Chilly or otherwise inclement weather can prevent you from getting the most out of your deck during many moths of the year. With some integrated heat sources, you can keep your deck parties from being cut short by less than ideal weather.
There are many different heating options for your deck, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. Homeowners should consider these pros and cons before investing in a heating option for their deck. Here are some of those options, as well as a look at what they're most appropriate for.
For practicality, small portable heaters are your best bet. The traditional outdoor heating option is the radiant heater. These are the ones often seen in commercial venues where outside seating is available. You can also find natural gas deck heaters.
Increasingly, though, radiant and natural gas heaters are being replaced by newer infrared heaters, which are more efficient and safer for cedar decking. Retailers offer a wide selection of heater choices, so you shouldn't have trouble finding whichever style you choose.
A chiminea is a cross between a small chimney and a fire pit. Popular because of their aesthetic appeal and simple design, chimineas fit in almost every price range. On the low end, you can find relatively inexpensive chimineas that will provide a nice amount of heat for a reasonable price; on the high end, some cedar deck owners have constructed much larger chimineas that double as fireplaces built into the deck.
Heated Lighting and Furniture
If you really want to move into the 21st century on your cedar deck, retailers may offer heated furniture or lights. Heated furniture is a recent trend - imagine a table or chair with small charged-electric heaters. This trend requires minimal installation and upkeep.
Heated lighting works in a similar way, which is perfect for those slightly chilly summer nights.
If you love a good campfire, you may want to consider a fire pit. These will give you the look, feel, and smell of a campfire. They come in many different styles and sizes, and can be either installed into the surface of your deck or be portable. You can also choose between a traditional wood-burning or gas-fueled fire pit.
A fire pit makes a great focal point and gathering spot for your outdoor living space. However, when considering a fire pit for a cedar deck, take care to prevent the decking material from catching fire. A good way to do this is by surrounding the fire pit (whether portable or built-in) with a non-flammable surface, such as deck tiles. In general, fire pits take up more space and require more care than other heat providers.
Other Considerations - Style and Ambiance
Take ambiance and style into mind when deciding how to heat your cedar deck. Homes with a more rustic style may not jive with futuristic-looking heated furniture, for example. Chimineas and fire pits provide a different ambience than traditional deck heaters.