Increase Your Homes Value With an Outdoor Kitchen

If you’re looking for a way to increase the usable square footage of your home, adding an outdoor kitchen is a great idea. Exterior spaces are generally more cost effective than adding interior space to your home. They provide your family with a perfect excuse to spend more time outside and allow you to enjoy more of your property. Plus, outdoor kitchens make entertaining easy and fun. But did you know they can also increase your home’s value?  

Buyer Appeal

Though the initial work of having an outdoor kitchen added to a home can be significant, curb appeal is a significant factor in a buyer’s decision-making process. An outdoor kitchen is one of those rooms that could significantly sway buyers. An outdoor kitchen may not be at the top of every buyer’s priority list, but it certainly generates positive appeal. 

Functional Investment 

An outdoor kitchen is an investment that, with proper maintenance, will pay off for your family or your buyers for years to come. If you tend to spend more time grilling than cooking during the warmer months an outdoor kitchen is the perfect answer to save wear and tear on your home’s kitchen prep areas. You may also save on your electricity bill, by keeping your traditional incur kitchen cool and seldom used during the summer months. 


Another perk to outdoor living spaces like kitchens is that they can have the overall effect of making your home feel bigger. When combined with seating and tables an outdoor kitchen can truly expand on the livable space in your home. Especially in the summer months when friends and family alike can gather and make memories while enjoying the weather. 


Costs for an outdoor kitchen can vary greatly depending on your space and the materials used. You can create a budget-friendly version for a few thousand dollars, or go all out with top-of-the-line equipment and finishes. Generally speaking, an outdoor kitchen needs a patio, bar/counter, grill and range hood. From there you can add any features you like from sinks to ovens. To keep costs down, be mindful of both size and materials. For example, a large patio with a marble finish will be more costly than a small patio with a tile finish. 

How Do You Like Your Steak?

If you answered cooked over an open flame then an outdoor kitchen is probably right for you. Whether you plan to sell your home in the future or not, adding an outdoor kitchen to your home will provide the perfect place to gather, entertain and enjoy the outdoors. At Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces, we know that outdoor kitchens have become a growing trend here in the Southwest. That’s because our mild mountain climate permits us to comfortably spend time outdoors for most of the year. If you’d like to find out how we can help add value to your home with an outdoor kitchen, please contact us today! 

Choosing the Best Firewood: Tips for Buying & Burning Wood

Winter is nearly here. At Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces, never are we more aware of winters’ arrival than after the first early snow. Snowy weather and cool temps provide an idyllic backdrop to our region. But they also leave us searching for heat. And few things warm our hearts and bodies better than a traditional wood-burning fireplace. Whether you use your fireplace to heat your home, or for an extra layer of cozy comfort, chances are you’re burning wood. If you’ve ever thrown a green log on the fire, you’ve learned the importance of selecting the right kind of wood to burn. But there is so much more to know! It’s best to be a bit picky about the wood you burn. Here are some quick tips for wood burning:

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Fireplace Safety


Here at Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplace, we know that nothing creates a cozy ambiance like a crackling fire. But, even the most beautiful fire can become a hazard in your home if proper steps aren’t taken. Every type of fireplace, whether wood-burning, gas, or electric, can pose a potential danger if used incorrectly. Enjoying a warm, cozy night by the fireside requires a clean, safe fireplace. And, because caring for your fireplace and chimney can be both complicated and dirty, we’ve put together this list of our top 10 tips to keep your home warm and safe this season.

Be certain the damper or flue is open before starting a fire. 

Keeping the damper or flue open until the fire is out will draw smoke out of the house. The damper can be checked by looking up into the chimney with a flashlight or mirror. Do not close the damper until the embers have completely stopped burning.

Carbon-Monoxide and Smoke Detectors Are a Must

A carbon monoxide detector, as well as a smoke detector, are both fireplace safety must-haves. Carbon-monoxide is becoming a threat in more and more of today’s energy-efficient and airtight homes. 

Know What You’re Burning 

Only burn dry, well-aged wood or manufactured logs. Avoid resinous woods such as pine (which leave creosote in the flue), as well as evergreen boughs. Never burn items with glossy finishes – like wrapping paper or shiny bows, and foam peanuts – these items release toxic fumes. You’ll also want to avoid burning large quantities of paper, which can flare up and quickly get out of control. 

Pay attention to Temperatures

Manufactured logs may burn cleaner than wood, but if you do use manufactured logs, be sure to follow the use directions on the log’s bag. These logs burn hotter than regular wood, and can potentially warp metal chimneys if you burn more than one at a time. A roaring fire looks beautiful, but it’s not as safe as a slower, steadier burn. A too-hot a fire can crack your chimney. 

