Starfire Blog

Starfire Direct's blog is a wonderful resource for all fire pit and fireplace owners. Learn tips and tricks on how to maintain your feature and best practices.

  • What to Know About Propane Tank Fire Pits

    Having a fire pit in your backyard gives you a place where you and your family can relax virtually every night of the year. From neighborhood barbecues, to pool parties, to after-dinner drinks with your significant other, your pit plays an integral role in entertainment, as well.

    When you are searching for a new outdoor fireplace or pit for your yard, you can choose between a wood-burning solution and one that runs on propane or natural gas. Researching your options allows you to find the one that is perfect for you and your family. Propane fire pits continue to be popular choices due to their convenience, affordability, and portability.

    Cozy patio area with fire table

    Convenience and Quality in One

    Getting a high quality fire pit is the top requirement on your list, but you also want one that is easy to maintain and use. This is where propane pits shine. You are able to get the size, shape, and style of fire pit you want, with the convenience that propane tanks bring. Rather than having to purchase and store firewood or connect to a natural gas line, you simply hook up the pit to a standard 20-lb. propane tank.

    When the tank is empty, it is easy and cost-effective to exchange it for a new one at your local hardware store or gas station. In addition, you gain the ability to control the height of the flame, and turn the fire on and off with ease.

    Save Money Without Sacrificing Style

    A myth about fire pits is that you can’t get the style you want without shelling out the big bucks. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. You are able to select propane as your fuel type for a number of pits available from Starfire Direct, ensuring you get the exact one that will be perfect in your yard.

    Buying a propane pit does more than make it easy to refuel when needed. You’ll save a large amount of upfront installation costs over natural gas pits because since you won’t need to run an expensive gas line. By filling your new pit with fire glass, you also get a visual upgrade over wood pits and don’t have to deal with the hassle of stoking the fire and cleaning up ash afterward.

    Portability Gives You Infinite Optionscopper fire pit

    Since propane fire pits are not reliant on a natural gas line in order to operate, many are fairly portable. This means that over time you are able to change the location of the pit from one part of your yard to another. Should you decide to move, you can bring your pit to your new home without having to reinvest in a new setup, whereas a natural gas fire pit would have to stay put.

    Being able to redesign the layout of your yard on the fly opens up a number of new options when it comes to entertainment and landscaping. Propane pits are excellent for families wanting a stylish outdoor solution that is affordable and easy to maintain. Get more information on the benefits of propane pits and learn more about different styles by contacting a Starfire Direct representative today at (866) 578-8538.

  • Reasons to Use Fire Glass in Your Fire Feature

    As you work to redesign your home and breathe new life into your older furnishings, it is a smart idea to start with your fireplace. Especially if you use it on a regular basis, your fireplace is a focal point in your home and something to be proud of. You want your fireplace to be a conversation starter and create a welcoming atmosphere for family and guests.

    If your fireplace runs on natural gas or propane, you may be able to ditch your old ceramic log stack and install fire glass instead. Learning more about this option, as well as its benefits, will result in a unique and visually striking fireplace or fire pit for your home.

    What Is Fire Glass?

    Fireplace glass is used to fill your gas fireplace or fire pit and eliminates the need for fake logs or lava rocks. It gives homeowners an option to incorporate color into their fireplace and is becoming more popular than ever. This tempered glass is made to withstand extreme heat and comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Gas rises through the broken glass, and flames dance on top of it, creating a bright and vibrant look.

    Whether you are interested in crushed glass or beads for your fireplace, you will be sure to find an option that fits your style and personality. It is important to note that this type of glass is made specifically for use in fireplaces. It is unsafe to use broken bottles or glass from an old windshield, because these aren’t built for high temperatures and will melt, pop, or shoot out of the fire.

