Outdoor Stone Fireplaces

Explore your options for outdoor stone fireplaces, and prepare to install a sturdy and elegant outdoor fireplace in your external living space.

Designer Heather Lenkin used neutral colors and historic details to create a romantic, inviting dining space.

Victorian Outdoor Dining Room

Designer Heather Lenkin used neutral colors and historic details to create a romantic, inviting dining space.

Photo by: Heather Lenkin Design

Heather Lenkin Design

By: Sean McEvoy

Outdoor stone fireplaces can offer a beautiful and elegant gathering place and focal point for your outdoor living space. If you're considering installing an outdoor fireplace or shopping for a pre-assembled or semi-customizable one, you'll want to consider the many design and material options available for outdoor stone fireplaces.

One of the first decisions you'll need to make when thinking about an outdoor stone fireplace installation is where it'll be located. Which area of your backyard or external living space is best suited for entertaining, gathering and potentially even cooking? Many homeowners choose to build or install their outdoor stone fireplace directly adjacent to their home, on a patio or deck. Others may choose a more distinct location, like a separate gathering area in another portion of the backyard. An important consideration regardless of where you choose to locate your outdoor stone fireplace is the safety factor—namely, you want to ensure that the fireplace isn't near any low-hanging branches, bushes or other flammable materials, and that if it sits on a deck or patio, a flame-retardant mat is used underneath the fireplace.

When you've settled on a location for your outdoor stone fireplace, the fun can begin. It's time to think about a design style—in particular, which stone finish you'll choose. You'll encounter many options, from a traditional brick, stucco or granite façade to more elaborate stonework available with a custom build. Consider whether you want the design of the fireplace's façade to be unique to the fixture itself, or if it should match the overall aesthetic of your home and outdoor space. You may have an opportunity to add some visual interest and a bit of divergent style to the space, or you may want to adhere more strictly to the design aesthetic of your home, patio or deck. Whichever direction you choose, you'll be able to peruse an array of styles from local hardware and home improvement stores, as well as stone specialty merchants who can provide you with stone materials to add a veneer or façade to a "blank slate" customizable outdoor stone fireplace kit.

When you've decided on the style of your outdoor stone fireplace, it's time to build—or, if you've chosen to invest in a modular, portable or semi-customizable unit, purchase—your outdoor stone fireplace. If you're lucky enough to have significant masonry experience and skills, you can even go the fully DIY route and build the fireplace yourself—or if your stone cutting skills are somewhat lacking, you can hire a stone mason to do the same. The expense of hiring a contractor can be considerable, especially if you have a particularly pricey type of stone (like granite) in mind, or if the design you've decided on is particularly elaborate. But paying to achieve your vision of the perfect outdoor stone fireplace will surely be worth it once you're enjoying cozy conversation with friends and family in front of your glowing new outdoor living space feature.

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