Outdoor Fireplace: Five Tips on How to Determine What Works For You?

Various type of outdoor fireplace can now be seen in many places. These structures provide a sophisticated highlight to our homes, making it a decorative piece as well. This type of fireplace allows us to create fire safely outside our very own houses, there are however rules governing the use of it depending on your country. Outdoor fireplace functions both to provide warmth in our surroundings and also works more popularly for cooking outdoors.

Choosing the kind of outdoor fireplace to suit your need is vital. Just like any other additions we create for our homes, we need to carefully look at some factors even before we jump into having one.

1.         Design

You will be impressed to find out how many different designs you can choose from for your outdoor fireplace. The use of stones, clay, concrete or bricks, even steel each creates some unique impact on its own. Concrete is frequently used due to its flexibility and its natural capacity to withstand heat. A variety of shapes are also available as chimney-like or pit-like. The architectural possibilities are endless and making a choice is as confusing as it gets.

2.         Fuel

Of all, the most widely used is gas. This type is most popular because of its ease in terms of use. A considerable amount of gas in our tanks will allow it to function without problem. Propane and wood/coal are also other choices. While wood is a traditional choice, it’s laborious and storage space is an issue, environmentalist would also agree that there are other better choices available for use. Electrically operated fireplaces are the least popular because of costing issues.

3.         Budget Issues

How much we want to spend on this kind of structure is another key consideration. Building a house to include an outdoor fireplace not only occupies additional space but would also entail additional materials. Clay is the cheapest material used but cracking is a problem and so care is needed against strong force. There are of course more expensive materials that can be used which can prove to be sturdier. The type of fuel to be used is also a budget consideration.

4.         Safety

Of all our concerns, safety is of utmost importance. While many fail to look more onto this, this factor is critical and could be life-saving. The danger of fire is almost always present and to avoid this, presence of safety features for our outdoor fireplace is a must. Injury may result from flying ember especially on the use of wood as fuel. Suffocation from too much smoke is also not very uncommon. As it is for all gas-operated equipment, risk for leak that may result to fire should also be given attention to. Automatic shut off valves provide adequate safety for its users.

5.         Size and Placement

The size of your outdoor fireplace matters too. Mostly that depends on the available space of your land, your budget and most often too, the number of members in your household. Where we want to put this outdoor fireplace is another thing. Do we want to put it in our backyards where we can gather around during the night for a little get together, or near the patio from where we can sit while watching our neighbors?

There are numerous considerations in choosing our outdoor fireplace and in this diversity; we have to pick one that will perfectly fit our needs.

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Maintaining a Wooden Garage

Your wooden garage is an important part of your house or property. Whether it’s where you mastermind all of your projects, store your beloved car, host exciting garage parties, or rent it out to somebody else, you need to maintain it to ensure its longevity. Just as it is easy enough to construct a wooden garage yourself, it is just as easy to maintain it yourself with a few simple tools and a few easy to get hold of paints.

Firstly, you need to preserve the wood on the outside. By regularly painting your garage’s exterior walls with a wood stain, paint or varnish, you are protecting it against the natural elements. External wooden buildings such as garages and sheds can fall victim to UV rays, wet weather and fungal growths within the wood itself. All of these elements weaken the wood and without care and preservation will quickly reduce its lifespan. When choosing a wood preserve you will want to decide on the color of your wood. If you choose to have a color, then it will typically need painting every two years to stop it fading. Use a color varnish, which exists in a wide range of colors, stains and wood treatments.

Maintaining and caring for your garage doors will make all the difference to your wooden garage. If you have wooden doors, they will need the same wood preservative treatment as the outer surfaces of your shed. It is not just the wood that needs preserving though, but any metal supports such as hinges will need regular protection from rust, as inadequate support for a wooden garage door will lead it to crack and eventually break. If a wooden door is too much work, then you can get a faux wooden door, which will be lighter and easier to maintain whilst still having all of the aesthetically pleasing qualities of a real wooden logs.

Standart Garage Door Sizes

Door sizes. Standard stock size doors are usually available in widths from 8 to 18 feet and in heights of 6 feet, 6 inches and 7 feet. When planning a door opening, make it as wide as possible. A wider opening not only gives you freer movement of your vehicle in and out of the garage, but also permits you to move other items in and out without the danger of scratching your car. Typical stock sizes for most garage door manufacturers are as follows:

Singe and two car garages sizes

Most manufacturers will make custom-size garage doors to fit special openings, but these doors are quite expensive. It usually pays to frame out the opening to a stock size, if at all possible.

