A fire feature is an ideal enhancement for any outdoor living space. It serves as a unifying focal point, inviting people to gather around and enjoy the warm, ambient light it provides during the evening. When we embark on the design of an outdoor living space, incorporating a fire feature is a topic we explore thoroughly with our clients. It can serve as the central attraction of a project or be integrated as one of the various elements within an outdoor living space, enhancing its capacity for entertainment and relaxation.
Benefits of Gas Fire Features
Gas Fire Pit Cross-Section
6″ to 8″ base preparation with a 1″ screed layer to level the wall blocks on top.1 of 6
A gas line is installed a minimum 18″ below the final grade with a riser extending through the middle of the fire pit.2 of 6
Wall blocks are installed level on the screed layer where the remainder of the wall blocks can be laid on top of all the way up to the caps of the fire pit.3 of 6
Vents are installed on opposing ends to allow any gas to escape as a safety feature.4 of 6
A key and valve is installed to turn on the gas and a push-button ignition is installed to ignite the fire.5 of 6
A burner and plate is installed on a mounting bracket within the fire feature with media installed on top of the plate to hide it.6 of 6
The base preparation of a gas fire pit is the same as the preparation for a paver patio. This includes excavating and compacting the subsoil, installing a geotextile, installing and compacting 6″ to 8″ of base material, and screeding a bedding layer.
We do need to ensure the burying of a gas line a minimum 18″ below final grade with a riser coming up through the middle of the fire feature.
Much like installing a retaining wall, we install our initial course level for the fire pit and then build up the fire pit ensuring a stagger in our wall blocks.
A minimum 18 square inch vents are required on opposing ends of the fire pit to allow any trapped gas to escape as a safety feature.
The key and valve along with a push button ignition is installed on one side of the fire feature. The key is inserted into the valve and is turned to open up the gas. Then the ignition is pushed to start the fire.
Mounting brackets are installed on the inside of the fire pit, the burner plate is placed on the brackets, and media of some sort is placed on the plate to add decoration and to hide the plate.
How We Install a Gas Fire Pit
Step #1: Preparation
Our process commences with a comprehensive property survey, evaluating the optimal location for the fire feature once the design has been approved and considering proximity to a natural gas connection. After this evaluation, we delineate the specific area designated for the fire pit and arrange for locates to be conducted.
Step #2: Excavation
The depth of our excavation is determined by the depth of the base (6″ to 8″), plus the 1″ bedding layer, plus the height of the pavers. We also need to excavate a trench from the house natural gas meter to the fire feature that is a minimum 18″ below the final grade of the project for the gas line.
Step #3: Base Preparation
The initial phase of base preparation begins with compacting the subsoil, applying geotextile fabric, and layering with suitable aggregate materials, customized to suit the chosen installation method. Subsequently, a one-inch screed layer is applied to establish a level surface, readying it for the placement of the initial course of wall blocks.
Step #4: Initial Course
Leveling the wall blocks atop the screed layer is a pivotal stage in the process, guaranteeing consistent wall levelness between each course. We employ a mallet and torpedo level for precision, and for added assurance, we verify with an 8-foot level across more extended sections to achieve perfection.
Step #5: Building Up the Wall
The wall blocks are built up much like a retaining wall would be built up, but without the necessity to backfill within the fire feature. The blocks are staggered from one course to the next ensuring there are no continuous lines through the wall blocks from one course to the next. We make room for the vents on opposing ends of the fire feature and the key valve while building up the fire pit.
Step #6: Caps are Adhered
Caps are adhered to the top of the wall blocks. A mounting bracket is installed on the inside of the fire pit so that we can place the burner plate on top. Our gas technician finalizes the gas hook-up to the burner. We install some media such as a black lava rock on top of the burner plate to finalize everything.
Step #7: Finalize
The fire pit is complete and you can begin enjoying entertaining around your new fire feature at any time!
Frequently Asked Questions
Gas fire feature bases are installed on top of the paver patio base which includes a 6″ to 8″ base, 1″ bedding layer, and the height of the paver to provide the depth to which we need to excavate. In addition to this we need to excavate an 18″ trench from your natural gas meter to the middle of the fire feature.
Our gas fire feature packages include the wall blocks, caps, two vents, key and valve, burner plate and burner, a push-button ignition, black lava rock or an alternative media to place on top of the burner plate, and a lid to hid the burner from the elements.
Yes, when installed correctly a gas fire feature is safer than a wood-burning fire feature. We have our licensed gas technician complete the hook-up to your natural gas meter. With a continuous source of fuel, the only thing you need to do is ensure you close the valve at the end of your fire rather than needing to pour water on a wood-burning fire and hoping you do not have any leftover embers in the bottom of the pit.
There is minimal maintenance for your gas fire feature. Just make sure that you cover your fire feature to protect it from the elements. If there is a concern that there is water in your gas line, we can schedule our gas technician to visit to check the line.