Arizona is known for its brutal heat in the summer months but many residents choose Arizona for the very mild winters and the pleasant spring and fall seasons. These three seasons offer ample opportunity to enjoy a fire feature during the cool evenings. Any homeowner will tell you that a fire pit or fireplace is the most favored feature in their Arizona backyard. It completes the backyard package and is both visually appealing and very functional. Unique Companies has built thousands of fire features including fire pits, fireplaces, and other decorative fire features throughout the valley. Each one is custom designed to integrate seamlessly with all of the other features in your outdoor living space.

Imagine a few nights a week, sitting outside, looking at this gorgeous Tuscan fireplace with a precast decorative mantle. Fireplaces and fire pits require the coordination of several key elements – masonry, gas and plumbing, and stonework. The masonry work in Arizona is the craftsmanship of the CMU block, mortar and rebar. This is the infrastructure of the fireplace or fire pit. The plumbing and gas line work is completely necessary for a gas fireplace or gas fire pit. This involves running underground gas lines or propane lines from a gas source (usually a propane tank or gas meter), to the fire feature or fireplace. The finishing touches involve stonework, paint and stucco and sometimes tile to match other features in your yard. The reality is that a fire pit or fireplace is not a simple construction project even though some landscape contractors claim it to be. And beyond the skill required to properly construct the project, there is the issue of licensing. Only a general contractor is licensed to install the plumbing and necessary gas or propane needed for the feature to function. This is a fact that most landscape contractors won’t tell you because they are doing the work illegally. However, Unique holds a general contractors license as well as pool and landscape licenses. When you hire Unique to build your fire pit or fireplace you can rest assure that the work is being performed by skilled tradesmen who have years of experience and the licensing required to complete the project safely and legally.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH FIRE? This is one of the most common questions usually asked by our clients. And the answer is simple. Just about anything you can imagine we can build.  Below is some of the most common terminology used when discussing a fire feature. This can help you to verbalize what you would like to include in your design.

The Fire Pit

This is likely to be one of the most common fire features in Arizona. It has become a standard backyard installation due to the ability to fit into almost any yard. Fire pits can range from 3’ wide to as much as 6’ or greater. Normally the wall of the fire pit is built to a height of 12”, but they are all custom-built and the size is up to the owner and landscape designer’s discretion. When deciding to vary from the standard height it is important to remember that 12” has become a loose standard due to its ability to conform to a nice bench seat height. The fire pit can be wood burning or plumbed for natural gas or propane. The plumbing for propane and natural gas are virtually the same but the fire ring or fire logs for each type of gas is slightly different. A wood burning fire pit is a less complicated construction (read in that means cheaper initial investment) and makes for a great evening. But requires the dreaded “clean up” which most homeowners find far less enjoyable.

The Fire Pot Or Fire Bowl

The smaller version of a fire pit is the fire pot or fire bowl. Our clients love the more contained version of putting fire in a presentation pot, and setting it on a stone column as a focal point. Fire bowls create a great overall appearance and can be place in various locations to add impact throughout the yard. They can be filled with lava rock, ceramic logs, or even water.

The Fireplace

An Arizona fireplace is the best way to add impact in any backyard landscaping or pool project. This gorgeous focal feature can take on the design and feel of your house, backyard, or patio. A fireplace in Phoenix is more of a daily focal feature but as the night cools off, it becomes the center of the party. The fireplace is placed on the edge of the patio, whereas the fire pit sits in the center. And even though the fireplace is substantially larger than a fire pit, the fireplace allows for more functional space on the patio due to its strategic location. Traditionally fireplaces are built with CMU block and finished with stucco and paint to match the house. But the UNIQUE design team strives to create UNIQUE design features with stone or tile to include on our custom fireplace designs. The final touch for a custom fireplace the ceramic log set. This completes the authentic look of a real outdoor fireplace and eliminates the messy cleanup! Nothing makes an outdoor fireplace more fun than turning it on and off with the click of a button. And a great added feature is a remote control so that you can light the fire before you even leave the house.

The Fire Channel

UNIQUE’s ability to design and build custom fire features has always been our forte! Clients love our ability to run fire out 6’ to 12’ in a straight line, creating what we call a “fire channel”. Fire channels create a great atmosphere, as well as an incredible conversation piece. The dancing flames are almost mesmerizing, as the blues and yellows appear in each of our custom fire channels. These features can be used to add a soft light to the edge of a landscape or pool area or to draw the eye to the next feature in your outdoor living space such as the outdoor kitchen or a water feature.

The Tiki Torch

No backyard oasis is complete without bringing a little taste of the tropics with our fire torches. The DIY versions from a big box store can just be oil-filled and could easily last an entire evening. But the drawback to this version is the danger of an oil filled vessel that could be knocked over and cause serious injury to someone. Our “UNIQUE” version is a custom designed and built tiki-torch with a gas line and copper tiki-torch heads. This version also includes a safety shut-off valve and provides clients with a permanent landscape feature for year round enjoyment of fire! These tiki-torches allow the UNIQUE designers to insert the fire out throughout the backyard and create a complete luau atmosphere.

Fire and water collide in this Peoria courtyard water feature. Our clients enjoy the best of both worlds!

Fire & Water

One of the most challenging fire effects to master is the mixing of fire and water. Nothing beats the visual impact of fire rising from a water feature or water pot. Your eyes see it but your mind does not believe it. After years of studying the pros and cons of fire and water features, UNIQUE has learned how to successfully combine these two elements of nature. The result of this unnatural combination is nothing short of amazing.

Get Started on Your Landscaping or Outdoor Living Project

View Our Galleries

Escape to your own lush outdoor living environment every day. Get inspired by our creative portfolio and see the possibilities.

Request a Consultation

Transform your backyard from a mirage into a paradise. It all starts with a consultation. Let us help. Contact us today!

Get Outdoor Financing

Let us help turn your backyard into an oasis with flexible and competitive outdoor project financing options that fit your budget.