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Does Vancouver, BC allow firepits on residential properties?

Solus Halo Firepit with Vancouver Skyline. Fixed fuel connection gas and propane firepits need permits in Vancouver. CSA approved portable ones to not.
Pictured here is the Solus Halo Firepit, with Vancouver Skyline in the background. The Solus fire pits come in fixed fuel connection gas and propane fire pits. The fixed connection fire pits will require a permit. However, the portable Solus fire pits will not require a permit.

Does Vancouver, BC allow firepits?

Yes! The Solus firepits have CSA approval in Vancouver, BC.

Does Vancouver, BC require permits for firepits?

CSA approved firepits will require a permit if there is a fixed gas or propane connection.

If you are looking to install a firepit with a fixed propane or natural gas connection, you will be required to obtain a permit from the City of Vancouver. However, you will not require a permit for a decorative portable propane or natural gas burning firepit. The Solus firepits are available as both portable and fixed fuel connection.

CSA approved will not require a permit if they are portable.

If you are looking for a firepit for your residence, but don’t want to obtain a permit, the fire must be portable and “contained in an approved (CSA, for example) outdoor cooking appliance, or outdoor fireplace”. Therefore, the Solus firepit will make a great addition to any outdoor living space, and they are manufactured here in Vancouver, BC! Furthermore, the Solus firepits are available for shipping worldwide, so check out our other blog posts to determine the fire regulations in your city!

Contact Us

  • To see our products, please visit our catalogue page.
  • To speak to a sales representative you can contact us here, or call our local Vancouver line: 604-255-2472.
  • For all other inquiries, please visit our Solus Decor website.

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It is the responsibility of the reader to confirm and verify any information found on this page.

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New Product of the Year Award Finalist 2016 at the Chelsea Flower Show!

Firecube 16 is compact and modern with a surprising amount of heat out put for its small size

Finalists for New Product of the Year Award – Chelsea Flower Show

Solus Decor UK is very pleased to have been selected as a finalist in the New Product of the Year Award 2016 at the Chelsea Flower Show.

CGPotY-tag-Finalist-1.jpg

 

A Fire Pit for Everyone

This is our very first year displaying at the Chelsea flower show. We are pleased to be participating in this prestigious event. We met so many people who visited our display – all with different sized gardens and patios. Our Firecube 16 is versatile for all of these applications. Small enough to fit a cozy apartment or small garden, this fire pit has the advantage of a biofuel (ethanol) burner. For larger gardens and outdoor spaces, the Firecube looks wonderful displayed in tiered clusters of 2 or 3 or placed in a seating area in multiples. The Firecube is also available with a Natural Gas or Propane burner. This makes it very convenient to burn for extended periods of time. Firecube 16 is compact and modern with a surprising amount of heat output for its small size. Clean-lined and functional, it fits easily into gardens and spaces of any size. It also transitions into a table when paired with its concrete lid.

Firecube 16 is compact and modern with a surprising amount of heat out put for its small size

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Top Ten Tips for Renovating an Existing Fireplace

Fireplaces don’t have to be the ugly duckling of your home – but so often they are!  It is true that we have seen our fair share of ugly fireplaces in our 18 year history.  This article deals with the top ten considerations when renovating your existing fireplace area.  The approach is the same whether you “Solusize it “ or simply change out your firebox.

Attractive fireplace features factor big in the enjoyment AND  in the resale of a home – right after kitchens and bathrooms., And yet, they are often left to the very end of a renovation in both time and budget.  Sometimes what goes in can be quite a design disappointment.Ugly old fireplace

So to help prevent some of those post renovations blues, Solus presents you with the Top Ten Tips that we recommend you consider before redesigning your existing fireplace.

1. Fuel Choice: Based on what is available at your location, you will need to determine if you want a natural gas, electric, wood-burning or a bio-fuel fireplace.  Reputable fireplace shops in your area should be able to steer you in the right direction.  Most fireplace retailers carry a select number of brands and specialize in providing a safe flame for your home. It’s a good idea to visit at least two shops within your local area, as they will have competing brands and should give you up to date advice about fuel choices that can be delivered to your home.

