How to Plan for Building an Outdoor Fireplace
Learn how to plan for building an outdoor fireplace, and get tips and tricks for creating a warm and welcoming focal point for your outdoor living space.
If you're ready to install a warm and welcoming focal point in your backyard, you'll want to browse these helpful tips on how to plan for building an outdoor fireplace.
Materials and Structure
"Traditionally, outdoor fireplaces were made of brick and needed a foundation to be laid before they were built," says Lou Manfredini, Ace's Home Expert. Browse pictures of this outdoor living room from HGTV's 2012 Dream Home.
A porthole mirror and potted plants dress up this outdoor fireplace. Courtyard seating faces the fireplace, creating the perfect spot for company and conservation. Design by Chris Johnson
Find the Perfect Fit
A fire pit is one of the many focal points in this deck's multi-level design. A built-in bench curves around the fire pit for toasty seating on chilly nights. Photo courtesy of Trex
Ready for Company
The entertaining deck at HGTV's 2012 Dream Home offers a warm and cozy respite even on the chilliest winter's evening. This fire pit has a modern design and features four separate gas units.
The first consideration when planning to build an outdoor fireplace is location. Your backyard focal point is going to be a popular, heavily trafficked area. Will you locate it adjacent to your home, on a deck or patio, or set it further into the backyard, in a separate seating area?
Some factors that might influence your decision include the size of your outdoor living space, and whether your outdoor fireplace is going to be wood burning, or powered by propane or natural gas. If you plan to fuel it with wood or propane, it can be a portable structure, and you can locate it more or less anywhere in your outdoor space. Natural gas is usually fed from the home, which won't necessarily mean your fireplace needs to be located directly adjacent to the house, but the configuration of your gas line may be a limiting factor.
Next you'll need to think about a design for your outdoor fireplace. Many homeowners choose a "built-in" style, attaching the fireplace to an outside wall of the home or another wall in the outdoor space. Others prefer a freestanding fireplace, possibly even one that's portable. For either a built-in or freestanding style of outdoor fireplace, you can choose to purchase a prefabricated exterior or one that's a blank slate, so that you can choose which materials to adorn your fireplace with. Bricks, different types of stone, marble and even fire-resistant glass are some of the many options available.
See also: Deck and Patio Design Ideas
- Outdoor Wood Burning Fireplace
- How to Plan for Building an Outdoor Fireplace
- Prefab and Modular Outdoor Fireplaces
- Outdoor Electric Fireplaces
- Outdoor Fireplace Design Ideas
- Patio Fireplaces