Selecting The Right Outdoor Fireplace
The outdoor fireplace can make for a lovely exterior feature that helps you to expand your living space to the great outdoors, while also improving upon the value of your home. You can easily spend more time outside all throughout the years, with the option of being able to get warmth and light even during chilly nights in the fall and winter. Whether your wish is to relax with your friends and family, the right fireplace is going to bring you years of outside enjoyment for your home.
Of course, the addition of an outdoor fireplace in your backyard is the kind of project that takes a great deal of planning in order for it to be successful. You need to take a number of facts into consideration so that you can be sure your new outdoor fireplace is able to meet your wants and needs. Prior to building, select the best style for your home and take these tips into consideration:
Where you choose to place your outdoor fireplace will be very important. You need to be sure that it is going to be easy to access from your home and any adjacent structures that are on your property, such as a pool house or guest house. If you have a hot tub, spa or swimming pool, you can be sure that the fireplace is nearby to give you additional light and warmth. Your family and friends will gravitate to the fireplace automatically after taking part in a soak or swim in the hot tub or pool at night.
When you have a smaller yard with a deck or patio that adjoins the backend of your home, you can have the fireplace attacked to the deck, patio or house. This will give you a setting that is intimate and right near the house so that your landscape turns into a focal point. With a larger yard, you can think about having a separate terrace or patio that is back from the home with a bigger fireplace. This helps to create another location where you can entertain using the fireplace as the outdoor setting’s focal point.
Do you know how you will be using your fireplace? Any outdoor fireplace can be the focal point for your exterior setting. It will help to add a nice and relaxing atmosphere for entertaining. Just make the fireplace location an optimum spot for guests to mingle and relax. When it comes to entertaining, you will need occasional tables and comfortable seating. When you are looking to have meals outside, you can have a set out outdoor dining tables and chairs. For cooking on the fireplace, you can simply incorporate a nice space where you can store all of your cooking utensils.
The fireplace will be a large permanent structure that includes a chimney and firebox. It is usually designed in a rectangular shape, but can also be designed as oval, round or square. The firebox containing heat and fire will have to be made using non-combustable fireproof materials. The opening of the firebox can be square, arched or rectangular, yet it must be big enough for wood to get through the opening in a safe manner. The chimney can be rectangular and tall, or tapered up at the top. The outside will generally be covered with some sort of stone, concrete or brick. You can pick out custom features like an extended hearth, wrought iron, and decorative tiles and when it’s done even add a nice piece of art similar to this from OutdoorArtPros.com.
When you want to be able to entertain a large group of people, you will have to have an outdoor fireplace that is big enough with a hearth that is extended, as well as enough room in front for the guests to move about. The extended hearth will be able to comfortably seat about four to six people, so you will want to have additional seating there. When you want to entertain a smaller group, a smaller size fireplace will be enough. The outdoor fireplace can be built just three feet wide by two feet deep and four feet tall. A larger fireplace with a mantle, built-in seating and an extended heart can get up to about fifteen feed in width, four feet deep and fifteen feet tall.
How large is the outdoor space you have to work with? The design, size and the appearance of the fireplace should be proportions to fit the size of your yard comfortably. If the backyard is smaller, go with a smaller fireplace that will be more intimate. With a larger yard that has a pool, a hot tub or a pool house, you will want a larger fireplace that works to balance out the scale of the property. With any large yard, you may also want to consider using an outdoor kitchen or having a waterfall installed as an additional feature to the fireplace.
Outdoor Fireplace Materials
There are plenty of options that you can use for a fireplace, with materials like stacked stone, brick, river rock, flagstone, limestone, concrete or fieldstone. Brick will give you a timeless appeal along with a traditional feeling, while brick veneer also makes for an affordable choice that is easy to work with. You can also get facebrick in a number of textures and colors.
Stone can be expensive to do the whole fireplace, but stone cladding will give you the look and feel of genuine stone at an affordable price. Rock like flagstone and river rock will give you texture, interesting color variation and a bit of an earthly appeal to the fireplace. You can also go with concrete for a modern or contemporary style that will blend in well with a natural landscape. There are concrete fireplace designs that also take about half of he time that it takes to build a stone fireplace.
Stucco remains the least expensive and you can get it in a range of textures and colors. Stucco fireplaces are nice for a southwestern look and feel.
You can go with a propane or wood burning fireplace just about anywhere in your backyard. They will usually be freestanding, permanent structures that are not going to require any utility connections. The wood burning fireplace will also be cheaper to operate than a fireplace that uses gas and it will put out more heat. However, you may not have the convenience you are looking for. With a wood fireplace you will need a chimney that will be large enough for the necessary draft letting the fire burn accordingly. Gas outdoor fireplaces will only call for proper ventilation.
The gas option will not need a chimney, which will allow for a smaller vent or fuel pipe that also costs less money than a chimney would. Gas will also need to have a gas line installation. If the fireplace is located near the house, a shorter gas line could be installed. However, if the gas line is further away, you need to have your local gas provider view your location to be sure that there are no issues or restrictions with the new gas line. The line will have to be piped ad trenched to a connection point at your house.