Posted on

What are the essential considerations when specifying a fire pit in the UK?

Solus decor gas fire pit

Here are our Top 7 tips to guide your specification:

 

  1. Legalities

Check it has a CE mark. If it is a gas or LPG unit it must be CE marked.  Many clients will source fire pits in America or China and be disappointed to understand that they cannot be installed in the UK unless they have a CE mark ( link )

Check local authority regulations. Wood is a popular option but there are many urban areas and counties that ban wood burners – check out with local authority.  Be particular about the questions as it is sometimes vague as to what is allowed.   Some allow wood burners but they may need to be DEFRA certified and/or burn only certain fuels.  There are various discussions surrounding its poor air quality and considering an outright ban of new real fire installations.

CE Trade mark

  1. Fuel Source

Natural gas will need to hook up to the mains of the house.  Distance from the gas connection to the fire pit and the other appliances ( hot tubs, bbq ‘s and pools ) and the demands on the gas pressure will need to be calculated by a gas contractor.

LPG (liquid propane gas) can be run off the bottle or underground tank.  Planning   for where to “hide” the tank is part of the design process.  It can be placed some 5 – 7 meters from the firepit.  It need not be directly beside it.

Bio fuel or ethanol requires no plumbing and simple placement of the fire pit is all that is required.

outdoor firepit

 

  1. Ignition

Manual lit with flame supervision device start – is “old style” pilot light that is lit and the pit ignites once the pilot is lit.  Great for most homes.  It is extremely safe and cannot be accidentally lit.   Solus does not use the “sparker” you find on most barbeques or other firepits – they are notorious for failure and frequently break after six months.

Electronic ignition with adjustable flame height and output. This requires an electrical conduit as well as the gas pipe – available in natural gas and LPG.  Warranties are extremely important with electronic units and require investigation.

 

  1. Substrate

What is the fire pit being placed upon?  If the design is considering a wood or “composite” deck then wood is non-starter.  If building a fire pit from masonry then substrate is a consideration as many independent burners, although CE marked, are not to be placed on wood, composite or grass surfaces.  Heat from the burners or wood pits direct a lot of heat to the bottom and at the ground (which is also an inefficient waste of heat.).

 

  1. Client use

How often will the fire pit be used? Running costs for fuel would have natural gas at the least expensive, LPG next and bio fuel would be the most expensive unit to run. Wood costs comparison????

Will there be other functions required of the fire pit?  How often might your client use it? Do you wish it to double up as a coffee table – will it replace the table.   Is your client primarily looking for heat, for ambiance or for large social gatherings?  The design of the fire pit, along with optional extras, such as a removable table top or a ring to use for drinks when the fire is in use should be a consideration.

Solus Decor Metal Drinks Ring Hemi Fire Pit

 

  1. Aesthetics and longevity

No doubt “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and what will it look like in six months or six years is important.  Does the firepit look attractive when it is off as well as on?  The fire pit needs to function as a fire pit but it will likely be off more than on so it ‘s architectural presence and colour is important to compliment the garden design.

 

  1. Warranties and guarantees

Does the product have warranties and guarantees that last more than a single season?  As a designer, your client will live with your design for years and it stands as a testimonial to your work. Make sure durability and longevity factor into the equation. How easy will it be to contact the company for after sales support? Where the company is based and how they manufacturer their products should be considered to ensure the best quality.

For further information take a look why not take a look at the products on our website or get in touch with us.

Posted on

Solus Decor at RHS Tatton Park Flower Show

Solus Decor hemi fire pit at RHS Tatton

Solus Decor had the opportunity to collaborate with award winning garden designer Leon Davis at this year’s RHS Tatton Park Flower show this month. Leon Davis won gold and best in show for his garden.

Solus Decor fire pit at RHS Tatton Park
From Hop to Glass. Designed by: Leon Davis. Sponsored by: JW Lees at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2018

The garden design for RHS Tatton Park entitled From Hop to Glass was sponsored by JW Lees brewery in celebration of  the 190th anniversary of the brewery . The design draws inspiration from the brewing industry, interpreting materials, features and processes in a contemporary style and composition.

The design is in part framed by glass screens, providing a foil for grasses, which are mixed with deep red and amber perennials to represent the inviting flow and texture of a freshly-poured pint.

From Hop to Glass Leon Davis at RHS Tatton Park
Red and amber planting in from Hop to Glass designed by Leon Davis at RHS Tatton

Within the planting is a circular shallow stream, which encloses relaxing spaces to sit and relax combined with the familiar textures and elements that are synonymous with a traditional pub. The curved bench gives the feel of the serving bar and the warm and inviting atmosphere is provided by the Solus Decor fire pit and the brass details around the garden.

 

Hemi fire bowl at RHS Tatton Park
Solus Decor Hemi Fire Pit in JW Lees: From Hop to Glass. Designed by: Leon Davis at RHS Tatton 2018

Leon Davis has incorporated the Hemi fire bowl in the garden design.  The Hemi fire bowl is available in three sizes, three fuel options and ten colour options. The Hemi fire pit converts into a table with a hardwood table or metal table top depending to suit your style.

