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Best of Houzz 2015

January 29th, 2015

Houzz Best of 2015

The Outdoor GreatRoom Company won the Best of 2015 Design award on Houzz for having some of the most popular photos on the social media site. Houzz is an online community of contractors, builders, designers, architects, and the companies that supply them. It is used by professionals to connect to one another, and by consumers to find the best professionals to fit their needs. OGC uses Houzz to create brand awareness of our products, promote our products to the end consumer, and to connect with potential dealers, designers, builders, etc. to carry and use OGC products.

Check out our award winning photos and profile here.



Understanding BTU’s

January 22nd, 2015

Let’s get technical. Today we’re talking BTU’s and what that really means when it comes to your gas fire pit.

British Thermal Units (or BTU’s) are described as a unit of energy required to heat or cool one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

But perhaps a more relevant description of BTU’s for a fire pit or outdoor decorative appliance is that the greater the BTU the more flame and the more heat the fire pit or appliance will generate.  BTU output will generally range from 30,000 to 100,000 on a fire pit or outdoor decorative appliance.  Therefore, the higher the BTU, the more warmth you will feel from the fire.

Fire Glass

The flame appearance and height on a burner is affected by a number of things besides the BTU:

1. The amount of primary air mixed with the gas before it is burned will affect the overall color and flame height. The more primary air the bluer the flame color will become and the shorter the flame will be. It will also be a cleaner and higher temperature flame. More primary air is added by opening the air shutter more at the orifice location. Less primary air is done by closing the air shutter. This causes a brighter yellow flame and  a taller flame. But closed too much and you will have a sooty dirty flame. While cleaner than a wood fire it still can be dangerous due to CO2 generated.

2. Larger orifice hole means more BTU’s to the burner, assuming all else is the same.

3. Higher gas pressure means more BTU’s to the burner, again assuming all else is the same.

4. Natural gas (1000 BTU/ft3)has less BTU’s per cubic foot than LP (liquid propane)(2500 btu/ft3)

5. Natural gas typically is used at 3.5 to 7 inches of water column

6. LP is used typically at 10-11 inches of water column.

Natural gas and LP are sold by the BTU so the more BTU’s a burner uses per hour the more it will cost to burn the appliance. So all in all, while you generally want a high BTU measure for your gas fire pit or fireplace, other factors are also important to consider when purchasing the right fire pit for you!

Post by Paul Nigon, Western US Sales Manager



OGC Dealer Open House

January 16th, 2015


  • Showing over 10 new 2015 products
  • Extra 10% off for orders placed during event.  Extra 5% off on any seconds or out of box items that you take that day!
  • Marketing and Sales 2014 recap reports available, specific to each dealer (Must RSVP to
  • Out of box/Overstocked product deals— first come first serve
  • Training on products
When: February 10 (9 am- 4 pm) & 11 (8 am- 12 pm)
Where: The Outdoor GreatRoom Company Offices and Showroom
2015 Silver Bell Road Suite 195
Eagan, MN    55122

RSVP or have questions? Email

or Click to RSVP here



Featured Dealer: Performance Pool & Spa

January 15th, 2015

Performance Pool & Spa is one of The Outdoor GreatRoom Company’s Twin Cities area dealers specializing in pool, spa, and outdoor products. They have retail locations in Woodbury, Plymouth, Oakdale, Burnsville, St. Cloud, and a new location in the Rosedale Mall in Roseville, MN.

Performance Pools 1

OGC: Tell us about your store? What categories do you sell/display

PPS: Mostly we display the fire pits/tables.  We have a limited amount of the furniture and electric wall hanging fireplaces.

OGC: What trends are you currently seeing in the outdoor products (or electric fireplaces) category? What do you think is a “hot” product right now?

PPS: Looks like the low end copies are flooding the market on the electric wall units.  Although product awareness is higher, the product differences are low compared to pricing. For us a “hot” product would be fire pit tables in a variety of colors.

Performance Pools 2

OGC: What new kinds of products or styles are you looking at adding for next outdoor season?

PPS: Something with a water feature would be great.

OGC: What qualities do you look for in products for your showroom to set yourself apart from your competitors?

PPS: Products that do not have the big box feel and look high quality, variety of options. 

OGC: What is your favorite OGC product and why?

PPS: Any fire pit table that sells!! Love them all!



Top 10 Reasons to Choose an Electric Fireplace

January 8th, 2015

When winter storms and cold come, many people choose to spend their time inside by the fire. Whether you’re entertaining friends, home alone, or spending time with family, a fireplace is a great focal point. GreatCo., a division of OGC, offers electric fireplaces for any style or size room of the house.


  1. No Gas or Fuel Line required, just an electrical outlet for standard 110 volts.
  2. There is no venting, flue, or chimney required.
  3. Electric fireplace installs in minutes, not hours or days like gas– saving time and money.
  4. There is no annual service plan required and the daily operating cost is much less than a gas fireplace—only a penny per 24 hours with flame and backlighting and 9-18 cents per hour with the heat on.
  5. Cool to the touch when flame and heat are on, therefore safe for children and pets. CSA certified for safety.
  6. LED light technology offers high definition realistic looking flames. LED’s last for 35,000 hrs+.
  7. Control your flame intensity, ember bed lighting, and backlighting
  8. Built-in heater operates on high & low settings and no heat when it is not wanted or needed– great for everyday, year-round use
  9. Move it to another room when you want to redecorate. Have one in every room without the cost of remodeling.
  10. Glass stays clean without the film or residue of gas, or smoke from wood. Also great for those with allergies.