Keep the Area Around the Fireplace Clear

Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of anything that is potentially flammable (ie: furniture, drapes, newspapers, books, etc.) Don’t position your Christmas tree near your fireplace. This is an essential fireplace safety rule. If these items get too close to the fireplace, or if a piece of wood “pops” and throws sparks, they could catch fire.

Never Leave a Fire Unattended

Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Make sure it’s completely out before going to bed or leaving the house. Don’t fall asleep with a fire blazing away. Never leave a fire unattended when children are in the house. If you do leave the room while the fire is burning or the fireplace is still hot, take your child with you. Adults, even if near, should not allow children to play near or with fire tools and equipment.

Gas Fireplace Safety

If your gas fireplace is controlled by a switch on the wall, use a grate or cover the switch to prevent accidental turning on of the gas or the fireplace.

Clean The Firebox Between Fires

While you’ll want to leave chimney cleaning to the pros like us, minor maintenance can be handled yourself. If you burn wood, clean the firebox (the area where the logs burn) at least once a week during the months it’s in use. Leave about an inch of ash because it acts as insulation but a thicker layer than that can restrict the air supply to logs. Keep the firebox completely clean during the months when the fireplace is not in use.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy

Stash a fire extinguisher near the fireplace so that it’s handy – just in case. The best extinguishers are easy-to-handle units in 2- or 5-pound weights.

Keep Things Clean

To prevent creosote build-up in the flue, schedule a professional chimney inspection and cleaning annually If the creosote is allowed to build up, it can suddenly ignite, causing a chimney fire. If the fireplace is a significant source of heat, have it inspected more frequently. Even if the chimney isn’t due for a cleaning, it is important to check for animal nests or other blockages that could prevent smoke from escaping.


If your fireplace needs maintenance before this winter season, call us today to schedule an appointment. Be sure to follow our Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplace Facebook feed for other helpful tips and up-to-date information.




5 Reasons You Need to Get a Firepit

If you’ve been dreaming of cool Colorado nights cuddled up by a crackling fire and copious quantities of smores, a fire pit may just be the perfect answer for you. At Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces in Pagosa Springs, we know your home is your sanctuary. It provides refuge from the outside world, shelters you from the stresses of life and offers one of the best staycations in the world. Those four walls hold your most valued treasures and memories too, but what about your back yard? If your back yard is less than loved here are the top five reasons why having Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces install a fire pit could transform your outdoor space from boring to sizzling.

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Why You Should Hire a Professional to Clean Your Chimney

Cleaning your chimney is not an easy task, and you might be thinking, “How hard can it be?” But the truth is, properly cleaning your chimney is not like other household chores—it requires more time, experience and effort than you may have. At Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces, we are certified to perform fireplace and chimney inspections. Here are three reasons why you should let us handle your chimney cleaning.

The right tools for the job

A combination of soot, ash and creosote buildup in your chimney makes for a dirty job. Professionals have the proper protective equipment as well as industrial-strength vacuums to keep you and your home from being covered in all of the gunk that comes out of your chimney. That way you can rest assured knowing that  once the job is done, you won’t find leftover residue on your furniture or walls.

Saves you time

Cleaning your chimney is no easy feat, and for someone that is unfamiliar with chimney sweeping, the task can take hours to do properly. Rather than struggle through the process and finish only to realize you didn’t do a good job, let an experienced professional take care of the mess.

Proper insurance and certifications

The most important part of hiring a professional is the level of experience that they have in properly executing the task at hand. Our staff provides Level 1, 2 & 3 inspections that meet the specific standards of NFPA 211.

Chimney cleaning also requires certain risks such as getting on top of the roof and exposure to harmful elements. Reduce your chances of harm and let an experienced professional take care of the dangerous aspects of chimney and fireplace maintenance.

Natural Gas Insert Fireplace with Stone and Wood

When it’s time to have your chimney cleaned, Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces is ready to assist you. Contact us today for a full service chimney sweep in accordance to your owner’s manual specifications or to inquire about our inspections.

Outdoor Kitchens: The Essentials and the Extras

outdoor kitchen

Summer is quickly approaching, and with the longer days also come hotter temperatures. One way to keep the heat out of your home is to cook outside more often. With an outdoor kitchen, all of the amenities you need to cook a great meal are right in your backyard.

