By day, the deck and patio provide a place to enjoy the view of an amazing green belt behind the house. And when the sun goes down and the air cools off, the homeowners can turn on the lights and start up the fire feature, both of which greatly enhance the usability of this outdoor space.

The lighting — 16 Dekor Dek Dot LEDs flush-mounted in the decking (Fiberon Horizon) — took us about five hours to install. The gas fire feature is concrete block with a stone veneer; we worked closely with our mason to build it, and with the local stainless steel fabricator who makes all of our pans. Custom-fabricating the pan gave us design flexibility and resulted in a much better-looking and hotter flame for our clients.

The project took two and a half weeks to build and cost approximately $40,000, of which $1,200 was for the lighting and $4,000 for the fire feature (not including the $800 or so the clients paid directly to the plumber for the gas line).

Brian Bell is the owner of Banell Custom Decks & Basements in Parker, Colo.