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Outdoor Fireplace Ideas: 17 Considerations For Home Upgrades

Outdoor Fireplace Ideas

Whether you are in Atlanta, San Francisco, or anywhere else, sometimes homeowners want to enjoy the outdoor areas of their home even when it is a bit cold out. The best solution to this is with a beautiful outdoor fireplace.

Of course, outdoor areas can be a little trickier. While inside you might get help from an interior designer to walk you through interior design decisions, outdoors it heavily depends on your space and your needs. Of course, instead of a home builder or architect, you could call a landscaping expert to help with landscape design, hardscape design, and other landscape architecture choices. However, with the help of this article, you may find that you can come up with plenty of design ideas for yourself. If you can handle making some basic home decor choices for your living room, your backyard isn’t going to be much different.

Of course, with a backyard patio or other area, there are some things you should consider before making any important decisions. Luckily, whether you are working on your new home, or you are doing a remodel or makeover of the outdoors of your existing home, we are here to help you with questions regarding an outdoor fireplace focal point.

These Are All of Questions That You Will Have Answered In This Helpful Guide:

  • Is a Fire Pit The Only Type of Outdoor Fireplace or Are There Other Outdoor Fireplace Types Besides a Fire Pit?
  • What Are Some Common Features or DIY Items You Can Use With an Outdoor Fire Pit That Will Enhance An Outdoor Living Space or Outdoor Living Area?
  • What Are The Different Fuel Types You Might Find For an Outdoor Fireplace and Which One Is Best To Use When Coming Up With Outdoor Fireplace Ideas?
  • What Are 17 Outdoor Living Considerations For Home Upgrades When Exploring Outdoor Fireplace Ideas?
  • Which Outdoor Fireplace Ideas Work Best If It Will Be In The Open Air For Outdoor Living Areas?
  • In Regards To Patio Design and Patio Ideas With an Enclosed Patio or a Screened Porch, Can You Use a Fire Pit or Will Another Type of Patio Fireplace Be Better?
  • Similar To a Small Patio That Is Enclosed, Which Outdoor Fireplace Designs Work Well With a Covered Outdoor Kitchen?
  • Aesthetically Speaking, Do Electric Fireplaces Look Better Than Fire Pits When It Comes To The Fire Features?
  • What Advantages Do Electric Fireplaces Have Over Wood Burning or a Gas Fireplace When It Comes To Interior Spaces, Covered Spaces, or Enclosed Spaces?
  • What Are The Different Types of Electric Fireplaces and Which Are The Ones That Might Work Better For a Covered Outdoor Patio, Outdoor Room, or Other Outdoor Seating Area?
  • Is There an Electric Cozy Outdoor Fireplace That Is Perfect For Patios and Covered Areas and Has Realistic Fire Effects That Look Like a Real Flame?

Is a Fire Pit The Only Type of Outdoor Fireplace or Are There Other Outdoor Fireplace Types Besides a Fire Pit?

There are plenty of different types of fireplaces you can use outdoors. There are all manners of fire pits, traditional looking fireplaces, and other fire elements. What type of fireplace you want will heavily depend on what you like, your outdoor landscaping style, and the area it will be warming.

What Are Some Common Features or DIY Items You Can Use With an Outdoor Fire Pit That Will Enhance An Outdoor Living Space or Outdoor Living Area?

You can incorporate your fireplace into the backyard more by building it directly into a stone style patio or paver. If you have a fire pit, you can use things like lava rocks or fire glass in order to add a little bit of extra texture and color. Lava rocks tend to have a more natural look to them. Fire glass is transparent and comes in many colors. You can use all one color or mix colors. Regardless of what color you choose, the flames will make the fire glass look like it is almost glowing and will show the color even more than during the daytime.

What Are The Different Fuel Types You Might Find For an Outdoor Fireplace and Which One Is Best To Use When Coming Up With Outdoor Fireplace Ideas?

You can get outdoor fireplaces that burn wood, burn gas like propane or natural gas, or even ones that run on electricity. All of these different fuel types have their strengths and weaknesses. Wood needs ventilation or wide open areas. This goes the same for most gas fireplaces. Electric is the most heat efficient, but works better in enclosed or covered spaces. Your preferences and location play a big part. There isn’t one specific type of fuel that is best.

What Are 17 Outdoor Living Considerations For Home Upgrades When Exploring Outdoor Fireplace Ideas?

