This Is How To Build An Outdoor Fireplace

When it comes to landscaping or designing your outdoor living space, many homeowners have started to notice the allure and trend of having an outdoor fireplace. It’s become so popular due to the many benefits it has to everyday life. Just imagine having your backyard or patio transformed into a haven with a fireplace as a focal point!

There are many ideas to upgrade your patio or garden, but an outdoor fire will be the perfect addition to your house. You can always have an expert do the work, but making it a DIY project can be easier and more fun than you might think! Keep on reading to find out all you need to know for building an outdoor fireplace. The result will be worth it!

6 benefits of having an outdoor fireplace

Wondering what the benefits of an outdoor fireplace are? Keep on reading to find out. They are more than you think!

Aesthetic appeal

Is your fireplace going to be only functional? Definitely not! We are sure you care about the aesthetic appeal of your home! A fireplace will enhance your backyard and will even encourage you to make it a haven by adding more to it. To make your home look as if it walked out of a catalogue, you can add a BBQ station, a jacuzzi, swing chairs, or even build an outdoor kitchen with a seated area. Trust us; the results will be stunning!

Entertaining

A fireplace is a natural gathering place where you can get your friends and family together to enjoy dinner or throw a party. Imagine a summer gathering or a fall game night by the fire with some popcorn and wine! It will offer a vast entertaining space for you to move parties outdoors instead of confining them indoors.

Outdoor cooking

Your outdoor fireplace has a lot of cooking potential. It’s perfect for preparing tasty treats, toasting marshmallows and roasting hot dogs with your family. You can even install a fire grate to use for cooking, grilling and roasting. After cooking, you can have a campfire-style meal around your outdoor fireplace or a relaxing meal with your whole family!

Ambience

You can create the perfect outdoor ambience to enjoy a romantic dinner with your significant other or just relax after a long day. Spend your time snuggling up next to the fire with a glass of wine and a good book. The romance and ambience a fire pit adds to a yard is unbeatable!

No more bugs

Do you dream of a beautiful summer night without any mosquitoes and bugs around to ruin it for you? Keep the pests away with the help of your fireplace! The smoke will keep the bugs away from your area, allowing you to have outdoor fun without getting bitten.

Source of warmth

While you spend your time outdoors, you can use a patio heater or a chimney to keep you warm. But nothing beats the natural warmth of a fireplace! It is an excellent source of heat and will definitely encourage you to stay outdoors more often, even on cold days. Grab a good sweater and snuggle up by the fire!

Planning before building your outdoor fireplace

Before you start building your outdoor fireplace, there are a few things you should consider first. Here is a list of the top things you should check out!

Codes and considerations

Check with your local permitting office for any considerations and restrictions relating to outdoor fireplaces. Your community may need a building permit before you start your project. If air quality conditions in your area are lacking, air quality measures may prohibit fireplaces where wood is used. 

Size of your fireplace

To determine the size of your fireplace, you should scale it to its surroundings. Think if it will complement an already-stunning outdoor area or if it is going to be the focal point of your backyard. Also, you don’t want it to overshadow your house’s size or be dwarfed by your home. It would be ideal to locate your fireplace in its own space and allow plenty of room in front of it for family and friends to gather around.

Outdoor fireplace design decisions

You can enhance the architecture of your house aesthetically by choosing the right design for your fireplace. It is essential to make it blend with the outdoor space and its elements. You can achieve this by using the same or complementary materials to those used in the architecture. For example, using natural stone to build the chimney will match with a stoned facade or paver

You can have a brick fireplace for a more traditional style or use artificial stacked stone for a contemporary look. Using stucco is also a popular option if you don’t want a stone exterior. Many outdoor fireplace kits help you with the design ideas, or you can create it all by yourself.

Safety first

Before you start building your outdoor fireplace, it is essential to consider all the elements that will keep you and your family safe.

  • For a fireplace that needs wood, consider installing screens, especially if you have young children. 
  • It is best to locate it away from children’s play spaces, landscaped areas, or other high-traffic areas.
  • Choose heat-safe materials, like brick, retaining wall block, concrete, or stone for the exterior. 
  • Depending on its design, the interior frame of the fireplace may include strong blocks for support.
  • Construct the firebox from stainless steel or fire-rated bricks that will withstand extreme heat. 
  • For a traditional fireplace with a chimney, you will need a fire-rated flue pipe that leads from the top of the firebox to the top of the chimney.

