Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

AUG 2017

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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Above In Michigan, Kelly Karp of Landscape Design Services Inc. created a landscape to inspire fun, activities and memories, including a fire pit in the backyard. Karp recommends checking state and local ordinances for fire pit regulations, as every location will be different. Because the outdoor kitchen also needed gas, a licensed professional had to come out and increase the gas meter on the house. PHOTO: WILLIAM HEBERT Left At this Southern California residence, contractor Stanislaw Krupa installed the Landscape designed by Debbie Gliksman of Urban Oasis Land- scape Design. The gas line had already been run under the existing paving, so it was just a matter of placing the custom 'Simplicity Edge' fire bowl. August 2017 31 pit footing and structure by allowing water to drain properly." "If you don't have good airflow and drainage, you can get rain in the bottom of the fire pit and that can create some damage," said Tyler Washburn from Outback Landscape. "Especially if you have an electric start on a gas fire pit." Nathan Boliek of TDH Landscaping built wood burning fire pits for two clients. Both units were set on slopes, creating the need for adequate drainage. "Improper drainage will allow water to collect in the pit and cause damage to the unit while also creating a breeding ground for mosquitos," said Boliek. Sizing Up The Job Boliek recommends not building a fire pit more than 12" in height. "When most people sit by a fire they want their hands and feet to be warm," he said. "Pre - fab units are 18" to 24" which do not allow heat to make it below the knee." Tyler Washburn of Outback Landscape created a fire pit that was 4' in diameter and about 28" tall. He recommends a 4' diameter pit if you're using gas, but says that a 3' diameter one works well for smaller residences. "Anything over 5' diameter starts to become a safety hazard," he advises. Kelly Karp from Landscape Design Services Inc. in Michigan built a fire pit with exterior diameter of 5', noting, "That size is pretty common." Fire bowls come in all shapes and sizes and can be custom manufactured to meet the proj - ect's specifications. The 'Simplicity' fire bowl that Debbie Gliksman of Urban Oasis specified for a Southern California project was 4' in diameter. Jorge Castellanos noted that heat could be an issue with gas units. "If you build them too big they can get too hot, not something you would want near a patio," said Castellanos. How Close is Too Close? Seating arrangements around fire features can be as diverse as the fire features themselves. Opinions differ as to how far seating should be from the fire pit for optimum comfort. Jorge Castellanos opted to design and build a 5' diameter fire pit and s-shaped seatwall. "If you have the seating too far from the fire you won't feel a thing; if it is too close it will be too hot," said Castellanos. "I've found that two to three feet works the best."

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