Outdoor fireplaces and outdoor decorations shouldn’t be an afterthought for anyone’s home. It is an important part of the charm of any house. It is a place for friends and family to enjoy each other’s time. Of course, one great way to improve these outdoor spaces is to get into the stone age. No, we aren’t talking about cavemen. When we say stone age we are talking about outdoor fireplaces that are made out of stone.
Within this article, we’re going to talk about designing a backyard to last well into old age and how outdoor stone fireplaces can help with that. We’ll give plenty of tips and tricks to help you along with the perfect arrangement for your outdoor paradise. Let’s jump right into the fun!
This Guide Shares The Answers To These Vital Outdoor Fireplace Questions:
- Why Is It Important To Plan For Aging When Deciding On Outdoor Home Decor Elements? – To launch this fun article, we start with some discussion about aging and planning an outdoor area around that.
- What Are Some Different Ways That Homeowners Can Remodel An Outdoor Living Space With Aging In Mind? – While most of this article will focus on fireplaces, we’ll offer suggestions on several other parts of a backyard area that can benefit from designing with aging in mind.
- What Are The Different Types of Fuel That Are Commonly Used With an Outdoor Fireplace? – Several fuel types are used with backyard fireplaces and this will cover the most common ones.
- What Kind of Outdoor Fireplace Styles Are There and Which Styles Are Better For Aging? – The body and style of your backyard fireplace can make a big difference in how hard it is to utilize and maintain as you get older. This part will talk about fireplace types in regards to that.
- What Kinds of Outdoor Fireplace Designs and Materials Are Available For an Outdoor Stone Fireplace? – Stone fireplaces don’t come in just a single type of stone. There are several to choose from. This section explores stone material varieties.
- Is a DIY Installation of an Outdoor Stone Fireplace Easy or Do You Need a Professional To Install It For You? – We explore situations where you can handle a fireplace installation yourself and situations where professional help will be useful.
- What Are Some Additional Backyard Design Ideas That Will Get The Most Out of an Outdoor Stone Fireplace? – While stone fireplaces are great elements on their own, they can benefit from additional elements to go with them. Check out some suggestions here.
- What Are Some Safety Considerations People Must Be Aware of When Placing a Stone Fireplace In Their Backyard? – Although fireplaces with real flames are safer outdoors than they are indoors, there are still some safety issues to think about. We cover some here.
- Instead of Installing Your Outdoor Fireplace, What Are The Advantages of an Interior Electric Fireplace? – If you don’t already have an electric fireplace installed inside of your home, this section highlights all of the reasons you should tackle that project before building a fireplace for your backyard.
- Which Electric Fireplace Is Incredibly Safe and Provides Realistic Fireplace Ambiance? – For indoor electric fireplaces, there is only one brand that is safe, reliable, and realistic. We talk about it here.
Regardless if you are designing the backyard of your new home or you are planning a renovation of your outdoor area for a home you already have, there is a good case to be made about planning for aging. What does this mean? This statement means that if this is your forever home, you’ll need to be taking care of your outdoor area as you age. If you design the space to be low maintenance and simple to use, your older self will thank you.
Even if this isn’t your forever home and you are thinking about listing it with a real estate agent, there are plenty of benefits from making your outdoor spaces low maintenance. First, nobody enjoys the idea of buying a home that comes with more maintenance than they are expecting. You want the elements of your backyard to be something easy to take care of. Any potential buyers will feel the same way. Second, by making an outdoor area that is easy to maintain, it will be popular with potential buyers from an older demographic that may want to purchase your home to retire in. They will want a beautiful yard to enjoy without the need to spend several hours every week maintaining it with difficult labor.
There are several wonderful ways that you can make a backyard easy to take care of even at an older age. For starters, you can get gutter covers. By having a cover over your gutters, you make it much easier to take care of them as you won’t need to regularly clean all of the leaves and other debris out of them.
You can install automatic sprinklers to water your lawn and other plants if you don’t already have an automatic sprinkler system. By having sprinklers on a timer that don’t need to be moved, it takes all of the work out of keeping your lawn and plants hydrated. This makes your landscaping quite low-maintenance.
You can install outdoor pavers throughout your backyard. This can make it easier to walk to different parts of your yard without risking slipping and falling on the grass. It also keeps your lawn looking healthier due to less foot traffic. These pavers can be a simple row over stones leading from your outdoor patio to other parts of your backyard that you frequently use.
Lastly, if you want a great fire element for your backyard, you can install one of the main types of stone fireplaces available as a focal point. Having a fireplace as a beautiful centerpiece element in your backyard allows you to host small parties and other outdoor activities even when the temperature starts to drop during certain times of the year.
For outdoor fireplaces, there are two basic fuel types. The first is a wood burning outdoor fireplace. A wood fire is the most traditional style that people may use outdoors. They are safer outside than they are inside of your home. They come in a variety of styles.
The other common fuel type is a gas fireplace. Of course, there are different types of gas. Natural gas must be hooked up to your home’s utilities so that a steady stream of gas is available. Of course, not all homes have this type of gas available depending on how far out of town they happen to live. For this reason, you can also get gas fireplaces that run on propane. Propane tends to be slightly more efficient and burns a little cleaner. The downside is that you will need to change propane tanks frequently which is why it may not be best as you get older.
