can place the snuffer over it to extinguish the fire. Within just 10 minutes, the snuffer should completely extinguish the fire, allowing it too cool down. And when the fire pit is cool, there’s a lower risk of it burning nearby materials.

If you have any questions regarding Fire Pits, steel vs stone, give us a call; We can help.