    Fire Glass Installation

    The Benefits of Fire Glass

    Starfire Direct carries a wide variety of glass for your fireplace or fire pit. We sell only the finest quality glass so all you need to think about is turning the fire on and off. Here are some of the benefits of using specialized glass in your fireplace:

    • Built to withstand extreme temperatures
    • No soot or ash
    • Guaranteed not to crack or pop
    • Color will not fade due to the fire

    With a wood-burning pit or fireplace, you need to constantly worry about having enough firewood, as well as cleaning up ashes. Filling your fireplace with glass you find on your own may sound like a smart way to save money, but its low quality and chemicals used in its production will lead to melting and the release of harmful fumes. Starfire Direct has professional tempered glass to give you the look and functionality you want. Learn more about the glass in this video.

    Fire Glass

    Calculating the Amount of Glass Needed

    An important step when getting ready to install fire glass is to determine how much you will need. This can be done easily with our fireglass calculator. You don’t want to have glass spilling over the top but you also need to make sure you have enough to cover your gas coils to achieve the best effect. To determine the optimal amount of glass, measure the front width, back width and depth of your fireplace or pit, as well as the desired height of the glass. It is recommended to use a calculating tool online or speak to your supplier to determine the number of pounds of glass needed for your project.

    Fire glass is not right for every person or application, so get in touch with an expert to find out if your fireplace or pit is compatible before you buy. Contact a Starfire Direct representative today at (866) 578-8538 to get started.

  • Fire Pits: More Than Decorative

    Owning an outdoor fireplace or fire pit is more than about just having a nice focal point in your backyard. In addition to adding visual appeal and making your yard look beautiful, fire pits provide a number of social benefits for you and your guests alike. Whether you are in the process of remodeling and landscaping your yard or just want to add a bowl or pit to your existing setup, you can’t go wrong. Here are just some of the reasons to own a pit.

    fire pits can start a conversationStart a Conversation

    When entertaining guests, everyone has a good time when you are able to keep conversation flowing. By inviting your friends and family to sit around the fire bowl in the yard, you have an activity that encourages people to talk to one another. This leads to stronger social bonds and awesome memories to look back on.

    Create Comfort

    Especially during the colder months and at night, having a place where everyone can relax comfortably together is essential. Sitting by the fire allows people to warm up without having to cut off conversation or stop what they were doing. You are able to create a relaxing environment for both your family and guests to enjoy.

    Live Happier

    Owning a fire pit is also a great way to reduce stress and take your mind off of things. While you are talking to your friends and family around the fire, you can get lost in great conversation without having to worry about your job or other events that are weighing on your mind. Instead, you are able to relax and enjoy yourself.

    Learn more about the benefits of fire pits by contacting a representative today at (866) 578-8538.

    fire pits can even be a source of relaxation

  • A Complete Buyer’s Guide to Your First Fire Pit

    If you are in the market for your first fire pit, there are a lot of factors you should consider before making your purchase. In addition to choosing the style of pit, bowl, or outdoor fireplace that you like, it is also important to take steps to ensure that your yard is prepped and ready to go before it arrives.

    Scouting out the perfect location is essential so that you can maximize its entertainment value and visual appeal in your yard. Learning more about the delivery and installation process will also help you prepare for the next steps once you’ve chosen the right option for your home. Keep the following tips handy as you go through your journey so you can easily find the perfect pit and have it operational in your yard in no time.

    fire pit table set

    What Kind of Fire Pit Is Right for You?

    Choosing your first pit is an important process that should receive the time and attention to detail it deserves. This is your chance to add to your yard with an item that displays both your personality and style. Luckily, pits and bowls come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, so you will be sure to find the one that is perfect. According to Professional Builder Magazine’s 2012 Outdoor Living Survey, pits and outdoor fireplaces continue to grow in popularity.

