When the colder weather starts to creep in our Hudson Valley communities like Fishkill, Wappingers Falls, and Pleasant Valley, homeowners get to experience the benefits of deciding to include that outdoor fireplace in their home’s landscape project design. Although features like these can certainly increase the cost of the landscape installation, they also greatly extend the months in which homeowners can use their outdoor living spaces. As only a small percentage of the overall cost of the space, outdoor fireplaces—or even smaller fire pits—pack a huge punch of added value.
Outdoor fireplaces have certainly gotten red hot over the last few years (yes, pun intended), finding their way into small patio installation projects, as well as the complete backyard projects that we work on throughout the season. And part of the reason for this is the declining costs of installation. While their is certainly a place for large scale, custom outdoor masonry fireplaces, many homeowners and landscape contractors have started to look to prefab kits to drive down prices.
Today, there are many prefab kits on the market for landscape contractors. Perhaps the first option, released quite a few years ago now, is a line of products called Elements offered by hardscape manufacturer, Unilock. While this product line has since been trimmed back and optimized a bit, the main modular outdoor fireplace unit is still available. Because this option comes fully assembled from the Unilock factory, it’s best used when the access to the property is clear and accessible by a machine.
Cambridge Pavers launched a comprehensive line of prefab landscape solutions a few years ago that has truly revolutionized landscape design and construction in Dutchess County and Orange County, NY. Outdoor fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, water features, patio tables, pizza ovens, outdoor bars, pavilions, pergolas—you name it, they’ve got it. And because the design and fabrication is done in a controlled manufacturing environment, there are substantial cost savings to the homeowner. This option certainly decreases the design flexibility and personality of the project, but these prefab kits allow many more project designs to include awesome features that add beauty and function at an affordable price.
Whether you decide to go custom of prefab with your outdoor fireplace project, one thing is for sure. You will extend the time that you and your friends and family can enjoy your outdoor living spaces. Relaxing by an open fire—perhaps roasting a few marshmallows with the kids—is one of the best ways to spend fall in the Hudson Valley.