While measuring for a new garage door or a replacement for an old one, be sure to check the inside headroom. A specific minimum distance between the overhead structure in the garage and the top of the door must be provided for the hardware, counterbalancing mechanisms, and the door itself when in an open position. While, for example, most stock roll-up door hardware requires headroom of at least 10 inches for single-car doors and 12 inches for two-car doors, special low-headroom designs are available that reduce the space needed to about 6 inches. Therefore, before purchasing any garage door, be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications for the needed headroom, as well as necessary sideroom—the space from the side of the door opening to the wall.

The Garage Door

The selection of a new or replacement garage door is most important. It must be remembered that, in the case of an attached garage, for example, the garage door may be 20 to 30 percent of your home’s face. Therefore, it must be as beautiful as possible.

The “garage door decor” possibilities are nearly limitless—in both ready-made styles and creative designs of your own. For instance, you can choose from a multitude of standard quality wood panel doors to match a wide variety of architectural styles or gain a rich looking custom-crafted effect by installing any of four stock patterns of can ed door. Or, perhaps your home would benefit from a smooth-surface flush panel door to which you can apply painted designs, moldings, windows, and trimwork to suit your taste. Even standard wood panel doors gain distinction with the addition of stock carved rosette plaques. All “door clecor” takes is some care in matching your architectural style with the right door. Be picky; don’t leave garage door selection to afterthoughts. It’s more than just the largest moving part of your home; it’s also part of your home’s appearance, personality, and character.
Proper garage door decor can add beauty to a house. Select the design that best fits the architectural style of your home (Courtesy of Clopay Corp. and Frantz Mfg. Co.).
GARAGE DOOR TYPES AND STYLES. Basically, there are three types of garage doors: (1) hinge or swing-out; (2) swing-up; and (3) roll-up. However, in recent years, thanks to the perfection of garage door hardware and counterbalancing equipment, the two latter types have all but replaced old-fashioned swinging doors.

Swing-up doors. Various types of counterbalancing devices are employed to offset the weight of the garage door. With the swing-up arrangement, a one-piece, rigid door is tilted or swung up and down. Either of two types of hardware are used: (1) jamb and (2) pivot. With either type, a swing-out space of about 3 to 4 feet is required.

Operating on the leverage principle, the jamb hardware is attached to the two upright wood members (the jambs) that form the sides of the garage door opening. This hardware arrangement requires an overhead track at both ends of the garage door.

The four major types of overhead garage doors.

Pivot hardware, which requires no track of any kind, is bolted to the side of the garage building and works the door by swinging it up and down. The installation of pivot hardware is not recommended when the garage building is much wider than the door opening.

Roll-up doors. The roll-up type, which uses a three or four section door, is the most popular of all overhead types. It is available with either two extension springs—one at each side of the door—or a single torsion spring that extends across the top of the door opening. The torsion spring and its mechanism is somewhat more expensive, but generally provides a smoother anc’ more consistent action.

The garage door hardware and counterbalancing devices should be selected to suit the door. Most jamb and pivot hardware, as well as the two extension spring roll-up type, is good for doors under 150 pounds. For doors over this weight, the torsion spring roll-up type is usually recommended.

Door materials. Overhead garage doors are available that are made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum, and steel. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Wood. Wood panel garage doors are the most popular choice for residential use. They are available in price ranges to match any wallet and in a wide choice of sectional designs. Wood doors are often fitted with glass inserts to provide interior natural light. (Placement of the windows in the top section adds an additional degree of privacy while still admitting a flood of light.) Wood doors are also made with a polyfoam core which provides an insulating R-value of better than 5. Such insulated doors are highly recommended for heated or attached garages.

Wood garage doors must receive the same treatment as other exterior wood parts of your house. They must be painted or stained regularly, especially the bottom edge, to keep up their appearance and to protect them from the weather.

A Double Garage with a Porch

A double garage with a porch that can be used for a recreation center in the summer and foi storage in winter (Courtesy of Weyerhaeuser Co.).

Double Garage with Storage for Garden Equipment

This double garage provides easily accessible storage for garden and recreation equipment.

A Double Garage and Boat Port

A double garage and boat port keeps all rolling and floating stock under one roof. Convenient storage unit divides space.

Double Garage with Optional Storage Area

A double garage with optional storage area can be built with the storage space along the sides or back, or both (Courtesy of Weyerhaeuser Co.).

Deatched Garage: Double Garage With Playhouse

This double garage and playhouse has two large built-ins for tools or household items, plus a children’s playhouse.

Detached Garage: A single Garage With Optional Storage

A single garage with optional storage permits you to select the size requirements that will tit your storage needs.