Gas Fire Pits or Wood Fire Pits ?
Fire pits have become a very common design and entertainment feature in backyard environments around the world. There’s just something about being able to sit around a warm, beautiful fire and socialize with friends and family. With that being said, backyard enthusiasts are faced with a choice when it comes to planning for the addition of a fire feature to their outdoor living space. I believe that both gas fire pits and wood fire pits have their place in outdoor entertainment, but finding the right one to fit your desires and needs is a necessity when planning the design of your outdoor living space.
Gas fire pits have rapidly climbed in popularity over the past decade due to their easy and clean operation. No longer do you have to search for dry wood or mess with gasoline, diesel or lighter fluid to get the fire going. Open up the gas valve, light and you are ready for an evening of hassle-free entertainment with virtually no clean-up necessary. Outdoor entertainment doesn’t get much easier than gas fire pits! Now you might be asking, “what’s the catch?”. If cheap is what you are after, a gas fire pit might not be for you. Typically gas fire pits require a larger initial investment due to the building materials, components, and labor necessary to properly construct a quality entertainment piece. For an easy plug-n-play gas fire pit option, check out Designing Fire or Outdoor Greatroom Company. Taylor Landscape Company is an authorized dealer for both of these brands of pre-fabricated gas fire pits. Contact us for specials on our gas fire pits!
Gas Fire Pits
- Quick and Easy Start-up and Shut Down
- Clean Burning
- Prettier Flame
- No Blowing of Smoke
- No Odor Left on Clothes from Smoke
- No Clean Up!
- Increased Risk of Danger due to Malfunction of Gas
- Most Costly than the Average Wood Fire Pit
- Smaller Fires
Wood fire pits have been a classic centerpiece in American’s backyards for over a century. Wood fire pits normally provide larger fires than gas fire pits, but can be more time consuming to prep and start. The affordability of a wood burning fire pit is what makes it so appealing to outdoor enthusiasts throughout North America. Minimal start-up cost and the enhanced ambiance provided by a wood fire pit make it the regular choice for backyard entertainers on a budget. Check out Pavestone for some really cool wood fire pit kits!
Wood Fire Pits
- Budget Friendly
- Simple to Operate
- Larger Fires
- The Smell and Sound of Burning Wood
- Time Consuming to Gather Wood, Build, and Start Fire
- Clean-up of Ashes After Fire
- Blowing Smoke can Cause Discomfort
- Smell of Smoke Sticks to Clothing
- Must be Actively Monitored
Whether your choice of fire pit is gas or wood, one thing is for certain; fire pits create an exciting centerpiece for your outdoor living space. We hope that our review of the pros and cons of gas and wood fire pits has been beneficial in making your decision of which type of fire pit is the right choice for you and your outdoor living space.
Where to buy a hot tub in Dallas?
When it comes to buying a new hot tub in Dallas, there are several key factors on which shoppers should be informed. Luxury backyards are a dime a dozen in the Dallas area, with swimming pools and outdoor living spaces prominent in many of the homes in the DFW area. Hot Tubs have become a popular component in the layout of these backyard oases in the north Texas region. When shopping for a hot tub, consumers are bombarded with an array of options ranging from authorized brick and mortar dealers to online only “wholesale” outlets and traveling roadshow type events. In this brief post, I’m going to discuss a few of the most popular options presented to Dallas hot tub shoppers when looking to purchase the portable spa for their home.
Dallas Hot Tub Dealers
Authorized dealers are the most popular outlet utilized by Dallas hot tub shoppers. There are numerous benefits to shopping for your hot tub at an authorized dealer. In addition to being able to see, touch, feel, and test your potential hot tub purchase; most authorized dealers have educated sales associates along with an experienced service department to handle any issues that might arise. Most of the major national hot tub brands such as Jacuzzi, Hot Springs, Marquis, Bullfrog, and Caldera Spas have authorized dealers located in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas to represent their brands. Taylor Landscape Company’s affiliate, Southern Leisure Spas & Patio, is an authorized Dallas hot tub dealer for Bullfrog Spas and Marquis Spas. Their showroom with over 20 hot tubs is located in Flower Mound, just 2 miles west of I-35E on FM 407.
Online Hot Tub Stores
One hot tub sales channel that is growing in popularity is e-commerce. Online hot tub “wholesalers” have been bombarding the internet with heavily discounted models for the past few years. Most of the brands featured for purchase online do not have dealers to support service work or replacement parts. Although the seller’s website may promise a parts and labor warranty on the hot tub, many customer’s of these websites have encountered difficulty when trying to find anyone to perform repair or service work. Several of these online hot tub retailers have also been known to “inflate” the specifications on some of the models displayed on their website; classifying air blower outlets as “jets”. While online hot tub “wholesalers” may provide shoppers with the opportunity to save a few thousand dollars on the initial purchase of a spa, be sure to conduct thorough research and find out who will perform warranty work as well as delivery and set up before committing to an online hot tub purchase.
Traveling Road Shows
Road shows, home and garden shows, and state fairs all fall into this category. These events are often promoted as having the best deals on hot tubs. This is occasionally true, but oftentimes prices are marked up above normal showroom price in order to allow “show specials” or “deep discounts”. Many of the brands sold at these events are recognized national hot tub brands with adequate service support any warranty issues that might arise. There are a few brands known to market their spas heavily through these traveling road shows and home shows, only to leave customers with no warranty labor support or even parts support to take care of their newly purchased hot tub. When shopping at events like this, be sure to ask plenty of questions about the manufacturer’s warranty and who will complete the service work if needed.
