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Gather round the firepit and its heat-collecting hood.

An outdoor firepit can be a delightfully sociable place for friends to gather and chase away the chill evening air. There's plenty of room for gathering around the 7-foot-square pit at Sherryl and Bill Roberts' house in Sepulveda, California. Centered beneath a 13-foot-square trellis, the lava-filled firepit has benches around three sides. Behind the seats is a retraining wall that cuts into an elevated lawn.

Since this firepit is gas-fired, there's little problem with smoke--and no need for a chimney. What looks like a tile-banded chimney hood above the pit is really an ingenious trap to capture heated air as it rises: it collects under the hood, then billows out the sides toward the bench seats. Inside, the hood is fireproof--lined with tile set in a thick mortar bed. The mass of the tile and mortar stores heat and continues to release it long after the fire is extinguished.

A sturdy overhead trellis supports the considerable weight of the heat-trapping hood; 6-by-12 beams carry 4 by 6's. An open-ended box anchored to the center rafter holds the top of the hood in place. Set across the rafters for shading is a screen of 2 by 4's.

Design was by architect Mark Sutter. Tile work, including that on the perimeter retaining wall, was by the owner.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:May 1, 1984
Words:215
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