Some like it hot

A Michigan company grew what began as a small firepit project into one of the company’s biggest.

The fire pit pictured was originally going to be just one burner, but Landscape Designworks was given permission to expand the design.
Photo courtesy of Landscape Designworks

This firepit was part of a year-long landscape project for a custom house. The actual firepit was a small piece of the project, but it took several months to finish, says Troy Stefl, owner of Landscape Designworks located near Kalamazoo, Michigan.

“Initially, the firepit was going to be just one burner down the middle of the water feature,” Stefl says. “Upon further consideration of the design, we were given permission from the owner to really expand the interaction between the water feature and fire pit.”

Stefl says there was enough room in the firepit to create several turns to the burner, and integrate planters and more water into the design.

The stone coping around the water feature was changed to allow for a “bridge” to get closer to the firepit. The company designed the shape of the burners and was able to get them custom made to spec.

“The burners are liquid propane, so we had to consult with the manufacturer, gas company and mechanical contractor to make sure we could get enough gas to the burner and maintain a nice sized flame,” he says.

“Because of the water surrounding the firepit, we had to tunnel under the water feature to provide adequate venting for the space under the burners.

Due to the complexity of the project, there were a number of people working on it, which increased the need for constant communication,” he says.

Along with Landscape Designworks, a poured wall contractor, mechanical contractor, electrician, burner manufacturer, propane supplier, masonry contractor, concrete finisher, pool installer, general contractor for the house, pool finish contractor and the homeowner were all involved.

Stefl says cost is hard to pin down since the firepit/water feature was all assembled together, but it was in excess of $75,000.

“This is the biggest job I have ever done, and will probably ever do,” he says. “My onsite foreman, Will Hamel, did a great job keeping it all on track.”

October 2016
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