Portable Outdoor Fireplaces

Gather information on portable outdoor fireplaces, and decide which type of convenient and efficient external fire feature is right for the outside of your home.

Outdoor Portable Fireplace

Outdoor Portable Fireplace

A small prefab and portable outdoor fireplace.

Photo by: Rms user Bobo8850

Rms user Bobo8850

A small prefab and portable outdoor fireplace.

By: Sean McEvoy

If an outdoor fireplace is in the plans for your home's external living space, but you're not keen on the idea of a fixed-in-place, custom-built affair that could break your budget, you may want to consider the many options available for portable outdoor fireplaces. The quality and variety of these convenient, flexible units has improved vastly, so you should have no trouble finding one that suits the layout of your outdoor living space, your budget and your design aesthetic.

One of your first decisions related to the purchase of a portable outdoor fireplace will be whether you want to opt for a traditional design, something more contemporary or modern, or a unique choice like a chiminea. A full range of styles are conveniently available from many home improvement stores or outdoor design specialty retailers, so you should have little trouble identifying the right choice for your outdoor living space. Many homeowners attempt to choose a portable fireplace design that reflects their home's design aesthetic, or that of the overall external living space—while others may choose to use the prefabricated fireplace design as an opportunity to express a divergent style in their backyard, or on their patio or deck. The choice is yours, and you'll have many options to peruse, in store and online (but watch out for those shipping costs).

Once you've settled on a design for your portable outdoor fireplace, you'll want to scout some locations in your external living space that would be suitable for a fire feature. Your main consideration here will be safety—when deciding on a location or locations, first keep in mind that they should be completely free and clear of all low-hanging branches, bushes or shrubbery, or any other elements that might be flammable, like dry grass. You should also check with your local municipality regarding any restrictions or regulations related to outdoor fire features.

Many homeowners choose to locate their portable outdoor fireplace on a patio, deck or in a convenient gathering spot in the backyard. If a deck or patio is the destination for yours, another safety consideration is to ensure that you place a fire-resistant mat beneath the portable fireplace (this would also apply to any backyard area with particularly dry grass).

When it comes to the style and materials for your portable outdoor fireplace, you'll have plenty of options, but many will mirror classic fireplace designs, with one important distinction—the materials on a portable fireplace will generally be a thinner façade or veneer than their fixed-in-place counterparts, so that the portable fireplace can be transported easily from location to location. Brick, stucco, ceramic and metal are common façade or veneer materials for portable fireplaces, just as they are for permanent outdoor fire features.

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