Outdoor kitchens are highly customizable. They can be as simple and open as you would like, or you can spend a little more time and add extra amenities based on your personal preferences. At Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces, we will work with you to design and construct the perfect outdoor kitchen area. To get started, we’ve compiled a list of outdoor kitchen essentials, as well as the fun and useful extras you might have not considered. When you’re ready to get started on your own outdoor kitchen, let us know!

outdoor kitchen grill


Outdoor Cooking Option

This is a no-brainer, but what you may not be aware of are all of the options available. For the standard outdoor kitchen, we suggest going with a grill. A side burner is a great addition if this is the route you choose to take. For a non-traditional take on your outdoor kitchen, consider going with a pizza oven or a BBQ smoker.

Counter Space

Crucial for comfortable cooking, a good rule of thumb is to have at least 12 inches on each side of the cooking surface, or two feet overall.


Proper lighting is crucial for evenings when you get a late start on dinner, or when cooking takes longer than expected.

Lighting for your outdoor kitchen does not need to be expensive, just as long as your selection allows you to see while you cook.


Often overlooked, having a structure to cover your outdoor kitchen will help protect you and your outdoor kitchen equipment from the sun and other elements.

An umbrella or canopy is a cheap and easy fix, but if you are looking for more of a long-term solution, then we suggest building underneath an existing overhang from your home or deck, or underneath a pergola.

outdoor kitchen sink



For convenience, it’s nice to have a sink included in your outdoor kitchen to rinse fruits and vegetables or wash your hands off while cooking.


Having cool items at the ready can be very nice, especially in the heat of the summer.

A mini fridge or freezer is a great option here, but if you are looking to get into more specific types of refrigeration, consider an icemaker for cocktails and other beverages, a kegerator for a frosty cold brew, or a wine cooler for perfectly chilled wine.


Storage is an excellent addition to an outdoor kitchen that will help you maximize space.

Cabinets are the most universal storage option, as they are versatile and can be used in a multitude of ways based on your preferences.

Trash Bin

Just like the sink, including an area for a trash bin in your outdoor kitchen design will ensure that you don’t have to run in and out of the house every time you need to throw something away.

Bar Area

To some, the bar is a necessity. This simply comes down to whether you plan on using your outdoor kitchen for entertaining guests as well.

If you are considering installing a bar into your outdoor kitchen design, keep in mind the other extras that will help improve your bar such as a refrigerator or icemaker.


At Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces, we want your outdoor kitchen to exceed your expectations. To discuss the design and installation process, give us a call at 970.264.2006.


6 Kinds of Firewood Perfect for Southwest Colorado – Infographic

With the cooler months quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about your wood stove and fireplace. But did you know that certain kinds of wood are better than others depending on your preferences? In the infographic below, we’ve compiled a list of 6 different kinds of firewood that will help you either heat your home or create a warm, aromatic atmosphere.

If you are looking to install a wood stove or fireplace before the cold weather arrives, give Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces a call today! 970-264-2006


Light My Fire: Wood vs. Gas Fire Pits

Summer evenings in Pagosa Springs are a magical time, and a backyard fire only further sets the mood. From relaxing moments to lively social gatherings, a fire pit is the perfect staple for your outdoor living area. Now the question is: Do you choose a wood-burning or gas fire pit? Both are great options; it just depends on what you prefer. We’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons to help you select the right choice for your home.




  • Traditional

The wood fire is the traditional alternative to gas fire pits. It allows for entertainment by involvement, with the fire requiring attentive hands. It’s always fun to throw another log on the fire and watch the flames dance and grow in size as they engulf the wood. Wood fire pits also allow you to have bigger fires than gas fire pits.

  • More cost-effective to install

Wood fire pits are typically cheaper to build than gas fire pits. They also require less time to install. You can always start out with a wood fire pit and test it out to see if this is the right fit for you. If not, you can typically convert your wood fire pit to gas by installing an insert that runs between $100 and $400 depending on size.

  • Heightened ambiance

The flickering of bright orange flames against the deep hues of dusk. The nostalgic scent of campfire drifting into the night. The wood fire pit has the gas fire pit beat here.


  • Smell is trapped in hair and clothes

Although the initial smell of campfire is pleasant, the smell that lingers afterwards is not as appealing to many. The smell remains on clothes and in hair until washed out, which can be inconvenient.

  • Wood fires are time consuming

A wood fire requires time to build. If you do not have a woodpile, wood must either be purchased or collected and seasoned. Once you have the wood for your fire, getting the fire started can be time consuming and requires your attention. Wood fires can also be messy, with the ashy aftermath and the potential bits of bark that can become scattered around the pit. This means you’ll also be spending more time cleaning up afterwards.

