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Your Outdoor Living builder in Daphne, Fairhope, Spanish Fort, Mobile, and Gulf Shores.

Author Archives: Red Branch Construction

How to choose gas, electric, or wood-burning for your Firepit

Your Local Outdoor Firepit builder along the Easter Shore in Fairhope, Daphne, Spanish Fort and Mobile.

Outdoor fireplaces are among the trendiest and most sought-after outdoor features. An outdoor fireplace is great for your outdoor living space and can improve even the most magnificent patio. Decorative gas fireplace inserts are also popular for outdoor entertainment. Outdoor firepits and fireplaces are somewhere people can gather around.

If you’re looking to build a fireplace, Red Branch Outdoor Living has some pros and cons of different outdoor fireplaces. Keep these in mind when choosing the best fireplace for your situation.

Wood-Burning Fireplaces

Wood-burning fireplaces are among the oldest and most traditional fireplaces around. They have always been valued for their aesthetic appeal. It’s impossible to deny the timeless look, smell, and sound of a wood fire.

Pros of Wood-Burning Fireplaces

  • There’s no beating the ambiance of a wood-burning fireplace thanks to the woodsy aroma and crackling logs.
  • A wood fireplace keeps going even if your electricity or gas goes out, giving you somewhere to stay warm and providing a source of light.
  • You can choose from different types of firewood to burn, including wood that burns longer or is particularly aromatic.

Cons of Wood-Burning Fireplaces

  • You’ll have to buy or chop firewood and store it so that it stays dry until needed.
  • It’s unsafe to leave a wood fire unattended because warm ashes can re-spark fires or start new ones.
  • These fireplaces require annual maintenance that could affect your insurance premiums and may be unsafe to use without regular inspections.
  • Wood-burning fireplaces aren’t as efficient as other fireplaces, but they can be made more efficient with inserts.

Gas Fireplaces

As much as we value savoring the moment, it’s impossible to deny most of us still live fast-paced and are busy. Not everyone has the time to deal with firewood and the time it takes for a wood fire to start burning. The good news is, you can start a fire without any problems with a gas fireplace. It’s never been easier to cozy up to a warm fire with a gas fireplace. Consider decorative gas fireplace inserts to add a touch of class to your outdoor fireplace.

Pros of Gas Fireplaces

  • Gas fires light instantly and offer instant gratification. With the flick of a switch or the push of a button, your fire is burning and everyone is basking in its warmth.
  • Gas fireplaces are more efficient than wood-burning stoves. You can use a gas fireplace to zone heat to keep certain outdoor areas warmer than others.
  • Gas fireplaces require minimal maintenance. There’s no ash or soot to worry about cleaning up. Even so, you should get an annual inspection as you would with a wood fireplace. These inspections ensure the fireplace is working safely and efficiently.
  • You can light and use a gas fireplace to stay warm even if your electricity goes down – so long as the gas stays on.

Cons of Gas Fireplaces

  • Installing a gas fireplace is more expensive, especially if you also need to install a new gas line for it.
  • While the ceramic logs in a gas fireplace are more realistic than you might expect, these fires still miss the full effect of a genuine burning fire. There’s no crackling or smoky wooden smell to enjoy.

Electric Fireplaces

The world is getting more digitized each day. That digitization even stretches to fireplaces with the increased popularity of electric fireplaces. These fireplaces can create an image of moving flames to create the illusion of a genuine fireplace.

Electric fireplaces also produce plenty of heat but at a fraction of the cost of other fireplace options. They are more efficient than other options, but they do have some drawbacks worth considering. 

Pros of Electronic Fireplaces

  • Electric fireplaces are the cheapest outdoor fireplace option.
  • It’s easy to find, buy, and install an electric fireplace.
  • Electric fireplaces are highly portable and easy to move around.
  • These fireplaces are ideal for smaller spaces where a bigger wood or gas fireplace wouldn’t fit.

Cons of Electronic Fireplaces

  • The fire is fake.
  • They don’t work during a power outage.
  • The heat isn’t good value for money as an electric fireplace is basically a space heater with extra ambiance.
  • There aren’t as many different style options for electric fireplaces compared to gas and wood-burning fireplaces.

No matter which different outdoor fireplaces you choose for your outdoor living space, it helps to work with a professional team. We have you covered at Red Branch Outdoor Living! If you live along the Eastern Shore in Fairhope, Daphne, Spanish Fort, or Mobile we can help you select a fire feature for your backyard and build it for you! 

Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor Contractor Builder along the Eastern Shore in  Fairhope, Daphne, Spanish Fort and Mobile

Building an outdoor kitchen is an exciting time. You’re probably already envisioning all the gatherings and great food you’ll eat. And for good reason! You’re in for years of enjoyment and unforgettable memories.

Red Branch Outdoor Living can be your outdoor kitchen contractor to walk you through the process!

New research from a study by Atlas Ceramics has crowned outdoor kitchens the most in-demand kitchen trend of 2022, with over 2 million annual Google searches, 71 million views on TikTok, and more than 475,000 Instagram hashtags.

Outdoor kitchens are also on the top of the American Institute of Architects’ project trends list.

You may be asking where do I start? At Red Branch Outdoor Living we have come up with some ideas to help you with your initial planning stage.

  1. Establish your budget and determine your needs. Figure out what is most important to you so that you can be sure to include it in your costs. If you want a grill with all the bells and whistles, plan your space around that. If you want to have enough seating for a huge group of friends and family, focus on that first. If you think you will get the most use from an outdoor bar, make that your budgeting priority.
  2. Consider the views, both from the house, from the outdoor kitchen and from the neighbor’s yards and houses when you are choosing a spot.
  3. Think about positioning your kitchen to take advantage of natural sunlight and optimum shade; will it be to your advantage to position your kitchen to the north, south, east or west?
  4. Plan your kitchen so that you have easy access to existing utility lines if possible.

Need some inspiration? Here are some outdoor kitchen ideas of some of the projects completed by Red Branch Outdoor Living.

 

Outdoor Living Value

Outdoor Living, Is It An Investment?

So… you’re considering a home remodeling project but not sure which one will be best to increase the value of your home.  A fun place to start is with outdoor living spaces!  These types of projects could include elements such as decks, patios, pergolas, outdoor kitchens and more.  However, most people don’t want to spend a bunch of hard-earned money on outdoor elements unless they increase the true value of your home. Let’s discuss 4 different elements and help you understand what how they can help increase your home’s value upon resale.

Composite vs. Wood Decking

Composite vs. Wood Decking – Which should you choose?

One of the most important elements of your home deck project is what type of decking to use. There are so many variations of products to choose from and all offer different characteristics. We want to share the largest differences between composite and wood to help you make the best decision for your home!  Each material has its own list of pros and cons, see where these matters rate on your scale of importance. So, let’s dive into the main characteristics and differences between composite vs. wood decking.