Indoor-Outdoor Fireplaces

Gather info on indoor/outdoor fireplaces, and get ready to enjoy the unique comforts of a multifunctional fireplace in your home.

A contemporary dual sided fireplace that can be enjoyed indoors as well as outdoors.

Dual Sided Fireplace

A contemporary dual sided fireplace that can be enjoyed indoors as well as outdoors.

Photo by: Ilija Karlusic Design

Ilija Karlusic Design

A contemporary dual sided fireplace that can be enjoyed indoors as well as outdoors.
By: Sean McEvoy

If you're considering adding an external fire feature to your home's outdoor living space, indoor/outdoor fireplaces can offer a unique combination of flexibility and function. Whether installed in an externally facing wall or as a portable indoor/outdoor fire feature, these multi-functional units can provide a natural gathering place with all the cozy comforts of an outdoor fireplace plus the added benefit of interior use.

If you're contemplating an installed indoor/outdoor fireplace, there are a few requirements you should keep in mind. First is location. You'll need the fireplace to be installed in an exterior wall that opens onto your outdoor living space—a patio, deck or backyard—and specifically, onto the area of that exterior living space that will work best as a seating, gathering or cooking space. When you've determined the right location for your indoor/outdoor fireplace, it's time to decide on the fuel type. You can go with a traditional wood-burning fireplace, but it should be noted that this type will require a chimney to allow for smoke to escape. Alternately, you can opt for a gas, propane or electric fireplace. Gas fireplaces simply hook into a home or township's gas line. Propane units also require a gas line, but it connects to an external propane tank which needs to be supplied regularly. Finally, electric fireplaces operate like electric heaters, but they feature faux flames and artificial logs, and simply plug into a wall socket and a home's electrical grid to function.

When you've decided on the type of indoor/outdoor fireplace you want to feature in your home, it's time to shop for styles. Many are available, from traditional brick, granite and stucco designs to sleek, contemporary or modern models in glass, ceramic or even metal. Many homeowners attempt to match the style of their overall interior design with their indoor/outdoor fireplace, since the unit will be a part of both the interior and exterior appearance of the home.

When you've landed on a design that suits your style, you'll have lots of options for purchasing—from innumerable online outlets to your local home improvement or outdoor living specialty store. Deals are available for those with a keen eye, and seasonal price-drops are common, so keep an eye out and the indoor/outdoor fireplace of your dreams could be yours for a steal.

It's worth mentioning that if an indoor/outdoor fireplace appeals to you—but the complexity, time and cost of knocking a large hole in an external facing wall and paying a contractor to install a fireplace does not—then you may want to browse the options available for portable indoor/outdoor fireplaces. Mainly electric-powered, these convenient and relatively inexpensive units can give off plenty of heat and simulate a real fire using faux flames and artificial firelogs, and they won't require anyone to lift a hammer.

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