    So what kind of pit is right for you?moreno copper fire bowl

    • Portable – A portable option allows you to set up the party wherever you want in your yard. You aren’t confined to one area, and can put chairs and other furniture around the pit as needed, depending on the occasion and amount of guests. These are lightweight and easy to set up and get started.
    • Permanent – A permanent solution is built into the ground and is more of a focal point in your yard. Since it is staying in once place, it is a good idea to choose a permanent fireplace that matches the décor and materials of the rest of the yard, such as with a brick base. You can work with a contractor on a custom design for your yard to include your pit, or install it yourself.
    • Fuel Type – Would you prefer a wood-burning pit, or one that uses gas or ethanol instead? While a wood fire burns hotter, it also can cause embers to jump out, so be careful and use a screen if necessary. Fuel type may also be dictated by where you choose to set up the pit.

     

    What Is the Best Location?

    Before you invest in a new pit for your yard, it is important to scout out the right location. In addition to figuring out where you get the most bang for your buck, in terms of use and proximity to the grill, pool, and other features, you must also be mindful of city laws.

    Many towns, and possibly housing communities, have restrictions and guidelines in place for fire pits. These rules say how far from the house and your neighbors’ yards the pit must be in order to reduce the risks associated with having open flames.

    It is critical that you check with your local city hall, especially before beginning a large-scale renovation and installing a permanent outdoor fireplace. Even if you only plan to buy a portable pit, check the rules and regulations to ensure that you avoid fines.

    When it comes to the location in your yard, you have a number of options. Ultimately, the optimal location will be found by determining how you are most likely to use your new pit.

    For example, if you have a large outdoor space, you can choose to set up your fire bowl in its own area to create a new focal and gathering point. You can also make your new permanent pit an extension of your existing patio layout to increase seating options for family and friends. Portable fireplaces are also great poolside fixtures, so you can warm up after going for a swim.

    fire table at sundown

    Preparing for the Pit Before It Arrives

    For those investing in a permanent solution, there are a few extra steps to take after purchasing your new pit. If you plan to build your new pit on your own, you will want to begin measuring out the area it will go in your yard and preparing for construction. This includes purchasing concrete and mortar mixtures, as well as the rock or other materials you will use to build the base of your pit.

    It is also smart to look at various lighting fixtures and seating options so that you can make the most out of your new space. For many, the point of owning a pit is to create a campfire atmosphere. Therefore, you don’t want to go overboard with bright lights shining in your backyard. However, energy-efficient string lighting and path lights to direct people to and from the area help enhance the space. Once your new pit arrives, you will have everything you need to be up and running in no time.

    Shipping, Delivery, and Installation Information

    When you find the perfect new pit for your yard, the last thing you want is to have to break your budget on shipping and delivery charges. Starfire Direct makes it easy to discover a new outdoor fireplace for the right price while also ensuring that you are able to stay comfortably within your budget. All orders under $100 have a flat shipping fee of $7.95, while all orders above that mark ship for free. This helps homeowners around the country – and even some outside of the United States – get what they want without worry.

    Once your new pit arrives, view helpful instruction videos to assist with the installation process. If your project is more involved, your contractor will be able to provide professional installation so all you need to do is prepare for your first event around the fire. Before, during, and after installation it is extremely important to maintain high levels of fire pit safety.

    fire pit table by pool

    Safety Precautions to Take

    After you’ve completed installation, it is important to ensure that proper safety measures are taken each time you use your new pit. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), outside fireplaces or pits cause nearly 3,700 grass and brush fires each year. Although, not all fireplaces produce embers and wood burning fire features tend to be the cause of brush fires, it is good to take safety precautions while using any fire pit.