2. Size and Scale: slider1You will need to keep in mind the scale of the room and how much of a statement you wish to make with the fireplace. The general rule of thumb is that the bigger and taller the room is, the more you can entertain the idea of a larger fireplace and/or surround /cladding combination.

3. Focal Point: Is the fireplace going to be the focus of the room to gather around or will it only be used on special occasions? The furniture placement will greatly effect where the fireplace is viewed from and how.

4. Style: Consider what style you are looking for as the fireplace and surround can dramatically alter the look of a room. Is the style of the home contemporary, traditional or transitional (somewhere in-between)?Fraser with Overmantel Concrete Fireplace Surround

5. Hearth: Does it require a hearth? You can have no hearth, or one that is flush with the floor, an elevated hearth or sitting hearth.  A substantial hearth will add great prominence and don’t forget elevation.  Although a hearth is not essential, one will greatly add to the look of your fireplace.

6. Mantel:  Would you like a mantel? If hanging stockings is important it will require one. If considering tile, flagstone or paneling then one might not be required. More than being a place to store nick-naks, a mantel can break-up the look of the wall and also distribute heat away from any paintings or TVs above the fireplace.

7. TV Screen:  This one is usually the most contentious issue when designing a fireplace – as one party may want a 60″ inch behemoth on the wall and the other one wants… well TAPER in HALVA anything else!  Of course any good relationship is about compromise so let’s mount that TV, but make sure it’s not too high or your neck will pay the price and remember to use a heat barrier, like a concrete mantel, to keep the heat away from the AV.

8. Sub Straight:  A bit more technical, but your fireplace installer will be able to help.  As you get closer to the installation date you will need to decide on a sub straight, which can be anything from concrete board, plywood or drywall depending on the surround, cladding or fireplace box you are going forward with.

9. Structure: Find out what structural limitations you may have to work within. There may be all sorts of things lurking behind your wall that dictate what you are able to install. You will want your contractor or builder to review prior to going full steam ahead with you renovation.

10. Budget: Last, but certainly not least!  What is your budget?  Remember to allow for the cost of the materials plus the cost of installation.  A fireplace renovation done wrong is not easy to undo. It is not something one does every day – consider a professional.

If you ask yourself all of these question you are one step ahead of the game for having a

Happy at home by the Fireplace
Happy at home by the Fireplace

hassle free and on-time fireplace installation. Then all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy your beautiful fire feature or share it and invite your friends and family over so they can tell you how great your new fireplace looks!

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How to get a contemporary look with a wrapped fireplace

Your creativity has met its match – Solus wrapped fireplaces! As creative as you can get with modern architecture and design, Solus wrapped fireplaces can accommodate it with our large and unconventional formats that can mold to just about anything.

We recently worked on this custom job where the client wanted a long, linear, contemporary look that matched their west coast inspired home. Rather than just place drywall around the fireplace insert, they opted for our hand cast concrete tiles to properly finish the look by adding a unique touch. The beauty of Solus tiles is that they have a lustrous, well worn, almost smooth leather feel as they are made from real stone. Each tile will be almost slightly different than the next so you won’t get any pattern randomization like you would with ceramic. Overall, this leads to a more refined and elegant look.

Once your fireplace insert has been installed, one of our installers will come and cut the tiles on-site to perfectly wrap them around the insert for a great, custom look. If you like the flush look of this feature wall around a fireplace, know that we can accommodate all sizes of fireplace inserts, whether long and linear or more traditional. If in the research phase, you can also check out the other styles of modern and contemporary fireplace surrounds that we offer.

Contact us today to discuss your ideas at 1(877) 255 3146.

Contemporary wrapped fireplace
Contemporary wrapped fireplace with hand cast concrete tiles

 

Contemporary wrapped fireplace
Notice the smooth, suede like, texture of these concrete tiles

 

 

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Adding value to your home with a concrete fire place surround.

YOUR FIREPLACE CAN BE A MONEY MAKER!

How can a fireplace add value to your home?

