There are few things more relaxing than a cozy fire on a chilly fall or winter night in the DC area. Between the warmth, the glow, and the pleasing aroma, a stoked fire pit can make an ideal gathering spot for friends and family, encouraging great conversation as long as the wood supply lasts. With any fire there are inherent risks, but with a bit of preparation and some basic precautions, you can fully enjoy the benefits while keeping your family and your home safe.
A fire pit can be a great addition to any home in the Maryland, Virginia, or DC area, creating a natural focal point and outdoor gathering spot. Here are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your fire pit while prioritizing safety:
Make sure your fire pit is at least 20 feet away from your home, other buildings, and any flammable materials. Choose an open, level location with plenty of space for seating. Avoid portable fire pits, as they can be unstable, fragile, and more likely to cause burns.
Use heat-resistant materials like brick, sand, or stone around the fire pit, and keep nearby grass and vegetation trimmed to minimize fire risk. Keep the area clean of lawn clippings, fallen leaves, and other loose debris.
Avoid chairs and benches that use flammable materials and keep them a safe distance from the fire. Consider adding built-in, permanent seating for extra safety.
Remove any trip hazards near the fire pit and consider adding a wall or fence to keep children and pets at a safe distance.
To keep sparks to a minimum during a fire, consider adding a screen to your fire pit. Do not place the fire pit under eaves, gazebos, trees, or other structures to keep the fire risk at a minimum from floating sparks or embers.
Consider choosing hard woods like oak or maple for longer burn times, and make sure it has been seasoned for at least six months. Avoid green woods or soft woods like pine, as they will pop and spark more often as they burn. Never burn construction materials like plywood, laminated wood, composites, painted wood, or pressure-treated lumber, as they contain chemicals that can be toxic.
Avoid starting a fire during windy or extremely dry weather, and make sure that it will not be too cold, wet, or otherwise unpleasant.
Keep a garden hose and fire extinguisher within reach in case the fire begins to spread. Douse the fire completely at the end of the night, and check on it afterward to avoid accidental fires.
Before you build a fire pit and begin using it, make sure you read, understand, and follow all local laws and regulations. They may dictate where the fire pit can be placed, when it can be used, and what safety precautions are required. Be sure to consult your insurance provider, as well.
Add the ambiance and warmth of a natural fire to your patio with a custom outdoor fireplace from Botanical Decorators. Our talented team can design and build a fire pit tailored to your unique style, and we serve homeowners throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the Washington, DC area.
Call 301-948-6625 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today!
While many homeowners in the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas will tackle their outdoor home improvement projects in the spring and summer, the cooler months of fall and winter are excellent times to complete certain outdoor projects.
With less demand on the construction professionals and on your outdoor spaces, fall and winter give you the chance to add curb appeal to your home and prepare for the outdoor living demands of spring and summer.
Are you considering some fall or winter projects? Here are some that can work well for this season.
If your home’s siding or any of your outdoor living structures are in need of a fresh coat of paint, late fall or early winter works well. Consider power-washing on a mild weekend, as this will remove flaking paint and other dirt and debris. Then, have the pros come in and add a fresh coat of paint. The temperatures this time of year are still plenty warm to allow the paint to dry and cure, and lower humidity will actually help the process along.
The wet and potentially snowy weather of winter can create problems if you have any loose paving stones or cracks in your sidewalks, which can expand. Use the early fall and winter months to have these repaired, or to design a new walkway altogether. If you’re considering a pathway remodel in the future, tackle this before the winter hits in full force, and you will have a safe walking path to use even if the weather turns frigid.
Outdoor furniture takes a beating throughout the summer. If it needs a little TLC, now is the time to do it. This will help it weather the winter well, so it’s ready for use when spring temperatures hit. If you have any built-in furniture, consider having it inspected and repaired professionally to ensure no problems have popped up over the course of the summer.
Who says you can’t enjoy your outdoor living space in the winter? If cold temperatures are the problem, consider adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. You can gather around it with your hot chocolate even in the middle of winter and continue enjoying your outdoor living space.
If you are considering some of these fall or winter outdoor remodeling or maintenance projects, give the team at Botanical Decorators a call. Put our experience to work for you this season, and you will be ready for a fun spring and summer spent enjoying your outdoor living spaces.
Call 301-948-6625 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.
From the time that it was first discovered, people have been gathering around and mesmerized by fire. Thanks to modern conveniences, it is no longer a necessity for cooking, heating, or protection. However, an outdoor fire remains equally as popular on chilly evenings, or any time family or friends gather outside. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate this cozy, warm glow into your backyard landscape, look no further; here is a list of ideas to get you started.
Don’t give up on your garden just yet! Although spring and summer are known for their colorful blooms, you may be surprised that there are still plenty of cold-tolerant plants that can brighten up your outdoor space this winter. Here’s a list of our best winter-friendly plants for sprucing up your garden: