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How to Design Your Backyard for Camping

Searching for an amazing traditional outdoor activity? Now is the time to plan your perfect backyard getaway.

Camping in the backyard is perfect for an old-fashioned family fun. Building a tent close to your home is the perfect way to embrace nature, have fun with kids, gaze at the stars at night and eat food cooked over the fire. It also allows you to bond with your family sans the major trip to a campground and all the hassle involved in sleeping in the great outdoors.

While camping in the wilderness can be fun and comes with its own benefits, sticking close to your home can provide a lot of the same fun and adventure while still keeping you within a safe distance from your bathroom, kitchen, and all the comforts of home. Say goodbye tolong-haul, stressful road trips and hello to backyard camping fun.

Here are some ways to design your backyard for camping:

Plan Out Your Perfect Night

Before you go on your backyard camping excursion, it’s best to set rules for your family. Create a “to-do” list that includes clearing an area for your tent, preparing snacks, and choosing activities for the night. While you are setting rules and expectations, be sure to keep it fun. If you want to get away from the house for a little while, consider adding a short hike around your neighborhood to the agenda.

Have a Barbecue

The fun and excitement begins when the sun goes down, and planning out your dinner menu is a must.An outdoor barbecue means you can enjoy eating together as a family.You can either prepare the food on your traditional grill, or think about fun and easy menu ideas that you can cook over an open fire, just like you might if you were out in the wilderness. Enjoying your favorite grilled foods and staring at the stars is a great way to start the evening.

Build an Outdoor Fireplace

This is a perfect way to add warmth during a cold night. A fireplace can be an impressive focal point in your backyard, and provide the perfect addition to make your family camping trip feel like you are out in nature.

At Uintah Fireplace and Design, we understand your need for a unique and unforgettable backyard camping. We have the expertise to install all your fire-related needs. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you plan a beautiful outdoor fireplace and get the perfect start to your camping “staycation”.

Primary Benefits of Using Gas-Powered Outdoor Fire Pits

Surrounding an outdoor fire pit with a couple of chairs will make it your exterior living room. You can invite friends for a relaxing chat, stargaze for a little bit or you can just enjoy the solitude in front of a warm fire. Today, it’s common for outdoor fire pits to be powered by gas rather than wood. This way, it can be useful any time of the day.

Nonetheless, what else makes a gas fire pit a better choice?

1. It Looks Better

Any dream home must always have an outdoor fire pit. Its mere presence makes a property look more homely and elegant. Even more so, you can pair its theme with your house’s design.

2. It’s Environmentally Friendly

The climate problem is becoming worse, which makes it all the more imperative for everyone to do their part in saving the environment. One way of contributing to the cause is getting gas fireplaces. It produces lesser emissions, which can only be beneficial for the environment.

3. It’s Easy to Install

Most outdoor fire pits are inserts, meaning there’s no need for a big construction. Whether you want it in your backyard, porch or patio, fireplace providers can do it for you.

4. It’s Cleaner and Less of a Fire Hazard

With a traditional wood-burning stove, you’re going to clean up ashes and worry about crackles. Now, if you just want to relax, that definitely won’t help. A gas unit, on the other hand, is easy to use. You can turn it on and off, it produces no residue and you won’t have to clean after using it.

5. It Doesn’t Produce Smoke

From start to finish, you won’t notice any smell because gas fire pits doesn’t produce smoke. No one will breathe in smoke from the ember and you won’t smell like burnt wood.

Gas fireplaces have been increasing in popularity for the simple reason that it’s safer to use. In addition, more and more designs are becoming available every day to make it more aesthetically pleasing.

For more information about outdoor gas fire pits, get in touch with us here at Uintah Fireplace and Design. As Utah’s premier fireplace showroom, we also offer a host of other quality fireplaces, mantels, gas logs and more.

Why Linear Gas Fireplace Inserts Make Sense

If you’re looking to convert a traditional wood fireplace space into a more modern option, you might be worried about the cost or the process of this conversion. At Uintah Fireplace and Design, however, we’re here to tell you that this isn’t the case – you can accomplish this conversion without the major hassle of completely replacing your fireplace.

How, you ask? Through the use of our linear fireplace gas insert options. These inserts can be installed in any existing fireplace by our professionals, with different sizes and styles available to fit your space. What are some of the reasons why you should consider linear fireplace inserts? There are several.

Simplicity and Convenience

Unlike many other fireplace formats, which require significant preparation and time before they’re operating at peak capacity, gas fireplace inserts are ready to go at a moment’s notice. There are no complicated buttons or levers – you simply turn the equipment on or off and let it do its job.

In addition, gas options are the cleanest and simplest out there. They produce no ash or soot for you to have to clean up, and also require no preparation or aftercare of any kind. They’re arguably the most convenient fireplace option out there.

Immediate Heat

As we touched on above, this convenience means you’re never waiting impatiently for your fireplace to warm up and finally start giving off some heat. With a wood fireplace, for instance, you have to take the time to arrange logs and stoke the flames until they build properly, plus you have to regularly maintain logs and kindling if you don’t want the fire to go out in a few minutes.

With gas options, there’s no such hassle or wait. You turn the fireplace on using your remote and instantly begin to feel increased warmth and relaxation.

Saves Space

Linear gas fireplaces are installed into wall spaces that previously held wood fireplaces – they require no additional space. They’re flat and not bulky at all, allowing you to design a central home hub around them however you choose.

Looks Realistic

Linear fireplace options have decorative screens on the front, and through these you will see real flames and an authentic feel. For this reason, gas fireplaces can be just as effective as their wood counterparts at becoming the focal design point of a room.

Limited Maintenance

From the absence of ash and soot to the limited mechanical parts, linear gas fireplace inserts are a breeze to maintain. You don’t have to spend any time cleaning the grate after each use or removing old logs. All you have to do is get regular yearly maintenance done to ensure nothing is out of order, and you’re done.

For more on why you should consider linear gas fireplace inserts for your home, or to learn more about any of our fireplace installation services, speak to the pros at Uintah Fireplace and Design today.

Steps and Reasons for Fireplace Burn-Off

At Uintah Fireplace and Design, we’re all about bringing you a comprehensive fireplace customization and installation experience. We’ll walk you through everything from start to finish, from selecting one of our contemporary fireplaces or other options to getting things installed and designed beautifully in your home.

We can also help with all the basic operation and maintenance guidelines you need, particularly directly after installation, when some of these processes are most vital. One such process when you’ve purchased a gas fireplace or gas insert is called the “burn-off” cycle – what is this, why is it necessary, and how should you go about it?

Burn-Off Basics and Necessity

The burn-off cycle for gas fireplaces and inserts refers to a period of time where you run the fireplace soon after installation without any warmth or comfort goals involved. This is because fireplaces, similar to ovens or grilles of several varieties, are made using paints or oils that need to be baked or cured off – and the simplest way to do this is using the actual heat of the fireplace itself.

Without a basic burn-off cycle, you risk significant unpleasant odors coming from your fireplace when you turn it on. And this often isn’t a temporary thing; these odors can linger for years in some cases. Rather than deal with these problems, take a little time using the steps we’ll now outline to the a simple burn-off.

Basic Steps

  • Begin by opening all the windows in the room where your fireplace has been installed, and maybe a few others on the same floor. This is for cross-ventilation, which can also be aided by turning on ceiling fans or even handheld fans. Some fireplace products may have stronger smells than some others, so good ventilation is a must.
  • Turn the fireplace or insert on to the highest possible setting.
  • You may notice white smoke or a strong odor coming from the fireplace – this is okay, and is the goal of the burn-off.
  • Run the unit for three hours before turning it off and allowing it a full cooling period.
  • After cooling, turn it on again on high and run it for six to eight more hours.

From here, you should be in good shape to enjoy fires using your gas fireplace or insert for years into the future.

First Year of Use

One other little note here: After roughly a year of use, it’s always recommended that you clean the inside glass of your gas fireplace or insert. If you need assistance here, ask our pros for some recommendations.

For more on the burn-off cycle for a new gas fireplace or insert, or to learn about any of our custom fireplace options, speak to the pros at Uintah Fireplace and Design.

Fireplace Mantel Holiday Decoration Tips

The holidays are here, and for many families, that means it’s one of the best times of year to gather around the fireplace and enjoy each other’s company. At Uintah Fireplace and Design, we have all the contemporary fireplace materials and services you need to both keep the family warm and create a perfect atmosphere centerpiece in your home.

We also specialize in beautiful mantels, from classic styles to more modern ones. For many people, the mantel is the real draw of the holiday season – it offers opportunities to hang stockings, bring new designs and otherwise get creative as part of your festivities. What are a few important trends and themes to keep an eye on while decorating your holiday mantel this season?

Color

The first big area to think about if you’re overhauling your mantel for the holidays is the color scheme you’ll use. This mostly comes down to your own personal preference, but a very popular theme for Christmas and other holidays is the white-on-white design that’s accented by various splashes of color – often rose gold or other drape colors. White is the perfect holiday color, helping blend everything together and allowing you to accent it however you like.

Many homeowners look for a more earthy, farmhouse-style look by infusing natural greens and browns with that same white background. This brings a warm, personal vibe that makes everyone in the room feel right at home.

Additional Textures

Once you’ve defined your basic colors,  you can move into several additional texture areas as well. Common items here for those who celebrate Christmas may include stockings, presents or tree-related items, and there are plenty of other choices as well.

Some homeowners look to bundles of wood or other similarly earthy designs. Others bring contrasts to their primary colors through pillows, greenery, fur or various other materials. There are almost unlimited potential ideas at your disposal here if you’re willing to get creative, and many of them cost little to virtually nothing.

Accessories and Add-Ons

Finally, it’s time to perfect the little details that will make or break your mantel and fireplace designs for the holiday season. We’re talking here about filling the extra space, both with practical items like candles or lights and with decorative pieces – these can go on the mantel or in several other areas, as long as they maintain the overall accent.

As we noted, presents are a prominent addition to any design if you’re a family celebrating Christmas. Some families place stools or other small floor items around to fill the space, plus warm lights to really set the mood.

For more on decorating the perfect holiday mantle and fireplace area, or to learn about any of our fireplace services or product, speak to the pros at Uintah Fireplace and Design today.

Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Fire Pit Gathering

Whether it’s a cool winter evening by the fire or a warm summer barbeque theme, the fire pit is a fantastic social epicenter for many homeowners. It’s the perfect central location for many gatherings, from a family celebration to a larger social event held on the property.

At Uintah Fireplace and Design, we have a wide range of outdoor gas fire pit options for you and your family to choose from. We’ll help you design your fire pit and entire outdoor space to complement each other, including a consultation with our expert staff before purchase. During this consultation, our staff can offer expertise on numerous important areas – here are some tips we offer on safety and coordination anytime you’re holding a gathering around the fire pit.

Space and Flow

Once you have some idea of how many people will be present for a given gathering or party, spend just a few minutes surveying the area and ensuring you have enough space for everyone to remain safe. If you’re planning on various foods or activities to be set up, ensure these aren’t out of the way and don’t interfere with people’s path to and from the fire pit.

In addition, survey the area for any safety hazards like lawn issues, fence edges that are sharp, or even broken glass or other debris that might be on the ground. If there are any hazardous areas, mark or block these off in advance. If your gathering is planned as a longer one, make sure there’s ample seating present for everyone who is attending.

Lighting

The fire from your fire pit itself will provide some light, yes, but you shouldn’t use this as the only light source. You should also ensure the outdoor area has proper lighting in place so guests can see where they’re going, including pathways back inside.

Safety Kit

Anytime you’re having a fire, even using safe gas fire options like our fire pits, you should have a basic safety kit on hand in case anything goes wrong. Include basics like a bucket of water, a flashlight or some other lighting source, and possibly a fire extinguisher just in case. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Bug Repellant

It’s not a safety element per se, but one additional tip we can offer you for throwing parties around the fire pit, particularly if it’s during the warmer season when bugs are out in force: Consider burning some sage or tossing lemon balm into the fire pit to keep bugs away. These items will make the area smell great to humans, for one, and will also do a very good job chasing the bugs away and keeping them away.

For more on staying safe around a fire pit gathering, or to learn about any of our gas fireplace products or options, speak to the staff at Uintah Fireplace and Design today.

Advice for Keeping Fireplace Value High

When you install a gas or electric fireplace in your home, you’re getting more than just a warmth provider and a gathering place – you’re getting an investment. A fireplace adds significant value to a home, both immediately and down the line, but this is only the case if it’s properly cared for and maintained.

At Uintah Fireplace and Design, our fireplace services include helping you with all varieties of maintenance that might be needed. In addition, we can offer expertise to help you keep your fireplace providing good value to the home along with great comfort – here are some tips.

Reading the Manual

There are many different fireplace styles and models out there, and even if you’ve had a similar one in the past, you never know what small differences there might be in operation or safety. For this reason, it’s vital to read your operating manual when you have the fireplace installed.

Not only will this help keep you and your family safe, it will keep your costs down while keeping the fireplace in great shape. A lack of knowledge in simple operation areas could lead to major strain on certain fireplace elements, which will lower its lifespan and cost you more.

Safety and Flammable Materials

It’s recommended that you keep anything flammable at least three feet away from fireplaces, particularly highly flammable objects like paper, fabrics, wood chips or anything similar. For children or pets, more distance is recommended – installing a safety screen or a glass barrier is often a great way to keep them away from the heat, and these often come standard in many gas fireplace units.

Detectors

Have you recently checked your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re working properly? Fireplace installation is a good time to do this, plus to set a regular yearly or twice yearly schedule to check again. Remember that particularly in the case of carbon monoxide, there won’t be any other way to tell anything is wrong – carbon monoxide has no taste, odor or color, and the only other way you’ll notice an abundance of it is if you’re experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Batteries

Down similar lines, make sure to check batteries for all your detectors every time you do a basic check on them. At the same time as you do this, also change the batteries in your gas fireplace receiver if you have one – this is a backup power supply that can light the fireplace with a single button push in case the power in your home goes out and you need the light or warmth. These receivers are popular for homes in storm areas or where the power frequently goes out.

Inspection and Cleaning

Once a year, you should have your fireplace inspected by one of our licensed pros. We can help you with areas you might not be qualified to work on, such as corrosion issues, firebox damage, venting, and the cleaning of various components. These kinds of inspections an basic cleanings will help you avoid much larger and costlier issues that may crop up during the high-use winter season.

For more on how to keep your fireplace working well and providing positive value, or to learn about any of our contemporary fireplace options, speak to the pros at Uintah Fireplace and Design today.

Choosing Between Vented and Vent-Free Gas Logs

If you’re considering new fireplace options in your home, one of the excellent modern formats you might be looking into is gas logs. A perfect alternative to collecting actual wood for your fires, a gas log appears as burning wood but comes without all the mess and hassle that comes with real wood, and minus all the maintenance needed as well.

At Uintah Fireplace and Design, we’re proud to offer high-quality, environmentally friend gas logs among our various fireplace services. One of the big decisions you’ll have to make if you choose to go this route is whether to use vented logs or vent-free logs – what are each of these, and which should you choose? We’ll go over both sets of options in this two-part blog post.

Vented Log Basics

For those who want gas logs but don’t want to eliminate the large, realistic flames that come from the fireplace, vented logs are generally the way to go. They create the most realistic and grand look available, with fire wrapping around logs and tall flames.

Now, vented gas logs will take a bit of care when it comes to your home and chimney venting system. Vented logs to produce carbon monoxide emissions, but these are easily manageable if you have a proper chimney and vent system. One unavoidable element of vented logs is that they’ll take up a bit more energy than vent-free options – this is because the damper or flue needs to be open while they’re in use to ensure indoor air quality.

For this reason, vented logs are often considered more decorative than anything else. They allow for many accessory types and design formats.

Vented Gas Log Benefits

Some of the primary reasons homeowners look to vented gas logs include:

  • Their realistic appearance, including details in both the logs themselves and the resulting flames you see.
  • Vented gas logs utilize existing fireplace areas without major renovations, including those previously used to burn real wood fires.
  • Vented gas logs tend to be less expensive than their vent-free counterparts.

Vented Gas Log Drawbacks

There are also a few reasons why you might look to other options besides vented gas logs, including some of the following:

  • While vented logs are perfect for existing fireplace spaces, they require a new installation in cases where you didn’t previously have this space.
  • If warmth is your primary goal from a new fireplace, you might consider vent-free options instead. This is because vented logs do not produce as much warmth, given the fact that the chimney is open during operation and air can escape.
  • Because the flame is actively touching the logs, vented logs produce more soot and mess than vent-free options and will require more regular cleaning.

For more on choosing between vented and vent-free gas logs for your fireplace, or to learn about any of our contemporary fireplace options, speak to the staff at Uintah Fireplace and Design today.

Choosing Between Vented and Vent-Free Gas Logs, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog, we went over many of the basics, pros and cons of vented gas fireplace logs. Those choosing gas fireplaces will generally choose between these vented options and other ventless choices, and which you land on will depend on several factors.

