Friday, March 23
Well we can now confirm that America has now gone totally round the bend, the latest craze it seems is outdoor fireplaces. I for one just can't seem to see the logic in spending money to heat the atmosphere, have these folk not heard of global warming. Or maybe it's just a case of trying to outdo their friends and neighbours.
Fire pits have been popular for years, especially in California and the South, where a small blaze makes it possible to relax outside on cool winter nights. What is surprising (some say foolish) is that the demand for free-standing fireplaces seems strongest in Northern states. where winters are too cold for backyard fireplaces to do any good, and summers are too hot to use them. The tall stone chimneys suck the smoke up and away; most of the heat escapes up the chimney, too. No humble pits-in-the-ground, these. The new breed of outdoor fireplace has evolved rapidly from a stone chimney, about 10 feet tall, and a starting price of around $8,000. In the last 18 months they have begun to sprout refrigerators, surround-sound stereo systems, and fireboxes to display lumber that is rarely actually burned because most homeowners prefer the convenience of gas. The amenities and the costs grow apace. A contractor in the San Francisco area, Tony Bertotti, built an $80,000 fireplace as the centerpiece of a $750,000 patio.