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Outdoor Gas Fireplace

An outdoor gas fireplace is a great option if you want or are restricted to a fireplace that doesn’t use wood for fuel. While many people love the smell of a wood burning fireplace there are some drawbacks to them that you won’t find in gas fireplaces, so a gas fireplace may be the best fit combining both enjoyment and functionality.

Advantages Of Outdoor Gas Fireplaces

One advantage is that outdoor gas fireplaces burn cleaner than wood burning fireplaces. You won’t have the blowing smoke you see with the burning of wood, or the jumping of burning embers. And since some areas have wood burning restrictions an outdoor gas fireplace may be the best way to go, but make sure you check the regulations in your area before you make any plans or start shopping. You need to know what is allowed in your area before you even start the process.

The other big advantage of an outdoor gas fireplace is that it is easy to start; before you know it you can be gathered around the cozy warmth of your own patio fireplace. It’s wood burning cousin takes a little more time and patience, and of course wood which you need to keep on hand. Gas fireplaces are also easy to extinguish when it’s time to go in for the night.

What Type Should I Get?

Outdoor Gas Fireplace
Outdoor Gas Fireplace

The gas versions come as either natural gas or propane fireplaces. When choosing which one is best for you there are a few things to consider. First do you have natural gas running to your home already for an oven or stove? If you do you can just run a line to the area where you want to set up your outdoor fireplace. If you don’t it will be a little more difficult as you will need to find a source for the natural gas and possibly a supplier.

The other option is an outdoor propane fireplace. While natural gas may burn cleaner, propane fireplaces can be more versatile. They can be used in areas where you don’t have access to natural gas, making them a great choice in many rural areas.

If you are looking for a portable outdoor fireplace that uses gas, a propane fireplace is probably the best way to go as it is pretty easy to find portable propane tanks.

Or if you like the feel of an open fire, with a 360 degree view of the flames, you may want to look at a natural gas fire pit or one of the many propane fire pits available. Many of these are portable fire pits making it easy to rearrange your patio or take it with you when you move.

Your Outdoor Gas Fireplace – The Final Touch

Once you’ve chosen the perfect one you’ll want to decide if you want the look of logs, glass or rocks. If you want it to look like a traditional fireplace you may want to use ceramic logs. They have improved dramatically and some look pretty realistic.

If you are looking for a rustic look but you don’t want to use ceramic logs you might consider using fire stones. They come in a variety of shapes and colors that provide a great look for outdoor fireplaces.

Outdoor Gas Fireplace with Fire Glass
Outdoor Gas Fireplace with Fire Glass

If you’re looking for something more modern or distinct you should consider tumbled glass, sometimes called fire ice, fire glass or fireplace glass. Well designed outdoor fireplaces using fire glass can provide a spectacular look, and since the glass comes in different colors it can easily match or accent the look of your outdoor area.

Installing an outdoor gas fireplace is a great way to increase the value of your home, but it also makes your patio a cozy environment for entertaining or for relaxing, quiet evenings.

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Pinion Wood

Once you have your outdoor fireplace or chiminea all set up, you’ll probably want to know a little bit about the different types of wood you can use to fuel the cozy warmth. One of the types of wood many people prefer for their outdoor fire pits and fireplaces is pinion wood.

Pinion wood is popular for a few reasons. For starters it has a wonderful aroma as it burns in your outside fireplace. It smells like pine, truly giving you the feeling of being in the great outdoors, which isn’t always easy to feel in the middle of suburbia. I’ve heard some people say that it smells like a fresh cut Christmas tree.

Another important benefit of burning pinion wood is that it repels mosquitoes. For many this may be the most important benefit because it allows you to enjoy being outside around your cozy outdoor fireplace without the unpleasant distraction of those pesky bugs and without having to slather on the not-so-pleasant bug spray. Some people even start a pinion wood fire when it’s still hot outside just to keep the bugs away because it’s so effective.

Along with these benefits pinion wood is also easy to light, it puts out a good amount of heat, it burns for a long time and once the fire is no longer burning you’ll find very little ash left to clean so it makes a great chiminea firewood. For the most part it’s a low maintenance fire wood making it even more tempting to enjoy outdoor fireplaces as often as you can.

If you want the pinion wood for your outdoor chiminea it won’t be a problem because many sellers will cut the wood to fit in chimineas or smaller outdoor fire pits. Some places where you buy pinion wood will even custom cut the wood for you.