At Uintah Fireplace and Design, we’re happy to explain all the details of vented versus ventless gas logs when you’re examining our high-quality contemporary fireplace products. Today, we’ll dig into the other side of this conversation – here’s everything you need to know about ventless gas logs, including their basic properties and situations where they might fit or not fit your needs.

Ventless Gas Logs Basics

For those who are looking to prioritize fireplace efficiency, ventless gas logs can be a good choice. These log options, unlike vented logs, do not require a chimney or flue to function properly – though they can be installed in these areas without any issue. What this means is that you can operate a ventless gas log fireplace where virtually none of the heat escapes your home, allowing it to do a great job heating individual areas without raising your monthly bill.

Now, those who care about the appearance of the fireplace first and foremost might prefer vented logs instead. Ventless gas logs look a tad less realistic than vented options. There are also some minor practicality issues, such as the fact that flames have to avoid ventless gas logs to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide issues, but these are easily managed.

Ventless Gas Log Benefits

There are several distinct benefits to ventless gas logs in your fireplace, including all of the following:

  • Warmth: As we noted above, ventless options are great for heating a space because they can be used in situations where no air loss is required.
  • Environmental friendliness: Fuel burns almost fully with ventless logs, producing almost no emissions or pollution.
  • Installation: Almost all ventless logs can be installed in virtually any wood-burning or factory-made fireplace.
  • Fuel use: Ventless options use slightly less fuel than vented logs, and are more efficient in this and other ways.

Ventless Gas Log Drawbacks

  • Limited customization: Ventless logs can’t be decorated or rearranged in the same ways as vented options, and they may appear less realistic.
  • Humidity: While the ability to heat a room is a big benefit, it can turn into an annoyance if you don’t vent properly with open windows or other air-flow areas. In areas like Utah with dry winters, a bit of humidity may actually help the room – but too much will make it damp and uncomfortable, and may risk peeling your paint.

For more on vented versus ventless gas logs for your fireplace, or to learn about any of our gas, electric or other contemporary fireplace, speak to the staff at Uintah Fireplace and Design today.

Maintenance Tips for Maximum Gas Fireplace Value

At Uintah Fireplace and Design, we’re proud to offer conversion services that help clients turn their existing hearth into a gas fireplace using our gas logs. Gas fireplaces are a great alternative to wood-burning options, creating far less mess and also bringing several warming benefits.

Another benefit of gas logs and fireplaces is their relatively low maintenance – unlike wood fireplaces, you don’t regularly have to maintain and clean the area just for regular use. However, there are still a few important areas you should keep an eye on to ensure you get maximum value out of a gas fireplace. Here are some basic tips.

Manual Information

For starters, ensure you keep the owner’s manual that comes with your gas fireplace in a place you can remember. This document contains all the information you need to properly care for your gas fireplace and use it optimally.

Knowing basic operating requirements may not seem like a big deal, but it can save you huge sums of money over the years. For one, you’re likely to use less gas and keep your gas bill low. For another, proper use will limit strain on components and keep your fireplace functioning like new for years. If your fireplace did not come with a manual or you have misplaced yours, find the manufacturer online and download a copy.

Flammable Materials

At all times, whether or not the fireplace is in direct use, flammable or potentially flammable materials should be kept at least three feet away from the fireplace. If you have children or pets in the home who you’re worried might show a bit too much interest in the fireplace, there are a variety of safety screen or glass barrier options you can utilize to help prevent this. Setting and sticking to this kind of rule, even when the fireplace is off, ensures safety at all times.

Detector Upkeep

A related area of upkeep and maintenance for a home with any kind of fireplace is ensuring your detectors are working properly. The first is your smoke detectors, which should always be checked regularly to make sure they’re working properly and have the right batteries installed.

In addition, consider the carbon monoxide detector, which can be just as important. Carbon monoxide cannot be smelled or seen, and may cause carbon monoxide poisoning issues if it’s not picked up by your detector. If there are any issues here, contact a local gas contractor immediately.

Battery Concerns

Batteries are important for the detectors we discussed above, but also for your fireplace remote and receiver. These items can be used for remote activation, and perhaps more importantly for activating the fireplace manually during a power outage.

For more on maintenance areas for gas fireplaces, or to learn about any of our new fireplace or gas insert options, speak to the staff at Uintah Fireplace and Design today.

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