To find out more about the Hemi fire pit or any of our other fire and water features get in contact with us.

 

 

Posted on

FAQs when specifying a fire pit

Solus Fire pit

Why is your product expensive relative to others?

Expensive is a relative term but as they say “you get what you pay for”. What do we do and is it any different than anyone else?  You be the judge. Here is what happens behind the scenes.

 

  1. Certification is painful, expensive, time consuming, laborious and requires deep technical expertise.  The Solus plant undergoes regular unannounced audits by the certification lab to verify what we are doing and our testing procedures and paper trails are in order.  Each and every fire pit we make must be burn tested and checked for ignition, leaks and performance.
  2. We use brass burners – not anodized  pan metal burners so we can give you a 25 year warranty (with the purchase of an all weather cover) on the burners. Best in the business
  3. Our brass “top side” burners means that our fire is projected up and out (therefore efficient) and does not lose heat out of the bottom. It is why you can use our fire pits on wood decks – many burners and metal fire pits cannot be used on a wooden deck due to heat being directed into the bottom.  The amount of KW is only relevant if it burns at close to 100 % efficiency. We design our own burners to maximize heat to provide maximum customer experience.
  4. We design, fabricate and continuously improve our designs based on constant direct customer feedback.  As we handle our own customer and technical service calls, direct feedback is the most important thing we do.
  5. We offer ten different colors with no difference in price
  6. Depending on stock levels and customer urgency we can ship within 1-6 weeks depending on project necessity.
  7. We offer hardwood table tops for our Hemi 26″ and 36″ bowls and our Firebox 30″. We design for both form and function.
  8. We offer bio fuel ( ethanol ) and a propane tank table for unusual plumbing situations.
  9. Electronic versions offer adjustable flame height regulation– a unique Solus feature
  10. Options including hardwood table tops, drinks rings, covers that fit, adjustable electronics all designed and made by Solus – we know our products.
  11. Solus has incorporated a recycled fly ash into its mix designs and has an active recycling and sustainability program with 75% of our byproducts recycled.
  12. Firestone – made to mimic riverstone – specifically made for Solus and is included in your purchase – Safety plays a large part in our philosophy. As an option we can sell additional firestone for that rock effect.
  13. Our Solus pits are finished by hand which creates the inimitable Solus fire pit each and every time – they are not mass produced by robots or overseas low cost labour factories.
  14. We build our products for tough Canadian climates and have thousands of fire pits in the field – Built tough with elegant designs for people who appreciate quality and durability.
  15.  Solus products leaving Vancouver are packed in museum quality crates and our ship rate has a 99.3% success rate. Our products are so well packed we have many testimonials raving about not just the product but the manner in which they are shipped.
  16. We represent ourselves – if you do have an issue in the field you call us – not a foreign call centre or clueless retailer who has no idea what they have sold you.
  17. Our testimonials speak for themselves – we have reviews on Houzztrust pilot and many reference our price being worth it.  Take a look!013-1024x683

As a designer I frequently get asked for fire bowls/pits within landscapes. I find the Solus products to be beautiful, functional and of superb quality.”

“The solid brass burners will last unlike the cheaper thin stainless burners found on other fire pits”

“Of all the fire pits I looked at, this is the best designed, sleekest and most beautiful. I love it!”

Is the fire pit Certified as an Appliance and why should you care ?

It means that the burner inserted into the vessels or enclosure is also certified to CE standards and tested as such (and CSA/ANSI in North America) .

 

Most fire pit companies buy an off the shelf burner simply insert a “certified CE” burner into their vessel which means the two have not been tested in relation to each other.  This is changing due to regulatory and insurance changes in the field.  In North America many states and provinces are introducing new code for fully certified fire pits as appliances.  The proliferation of fire pits in big box retailers and on line has spawned a wave of regulatory and insurance changes and therefore the code and compliance of fire and fire pits in residential and commercial settings.

 

What is happening the world of fire pits that matters to you ? 

In many jurisdictions in North America the gas fitter or inspector has rejected burners that have been set into uncertified vessels or enclosures built on site. States and provinces in North America where we know this to be on the radar as of 2015 based on Solus fire pit inspections include:  New York, Massachusetts, California, Minnesota, Washington, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. It is our anticipation that many other jurisdictions across North America will follow suit and reject non certified fire pits in the coming year.  It is very likely that this will start to infiltrate the UK market as gas fire pits become more common in the UK and the rest of Europe. Fire pits in the UK and Europe in general have traditionally been thought of as wood burning only but this has its limitations due to the smoke, burning embers, wet wood and smell, which consequently limits the usage and the locations on where these can be installed given the additional work required to set up a wood burning fire on each occasion.  People in Europe are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of a gas fire pit given their “plug and play” nature and the flexible nature of their installation catering to both town and country.