  • Local ordinance awareness

It’s important to know whether the county you live in allows open fires, or whether fire bans are in effect during drier months. This is where gas fire pits have wood fire pits beat. If any restrictions exist, then wood fires are prohibited at that time.




  • Easily managed

Gas fire pits are perfect for the person that wants a simple and convenient fire pit. With the push of a button or flip of a switch, the fire is emitted in an instant. When you are done enjoying your fire, simply turn it off. No need to smother or douse with water.

  • No lingering smell

For those that want the comforts of a fire but don’t want the smell that sticks to clothing and hair, a gas fire pit is the perfect choice for you. Gas does not give off that smell that is associated with wood-burning fires.

  • No smoke

No matter how many times you position your chair in different places around a wood-burning fire, you cannot escape the smoke. Gas fire pits do not give off smoke, so there’s no need to constantly reposition yourself around the fire pit.


  • Cost-prohibitive to install

Gas fire pits are quite a bit more costly to install than wood fire pits, and require more time to build. Depending on what your budget looks like, it’s important to take into consideration the initial cost.

  • Smaller fires

Gas fire pits do not typically produce the immense flames that a wood fire pit does, thus taking away from of the visual appeal of fire. If one of your reasons for having a fire pit is to have a big, bold fire, then we would recommend going with wood.

  • Fuel storage is not aesthetically pleasing

Gas tanks can take away from the overall look and feel of a fire pit. It’s recommended that you have a place to conceal or store your gas as to not take away from the fire pit you have spent so much on.

Hopefully knowing the pros and cons of both styles of fire pit can help you to make your decision a little easier. Once you’ve made up your mind, or if you have any other questions, give us a call or stop on by! At Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces, we are more than happy to help you select and install the best fire pit for you and your outdoor living area.



The Importance of Properly Maintaining your Chimney

Depending on where you live in the country, you may only end up using your chimney a few months out of the year. You may think that, at some point, you should have someone come out and take a look at your fireplace to make sure everything is in order, but that can often be put towards the back of your mind and eventually forgotten until the next cold season. The dangers of ignoring proper fireplace maintenance build up over time, and as such, they should be properly addressed in order to prevent sudden damage or fires when you least expect them.

In the United States, roughly 25,000 chimney fires are started each year as a result of chimney maintenance neglect. On average, they can cause over $5,000 in damage each time, and put you, your loved ones, and your neighbors in serious danger. Chimney fires are commonly started by a buildup of a substance called creosote, which is a tar-like byproduct of burning wood. If chimneys are clogged, less smoke can escape which causes a buildup of soot and ash, as well as the more flammable creosote. Over time, this buildup will restrict the airflow of your chimney, making it less efficient and at higher risk for chimney fires.

Getting your chimney swept

 If you’ve never had your chimney swept before, it’s a fairly straightforward process, but you should have a good idea of what it will be like before you book an appointment. The chimney sweep will most likely lay down some type tarp to protect the floor, but it’s best to move any furniture or other objects away from the opening of your fireplace so that they avoid being stained or otherwise marred by ash and soot.

During the process, the chimney sweep will use a variety of tools, depending on how much soot and creosote has accumulated along the sides of the chimney. If soot is light, they will most likely use a tool that looks like a glorified bottle cleaner, that has a rope and/or a long tube attached to it with a firm brush on the very end. This brush works to dislodge any buildup of soot and creosote. The buildup of creosote is usually measured in three degrees. First and second-degree creosote are usually easy to remove with a simple wire brush, but third-degree creosote (also known as glaze creosote) is a thick, glassy, tar-like substance that usually takes a heavy piece of equipment to remove.

Gas Fireplaces

 If you have a gas fireplace in your home, you’re not excused from routine maintenance! We recommend having your gas fireplace inspected at least annually, as with any appliance, lack of maintenance and cleaning decreases its longevity.

While the risks associated with creosote buildup are not present with gas fireplaces, debris, leaves, and other gunk often finds its way into vents or the chimney, which can result in bad odors or reduced airflow. Certain parts such as glass or faux logs can wear down over time, tarnishing their appearance and resulting in the need for replacement. Residue can also build up over time from dust and other substances, which may increase the need for a good cleaning.

Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces is located in Pagosa Springs, CO and provides a wide variety of maintenance and cleaning services for all types of fireplaces and stoves. Stop by our showroom in Pagosa Springs today or give us a call at 970-264-2006 to arrange cleaning or maintenance services.