No matter where you end up shopping for your hot tub; be sure that you will receive warranty support, have access to replacement parts, and have all your questions answered before you commit to the purchase. These guidelines are meant to make your Dallas hot tub shopping experience a pleasant one!
Taylor Landscape Company defends “Best in Show” title at Cowboys Stadium
It’s that time of year again! The Great Big Texas Home and Garden Show is set to kick off in Cowboy Stadium this Friday, March 8th. Taylor Landscape Company was the proud recipient of the “Best in Show” award last year and we have even bigger plans for our booths this year. On the floor of the stadium, we will have our Pool Xpressions booth at spot #713. Pool Xpressions is the new name for Taylor Landscape Company’s pool and spa design and construction entity. We will be featuring limited landscape design at this booth but will have Coast Spas and Cal Spas on display as well as many other unique outdoor living products for the backyard.
In the TNLA sponsored featured gardens area, Taylor Landscape Company will be on display in full force! The overall theme this year for the featured gardens area is fairy tails. We have chosen “The Little Mermaid” as the theme for our booth and could not be more excited to add our creative spin to this awesome event. Be sure to stop by and check out our booth as we will be building an 18″ deep swimming pool full of water inside the stadium! The technique used to build this one-off custom gunite pool will be a challenge but we are excited to add some flair to the featured garden area.
Here are a few photos of our award-winning “Best in Show” Costa Rican themed booth from 2012. Hope to see you at the show!
One of the most common questions our design and sales team is asked during landscape and pool consolation sessions is “Which is the better patio material, pavers or stamped concrete?” While initial visual appearance is always at the forefront of our minds, our designers carefully consider the durability and maintenance of the paving materials we suggest and install. There are many pros and cons to pavers and stamped concrete. We could list dozens of praises and concerns associated with this topic, but we believe that the items outlined below are the chief concerns involved in the decision making process for the average residential patio or deck design and installation.
Pavers are often considered to be the most beautiful and elegant hardscape material by professionals throughout the industry. Pavers are manufactured to withstand harsh weather conditions as well as heavy loads. While the industry standard for concrete pavers is
8000 psi, most Pavestone pavers test at 10,000 to 11,000 psi. With over 100 different styles and colors of Pavestone options available, it makes it easy to design patio and decking to compliment the existing landscape or structural elements.
Cost of Pavers: $10-15 sqft installed
- Approximately 3 times stronger than poured concrete (10,000-11,000 psi)
- If installed correctly, pavers will not crack.
- Not slippery when wet, excellent for swimming pool decks.
- Easy to repair or make changes, no jackhammers involved!
- Resistant to freeze thaw cycles, will not absorb moisture.
- Aesthetically superior to many other pavement material types.
- Limited color and pattern selection compared to stamped concrete.
- Weeds can grow in between pavers if polymeric sand is not used.
- Possibility of settling over time, this can be avoided with properly installed base material.
Stamped concrete is one of the most popular patio and deck materials worldwide. It is slightly cheaper than pavers and offers a variety of colors and patterns. Since stamped concrete is in fact concrete, it will crack at some point. Installers will try to combat this issue by placing control joints every few feet. The “stamped” look of this product is achieved by stamping the concrete after it has been poured and before it begins to harden. The color of the material is often mixed in with the concrete as it goes into the truck. While stamped concrete might appear as the magic hardscape material, there are a couple major concerns with the material that should be considered when planning a residential or commercial hardscape project.
Cost of Stamped Concrete: $10-12 sqft installed
- Wide variety of colors and patterns.
- Slightly cheaper than pavers and other paving materials.
- Stamped concrete is sealed, protecting it from weather elements and pool chemicals.
- Achieve a natural stone or brick look at less expense.
- Stamped concrete WILL CRACK, many designers call this a feature.
- Only rated at 3,500-5,000 psi, should not be driven on.
- Will absorb moisture, not resistant to freeze thaw cycles.
- Quality control often an issue, multiple trucks on a job can produce unwanted variation in color.
- Must be re-sealed every 2-3 years.
- Slippery when wet.
Taylor Landscape Company has experience with both pavers and stamped concrete. Our 35 years of experience leads us to recommend Pavestone pavers to the majority of our clients. The durability, flexibility, and appearance of pavers make them a superior hardscape-paving product in most situations. While the initial cost of stamped concrete may capture the interest of many consumers, research will show that years of maintenance and repair costs will far exceed the price of properly installed pavers.
2012 was a big year for Taylor Landscape Company. Our design-build team was presented the opportunity to work on several very high-profile projects. One of our larger and more complex projects of 2012 was this master-planned outdoor environment in Flower Mound, TX. The existing site contained an old, large swimming pool with very minimal surrounding landscape. Our client was on a mission to turn their tired, baren backyard into an oasis of relaxation. After a couple weeks of design and consultation, our build crew broke ground on this large, detailed project. Services featured in this project include: residential landscape design & installation, pool & spa design & construction, hardscape design & installation, outdoor living area design & construction, irrigation design & installation, water feature design & construction. Below is a gallery including the best photos of this project:
After a very successful weekend at the Great Big Texas Home Show in Dallas Cowboy Stadium in Arlington we were extremely excited to be chosen as the best exhibitor display in the whole show! It is an honor for Taylor Landscape to receive this award and we are looking forward to making an even bigger and better appearance at the show next year! Thanks to all of our wonderful team members that made this show happen!