Investing in a custom outdoor fireplace can be a very wise decision. Outdoor fireplaces can add elegance and value to your home, enhance your landscaping and add a welcoming appeal to family and friends. Whether you are in the market for an outdoor fireplace for your home, your restaurant, or resort you will be adding value and creating a gathering spot that you will appreciate for years to come.
In this article I’ll give you a few tips on how to choose a custom outdoor fireplace, including how to find the best design. Since the best plan for installation may vary based on the design you choose, I’ll also provide some guidance on which method to choose for installation..
Choosing a Custom Outdoor Fireplace Design
When planning an outdoor fireplace project, there are several things you need to consider:
- Where will it be located? The design you choose for a custom outdoor fireplace by a pool will likely be quite different than one tucked into the corner of your patio. A patio fireplace can tie together a large, expansive area and offer a warm enticing oasis for family and friends.
- What kind of material do you prefer? You want to make sure that any material you choose will blend in with the surrounding area, as well as complement the materials used in your home. A stone fireplace may lend itself well to a backdrop of trees and or mountain vista, and the material you select for your fireplace will help it blend in with an extremely natural setting. If you have a colonial brick home, a brick fireplace will add to the architectural elegance very nicely.
- What fuel selection do you want for your outdoor fireplace? If you want an outdoor wood burning fireplace, you will need the installation of a chimney, where as an outdoor gas fireplace will need venting. All this will impact design you choose, and the final appearance of your surroundings as well.
Outdoor Fireplace Construction
When it comes time to build this addition to your patio, you’ll need to decide whether to do it yourself, or hire a professional for the outdoor fireplace construction project. There are pros and cons to each:
Do It Yourself
Doing it yourself with an outdoor fireplace kit has its advantages. A kit will likely be far less expensive than hiring a mason to build this structure for you. Most fireplace kits are custom-built and are relatively easy to install. Most also come with detailed installation manuals. An outdoor fireplace kit is customizable for your exact preferences, at a percentage of the cost for hiring someone. If you’ve tackled do-it-yourself projects before or have a good understanding of bricklaying you may be able to save a substantial amount this way.
However, keep in mind that installing an outdoor fireplace is a commitment! Most outdoor fireplaces are permanent structures and therefore you will want them to be an asset to your property and remain an added benefit for new owners down the road. If you’re uncertain about your ability or don’t have the time to spend on a fairly involved project, you may be better off hiring a professional. Or you may even want to consider something with less of a commitment that you can move or change like an chiminea or a raised fire pit.
Hire a Professional
Hiring a professional to help you with outdoor fireplace construction can be a great asset in the long run. Professionals have the expertise, plans and the tools to make sure your custom outdoor fireplace turns out perfectly whether you choose an outdoor stone fireplace, an outdoor brick fireplace or something completely different. Most professional outdoor fireplace designers can give you a site evaluation and may offer suggestions for materials and designs that you would not have considered on your own.
When hiring a professional, be sure to find out if they’re licensed and bonded. Also ask for references, and be sure to check them. If you have a general idea of the design you’d like to use, ask to see a portfolio as this can be a quick way to determine if a particular contractor has built something similar to what you already have in mind. However, a professionally designed custom outdoor fireplace will likely cost significantly more than a kit fireplace that you install yourself.
When considering a custom outdoor fireplace, take your time. Look around at plans and designs as well as different material options. Decide if you feel you are able to do this on your own or need expert assistance. With a solid plan and some elbow grease (or the help of a professional) you can enjoy the warmth of a custom outdoor fireplace sooner than you may think._____________________________________