Sometimes when you come home after running errands or after work, all you want to do is sit down in front of a warm, cozy fire. Except, you’re also probably tired of being cooped up inside all day and want to spend some relaxing time outside. If it’s a little overcast or a little chilly, the best way to stay warm, apart from wearing your favorite sweater and blanket, is to enjoy the comfort of your outdoor fireplace.
If you have kids and a house with a backyard, you likely have designated space in the backyard for them to play. If you grow flowers or fruits and vegetables, you likely started a DIY project to create a space in your yard for your garden, as some fruit and vegetables love their space. As with the play area and garden, you like to use the space to its full potential, possibly even having a swimming pool for the whole family to enjoy. It only makes sense to bring that mindset to your backyard patio area by adding a backyard outdoor patio fireplace.
You might be thinking of a traditional outdoor fireplace built outside with stones that require a log set, but there are so many outdoor patio fireplace options to choose from. With the varied styles, shapes, and appearances, there’s an outdoor patio fireplace option for everyone. Below are nine types of outdoor patio fireplace options for you to learn about and choose from.
Outdoor fire pits are one of the fastest growing trends when it comes to outdoor living. Portable outdoor fire pits are easy to handle. They are the perfect investment for people who want something low maintenance and don’t want to dedicate a large space to build an outdoor fire pit or an outdoor fireplace structure made from solid stone.
You can fuel these fire pits by using gas, or have a dedicated wood source you’re willing to burn in the wood burning fire pit. Before starting any outdoor fire, check with local ordinances to ensure your area doesn’t currently have a burn ban in effect. Some fire pits are manufactured from stainless steel, ceramic, aluminum, copper, or cast iron.
For a gas fire pit, you should check the BUT first. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and refers to the amount of energy required to increase the temperature for a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. The BTU output for fire pits generally ranges between 25,000 and 100,000, where the higher the number, the more warmth it provides.
Of course, the amount of BTUs for a unit depends on the size of the space you wish to heat.
A small room of 200 square feet needs anywhere between 4,000 and 8,000 BTU, while a 900 square foot area would need 32,000 to 48,000 BTUs. Of course, the amount of BTUs you’ll need to heat your area depends greatly on your climate. It wouldn’t do for homeowners to purchase a gas fire pit, only not to have it heat.
Also known as a fire pot and often mistaken for a fire pit, fire bowls are usually only for decorative purposes. Those who don’t want to procure wood to burn in the fire bowl can obtain a fire bowl that utilizes gas. Fire bowls are constructed with copper, stainless steel, and other heavy-duty materials.
These materials offer a natural look, and there are powder coating options to match their outdoor design elements, such as furnishings, style, and other features. If you’re going for a modern look, stainless steel offers a futuristic, sleek look. Copper, when it oxidizes, produces other colors, from blue, green and even dark brown, which protects the copper.
A firebox is where the flames within a fireplace burn. While the outdoor fireplace material around the unit is constructed with stone, the firebox itself must be constructed with bricks that can withstand extreme heat or with steel. While many people love the look of fireplaces, many others are happy with the convenience and simple look of the firebox without the surrounding fireplace and chimney. A traditional fireplace with a chimney, even one located outside, needs a flue to vent smoke from the unit out the top of the chimney.
You may not know their name, but chances are you’ve either seen pictures of them, seen them in marketplaces, at tourist sites in Mexico or the western states or seen them in someone’s yard. If you’re not familiar with them, you might think a chiminea is purely for decoration, but while they can be used as decoration, they are fully functional fireplaces.
Chiminea is Spanish for chimney, and they’ve been around for hundreds of years. These hand-carved terracotta pieces are made from clay and have a narrow, vertical chimney that directs smoke. The wide mouth on the side is perfect for a small fire. The design of the Chiminea means that those using the chiminea don’t have to worry about rain extinguishing the fire.
There are several things you must consider before purchasing your chiminea. While it may be charming, don’t choose a chiminea that’s cooked, misshapen, or has a chimney that’s too thin or too thick as it won’t work properly. Traditionally, chimineas are made from terracotta or white clay, but steel, cast iron, and copper work well too.
When choosing a chiminea, you also need to measure to determine if you have to chop a standard piece of wood into smaller pieces or order smaller pieces of wood. Also, some places in the country ban both indoor and outdoor wood burning fireplaces. If you like the style of a chiminea but can’t have a wood burning fireplace, there are chimineas that run on gas as well.
Chances are you’ve had pizza at a restaurant at one point in your life and have even cooked it in your own oven or even made it from scratch. Chances are you’ve never considered having your own pizza oven in your backyard, which you can use for general heating and ambiance when you’re outside. Those who have already eaten food cooked in an outdoor pizza oven love the experience and the taste that sets it apart from pizza cooked at a restaurant or even your own oven inside. A wood pizza oven cooks food using three different cooking methods. A pizza oven uses convection, radiant, and conduction heating.
