Cooler temps and falling leaves mean less sunbathing and more fire-side sitting! Skip hibernating indoors and turn up the heat outside to extend your outdoor living season. Incorporating fire features, heating elements, and wind-blocks can help maximize use of decks, patios, and porches as we tip-toe through fall into winter. Here’s how we’re heating up outdoor spaces.
Considerations for Planning Warm and Cozy Outdoor Spaces:
Wood Burning Fireplaces
One of the quickest ways to heat up outdoor spaces is with fire! Wood heat traditionally burns extra hot, but calls for extra planning. Burning wood requires adequate ventilation, and an appropriately designed fire pit or masonry fireplace for safe burning. Fire pits are intended for use in open-air spaces and are not practical or safe for use under covered porches. A full-masonry fireplace with a venting chimney, that clears the roofline, is necessary for wood burning under covered porches. Wood storage should also be considered when planning for traditional wood heat.
Gas Fire Elements
A flexible offering of gas fire products are available including portable fire tables and wall units. Gas heat is often preferred for ease of use and clean-up. Natural and propane fueled fire elements are often less costly to install since they do not require extensive masonry like wood-burning fireplaces, but utilize an inconspicuous inexpensive direct-vent instead. Always work with an expert when adding gas-powered products to covered or enclosed spaces. Gas units require sufficient venting and proper air exchange to avoid potential build up of harmful gases.
Radiate heat from the ground up with heated outdoor floors—that’s right you can heat outdoor floors too! Heated floors provide a more indirect ambient heat as compared to fireplaces and fire tables which are usually huddled around. Electric heating elements can be added to tile and concrete floors. When combined with screening walls, a substantial amount of heat can be retained warming you up head to toe.
Keep the cold out with wind blocking installations. Wind blocks come in many different forms—from living evergreen walls to slatted privacy partitions, and full enclosures of screen or tent-like clear vinyl materials. Adding motorized roller systems to covered porches allows for swapping screening materials seasonally depending on preferred use including blocking sun-glare, heat retention and/or repelling insects. There are many options with varying applications, work with a professional designer who is fluent in available products to assess and plan your space so your desired outcome can be achieved.
Nothing compares to gazing up at the winter sky and watching the snow fall. Enjoy these magical winter moments comfortably from a hot tub. You’ll stay toasty warm while you unwind outdoors. Place your hot tub near a fire table for an extra cozy vibe.
Add fun baskets and bins of cozy shawls and blankets for folks to warm up with. Layer in outside area rugs to buffer cold cement, stone and tile floors or decking gaps. Provide cushioned seating and pillows to offer a more snuggly insulated seat.
Whether you’re redesigning existing outdoor spaces or building new, we can help you maximize your investment by extending seasonal use of decks, patios and porches through smart design. Contact us to get planning your perfect outdoor retreat!
Happy Home. Happy Life.