Top Hat Outdoor Living Blog

Extending Chimney Life

Let the service pros at Top Hat Outdoor Living assist you in creating your ideal outdoor living space. Give us a call today!

Let the service pros at Top Hat Outdoor Living assist you in creating your ideal outdoor living space. Give us a call today!

When thinking of ways to spend your hard-earned savings this summer, chimney problems are not where you want those extra dollars to go. There are a few things you can do to make sure that your chimney’s lifespan is as long as it can be. To learn more about how Top Hat Outdoor Living can help you, give us a call today!

Chimney Sweeps

The most important thing you can do for your fireplace and chimney is to have it cleaned by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep, as this is the only way to truly remove dangerous creosote buildup. Creosote is a sticky chemical residue that is formed when wood is burned at lower-than-optimal temperatures and is capable of building up within your chimney. As the gas moves up the chimney, the oils are deposited on the inner walls of your chimney. This buildup decreases the amount of open space through which harmful combustion gases and smoke can pass. When this happens, odor can be caused in the home; another undesirable consequence is the increased risk of a chimney fire.

Keep up with Repairs

When your chimney needs to be repaired you should give it attention sooner rather than later. If there are cracks in your chimney, you should have them fixed immediately both to prevent it from worsening and to keep water intrusion to a minimum. Water can also get in when the flashing is loose or damaged. If water gets into your chimney, it creates optimal conditions for the growth of mold. If mold is allowed to spread, it can eventually spread throughout your home. Also, you want to make sure your chimney cap is properly installed and working.


It is recommended that if you live in a wet area that you have your chimney waterproofed. This can be done in a day’s time after you’ve had the chimney swept and the structure cleaned. Chimney technicians will spray a coat of water repellent on the outside of your chimney. It is recommended that this be done on a clear day; will take about six hours to dry. In some cases, you may need to have two coats applied.

Chimney systems are made up of numerous parts, all of which should be inspected by your chimney professional during your yearly chimney inspection and sweeping. To prevent major chimney system repairs, it’s crucial to make minor repairs as soon as the need for them arises. Contact the team at Top Hat Outdoor Living with any and all of your chimney service related questions. We want you to have all of the information you need!

6 Questions to Ask Your Sweep

Your chimney sweep wants to ensure that your heating system is working at peak performance and that your family is as safe as possible.

Keeping your chimney in good working order saves you money.

Keeping your chimney in good working order saves you money.

The Perfect Outdoor Fireplace

Tips For Your Perfect Outdoor Fireplace

If you’ve been thinking about improving your patio or other outdoor living space with a new outdoor fireplace, you have a lot of decisions to make. Thankfully, they’re fun decisions.

So many Top Hat Outdoor Living clients around Middle Tennessee have told us that their outdoor fireplace quickly became the favorite part of their home. And we love hearing that, because we put a lot of time, attention and focus into designing and building the exact fireplace our clients were envisioning, from shape to size and finishes. Our aim is to walk you through the steps of developing your perfect fireplace, then exceeding your expectations while we bring it to life at your home.

A few things to think about, while you dream up that outdoor fireplace:

Your patio would be greatly enhanced by adding an outdoor fireplace.

Your patio would be greatly enhanced by adding an outdoor fireplace.

Different Fuels Suit Different Lifestyles

A wood-burning fireplace is the traditional choice, whether we’re talking about an indoor fireplace or an outdoor one, and it’s still a great choice — roasting marshmallows with family and friends over a wood fire is the stuff of lasting spring and fall memories, whether it’s 2014 or 1974. But a wood-burning fireplace certainly isn’t your only option.

If you’re looking for an outdoor fireplace that offers a little more convenience and a lot less cleanup, our CSIA-certified technicians can build and install a gas-burning outdoor fireplace that offers plenty of charm and minimal work, so you can enjoy a fire with the turn of a knob.

If you want help weighing out the pros and cons of different fuels, Top Hat technicians are always here to help.

Materials And Design Can Match Your Aesthetic

You’re not limited to a traditional-looking brick fireplace either (though we think those remain very beautiful). We can show you a wide variety of beautiful stones or unique brick designs that our expert masons can use to build your fireplace, and we can also share possibilities for more modern finishes, from tile to concrete. Whether you want to mimic the fireplace at a Tuscan villa with a homey stucco finish or bring a pop of color with Spanish-style tile, Top Hat Outdoor Living can realize your vision.

An Outdoor Fireplace Doesn’t Have To Be ‘Just’ A Fireplace

At Top Hot Outdoor Living, we also specialize in building woodfire ovens that bring that cozy warmth and togetherness you want from an outdoor fireplace, but also add to your cooking arsenal. These are top-notch for pizza, since you can really get that perfect pizza crust with the high temperatures a woodfire oven provides (over 1000° F). But you can also bake bread, roast meats and vegetables — your options are really only limited by your creativity.

If you’re a big fan of the culinary arts, these can be a great addition to your outdoor space, and to your dinner table.

Outdoor fireplaces are one of Top Hat Outdoor Living’s specialties, so if you have a dream fireplace in mind, we’d love to help make that dream real. For starters (and maybe some inspiration), take a look at our online portfolio  to check out some past outdoor fireplace projects. And if you want to talk about the possibilities at your home, just give us a call!