With conduction cooking, the bricks store heat, which helps the oven not only maintain the temperature inside but also transfers the heat back to the food within the oven. With radiant cooking, the bricks store the heat and transfer it back to the food in the oven. With convection cooking, the heat of the fire and the flames circulate the heat naturally by following the dome shape of the pizza oven. There’s so much food you can cook in the pizza oven, from fish, bread, vegetables, to even desserts like cakes and cookies.
Wood ovens are great for when it’s a warm day, and you don’t want to heat your home by using the oven or stove. With an outdoor pizza oven, your home stays cool and comfortable since you cook outside. Outside pizza ovens also work even if you don’t have gas or electricity, which means you can cook your food when there’s a power outage. Although, just be careful when you’re cooking outside with thunderstorms nearby, as you don’t know if they’ll head your way or how severe they’ll be as you’re more focused on your food. Pizza ovens are a perfect addition to any outdoor kitchen, especially if you have any outdoor wood that you can also use if you have an indoor fireplace or wood stove.
Fire Pit Tabletop
When you’re gathered around in the sitting area on your patio, there’s typically a tabletop to set drinks, food, and other items down, but what if you want a cozy fire to add to the ambiance and warmth of the night? Simply move your items, take off the lid of the table and get ready for a comfortable fire. Fire pit tables often have a glass wind guard to prevent the fire from going out from a breeze. You can also remove the wind guards on some fire pit tables to place the lid of the unit over the pit to create more table space.
Many fire pit tables use fuel like natural gas and some designs have a hiding place for the propane tank that you can pull out to refill it and then cover it back up after you’re finished. With fire pit tables that use this fuel source, you don’t have to worry about cleaning up ashes after you’re finished with the fire and you can turn it off any time you want. During hot weather, you don’t want to use a fire pit, but you’ll still need a table, which is a great thing about table fire pits. You can use them no matter the season and you’ll get far more use out of it than your standard fire pit.
Another great thing about fire pit tables is that you can move them when you need to. Let’s say you normally have your fire pit table on the patio near the door, but you want it in another area of your yard, or even move it to the front yard. Why have a regular coffee table taking up space when your fire pit doubles as a coffee table? Plus is a vent free option where you don’t have to worry about venting smoke.
Fire columns are another great outdoor patio fireplace option. While similar to a fire bowl, a fire column has height rather than width.. This means they take up less room than fire bowls, making them perfect for smaller porches or patios. Like with the fire pit table, a fire column doesn’t burn wood, but uses propane or natural gas.
The only difference with fire columns as opposed to fire pit tables, fire pits, and fire bowls, fire columns aren’t used for cooking food, but are mainly added as part of backyard décor for their style and the heat they produce. You can still use them to make S’mores and for added ambiance when telling stories.
Different fire columns have propane tanks that vary in size, which means the burn time for the fuel they hold varies. In some cases, you may have enough fuel to last three hours and in other cases you may have enough fuel for a whole 24 hours, or even more. Turning on the flame is relatively easy, in most cases all you have to do is press a button. You don’t have to chop wood and try to start a fire, which could take quite a while depending on several conditions, and you don’t have to worry about sparks catching something else on fire or getting smoke in your face or on your clothing. With a fire column, you have an interesting fire feature, as well as aesthetics and comfort. Also, you don’t have to deal with any outdoor wood that would otherwise take up space.
Patio fireplaces a great way to spice up your outdoor space as it would in your living room. You might have wanted a fireplace inside the home, but didn’t have the money for the proper renovation or you didn’t have the space for it. Or you have an indoor fireplace, but wanted another fireplace for your outdoor living space. Whatever your reasons, outdoor fireplaces are becoming more popular than ever with people transforming their backyards into a functional and cozy space for relaxation and socialization.
While it takes some planning and effort on your part, there are several reasons why a outdoor patio fireplace is well worth it. Some fireplaces have a stucco coating as a decorative coating to provide texture and improve the outward appearance of the indoor fireplace, but not on a stone fireplace for outdoors. Stucco provides natural resistance to fire and is low maintenance but highly durable.
For those looking to add value to their home, but don’t need to do repairs or upgrades to their home, such as repairs to their roof or upgrading their HVAC system, a outdoor patio fireplace is a great addition to add to the aesthetic appeal to your home. When you have an aesthetically pleasing and functional space, the more likely you are to use it. A stone electric fireplace is a great outdoor patio fireplace type as the stones as natural stones retain the heat from the fireplace for a longer period of time, even if they are in an outdoor room. An additional benefit that outdoor patio fireplaces bring to your outdoor space is that wood burning fires and wood burning fireplaces keep bugs away, which includes mosquitoes. Just imagine how much you’d save on bug spray, mosquito netting, and the like when a simple fire keeps them away. You don’t even have to worry about a persistent mosquito getting past your bug spray and biting you anyway.
