Thinking about building an outdoor fireplace but afraid that it will be too expensive or too much work? Well in this article, I intend to show how to do it without incurring a high cost of hiring a masonry contractor and instead opting for a prefabricated fireplace. In this overview, I will show you the necessary materials and briefly touch on the steps on how to build a an outdoor fireplace. Whether you are thinking of building an open pit fireplace or a more traditional enclosed fireplace, the procedures to building one are the same.

Things You Will Need

Prefabricated Fireplace- This will make it easier than building a fireplace from scratch.


Fireplace screen



Additional Bricks and Stones

Step 1

Choose a location for your outdoor fireplace.

Some things to keep in mind when you are choosing a location is the distance from your house, other structures and plants and trees. All it takes is one little spark to cause a fire, so the further away from these things the better.

Another thing to consider is whether you plan on placing chairs around the fireplace. If so, allocate enough space so that the chairs are at least 3 feet away.

An outdoor fireplace is also going to need to be on level ground and you should check with your city to make sure that the spot you chose doesn't have any underground electrical pipes or wiring.

Step 2

Shop for a fireplace

If you can afford it, you can hire a contractor to build your fireplace from scratch but it is going to cost you if you go this route. The better option is to shop for a prefabricated fireplace. Besides the fact that a prefabricated fireplace will make for an easier and quicker installation, most of this pre-made fireplaces are made with the highest amount of safety in mind.

Some other things to keep in mind when you are shopping for one:

Is it going to be more for ambiance or to actually heat?

If you want ambiance, then you may want to go with an enclosed fireplace....

Looking for warmth? An open pit fireplace should suit your needs...

Are you thinking about cooking in your fireplace? You will have to think about the size of the grate....

Step 3

Prepare the site where you plan to put your outdoor fireplace

The next step you should remove anything that could potentially catch fire around where you plan to place your fireplace. You may also want to look at building a platform or something to support the fireplace.

At this step, you may want to build the area around the fireplace as well, using tiles or cement to make the area more aesthetically appealing.

Step 4

Install your prefabricated fireplace

At this point, assuming you didn't go the complete DIY way and choose to build a fireplace from scratch, it is time to install your fireplace.

Carefully follow the directions that come with the fireplace and make sure to assemble it correctly.

Some things to consider:

If you want to add a chimney pot, then you will need to build a taller chimney. It is also advisable to build as high a chimney as you can and keep the actual firepit in the lowest place possible to help with wind draft and smoke.

Step 5

This step is not required....

Add your supporting cast to your fireplace. Give your fireplace a unique feel to it by adding bricks, stained tiles and other things. There are many different routes you can go. Add a stucco design for a greco-roman look...ect....
That's it. Now all you need to start enjoying your new outdoor fireplace is a little wood and some friends and family! You will be the life of the party and talk of your neighborhood. Just imagine the looks of envy on your neighbor's faces when you fire it up on a cool fall evening! And the best can say that you built the outdoor fireplace yourself!

Tips & Warnings

Before you start to build your own outdoor fireplace, you will need to check with your local government as to what their building codes will allow and not allow. Some areas will have an ordinance against building a fireplace for pollution concerns or have other requirements. In addition to this, you may need to get a special permit or license and sometimes an outdoor fireplace will require special insurance.

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