There are quite a lot of things to consider when trying to decide on the right fireplace for your outdoor spaces. Here is a list of 17 different things that you might want to consider before making any decisions:

  1. Fire Pits – Do you have plenty of open space for a fire pit? Are you looking for an interesting focus where you can heat up some hot dogs on a stick or roast some marshmallows with the family? What kind of material do you want your pit made out of? Are you planning to buy it or do you want to build it yourself?
  2. Stone Fireplace – Are you interested in a beautiful natural stone fireplace with clean lines? These types work well if you have a lot of greenery around the area and you want to compliment it with some natural stone work. These can be straight cut stones, round stones, and more.
  3. Brick Fireplace – A brick fireplace looks very traditional and can absolutely look great next to an outdoor cooking station. Whether you have a kitchen with a pizza oven built in your backyard or you just have a simple grilling station, brick has a very classic feel to it.
  4. Chiminea – If you want something that isn’t so stationary, you can use a chiminea. These fireplaces sit on legs and you can burn wood inside of them. Alternatively, there are some other fuels types like gas you can find for chimineas as well, although these are more chimineas in look rather than function.
  5. Wood-Burning – No matter what type of fireplace you end up using, are you planning to use one that burns wood? If this is the case, you’ll need to make sure to clean out the ash regularly. You’ll need a good set of fireplace tools for moving logs around, stoking the flames, cleaning, and maintenance. You can also have a nice looking log holder nearby as well.
  6. Propane – If you want a fireplace that uses propane, keep in mind that you will be changing the fuel tanks from time to time. It could be as much as 3-4 times per year or even more. It really depends on how often you use it and how high you have it turned on. Propane tends to be clean burning and somewhat efficient with heat. Keep in mind that it is good to get a fireplace that has a nice cover for the propane tank or buy one separately to hide it for aesthetic benefits.
  7. Natural Gas – As opposed to propane, natural gas tends to be a little bit less clean burning and heat efficient, but not by a whole lot. One of the benefits of natural gas is that you have a steady source of gas because these are hooked up to the gas from your home. Of course, gas lines will need to be run underground to your fireplace location, therefore the installation is a little bit more involved.
  8. Electric – Electric fireplaces are great if you have any covered or enclosed areas in your backyard. Electric fireplaces are incredibly heat efficient, warm an area quickly, and look nice. These look great if you have a patio that is enclosed, or any outdoor style rooms like outdoor kitchens and outdoor living rooms. Whether you want a modern fireplace look where it is embedded in a wall or you want a classic look is entirely up to you.
  9. Nearby Material and Foundation – For safety, it is important to be aware of what material is around the fireplace and what the fireplace is sitting on. Is it over a stone patio or paver? Is there a nearby wooden pergola, possibly with an outdoor chandelier hanging from it? It’s important that if your fireplace involves any kind of exposed flames that it is not nearby things that can easily catch fire. Pay attention to the nearby materials before making a choice. Things like stone, stucco, or stainless steel aren’t really at risk of starting a big fire. Wood decks and other items can be a potential fire hazard near an exposed flame.
  10. Fire Extinguisher – Any time you have a fireplace that actually burns something, whether it is wood or gas, it is a good idea to have a fire extinguisher nearby for safety. You don’t need anything large. It can be a smaller, portable one, as long as it is easily accessible in case something happens. You want to be prepared in case something catches fire that shouldn’t or a random ember sparks out of the fireplace and into some dry leaves.
  11. Zoning and Permits – This is going to vary a lot by region, but you need to make sure that you have the proper zoning and permits for the area that you live. Check what your local rules are when it comes to building and using fireplaces in your backyard. Some might have specific rules while others require no permits. This could dictate what you end up going with for your area.
  12. HOA – Just like regional rules like your city, county, or even state, your local Home Owners Association might have specific rules about what is and isn’t permitted. Be sure to check with your local HOA and make sure that your outdoor fireplace plans fit what you are allowed to do per your HOA agreement.
  13. Water Feature – As for additional features, consider adding some kind of water element. This can be an extravagant nearby fountain, a swimming pool with a small waterfall, or even a cozy nearby hot tub. Outdoor spaces look amazing when you juxtapose the fire and water elements. This is especially true at night when the flames can reflect and refract off of the water.
  14. Outdoor Furniture – Are you interested in building a fun little outdoor living room? You can set up a coffee table, couch, or comfortable chairs under a covered area to protect the furniture from the elements. You can make it as wild or minimalist as you want. This area is perfect near an outdoor fireplace if you want to bring the comfort of the indoors to the outdoor areas.
  15. Built-In – Another thing to consider is if this is going to be a fireplace that is completely built-in. If you want a more permanent outdoor style fireplace, built-in is the way to go, however you need to be absolutely sure of your choices because changing your mind later can prove to be rather difficult.
  16. Portable – If you want something more portable that you can easily move locations around your backyard, there are plenty of options like this. However, keep in mind that many portable options might actually produce a little less heat than a more built-in style fireplace for your home’s backyard.
  17. How Many People To Warm Up – Another important thing to consider is exactly how many people are you planning on keeping warm with this fireplace? If it is just for a few people like your family or close friends, you don’t need that big of a fireplace because you can easily huddle around it. If you like to entertain a lot of guests and throw outdoor parties but want the area warm, you may need a larger fireplace. Other options are to have an area covered so that more heat is held in. Of course, this should only be used if the fireplace you choose is safe to put under covered areas. Lastly, you can consider using multiple fireplaces or some additional portable devices when needed for some extra supplemental heat.