Choose wood-burning or gas fireplace

  • Wood burning fireplace: This offers the attraction of a more “natural” fire but will probably require a building permit. It will also be helpful to have a wood storage beside your fireplace.
  • Gas fireplace: It will save you from ash, embers, and smoke but burns cooler than the ones that use wood. You need to hire a gas supplier or a licensed gas contractor to connect the fireplace to your gas line safely. Also, you need to check local codes for specifications on gas piping.

Plan on adding any additional features to the fireplace area

To fully enjoy your new fireplace, give yourself enough room. The general rule is to allow a minimum of 1.5m in front of your fireplace for the sitting area. If it is any closer, the guests may get too hot, but any farther away may leave them chilly. Here are some outdoor fireplace ideas of additional features: 

  • Enjoy your alfresco meals in a dining area beside the fireplace, with a pergola for the sunny days. 
  • Create a wood storage for your fireplace.
  • Set cosy chairs toward the fireplace.
  • Hang some string lights to amp up the romance even more.
  • Build wooden benches around the fireplace.
  • Create an outdoor living room with a sofa and flagstone seating.
  • Get a rope pulley rigged to a tree to raise a candlelit chandelier.
  • Build an outdoor pizza oven near your fireplace and enjoy a variety of food.
  • Go the extra mile and build an outdoor kitchen.

Step-by-step guide to building your DIY outdoor fireplace

Are you ready to take your backyard to the next level? Find here a step-by-step guide to building an outdoor stone fireplace that will last you a lifetime!

What you’ll need

  • Protective gloves
  • Tamper
  • Tape measure
  • Concrete trowel
  • Shovel
  • Bubble level
  • Circular saw
  • Square
  • Hacksaw
  • Hoe
  • Mortar mixing pan
  • 33 full concrete cinder blocks, 20cm by 20cm by 40cm
  • 12 half concrete blocks, 20cm by 20cm by 20cm
  • Manufactured veneer stone
  • 6 cement backer boards
  • 2 metal flue caps, 60cm by 60cm
  • Mortar
  • 26 bags of 36kg quick-set concrete
  • 6 packs of 22kg gravel
  • Rebar, 1m by 1.8m
  • 2 steel angle, 1- 1.5cm by 1.8m
  • 2 hearth blocks, each 1m by 81cm

Step 1: Pour the concrete for the foundation, if needed

  • Dig a trench.
  • Use a plate compactor to shore up the foundation.
  • Mix and pour the cement.
  • Allow it to sit for at least 24 hours.

Note: Use concrete to lay a foundation and mortar to bond the blocks together later.

Step 2: Lay your concrete or cinder blocks

  • Spread mortar onto the foundation.
  • Lay your concrete or cinder blocks, making sure that each row of blocks is level.
  • While creating the base, use a level to ensure a balanced placement of the blocks.
  • If you use cinder blocks, spread mortar between each row and between individual pieces.

Step 3: Lay your fire brick inside your firebox

  • Set the fire brick after choosing a nice inlay pattern, like a running pond one.
  • Trace a line from the centre of the hearth all the way to the face.
  • Place a brick to the left and the right of the bisecting line.
  • Leave about 0.6 cm space in between the two. 
  • Lay one brick above the two bricks, placing it precisely in the middle. 
  • Above it, lay down two bricks in the same pattern.
  • Mix high-temperature mortar
  • When laying down the brick, cut at corners and edges of the bricks as necessary. 
  • You won’t need to cut the centrepieces, but corners and edges will force you to reshape some fire centre.

Step 4: Remove air bubbles from the fire brick mortar

  • Use a jointer and a brush to remove any air bubbles from the mortar.
  • Use the jointer pack in the mortar in each seam.
  • Dust away any excess mortar with a clean brush.
  • Leave it to dry for at least 24 hours.

