In addition to burners installed in the two boulders, the fire feature also used two ground-level burners. Gas supply lines run through 2-inch-diameter holes drilled through the boulders. Rated at 50,000 Btu each, the assembled brass burners are covered by porous lava rock.

When outdoor living designer Dave Settlemyer first showed his clients the design proposal for a new fire feature, they thought it was a glitch in his design software. Fire coming out of boulders? But that was Settlemyer’s intention for the flaming boulders, a multiple-tier fire feature that provides both depth and flame appeal. In an article for Professional Deck Builder, Settlemyer describes the complications and ingenuity that went into creating the unique feature.

“To make a connection to the gas line that we had buried in the yard, we had to bore holes through the boulders,” he writes. “I first used a 10-inch-diameter diamond-tipped coring bit mounted in a Hilti core drill to remove 8 inches from the top of the boulders. Custom burners would later be housed in the holes, which we would then fill with lava rocks. Besides filling the holes to a level point on top of the boulders and hiding the burners, the lava rocks would help disperse gas to create more combustible area for the fire.”

Settlemyer’s feature is an inspiring example of what’s possible when integrating propane or gas into an outdoor living project. The design creates an enchanting effect that simply wouldn’t be possible without gas.

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