Outdoor Fireplace

Heat the outdoors with a patio fireplace

Outdoor fireplaces are ideal for those who want to enjoy their backyard for as long as possible during the year. If you're not familiar with them, an outdoor fireplace is very similar to an indoor fireplace in design, as it consists of a firebox and a chimney. It can be used for heat, ambience and even cooking for meals like pizza or almost any food that you would normally grill or barbecue.

Like indoor fireplaces, you can choose between an outdoor gas fireplace and a traditional wood-burning fireplace. Gas fireplaces are often thought to be more convenient and cleaner burning, but many people prefer the rugged campfire feel and smoky taste that comes from cooking food on a wood-burning fireplace.

Choosing Your Outdoor Fireplace

There are two common materials to choose from in outdoor fireplaces, but plenty of style options in each category:

  • Stone outdoor fireplaces. A stone outdoor fireplace will give your backyard an old-fashioned look. Many stone outdoor fireplaces have a purposely "aged" look about them and may go so far as to incorporate broken stones and crumbling walls. Overall, stone a versatile material that can be as simple or elaborate in design as you choose.
  • Brick outdoor fireplaces. Outdoor brick fireplaces are more modern-looking than stone. The most elaborate designs look almost like miniature buildings in your backyard, and go well with brick patios. People who opt for brick outdoor fireplaces often design their entire outdoor space around the fireplace. An outdoor brick fireplace has the traditional aesthetic that many people are searching for, and as such it is found in very traditional gardening or landscaping designs.

Both materials are relatively equal when it comes to durability, and the price of each will really be dictated by the type of design you choose.

Outdoor Fireplace Design

The first decision you'll have to make in your outdoor fireplace design is where you're going to put the fireplace. If your space is small or you're hunting for an outdoor patio fireplace, you might want to consider a chiminea, which is a freestanding, bulbous fireplace with a smoke vent that is much smaller than an outdoor fireplace.

If you've got the space to devote to something bigger, you can incorporate benches or pieces of your outdoor bar furniture or patio furniture right into the design, or simply opt for a stand-alone fireplace. Also remember that when are putting together your outdoor fireplace plans, you need to ensure that there is adequate spacing between landscape objects for safety purposes. For instance, you would not want to place an outdoor fireplace near any playground equipment, for that presents an increased risk of injury. Just keep in mind the purpose of your fireplace when planning, and your design layout should fall easily into place.

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