Step 5: Construct or add a chimney for fireplaces

To ensure proper draw of the smoke to the smoke chamber and then the chimney, you must build it to exact specifications. The best thing to do is follow local building codes, but you can start with these standards:

  • Measure the height and width of the fireplace opening.
  • If the chimney is under 4.6 m tall, make its cross-section 1/8 the fireplace opening area.
  • If the chimney is over 4.6 m tall, make its cross-section 1/10 the fireplace opening area.
  • It must be at least 0.609 m higher than any adjacent structures and 3 m away from them.

Step 6: Add the spark arrestor for wood-burning fireplaces

  • Find a proper spark arrestor for your fireplace. 
  • This will trap embers from the hearth.

Step 7: Install the hearthstone

  • The hearthstone is your fireplace opening’s lip.
  • It should be at least 3 m away from all other structures.
  • Choose a hearthstone at least 10 cm thick and made from completely fireproof materials.
  • It should extend at least 41 cm in front of the firebox and 20 cm on either side
  • Place mortar in three 19 mm deep strips, 2.5 cm from each other.
  • Make sure that the hearthstone is plumb and level, using a rubber mallet to set it down. 

Step 8: Choose a stone style for the veneer

  • Stick the stones onto the blocks using mortar. 
  • Separate the stones using spacers and fill in the area between them with mortar.
  • Place the first stone flush on a corner, and then bring another stone out around 2.5 cm to meet it. 
  • For the following two stones, bring the first stone out, and then place the second stone flush on the wall. That way, you create an attractive-looking alternating pattern running down the corners of the fireplace.
  • When you have laid them all, allow the mortar at least 24 hours to harden. Once it has dried you can clean it off your concrete blocks.
  • Give the fireplace several days of rest before starting your first fire.

Step 9: Connect your gas-burning fireplace to the gas line

  • If you are building a gas-burning fireplace, you must hook up gas to your fireplace to get it working.
  • Turn off the gas.
  • Connect the mainline with the flexible lines, using plumber’s putty on its threads.
  • For the fitting to seat, tighten the connection with a wrench
  • Spread dishwashing soap on it to test the connection.
  • Turn on the gas
  • Refit the connection if you see bubbles appear.

Step 10: Finished!

  • Allow the fireplace to cure for at least 72 hours before building your first fire.
  • Pat yourself on the back; you’ve done an excellent job!
  • Call your friends and family and enjoy your new outdoor fireplace!

How to clean and maintain your outdoor fireplace

To reduce any risks associated with poor maintenance, you should check and clean your outdoor fireplace regularly. Here are our top tips to keep your fireplace brand new!

Wood type fireplace tips

  • Keep the fireplace bricks free of grass and weeds.
  • Use a broom to clean debris, built-up ash, and leaves from the fireplace.
  • Clean the fireplace inside and outside thoroughly with a brush and soapy water.
  • Call a professional chimney sweep or contractor to clean and maintain the chimney and flue.
  • Don’t use water to put out the fire. Allow flames to subside naturally.
  • Burn only dry wood. If you burn any trash or pressure-treated lumber, they may release harmful toxins that can damage pit surfaces and are unhealthy to breathe.

Gas type tips

  • Make sure the gas is turned off, before cleaning the fireplace.
  • Check the fireplace’s exhaust fan to make sure it’s properly functioning.
  • Make sure its ventilation system is operating correctly at all times.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush to clean fake logs from soot and ash.
  • Clean burners with a cloth or soft-bristle brush.
  • Ensure the vents and drains aren’t clogged, and there aren’t any bugs.
  • Cover your outdoor fire pit when it is not in use.
  • A professional should inspect your fireplace at least once a year.

How much will it cost to build an outdoor fireplace?

  • The average cost to build an outdoor fireplace is £2.000. The price ranges from £1.800 to £15.000
  • Pre-made kits typically cost between £1.000 to £6.500
  • If you want a completely customised project, you would be looking at between £6.000 to £15.000, with the most expensive going up to £40.000


Do you want to make your outdoor space more exciting, relaxing and fun? Build an outdoor fireplace and take your backyard to the next level! Follow our planning instructions and step-by-step guide and complete your relaxation centrepiece in no time! Are you ready for cosy and fun nights?

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