Backyard fireplaces can come in dozens of shapes, sizes and designs. All of the options add warmth and ambiance to an outdoor space, transforming part of the yard into a cozy retreat ideal for entertaining and relaxing. Fireplaces are often the anchor of a patio’s design, and furniture is often centered on it. Keep in mind that the fireplace material you choose needs to resist exposure to the weather and withstand extremely high temperatures. It is also beneficial to select a fireplace facing that is easy to clean, so soot and ashes can simply be hosed off.
Here are some items to research before making a final decision:
- The most popular fireplace styles, the design characteristics of each, and what suits your lifestyle and tastes.
- How to choose the best location, including space availability, access, privacy and wind direction.
- Possible zoning issues if you are within city limits.
- Choosing the best size for your fireplace based on the size of your yard, entertaining needs, and budget.
- Seating options and storage – do you want to have built-in seating or patio furniture and is storage on-site needed
- The pros and cons of the most popular outdoor fireplace facing materials, including brick veneer, stone, stucco and decorative concrete
- Information about fireplace kits, including cost ranges
- The main factors to consider when choosing a base for your outdoor fireplace, including your soil type, freeze-thaw conditions and the weight of the fireplace.
- The pros and cons of wood burning vs. gas-fueled outdoor fireplaces.
- Typical chimney and vent requirements for wood-burning outdoor fireplaces.
Because of safety issues, outdoor fireplaces should be installed by a professional and built according to your local building regulations.