    In order to avoid becoming a statistic and causing possible damage to your home, neighbors, and the community, follow these guidelines:

    • Check the direction of the wind before lighting a fire. Heavy winds can blow embers out of the fire and spark brush or other items.
    • Do not use flammable liquid to start or restart a fire, because these can create bursts that cause personal injury.
    • Do not get too close to the fire or wear loose or flammable clothing around your pit.
    • Read all instructions for safe operation of your pit, and know the type of fuel to use to keep risks low.
    • Safely dispose of all ashes.
    • Invest in gas or propane fire pits that do not produce embers, such as the Starfire Direct Granite Chat Fire Table.

    fire pit area by golf courseOngoing Maintenance for Your Fire Pit

    It is a smart idea to check the owner’s manual to get the full picture when it comes to maintenance for your fire pit. This includes removing ashes after each use and keeping the screen clean to avoid the buildup of potentially harmful particles. When it comes to the rest of your yard, you want to be sure to remove any undergrowth, because this can create a fire hazard and can potentially ignite. Use warm, soapy water and a whisk brush to clean off the screen. This allows your pit to continue to look great, while also keeping its necessary ventilation clear.

    If you need assistance with maintenance, you can work with a professional service to take care of the job or get more information from the manufacturer so no step is overlooked. With these tips in mind, buying your first pit will be a walk in the park!

    Sources:

    1. http://www.probuilder.com/outdoor-living-research-fire-pits-decks-among-best-selling-features
    2. http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/outdoors-and-seasonal/outdoor-entertaining

    eco smart ethanol fire pit

  • When Gas Won’t Do – Choose Ethanol

    There is nothing more relaxing than lighting your fireplace on a winter night or spending time in the backyard with friends and family around a fire pit. However, if you don’t have access to gas or enough ventilation space to support a gas line, you may have been living in the dark when it comes to enjoying these simple pleasures.

    Luckily for you, there is another option. Ethanol fireplaces and pits allow you to pick out an option for your home that improves visual appeal while also adding to the ambiance and comfort. Why are more people choosing ethanol instead of gas or other sources of fuel for their fireplaces?

    ethanol fire bowl ethanol fire table

    The Clean and Easy Solution

    Ethanol is a source of renewable energy made from plant byproducts, and is a safe and easy solution for those dealing with a lack of ventilation. Burning ethanol produces no smoke or ash, which means that you do not need a vent or chimney to protect air quality. Ethanol pits and standalone fireplaces are perfect for backyards and patios because they do not require access to a gas line and are easy to operate and maintain.

    Since ethanol is incredibly versatile as a source of energy, you will find an array of ethanol bowls, pits, and fireplaces to choose from. There is sure to be an option that is right for you. To learn more about the benefits of ethanol and how to place an order for a new fire pit, contact us directly at (866) 578-8538.

  • Copper Fire Pits – Modern and Rustic at the Same Time

    Copper fire pits are one of the best additions you could make to your outdoor space. They’re striking conversation pieces. Their modern silhouettes give them a sleek, contemporary feel, whereas their handcrafted, unique surfaces lend the appeal of a rustic, one-of-a-kind heirloom. They immediately imbue whatever space they’re in with a warm, inviting appeal.

    We offer several types of copper fire pits, so you’ll find something that fits perfectly in your home or business.

    Copa Moreno Copper

    These are great, handcrafted pieces of metalwork that are extremely versatile and which would be a beautiful addition to any resort, restaurant, or other outdoor space, including your backyard. Their bold but versatile coloring will allow them to integrate into any environment, whether modern or contemporary, Mediterranean, traditional, or whatever look you’re going for.

    42" Copa Moreno Copper Fire Pit by Starfire Designs 42" Copa Moreno Copper Fire Pit by Starfire Designs

    Copper Canyon

    These square fire pits are truly works of art that combine beauty and functionality. Each one is handmade in Southern California from the highest quality copper and are available only at Starfire Direct. Sleek and sophisticated, guests will automatically gravitate toward these dramatic pieces that will anchor any outdoor space.

    Copper Canyon Fire Pit 40" Copper Canyon Fire Pit by Starfire Designs

    Taza Moreno

    These one-of-a-kind fire bowls will take your outdoor space to new heights. They’ve got the same handcrafted pedigree as our Copper Canyon and Copa Moreno Copper products, but with the unique attribute of having a waterfall feature incorporated into the design – perfect for creating a relaxing atmosphere in your yard or commercial space.

