If you have a wooden porch, chances are that you enjoy using it for socializing or just taking in the beauty of your yard and the nature that surrounds you. A porch can be an outdoor extension of your home, a place where friends and family can gather and enjoy the company of one another. As the sun starts to set, it may become chilly, but you may not be ready to go inside. Consider adding a small free-standing fireplace, known as a chiminea, to your porch to provide warmth and many more hours of enjoyment outside.
A Clay Chiminea
Chimineas, which originated in Mexico, are commonly made of clay. This material absorbs the heat generated by the fire inside and helps to warm the surrounding area. Clay chimineas can be adorned with decorative elements or left plain. When selecting a clay chiminea, is it important to note that they can easily break and cannot withstand a large fire for a long period of time because clay is not a very strong material. If you do not intend to use it often, a chiminea can be a charming heating element for your porch.
Cast Iron Chimineas
Cast iron is another commonly used material for chiminea construction. These chimineas are stronger than their clay counterparts because the material is much sturdier. They can support a larger fire for a longer period of time, making them an ideal choice if you plan to use the chiminea as a heating element for long hours. This material can rust, but if cared and maintained properly it should be a good source of heat for your porch for a long time.
Make it a Focal Point
If your porch is a common meeting area for friends and family, make the chiminea a focal point. Place the chiminea in a central place on your porch. Place an outdoor rug, rocking chairs, outdoor sofas and maybe even an outdoor coffee table in front of it. The chiminea will become the heart of the porch, providing a cozy and comfortable place to gather.
The original purpose for a chiminea was to cook food. Use a chiminea on your porch not only to provide heat but also as a cooking element. Roast marshmallows or cook hot dogs and hamburgers. Keep the fire burning and you will be kept warm as you munch on your yummy treats.
Take extra care when using a chiminea or anything else that involves fire on a wooden porch. Place cinder blocks or concrete on the area where you intend to have the chiminea and set the structure on this site. This will provide a barrier between the wooden porch floor and the fire. Be sure to have running water and a fire extinguisher handy. Do not leave the chiminea while it is in use.
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