Three Tips For Choosing An Outdoor Fireplace

Posted on: 29 June 2020

A fireplace can turn your backyard into a year-round gathering spot for friends and family. The following three tips can help you pick out the perfect outdoor fireplace for your yard.

1.  Site Considerations

You must determine where you want the fireplace before you make any other decisions. The average wind direction, particularly in the season when you plan to use the fireplace, is one of the more important considerations. You do not want to position a fireplace in a manner where the wind will blow into it and cause embers to scatter. In some cases, it may make sense to opt for a small clay chiminea, which can be moved and reorientated by the season, as opposed to a more permanent installation.

Another concern is providing a heat-proof surround. The area beneath the fireplace will need to be hard-packed dirt, concrete, or paver stones. Avoid putting a fireplace up against wood or vinyl siding and fencing, as well. You may need to install additional landscaping, such as a heat-resistant wall behind the fireplace or to block the breeze.

2. Fuel Options

Once you know where to place the fireplace in your yard, determine your fuel options. If you want a fire that can be operated at the push of a button, then gas is the way to go. This is simple if your home is already plumbed for natural gas — you can simply have a line put in to the fireplace. Otherwise, you may need to look into other gases, like propane, along with the best way to install a tank and line to the fireplace.

For those who prefer a wood-burning model, there are still some things to consider. For one, where will you store the wood for the fireplace? It needs to be kept near enough for ease of use, but you don't want to stack wood up against the house as this can invite pests. Some fireplace designs come with built-in wood storage, which can be handy.

3. Material and Style

Once the site and fuel are decided, you can get to the fun part and pick out your actual fireplace. When it comes to material, you can go with brick, stone, or clay if you want a natural product. Another option is to have a custom fireplace designed from concrete, which is then covered in stucco or faced with a brick or stone veneer.

As for style, the style of the fireplace should complement your home's exterior and your landscape. Clay or stucco fireplaces look nice with southwest or Spanish style homes, whereas brick may be a better option for a more formal looking home exterior.

Contact an outdoor fireplace dealer to learn more about the options available for your home.