    30 Inch Taza Water and Fire Bowl 31" Taza Moreno Copper Fire and Water Bowl by Starfire Designs

    Copper fire bowls and fire pits are great ways to add a bold yet elegant feature to your outdoor space. All of our copper fire bowls and fire pits are finished in oil-rubbed bronze and sealed so that they’re properly protected from the weather, and they all look excellent filled with fire glass, available in any color to suit your décor. Explore our site for more information about our copper and other products.

  • Furniture That Will Last a Lifetime

    Based in Ontario, California, O.W. Lee furniture has been the leading producer of high-quality, hand-crafted patio furniture and fire pits. What started out in the 1940s as a manufacturer of wrought-iron gates for Southern California’s most resplendent estates has today become the foremost supplier of fine casual furniture that’s built to last a lifetime.

    Quality Materials and Flawless Production

    O.W. Lee combines techniques that date back to the Middle Ages, with modern, state-of-the-art technology and machinery to deliver truly unique, extremely durable and sophisticated products.

    The careful attention to detail is what sets O.W. Lee apart from its competitors. The process is a testament to their dedication to high-quality results.

    • Carbon steel, galvanized steel, and 60/61 alloy aluminum are precision cut, and then formed by hand with the aid of computerized tube benders and manually operated roll benders. This ensures the curves are precise and consistent from piece to piece.
    • The pieces are then forged by hand in a process unchanged for centuries.
    • They are then welded together with a full-circumference weld to ensure against water entry into crevices.
    • Pieces are coated, then oven-cured, then powder coated again to guard against corrosion.
    • A foam core that is specially designed to shed water quickly is precision cut by computerized machines, then covered with high quality outdoor fabrics to create cushions that fit each piece perfectly.

    OW Lee Classico Seating Collection

    Additionally, O.W. Lee is dedicated to using sustainable materials that are domestically produced. Their computerized processes ensure there is minimal waste, and their factory has undergone a rigorous energy conservation upgrade. This, combined with their domestic production and adherence to environmental safety standards, makes them a desirable choice for consumers looking to spend their money wisely.

    Warranty

    Residential products come with 20-year warranty that is unmatched in the industry. Provided the furniture has been used normally and maintained regularly, O.W. Lee will repair or replace any piece that has failed structurally. With a 5-year warranty on finishes and a 2-year warranty on cushions, you can be assured that your furniture will always be in top condition.

    To see our selection of O.W. Lee pieces, or our fire bowls and propane fire tables, view our product catalog today.

  • What Is Your Backyard Style?

    No matter your backyard size or budget, you can make your back yard look great by choosing a style to unify its appearance. If your choice in furniture, décor, and landscaping is consistent, you can have a back yard that matches your personality and the look of your home.

    Eclectic

    You can bring your own eclectic style into your back yard with some funky lanterns, a mix of vintage and modern furniture, and bold colors. A good way to incorporate colors is with a fire pit. You can fill it with fire glass of any color, available in vibrant hues and varying shapes to match your personality and backyard style.

    fire glass samples

    Contemporary

    This is a great style for a modern, minimalistic feel. If the rest of your home is modern and edgy, extend that look into your back yard with modern-looking stone pavers, neatly trimmed plants arranged in straight lines or symmetrically, and a striking copper fire bowl.

    Cottage

    Cottage gardens can be free-flowing and slightly chaotic. A picket fence in the midst of the chaos could be a nice touch, as would a lattice arbor, a stone retaining wall, a decorative fountain or a footpath filled with gravel.

    backyard with flowers abound

    English Country

    Although you might associate English gardens with high walls and topiary, there are a number of things you can do in your own back yard that aren’t as complex, but which still provide the romantic feel of a traditional English country garden. If you can add a brick or stone path, roses or other fragrant flowers, or nicely clipped hedges, you’ll be well on your way to having an English-inspired garden.