According to the National Centre for Real Estate Research, a fireplace increases the value of a home by 12%. But does this apply to every home? We think yes! Whether you live in a small condo, or a 10,000 square foot mansion, there is a fireplace insert and surround to suite your needs. From electric, to wall mounted units, to traditional masonry fireplaces, there are a variety of different insert options to explore. Local building codes will determine what you are able to use and most building codes can be found online or at your local fireplace shop. Considering the addition of a fireplace to your property may be beneficial when the time comes to re-sell, as 77% of homebuyers would like to have a fireplace in their home, (according to the National Association of Home Builders Consumer Preferences survey).

Elton Huard proudly stands by a fresh installation of Solus Concrete Panels
Elton Huard proudly stands by a fresh installation of Solus Concrete Panels

Having a fireplace in your home is not only noticed by buyers, but is also recognized as a “hot button” by realtors for potential buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors  Profile of Buyers Home Feature Preferences, it was determined that a fireplace is one of the most desired features in a home. In addition to the desire of the fireplace, 46% of home buyers said they would pay extra for a house that incorporated at least one fireplace. Whether you are considering selling your home through a third party or not, the demand for a feature fireplace is prevalent across the market.

Where is the best place for a fireplace in the home?

When adding a fireplace or beginning a renovation, you should give some thought into which room the feature fireplace will go. It is recommended that the fireplace is installed in the most used room in the house, (besides the kitchen and bathroom). This leaves usually the living room or great room. Once properly framed by a surround or wall of tile, it will provide the WOW factor that only a properly finished fireplace can add.

What is a realistic budget for a new fireplace?

Before beginning your project it is important to put together a budget of what you have to work with. Costs for materials and labour to add a new fireplace can run from several hundred dollars, to $20,000 or more. Among the popular options, a factory built gas or propane fireplace insert can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000.

You can also update the design of your existing fireplace by keeping the current insert in place, and adding a new fireplace surround, wall tiling or hearth. These renovations can cost anywhere from several hundred, to several thousand depending on the scope of labour and materials. If you are considering re-facing your fireplace you can reference the Solus Measure Up Guide online to determined which mantle and tiles would fit best in your space.

Measure Up Guide

When determining costs for your fireplace, there are also other factors to consider such as ongoing fuel expenses. Across North America natural gas is generally the least expensive as measured in therms (a measure of heating value), followed by heating oil, propane and electricity. A guide to compare how much heat each fuel source costs to run can be found here:

Fuel Cost Comparison Calculator

Another fuel source which is ideally the most cost effective, is having a wood-burning fireplace if you have a cheap source of wood readily available to you. When including a wood burning fireplace in your home make sure you pay particular attention to the non-combustible clearance requirements, as codes are unique to each municipality and vary from 16” to 20.5.” Overall wood and natural gas are by far the most popular fireplace fuels, and combine for 83% of the market, (according to the National Association of Homebuilders Research Centre).

Finally – what options should you consider to finish off your fireplace?

After investing into the fireplace insert and labour there are a few ways to finish your fireplace off. Think of your fireplace like a piece of art. Unframed or unadorned it doesn’t look like much, however when properly framed it takes on substance, style and brings the piece of art to life!

We recommend non-combustible mantels, surrounds, tiles and hearths made from Solus Decor’s ultra high performance concrete. Our concrete is available in ten inspired colours and we have a variety of styles to accommodate any design. Whether your space in contemporary, traditional, or somewhere in between, view our gallery online or give us a call and one of our associates would be happy to work with you on finding the best fit for your home.

Fireplace Surrounds Gallery

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Festive Deliveries and Holiday Mantels

Beautiful hearths decorated with the season’s finest have been a tradition in northern and southern climes for hundreds of years.  Through the chimney, the fireplace hearth has been credited as a favored landing spot for our man in red and white.. good ol’ Santa Clause.

Santa’s got a tough job, but with a great deal of experience and an excellent team of elves, he’s able to rise to the challenge year after year and deliver perfectly wrapped and operating toys all over the world.

Cornice surround with Solus 16" x 48" tile in Halva
Cornice surround with Solus 16″ x 48″ tile in Halva & in holiday mode.

Solus understands this job perfectly!  We crate and ship our contemporary fireplace surrounds, hearths, mantels, tiles etc., all over the world! And like Santa’s, our products arrive at their new homes in perfect condition, ready for local installations … and perfect delivery portals for our good friend Santa Claus.

