Get all the info you need on backyard fireplaces, and get ready to install a cozy, warm and welcoming fireplace in your backyard living space.
Bruce Meeks Design
A contemporary Mediterranean-style outdoor room, designed by Bruce Meeks, features the seamless integration of fireplace and wall.
A backyard fireplace can be a great gathering and entertaining spot for friends and family, as well as a valuable addition to any outdoor living space. You'll have plenty of options when it comes to purchasing or choosing a design for a backyard fireplace, and ultimately your choice will be driven mainly by the design aesthetic you're interested in, your budget, and your goals for creating a cozy and comfortable backyard space.
The first thing to consider when deciding on a backyard fireplace purchase or custom build is whether your backyard fireplace will be a permanent fixture or a portable element of your outdoor design. A benefit of portable backyard fireplaces is that they offer almost unlimited flexibility in terms of their location (after considering some common-sense safety guidelines, that is—for example, they should never be located too close to low-hanging branches or bushes) in your backyard. Additionally, portable fireplaces are now available in a wide array of different designs and finishes, so you should have no trouble finding one that's a fit for your backyard living space.
If you're not convinced that you'll need the flexibility offered by a portable backyard fireplace, a more permanent design, in the form of a custom build or a prefabricated or modular unit, could be a great choice. One caveat here is that any custom-built backyard fireplace design will likely require the services of a stone mason, and the labor and materials costs associated with a custom build will require an extensively larger budget than a prefabricated, modular or portable unit. On the plus side, a custom design can be built to your exact specifications, so the added cost may be worth it to ensure that you'll end up with the backyard fireplace you've always dreamed of.
When you're ready to choose materials for your backyard fireplace, you'll likely discover that stone, stucco, tile and brick are most commonly used—although metal backyard fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are also a popular choice. In terms of design, there are many directions you can choose, and your decision may be driven by whether or not you want the fireplace to divert from the overall aesthetic or reflect the design of the rest of the backyard and outdoor living space.
One important note about backyard fireplaces, whether they're freestanding or built in, is that they must always be located away from any potentially flammable items like trees or shrubs, and you should always use a spark guard and flame-resistant fire mat when your fireplace is in use (this is especially true if your fireplace is located near your home and/or on a wooden deck). Also, be sure to check with your local fire department regarding their backyard fire codes before installing your backyard fireplace.