     

    For more tips on how to give your yard some personality and style, view our selection of high-quality patio furniture such as umbrellas, chairs and tables, or fire pits and fire bowls. You’ll find something that will incorporate your own personal style into your back yard.

  • Creating the Ultimate Backyard for Entertaining

    The time of year for outdoor entertaining is upon us—is your backyard ready? Design experts will tell you to have a focused vision for your space before you get started, so we’ve pulled together three of the best backyard designs (and also a few expert tips) to help you envision your ultimate outdoor oasis.

    For the cooks: Your focus will be on a grill that rivals your neighbor’s and ample seating. To host a truly legendary dinner party al fresco, your dining set must comfortably seat your guest list, and don’t forget to protect your guests from the elements—patio umbrella during the day and patio heater into the night. Remember: Summer dinner parties are a marathon, not a sprint!

    For the social butterflies: Think circular seating. Your focus is on keeping the lively conversation and games going long after the sun has set. What does this entail? Comfy cushions, side tables for drinks, and a stunning fire bowl with reflective fire glass for the perfect nighttime illumination.

    For the weekend loungers: The element of water is all that’s needed to transform a backyard into an oasis. A waterfall-firewall feature under a pergola adorned with twinkle lights will send you and your guests into a state of nirvana. Ah, summer under the stars—does life get any better than this?

    Explore the infographic below to learn how to customize your backyard retreat, and check out all the unique features Starfire Direct carries to bring your vision to life.

    Starfire Direct Infographic May 2016

    Click below to embed this infographic into your website:
  • 5 DIY Projects to Beautify Your Backyard

    Your backyard is one of the most versatile, useful places in your home and, with the right layout and décor, you can truly elevate it to be a place you’ll never want to leave.

    Improving your backyard doesn’t mean you have to spend tons of money. In fact, there are many ways you can spruce up your outdoor area, often for very little money and in a short amount of time. So, below we’ve included some tried-and-true ways to give your backyard that extra bit of wow factor that you’re looking for.

    daisies on a tree stump

    • Table Planter - Cut a rectangular hole lengthwise in an old table, and put a box with drainage holes in it. Now you can fill it with a layer of rocks and then soil, and put some easy-to-care-for succulents in it. It’s a conversation starter and a beautiful, natural addition to your outdoor seating area. Or, you can just put a rectangular container in the cutout, and then fill it with ice and cold drinks for when you have guests over.
    • Re-purpose a Tree Stump or Log - You can create an impressive table by attaching a simple plywood table top to a tree stump. Secure it by screwing the table top into the stump or otherwise affixing it. Or, you can hollow out the top portion of it to create a one-of-a-kind planter. You can also use a tree stump as a unique side table: putting it on casters might be a good idea, making it easier to move around.
    • Chandelier - You can take a hula hoop, wrap it in lace or other fabric using hot glue, and attach holiday lights to it to make a chandelier. Or, instead of a hula hoop, you can use thin branches from shrubs or trees for a more natural look.
    • Create a Path - You can lay wooden planks – all cut to the roughly the same length – in the shape of a path. You can also lay flat stones directly into the ground, or create a slightly sunken pathway, filling it with small stones or gravel, and leaving it like that, or adding larger stepping stones for a contrasting effect. Create your path in a curved or “S” shape to give it a graceful appearance.
    • Seating Area - You can create a bench of any size. All you need to do is stack cinder blocks in the shape of whatever bench you want, or stack discarded wooden pallets into any shape. Then, add some cushions on top – which you can make for cheap with some foam, plywood, and fabric. Arrange your seating area around a fire pit or fire bowl for a striking backyard feature.

    For more guidance about how to add visual appeal to your backyard, including our easy-to-use, no-install gas fire pits, view our selection of products to make your own custom, DIY fire pit.

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