Despite the dreary weather we’ve had recently, here at Stewart Timber, we are big advocates of using your garden to its fullest potential, all year round. From sprucing up your garden decking to insulating your shed, there is lots to do to keep your garden functional over winter.
An obvious deterrent to relaxing outside during winter is the cold. But picture this – huddling around a garden wood burner, toasting marshmallows, cosied up with your nearest and dearest.
We’ve talked about picking the right firewood and how to store your firewood on the blog before, but before you get this stage, you need to get an outdoor wood burner! How do you pick which to invest in?
Types of Outdoor Wood Burner
Many people like the ease of firing up an outdoor gas heater, but these are not exactly environmentally-friendly, neither are they particularly cosy. At Stewart Timber, we’re all about bringing you back to your primal roots with more ecologically sound wood – it smells great, it’s cost-effective, and most importantly, keeps you toasty!
Your smallest and cheapest option is a fire basket. These are essentially metal baskets with thick grates.
They are straightforward to move and store when they’re not in use. On the downside, because of the grating gaps, sparks and ash are likely to fly out.
If you’re looking for something more enclosed, a fire pit is great. It’s perfect for social gatherings, allowing everyone to fully surround it, feeling the heat from all angles.
They are often bulkier than your average fire pit so if you don’t use it often, you may have difficulty storing it.
Additionally, you’ll need a fine mesh cover to stop sparks flying out.
Some people have fire pits built into the ground, rather than standalone prefabricated models.
This is a freestanding fireplace with a bulbous body and a vertical chimney for smoke to filter through, so no smoke puffing into your face!
They generally have one opening at the front for the heat to come out of, though you can get ones with metal mesh around it so it functions more like a fire basket or pit.
Chimineas can be made of different materials, including clay and metal. They’re incredibly durable but heavy!
The most modern-looking option is the wood burner. Made of metal, it has a long chimney protruding from the top and usually has heatproof glass for you to see the flames flickering inside.
They are the most expensive option of them all but if you intend to use it regularly and want it to last, then it’s a fantastic investment.
What Will You Use It For?
What you intend to use the outdoor wood burner for will determine what type you should buy.
If you’re looking for something that is more tucked away and won’t be used too often, a fire pit is likely to be your best option.
If you want a focal point in your garden which large groups of people can gather around, you should consider a fire pit or wood burner.
A chiminea is good for 2 or 3 people to huddle around, great for personal use rather than big parties.
Where Will It Go?
When you’re trying to decide between different wood burners, think about your particular garden space and how well each garden wood burner would fit into the space.
Before you go ahead though, check the regulations for garden wood burners in your locality.
The most comfortable height for an outdoor wood burner is around 10 to 12 inches off the ground – this way, you can sit normally in your seat and the heat will radiate towards you. Otherwise, you’ll need to crouch down onto the ground to have any chance of properly heating up.
If your garden isn’t sheltered from gusts of wind, think about whether you have a safe spot to place your garden wood burner so that the fire doesn’t go out. If not, you’d be better with an enclosed wood burner or chiminea.
Your garden wood burner should sit on a fireproof surface, like gravel or concrete. The choice of which depends on aesthetics and safety requirements. A fireproof pad should be placed beneath your burner.
Deciding where you would be able to place the garden wood burner will give you a better idea of which one to pick, accounting for practicality, safety and local regulations.
What Will You Pick?
Have a think about what you want to use the garden wood burner for and what will work best in your garden.
When you’ve come to a decision and are ready to invest in some firewood, get in touch with us!
Enjoy cosying up next to your garden wood burner over Christmas!