Fire Pit Table

nwmom2013May 22, 2013

Hi Everyone,

I'm thinking of getting a gas fire pit table for our small patio, but am wondering how much we'll use it. We have small kids and roasting marshmallows would be great. Is it possible? Do you use it frequently? We don't have room for much, and am considering this or a lounge sofa. No room for more. We already have a metal bistro table right now for meals.

Thanks for your help!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It would be hard for anyone to advise you if they don't know exactly what you mean by "small" ... the size of your patio and the size of the things you are considering to put in it, and the possibilities for arrangement. You'd need to provide this information.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 8:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

We design, install and specify A LOT of them and I have to say that those families with kids use them often.

I live in an area where there are relatively few if any mosquitoes in the evening and the coastal fog nicely cools down our night time temperatures. Because we receive no rainfall during the summer months most people use their back yard/ decks/ terraces as a second family room , outfitting the outdoor areas with comfy chairs , tables and a modest grilling setup.
The addition and convenience of a gas fire pit/ fire table adds another layer of entertainment / interaction to the outdoor room for enjoyment.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 9:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, Yaardvark and d-d. This is my first post and I didn't know how specific to be. The space is on concrete slabs against the house, almost 15x10, with another 4 feet at a 30 degree angle on the long side.
The bistro chairs are conveniently left outside all year, even in the "Wet Coast", but not comfortable enough to lounge in.
Actually, my biggest problem is the lack of privacy. There are taller houses overlooking our yard, built after we moved in to our house. I had no idea how it would affect my wanting to be outside. The hedges have not yet grown in. I'm thinking of putting several umbrellas at an extreme angle to block out views! Any other ideas? It's even awkward to open the sliding door to the patio from kitchen, because one house could possibly see through our kitchen from their kitchen if it's dark out.
I thought if I could make it more a destination, we would spend more time there.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 10:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A description of how things/neighbors are arranged does not convey how it really is. Take pictures that show and EXPLAIN the problem and post them. People cannot help you solve what they don't understand. Show views "from," and "to."

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 11:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

Your privacy issue sounds all too common for those who have homes set close together.

There are several ways to address the problem, from installing an over head arbor $$$, installing sail shades $$, to planting large immediate gratification trees and hedges $$$ to simple umbrellas and panel trellises $.

Sometimes doubling up on the type of screening works such as purchasing an umbrella while waiting for the shrubs and trees to grow in.

In the two areas that I have privacy concerns I used two methods : planting and structure. Using Oldhami bamboo ( a clumping timber bamboo ) and Mexican weeping bamboo in one location and attaching bamboo roll up shades on an overhead arbor.

In the photo below you can see how lattice can work as a good screen when used with shrubs planted behind on on the lattice :
From Outdoor Kitchens and Dining areas From portfolioMay08.jpg

combination of fencing and planting for a home in a closely placed development :
From portfolioMay08.jpg

For this patio , which receives a lot of intense weather conditions we decided to use metal instead of wood to create a privacy screen :
From portfolioMay08.jpg

This older photo of my back patio shows my simple overhead arbor with the dense covering of wisteria that offers 'overhead look in privacy'. It's a somewhat dirty vine to deal with. This particular wisteria blooms all year round , hence I am constantly having to sweep up the faded blooms off the ground. It also needs to be cut back heavily once a year to keep it from producing too much shade.
From Outdoor Room

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
catkim(San Diego 10/24)

The combination of the standing screen, potted plants, then bench and table is very appealing. You mention this is an older photo -- was the wooden (?) screen durable enough for this purpose? I assume the bench is teak or similar, but the screen? The overall effect is a charming, intimate space.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

Hi catkim,
That wooden screen came out of a gorgeous japanese style home in Marin that was being demolished . I nabbed it about 12 years ago and it has been in that location since then. It is really heavy - The wood is some kind of super dense teak or mahogany . When I first brought it home I glued tracing paper to the back side of it to soften the bright halide lights coming in from the street lights. The paper held up for one season. It was effective enough until the foliage from some of palms and Acacia cognata trees soften the glare of the light.
That screen will probably out live me.

I've recently started to wire tillandsias to it.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Suzi AKA DesertDance

deviant-designer, I think the OP is not up for such effluviant (not a real word, but self explanatory) stuff as you have showed. She has a small patio, and wants a place to do marshmallows with her small children ON THE CHEAP.

Catkim, I would suggest that you replace your metal patio table with one that has a fire pit in the middle. Look on Craigs list, and you will find somebody that makes such tables for cheap. Maybe you can trade your current table for something. Craigs list is a good place. Also Freecycle.

There is always DIY!

Good luck, and take care of those kids!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 4:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

effluviant - I like it ! - it should be a real word. ;-)

the images I choose contain some rather effluviant structures but the point I was trying to get across is that you can use lattice ( off the shelf stuff is rather inexpensive) to make a screen.

You can also use a combination of shrubberies and lattice to create privacy screenage. ( is that a word, screenage ? )

An overhead simple arbor , like the last photo is pretty inexpensive to build. 4 - 4x4 posts , a couple 2x8 beams and some 2x4 or 6's for rafters. Roll out some bamboo blinds ontop for added overhead privacy. Or buy a prefab tent at Cost Co or an umbrella.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 4:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Hi Suzi, I think you meant to address nwmom2013, the OP. I am merely an off-topic bystander who was inspired by the opulent (real word) photos. Many people will look at the super-expensive and gorgeous designer homes and gardens in books and magazines and pull together their own adapted look from Craigslist and Tar-zhay. Inspiration is cheap. ;-) We are fortunate to have some authentically creative people pop in here now and then to contribute.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 5:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

deviant-deziner, do you have any photos showing how your overhead arbor attaches to your house? I like the wisteria.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 7:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

it's a simple ledger board - disreguard the floor joist detail in the illustration above and attach to through your header board

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, I'll file that away in case we can do something similar.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 10:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Deviant-designer, those photos are truly inspirational. I also took a peek at your portfolio photos. You are really artistic. Thanks for taking time for me. The metal screen room is my favorite.
As for my dilemma, I particularly like the lattice idea. But we are trying to keep things temporary, since the shrubs are growing in, and we are trying to keep the lawn, which takes up more of our yard. We invested in an irrigation system on the lawn last year -- the grass is for the kids to play ball, set up the bouncy house and lay out the blankets for picnics. So, the hardscaping will have to come later, when we extend the patio part in the future. I've considered a tent structure, but the patio is by the house and it's north facing (hence a cozy fire pit idea). I don't want to darken the windows any more than I have to.
The lattices in the photos seem a little low to solve the privacy issue, since the neighboring house is higher up, but having it at the perimeter of the patio might work. I love the airiness of the Japanese screen in the last photo, so that we could still see the lawn in the background. The container bamboo is also a great idea. Another umbrella, too, maybe?
Suzi, I got the table set from designs within reach and I love the look and versatility of it. I don't think I could let it go yet. But I've since found a portable fire pit that might work with it, or considering folding down the table top, and using it for parties, while keeping a small lounge set in the center.
I appreciate your ideas -- thanks, everyone!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 11:58PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Front Yard Landscape Help! Zone 10a
We are looking to remodel the front of our home. We...
Shrubs need to get pulled out U-G-L-Y
Hi Forum Members: I recently bought my house and the...
Please need help 100% blank slate both front and back
Hi guys glad I found this forum been reading alot of...
Can a new wood fence be moved?
I recently purchased a house with a newly installed...
Need dog fencing layout tips for homestead
We just bought a place on nearly 4 acres that has no...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™