Home and Garden: Outdoor Living

Whether you create a complete outdoor living space or simply desire a chiminea to keep you warm, your family and guests can enjoy a unique experience.

A recent trend in outdoor living is custom-built kitchens, usually featuring gas which is more convenient and safer than wood, says Rick Jackson with House of Fire because, “The wind might blow wood chips and scatter sparks after you think its out.”

Outdoor cooking areas are often built into new home construction and House of Fire is working with many landscapers and builders to meet this need. “We custom build fireplaces and sell pre-manufactured ones. Our best-selling grills are Fire Magic and American Outdoor Grills.”

House of Fire has been in business for 33 years, 12 years at its current location on Britton, west of Broadway Extension. “We started out with eight different fireplaces and now offer more than 245. There are different sizes, styles and designs in either electric, gas or wood.” The outdoor living industry is continually changing. “Before you buy, find out if there is something better out there.”

All House of Fire employees are National Fireplace Institute (NFI) certified—trained and specialized in burning gas and wood products. “Safety is the most important thing. Having someone trained in the safety aspects is vital when planning.”

The oldest fireplace accessory store in Oklahoma City is Bachles Fireplace Furnishings and Outdoor Living. They’ve been around since 1906 and focus on two areas; patio furnishings and hearth products, such as glass door firescreens, vented gas logs and fireplace tools.

Kandi Isenbart, owner of Bachles, can help you select hearth products while Linda Acosta, patio designer, can coordinate your area to create outdoor coziness. They craft comfort and style whether it’s from the popular Telescope Causal Furniture Collection or a Woodard outdoor wrought iron table.

A versatile fire pit can be used as an ice reservoir during the summer months. The newest look for your fireplace is fireballs which come in various sizes. Designed for wood-burning and gas fireplaces, they are individually stacked and grey in color, but become more metallic with each use.

Another popular item is low-maintenance fireglass which is offered in over 30 different colors, all hand-crafted. You can mix and match the colors and even create designs in your fire with the colored glass.

For those who like a touch of romance and history, an oak bellow may be the tool to help get your wood fire started. A cast iron fireback can improve a fireplace’s performance by radiating heat back from the fire. Bachles also supplies wood carriers for the naturalist who likes to gather their own wood. Weather-resistant outdoor art pieces are also available.
Outside living is great, so go ahead and roast those hotdogs or grill that prime rib. Sit back and enjoy an
evening outdoors.

House of Fire is located on 333 West Britton Road. To learn more about Bachles by the Fire, visit www.Bachlesbythefire.com.

Professional Tips to Create an Outdoor Living Area:
• When planning your outdoor cooking area, ask yourself questions such as: What do you cook? How many people do you cook for? Will there be future changes?

• Propane or gas patio heaters may be used. Some will even heat up to a 12’ area outside.

• Some products that look like stainless steel may not be. If it is not stainless steel it will rust in two to three years. However, stainless steel will last a lifetime. If a magnet sticks to it, it’s not stainless steel.

• One of the biggest issues in outdoor living is gas lines. Make sure you have the right size gas line running to your fire pit. It should be at least a ¾” to 1” pipe to have the best volume.

• Check the drainage in a fire pit. It should have seep holes so the pit won’t fill up with water, which can back up into the gas line.

• Each city is different, so be sure to follow local codes. Some codes can restrict you from putting a fire pit under a covered porch. A fireplace is okay under some codes, but not a fire pit.

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