Before and After Insert_web

Office Closed Dec. 31- Jan. 1

December 30th, 2014

The Outdoor GreatRoom Company offices will be closed tomorrow and Thursday, Dec. 31- Jan. 1, to celebrate the New Year Holiday. We will resume regular business hours Friday, Jan. 2. Happy New Year!

Featured Dealer: Fireplace Professionals

December 29th, 2014

Showroom 1

OGC: Tell us about your store? What categories do you sell/display?

FP: Fireplace Professionals has been a retail full line hearth destination in the Sioux Falls, SD market for almost 40 years! We also became a wholesaler in the early 1990′s. As of the mid 1980′s we began dabbling in counterseasonal products like gas grills and spa’s. As of 1997 we gained a new name for our barbecue component called Barbecue Heaven. Barbecue Heaven features cart gas grills, island gas grills, wood pellet grills/smokers, kamados, fire pits, grill islands, gas grill replacement parts, and tons of gifts and accessories. Last Father’s Day we hosted an open house for the Grand Opening of a brand new Barbecue Heaven showroom complete with a breezeway kitchen that has immediate outside access to our patio courtyard where all of our demo grills, fire pits, and outdoor fireplaces are displayed. Barbecue Heaven has it’s own street signage and maintains it’s own image to the public now.

OGC: What trends are you currently seeing in the outdoor products (or electric fireplaces) category? What do you think is a “hot” product right now?

FP: Wall hanging electric fireplaces are very popular along with fire pits…wow fire pits! Barbecue continues to be dominated with pellet customers. Traditional gas fireplaces continue to lead our hearth product sales with stone finishes. There is a lot of interest in contemporary fireplace looks for indoor and outdoor.

OGC: What new kinds of products or styles are you looking at adding for next outdoor season?

FP: We’ll be adding an additional line of pellet grills and pellets next year while we continue to look for an outdoor contemporary gas options. Also be stocking more of the DIY kits for landscapers. 

BBQ Heaven

OGC: What qualities do you look for in products for your showroom to set yourself apart from your competitors?

FP: Products that have outstanding support like the support OGC provides. We try to ensure our customers that we truly want them to enjoy these products with no worries. They know that we’ll be here for them so we try to use products from companies that we know will be there for them. We also enjoy selling well thought out products. The UL listing on the fire pits has been an important quality in OGC product line.

OGC: What is your favorite OGC product and why?

FP: Believe it or not the most fun product we sell from OGC is not our most profitable one initially…the DIY kits are fun because they are paving the way to excellent relationships with landscape contractors. We are already geared to service home builders and it’s easy to translate the skills we’ve learned to service them to help landscapers too. What has started relatively small can grow enormously.

showroom 2

Office Closed Dec. 24-25

December 22nd, 2014

The Outdoor GreatRoom Company offices will be closed Wednesday and Thursday, December 24-25, for the Christmas holiday. We will resume regular business hours Friday, December 26. Happy Holidays!

The Art of Electric Fire

December 18th, 2014


When shopping for an electric fireplace there are several things that you must consider. First, how does it look? Are you going to want this in your home or office for years to come? Flame first– if it does not catch your eye right away it probably never will. Style– does the style fit your home? Next is noise, if you can hear it running in the showroom from one foot away it will be irritating in your home. The showroom has a high level of background noise, your living room will not. The last thing to consider: quality of construction. Is it well built, with nice fitting parts and LED bulbs? You do not want to buy anything with less than LED bulbs in it, the cost and service will be troublesome. Heat is another item that is always asked for. Electric heaters can be a great way to warm a room and take a chill off of a cool evening.

Electric fires have advanced many times over since the old days of real wood logs cutout with a transparent sheet of plastic on them so a light bulb could be used to light up the center of the log set. Back then the illusion of fire was made by having the heat of the light bulb cause a pinwheel to rotate and the light on the translucent film to fluctuate looking like light from flames. Today we use a motor to create a rotation of reflective materials to create an upward moving flame reflection on a background panel. The lights have advanced from the old incandescent bulb to hundreds of small LEDs of different colors to create a more realistic reflection of flame. The blue LED gives an even more realistic flame appearance.

Another feature that has been added to help create that feeling of a real wood fire is the introduction of a heater. The extra heat makes for a more compelling feeling that the flame is real and generating the heat. Many people have asked if it is a real flame and when told it is not they ask where does the heat come from. The electric heater typically comes with different output settings with a fan to help the heat move around a larger area of the room.

In the past electric fires were either log sets or they were made to look like a masonry fire place. The construction was not built to last for many years and were never much of an added value when it came time to sell a home. Today’s electrics are well constructed and designed to last.  They have an electronic operating board that drives the motors and LEDs in the system to get quiet, efficient, and long lasting use. The LEDs in an electric fireplace today consume next to nothing in the way of power. As little as 2 cents to run the fire for 24 hours in most places. The LEDs will also last what will seem like forever. LED bulbs can last 100,000 hours for a good quality bulb. Even then if one or two of hundreds do stop working you will not notice it in the flame.

Installations of today’s electrics is also very simple. On a wall hung unit the installation is as simple as hanging a mirror or a picture. Simply locate the area, determine the stud locations. With a screw gun simple screw a minimum of 4 screws in the mounting frame to the studs. Then hang the body on the frame and snap the glass front in place. Only 10 minutes from start to finish. Inserts can take even less time. Simply assemble the surround attach it to the insert and slide the insert in place. No screws, drills, clamps etc. then just plug the unit into an existing outlet and it is ready to enjoy!

Post by Eric Hawkinson, VP Operations and Engineering


Holiday Gift Guide

December 11th, 2014

It’s that time of year. Still have no idea what to get your loved one this holiday season? Do they love spending time outdoors? Then look no further our holiday gift guide is here to help! Scroll through the gallery and follow the link on the image. Happy shopping!