There are several different styles, regardless of the type of fuel that you end up choosing. One of the most common types is a fire pit. An outdoor fire pit is usually a circular fireplace but it can sometimes be a square or rectangular-shaped table. A fire pit is usually exposed to the completely open air so that a flue or chimney isn’t necessary. Fire pits can be stone, stainless steel, and other heat-resistant materials.
Another type that has a charming quality to it is a chiminea. These are clay or terra cotta-style fireplaces that look like a chimney and are supported by three or more legs. These have an interesting look to them but may be lacking as a serious heat source for people who want a wider area to be warmed.
Finally, some of the best fireplaces with aging in mind are stone fireplaces. These sturdy fireplaces will last a lifetime with ease regardless of which fuel type you end up making it. The amount of maintenance that is required will be based on the fuel type that you choose. You don’t need to worry about stone fireplaces needing repairs any time soon. Stone fireplaces that use gas will be some of the lower maintenance options for people that want to keep aging and retirement in mind. If it is gas that is connected to your utility lines, that is extremely low maintenance.
Jumping into the stone age of fireplaces with a beautiful masonry fireplace can be overwhelming due to many material choices being at your disposal.
Stone veneer is one choice that you have. Stone veneer can be a real stone that is quarried, but it is most often man-made products that have the appearance of real stone. Often, natural stone will last much longer than artificial stone.
For fireplaces, you can try stacked stone for a modern farmhouse style. This can be bluestone with a darker bluish hue looks great with the glow of the flames. Cobblestone is another option if you want to lean into more traditional appearances with your fireplace.
Other stone-like materials are concrete and stucco. Both can be shaped and molded to give the appearance of stones that have been stacked. However, these materials may break down and chip sooner than actual stone pieces, therefore use these materials with caution if longevity is important to your fireplace.
Your need to rely on the expertise of a professional will depend on your abilities, the fireplace that you want to install, and any vital elements where safety is concerned. For instance, if you want a simple manufactured fireplace using an outdoor fireplace kit, many people may be able to accomplish this type of installation without professional help.
If you have a vision of a large, beautifully hand-crafted fireplace and you don’t have much experience with large home improvement projects like this, you may be better off with a professional. If you are running gas lines to a fireplace, it is also best to hire a professional for safety reasons. They will make sure your lines are installed safely, neatly, and that everything will be up to the standards set by building codes.
Stone fireplaces can have several additional elements that work well with them. To start, it is good to picture a fireplace area as an outdoor room. What is the purpose of this outdoor room? Do you want it to be a place for your family to sit around and relax? Then you can consider a built-in seat wall surrounding your fireplace. Is this is a smaller fireplace that is more about aesthetics than the BTU output? Then you only need a small area for it in a central location.
Some people like the idea of an outdoor kitchen. Fireplaces look great attached to outdoor kitchens. They can also help keep people warm if you will be dining outside too. For your kitchen, consider building a pizza oven with a firebrick in the firebox to hold the heat in. You want your fireplace to be the main heat source for guests, not the oven.
There are many safety considerations you need to be mindful of when placing your fireplace outside. First, your fireplace should be completely exposed to the open air. Otherwise, soot can build up or harmful emissions can be held in. If your fireplace will be under some sort of canopy or other covering, a flue should be installed to redirect smoke and other emissions.
Another thing to remember is that you want exposed flames away from flammable objects. Make sure there is a safe distance from a wood pergola, wood boxes used as planters, and even nearby trees. If it is fall, ensure that you are raking leaves up regularly to prevent embers from starting an unwanted backyard fire that can spread to the house.
For fire pits and traditional fireplaces alike, it is a good idea to use a spark screen or cover. This will help prevent embers from reaching places they shouldn’t. It will also keep flaming logs from rolling out of the fireplace if an accident occurs. Additionally, having a weather cover to protect your fireplace when it isn’t in use will help your fireplace to last longer.
While outdoor fireplaces can be tons of fun, they aren’t quite as good as an interior fireplace. If you don’t already have one, you should consider installing an electric fireplace inside of your home. With electric fireplaces, you don’t need to hire a residential architect like you would with wood fireplaces. You also don’t need to hire an interior designer because you can find an electric fireplace model to match the interior design style that you already have.
Electric fireplaces don’t need a flue because nothing burns inside of them. This makes them incredibly safe. Also, if you already have a traditional fireplace in your living room, you can install an electric insert into the firebox, transforming it into a safer and more efficient fireplace.
For a fireplace inside of your home, MagikFlame electric fireplaces are the obvious best choice. Regardless of which of their amazing fireplace models that you choose to go inside of your residence, these features will be included:
● Ultrarealistic Fire Effects – 3D holographic flames that come in 30 different flame styles.
● Crackling Log Sounds – Realistic audio enhancements of logs crackling like a real fireplace.
● UL Certified – Completely safe for people that have pets and small children.
● 5,200 BTU Heater – A heater that is both energy-efficient and powerful at the same time.
● Smartphone App – A breakthrough control device that gives you the freedom to operate your fireplace from your phone or tablet device.