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The Lowdown on Outdoor Add-Ons

The Lowdown on Outdoor Add-Ons

Spice up your outdoor living area with natural gas items that combine beauty and functionality.

Any fashion aficionado will tell you: It’s the accessories that make the outfit. Need to make an inexpensive outfit from a department store look like high-dollar threads from Rodeo Drive? Just add the right belt and shoes.

Likewise, a well chosen outdoor accessory, such as a gas firepit or tiki torch, can turn even the most austere environment into an inviting outdoor oasis. What’s more, you can add these stylish yet practical flourishes for a surprisingly small cash outlay. Here’s a look at some low-cost, high- impact options.

Fire Pits, Campfires, Fireplaces and Patio Heaters

Natural gas fire pits and fireplace sets have become a common choice for outdoor warmth, bringing together the utility of a heating appliance with the homey feel of a dancing fire.

“Beauty, realism and heat are all part of the package,” says Jerry Scott, vice president of sales and marketing at Robert H. Peterson Co. who’s been with the manufacturer for two decades. “Gas logs are instant-on and instant-off, with no wood to haul, no kindling to mess with and no cleanup.”

Some local jurisdictions have placed restrictions or prohibitions on wood-burning appliances, but natural gas products burn clean and don’t produce the smoke or soot associated with wood. You also don’t have to arrange for wood delivery or chop it yourself and haul it home. Additional benefits: There’s no ash cleanup with natural gas products, you don’t have to wait for it to get hot and you don’t have to worry about sparking or popping embers falling onto your patio or deck. Natural gas firepits are also safe to install and use on a wooden deck because there are no glowing embers.

Outdoor gas logs are generally comparable to indoor log sets. Log products can be put in prefabricated fireplace surrounds or placed in a custom-built firepit, which Scott says is an increasingly popular option.,

Another popular heating option is the natural gas patio heater, which can be installed just about anywhere to provide a 12 – 20 foot circle of heat around a mushroom or umbrella shaped head that radiates heat downward. With a Gas Convenience Outlet, patio heaters can be moved from place to place, but they also can be permanently installed on a porch, deck or patio. Patio heaters are available in a variety of colors to complement the décor of your outdoor room.

Some models of patio heaters can be mounted in eaves to direct heat downward over a certain area while not taking up space on the floor.