Which Outdoor Fireplace Ideas Work Best If It Will Be In The Open Air For Outdoor Living Areas?

If you have open air without any kind of covering, you may want to go with a wood style fire pit or one that runs on propane or natural gas. Keep in mind safety. Even nearby trees or dry leaves can be an issue with exposed flames. Make sure your fireplace is on a nonflammable surface and the area is clear from debris. Also, if you have any trees overhead, make sure the lower limbs are trimmed properly.

In Regards To Patio Design and Patio Ideas With an Enclosed Patio or a Screened Porch, Can You Use a Fire Pit or Will Another Type of Patio Fireplace Be Better?

For enclosed areas you don’t want to use any kind of fire pit, wood fireplace, or gas fireplace without proper ventilation. Instead, you should learn towards an electric fireplace as the best choice for these enclosed areas.

Similar To a Small Patio That Is Enclosed, Which Outdoor Fireplace Designs Work Well With a Covered Outdoor Kitchen?

If the kitchen is covered, just like a patio, an electric fireplace will usually be your best bet. The only exception is if you already have built ventilation for the oven or other cooking surfaces. If you can connect the ventilation, wood and gas solutions may work, but it is unlikely in most situations.

Aesthetically Speaking, Do Electric Fireplaces Look Better Than Fire Pits When It Comes To The Fire Features?

It heavily depends on the model of each. For electric fireplaces, some cheaper ones have terrible fire effects that look very inauthentic. However, higher end electric fireplaces with holographic flames can look just as realistic as a real fireplace without any of the hassle that comes with them.

What Advantages Do Electric Fireplaces Have Over Wood Burning or a Gas Fireplace When It Comes To Interior Spaces, Covered Spaces, or Enclosed Spaces?

These are just some of the advantages of choosing an electric fireplace:

  • No Added Fire Risk – Without the flames the fire hazard just isn’t there.
  • No Harmful Emissions – They don’t produce any of the emissions like smoke or carbon monoxide so you can use them in enclosed areas.
  • No Smell – Since there is no smoke, you aren’t going to have to deal with that smoky smell.
  • Easy Installing – For most electric fireplaces, installation is incredibly easy. They plug directly into standard electrical outlets.
  • TV Safe – You can safely mount a TV above one.
  • Heat Efficiency – Infrared heating devices are very efficient with electricity.
  • Remote Control – You don’t have to get up to control your fireplace.
  • Flame Effect Ambiance – The effects of high quality electric fireplaces capture the ambiance of a traditional wood fireplace.

What Are The Different Types of Electric Fireplaces and Which Are The Ones That Might Work Better For a Covered Outdoor Patio, Outdoor Room, or Other Outdoor Seating Area?

Here are the most common types you’ll find:

  • Flat Wall Mantel Package – The most traditional looking fireplace. Goes against a flat wall. Works well for patios.
  • Corner Fireplace – Perfect if you have a patio or covered space with a corner you want to make the focus.
  • TV Stand Fireplace – These usually have weak fireplaces inside and aren’t really made for outdoor use.
  • Wall Mount Fireplace – If you’re building a walled outdoor area, one of these can work embedded within it.
  • Electric Insert – These are very versatile. Convert existing fireplaces or build your custom surround or mantel around it.
  • Freestanding Fireplace Heater – One of these portable devices tends to be weak and look cheap. Don’t use these.
  • Electric Stove – Made to look like a wood stove, these may work for extremely rural design ideas.

Is There an Electric Cozy Outdoor Fireplace That Is Perfect For Patios and Covered Areas and Has Realistic Fire Effects That Look Like a Real Flame?

If the space you want to warm is most suited for an electric fireplace and you want one that has the most realistic 3D flames, you will want to claim an electric fireplace by MagikFlame. MagikFlame has some of the most realistic flames on the market and some additional features as well. Here is what you get:

  • Ultra Realistic 3D Fire Effects – 30 different styles of 3D holographically projected flames come with your MagikFlame fireplace. These flames are projected onto a physical log set that is inside of the firebox. The fire looks very realistic due to its movement and flickering just like a real fireplace.
  • Crackling Log Sounds – You can also enjoy the realistic crackling log sounds that accompany the fire effects MagikFlame produces. These sounds add a lot to the realistic atmosphere and are very relaxing. If you want a little bit more relaxation, there are nature sounds that come with MagikFlame fireplaces.
  • 5,200 BTU Heater – MagikFlame fireplaces have an infrared quartz heater inside of it that can quickly warm your home or outdoor area and will efficiently keep it warm while using as little electricity that it possibly can. A single MagikFlame fireplace can warm an area of up to 1,000 square feet.
  • Smartphone App – You can forget about yet another boring remote control. Instead, with MagikFlame fireplaces, you can control every function with your smartphone or tablet due to their intuitive app. Change your temperature, flame effects, and more, all with ease.

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