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All Fired UpContractor’s custom-made concrete fire pits are fueling the craze for outdoor living
Submitted by Mike Pastelak, Homcrete inc., El Paso, Texas
Homcrete’s concrete fire pits are completely custom, and can be cast in nearly any size, shape or color. Each piece is made of lightweight concrete for easier delivery and sealed with an acrylic sealer and an acrylic wax.
The fire pits can be fueled by natural gas or propane, and the size and number of burners can be adjusted to accommodate heating requirements.
In addition to fire pits, Homcrete also makes concrete fire bowls as an option for customers who want a smaller table- or pillar-mounted fire feature.
Outdoor living spaces are becoming a much-sought after commodity in homes today. As their popularity has soared, so has the market for outdoor amenities that add comfort, warmth and ambience. Fire pits, in particular, have become must-have fixtures in many outdoor rooms, as evidenced by the proliferation of fire pits you can now find in the aisles of nearly every home and garden center. The problem with these prefab units, however, is their inability to be customized, leaving homeowners with a limited selection of sizes, shapes and colors.
For Mike Pastelak of Homcrete Inc., El Paso, Texas, that lack of choice is good for business and fueling a big demand for his company’s custom-made concrete fire features. “In El Paso, numerous people build small, round, rock fire pits, but they are getting sick of that look and they’re tired of buying pits from the big-box stores. Our clients want something original and that they helped design. We have even shipped our fire pits across the country as far as Pennsylvania,” he says.
Pastelak not only makes concrete fire pits in numerous sizes and shapes, including triangular, rectangular and square, he can also customize the color using integral pigments or stain and add whatever personal touch the client wants. “We can place decorative aggregates, such as glass or rock, in the features. Our clients might request that we design the feature to have more indentions, rock exposure, or to have it board-formed and stained to mimic the look of wood,” he says. In addition to making the fire pit itself to each customer’s specifications, Pastelak can also customize the burner system. “Most of our features are natural gas or propane, so depending on what the client is using the feature for, we can increase the size or amount of burners to put off more or less heat,” he says.
For local clients, Pastelak even offers design assistance. “We start by going to the site where the client wants to place the fire feature. My wife, our designer and part owner, works closely with the client to determine the best color and finish for them. Once we have determined the size, we assemble a box, usually out of melamine, and we place foam or melamine in certain positions to get the correct indentions and shapes for the specific design the client chose,” he says.
Out-of-state customers may not get the benefit of this onsite design service, but they can get their custom fire pit delivered directly to their door. “The great thing about our pits is that they’re lightweight and usually fit on a standard pallet. If the feature doesn’t, then we custom make a pallet for it to sit on and we ship it. Upon arrival at the client’s end, two people can usually lift and move the feature. We then have simple instructions for hooking it up to a propane tank, and if it’s gas, we recommend the homeowner have it professionally plumbed and hooked up.”