Festive Halva Cornice surround with Solus 16" x 48" tile in Halva and natural light.
Festive Halva Cornice surround with Solus 16″ x 48″ tile in natural light.

This festive Cornice  fireplace surround and the Solus 16″ x 48″ concrete tile in Halva was shipped over 2000 miles, and perfectly installed by a local tile setter – and now it’s ready for Santa’s arrival!  “Our installer finished the fireplace on the weekend. It looks fabulous! Your website is good but the photos don’t do the product justice. They are very beautiful and we love it… the experience has been great.  Your shippers are amazing and everything got here fine.  Thanks for everything …”. from our happy Solus customer.

We also thought it would be fun to share some links for some last minute inspiration … or for you to keep on reference and book mark to prepare for next year.

Holiday Fireplace decor from Apartment Therapy http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/all-aglow-holid-162159

Holiday Mantels by Houzzers on Houzz.com http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/5736320/list/25-Gorgeous-Holiday-Mantels-by-Houzzers

Have fun preparing for Santa and Happy Holidays from Solus Decor!

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Solus Decor Recycling Series – Part 1 – Concrete Elephants!

Since its inception 16 years ago, Solus has been conscious of its waste stream.

Background

Six years ago, we started to seriously consider our recycling streams and our carbon footprint.  We had conversations with a group at UBC who were just launching a program for companies called Offsetters, a carbon footprint management program.   They came to our plant and gave us some very valuable instructional tips.  This led us into a full on attack on our waste streams.  We had just moved to a larger production facility and built spaces and recycling depositories to accommodate our recycling program.

We found that as we became larger, we started to produce more waste.  Our customer base was also increasing and we began  to ship all over North America.  This was an exciting development, as it allowed us to create even more fabulous concrete products, like our line-up of outdoor fire pit products, and even more fireplace surrounds and mantels.

Yikes!  There’s a concrete Elephant in the room!

Having been around for 16 + years, we have literally poured thousands upon thousands of batches and therefore, our approach to production is quite scientific. Our formulas and mathematics when it comes to producing our concrete is accurate within 2%.  We minimize the waste whenever and wherever we can, but even at 2%, it adds up over time!  We had to address this.

It began to feel like the “ elephant” in the room.  And it was made of concrete!

Another use for a concrete Elephant!

After studying our recycling history and the countless recycling depositories, bins, crates, odds and sods that we now have at Solus one of our summer students, Sam, posed an interesting question.   How many concrete elephants (in weight) have we recycled since our program went into place over six years ago?

So this became a project for our fresh faced summer student.  How much concrete has been recycled and what does happen to the contents of the Solus’ recycling bins after they are taken off site? … this is what she found.

When there is any excess or reject concrete at Solus, the concrete gets put into a bin and gets picked up by a 1-800 Got Junk.  They take it to a Sand and Gravel company, and gets broken down.  Recycled concrete is used for a variety of construction purposes.

–         Aggregate base course (road base)

–         Untreated aggregate used as foundation for roadway pavement (under pavement surfacing) forms structural foundation for paving

–         Soil stabilization – the incorporation of recycled aggregate and using it in soil to stabilize and change the water susceptibility

–         Recycled concrete can be used as a foundation to lay on the ground around pipes as, is used as an alternative to virgin aggregate

–         Landscape materials

With 3,500 – 4,000 lbs of concrete recycled every 5-6 weeks, there has been an accumulation of approximately 220,000 lbs of concrete recycled since Solus first started recycling concrete in this manner. An additional 60,000 lbs was recycled when a thorough “house-cleaning” was conducted in 2010, giving us these rather grand totals,

280,000 lbs, or

127,000 kg, or

140 tons of concrete recycled!

To put that in perspective, the African Elephant, one of the largest land animals on Earth, weighs on average 9,500 lbs.

= almost 30 Elephants!

Or a herd of elephants!

All of this concrete was diverted from our local landfill.

Our next blog will talk about all the other waste streams and where they go.

Stay Tuned for Part II on the Solus Recycling Series.

 

Image credit: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/photo_10883639_cute-little-elephant-cartoon-character.html’>teenbull / 123RF Stock Photo</a>