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Brick Outdoor Fireplaces

Installing outdoor fireplaces has grown more popular as people are enjoying the beautiful outdoors and creating a nice outdoor living space in their own garden or backyard. Resting by your brick outdoor fireplace enjoying its warmth and glow is a great way to relax after a long day or long week of work — especially if you are stuck working indoors most of the day.

Deciding On An Outdoor Fireplace

But before you start shopping for a brick outdoor fireplace there are a few things you need to consider and research. First you need to find out what is allowed in your area.

Are there any restrictions in your area? Can you have an outdoor wood burning fireplace or do you need to get one that burns cleaner like an outdoor gas fireplace? Do you need a permit to build a fixed outside fireplace? What type of materials are allowed in your area? Once you verify what is allowed in your area you can start considering outdoor fireplace designs and find the best outdoor brick fireplace plans to fit your needs.

Brick is a common material used for both indoor and outdoor fireplaces because it has an aesthetic appeal, it is durable and it can withstand the elements it will be exposed to outdoors. Because it will be a permanent fixture you want to plan your outdoor area carefully and think about any possible future additions.

Building Brick Outdoor Fireplaces

Brick Outdoor Fireplace
Brick Outdoor Fireplace

Building a custom outdoor fireplace can be a complicated project because of all the necessary parts involved in this type of construction, including the use of heat withstanding materials in the firebox. It’s best to hire an expert to handle this project.

One other option is to look at outdoor fireplace kits to help construct your ideal fireplace. An outdoor fireplace kit provides you with the materials you need to build an outdoor fireplace; once it is constructed you can add the brick to give it the look you want. If you don’t feel experienced enough to assemble the fireplace kit yourself you can hire someone who is. In most cases fireplace kits are much more affordable than custom outdoor fireplaces that are designed and built from scratch.

Brick outdoor fireplaces can make a great addition to your yard and increase the value of your home as long as you follow local laws and use fire safety precautions.

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Outdoor Fireplace Construction

When it comes to constructing an outdoor fireplace there are a several things you need to consider, from what is allowed in your area to what type of outdoor fireplace you prefer, to safety concerns. But once you work through these things you can create a beautiful and relaxing setting in your own patio, garden or back yard. It’s all worth the effort when you’re relaxing by your new outdoor fireplace enjoying the warm glow and the stars above.

Check Local Codes Before Starting Outdoor Fireplace Construction

It is important to check with your local municipalities to learn more about the local codes and laws in your area before you start looking at outdoor fireplace designs. Certain areas have more restrictions in order to maintain the air quality.

In some geographic locations, weather conditions can create an inversion which can trap the particles of smoke decreasing the air quality. Wood burning outdoor fireplaces can create problems with air pollution in these inversion areas, so some local laws prohibit wood burning varieties. If your area restricts wood burning you can look for an approved gas outdoor fireplace that uses propane or natural gas.

Types Of Outdoor Fireplaces

When you are deciding what type of outdoor fireplace there are a couple of considerations. One of the first decisions you may want to make is whether you want a wood burning or gas outdoor fireplace. Of course based on the laws in your area that choice may already be made for you. A wood burning fireplace will provide you with more of a rustic campfire feel, with the crackling sound and the smell of burning wood. A gas fireplace will burn cleaner and it is easier to light.

Custom Outdoor Fireplace
Custom Outdoor Fireplace

The other choice you need to make is whether you want a custom masonry fireplace or whether you want one that is prefabricated like an outdoor fireplace kit. A custom outdoor fireplace can provide a very distinct look for your outdoor area, but it will take more time and a bigger budget. Custom outdoor fireplaces are built from the ground up so they need to be done by a professional as they have specific engineering requirements and structural calculations which can vary depending on the type of soil is in your area.

Outdoor fireplace kits are a better option for those who are somewhat experienced and want to do it themselves. An outdoor fireplace kit will provide all the necessary parts in the right proportions to build a functional outdoor fireplace. Fireplace kits are less expensive than the masonry version, but that doesn’t mean they are plain. You can customize the look by adding stone or brick to get the look of traditional brick or stone outdoor fireplaces.

It is also important to determine what type of outside fireplace will withstand the weather conditions in your area. One that would be perfect for the Southwest may not work so well in the climate in the Northeast.

Outdoor Fireplace Safety

Before you start any construction on your outdoor fireplace make sure you consider fire safety first. Make sure the fireplace will be positioned in a way that won’t create any risk to vegetation and especially not to your home in the case an ember jumps of the fire. Be especially careful around wood decks and around trees and bushes. Because this is a significant and lasting project you may want to consult a local fire professional to help with any outdoor fireplace construction safety concerns.

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