When you’re looking for a few design ideas for outdoor fireplace designs, it always helps to look beyond the traditional for your outdoor heating needs. There are some patio heaters that come in the shape of a pyramid, which gives it a sturdy base and are taller than 6 feet. The heater uses fuel like natural gas to create a dancing flame within an enclosed column to provide radiant heat while being able to watch the fire. There are so many designs out there that fit the design of your patio, your outdoor heating needs, as well as your personal tastes, and will bring your outdoor fireplace ideas to life. When your patio heaters complement your landscaping an outdoor living room or an area with a pergola. A pergola is an outdoor feature that forms a shaded area with an open lattice. Some people train vines to climb up, over, and down the pergola and patio heaters would be an excellent addition.
The MagikFlame Story
We hope to inspire others to start their own DIY projects around the home by sharing the story of how MagikFlame came to be. Some inventions come from a lack of convenience, such as when Bernard Sadow, a luggage company executive, came up with the idea of putting wheels on suitcases. Other discoveries are created purely by accident, such as the time in 1826 when a chemist by the name of John Walker accidentally caught a stick covered in chemicals on fire when he scraped it across his hearth. That accident later became the matches we know today.
There are multiple reasons why people feel compelled to create something that never existed before, one such reason stems from dissatisfaction from what’s available and the belief that they can do better. A disappointing encounter with his local Costco sent Howard Birmbaum, MagikFlame’s founder, on the path to create the MagikFlame electric fireplaces that we all know and love today. Birnbaum was initially excited to see that Costco carries electric fireplaces, but as he examined the fireplaces further and turned on one, that excitement quickly gave way to disappointment and dissatisfaction as the flame effects weren’t what he expected and left a lot to be desired.
While it took five years of years of research and design to find the perfect trifecta of functionality, fit, and form once Birnbaum started working on his own electric fireplaces, he searched for a month or so before he decided to put his love for technology and his skills as an F/X creator to use. Birnbaum did special effects work for movies like Starship Troopers, The Matrix, and Harry Potter. What once started as an idea became reality in 2015 when the highly skilled technicians at MagikFlame started manufacturing electric fireplaces in the lovely city of Nashville, Tennessee.
When you look at one of our electric fireplaces that someone has in their home as a focal point, you’re not thinking about how they put together a fireplace kit and you’re certainly not thinking about the technology inside the fireplace that makes the magic come to life. You, and everyone else, are mesmerized by how realistic the flames and the sounds are while enjoying the heat it provides.
Homeowners probably wouldn’t believe it, but MagikFlame uses the same CAD software the United States Navy uses to build submarines. We need that software as all our electric fireplaces are a fusion between precise manufacturing and high-tech engineering as each unit has microchips, and microcontrollers soldered to our custom circuit boards to create the brain of the MagikFlame electric fireplace. Except, the soldering isn’t done by hand, we use a special machine to achieve the precision required. All that work, dedication and love that’s poured into each and every fireplace is what’s needed to bring the holographic technology for the fire feature to life.
Once your fireplace insert is assembled, we powder coat the insert to create a protective outer shell that makes your insert resistant to humidity, fingerprints, and enhances the appearance and beauty of the fireplace. Not only does it enhance the aesthetic appearance of your unit, but the protective outer shell makes it more durable and prevents rusting. We guarantee that a MagikFlame fireplace will be the best fireplace you’ve ever experienced.
Potential customers often ask us questions about the various features of a particular MagikFlame fireplace model they believe will fit perfectly within their home. One particular question that pops up regularly is if our fireplace inserts are safe to use around children and pets, particularly parrots. We know how sensitive birds are, parrots included, and how vulnerable they are to toxic fumes and other air pollutants that people wouldn’t think twice about.
Some homeowners are wary about having a gas fireplace with a parrot, but these are also safe for parrots if you have a gas fireplace with a chimney. If your gas fireplace doesn’t have a chimney, then you’ll need a CO monitor that starts at zero. However, this rules out having a wood-burning chimney, not only do parrot parents have to worry about their bird accidentally flying into the flames, but they have to worry about soot, smoke, and particulates in their home’s air.
With our MagikFlame fireplaces, you don’t have to worry as our fireplaces don’t emit dangerous fumes, gases, or other particulate matter into your home’s air. Parrot parents also don’t have to worry about their birds flying into the fake flames and both of you can enjoy the heat without worrying about the health of your bird.
The reason birds are more vulnerable to fumes and air pollutants is the structure of their lungs. Birds have parabronchii, which are tube-shaped, but our bronchial tubes aren’t. Not only that, but birds have anterior and posterior air sacs. The first inhalation brings air to the posterior sacs first and the first exhalation moves the air into the lungs. The second inhalation moves the same air from the lungs into the anterior air sac, while the second exhalation moves the air from the anterior air sac and out of the body. This means their respiratory structure keeps potential toxins and pollutants inside their lungs longer, and they would have a higher concentration of pollutants in their bloodstream. Along with not having to worry about the health and safety of your pets and children, our fireplace inserts are far more convenient than traditional fireplaces. You don’t have to worry about making sure you have enough gas to run your fireplace, you don’t have to worry about storing enough wood inside or outside your home for the winter, and you never have to deal with cleaning your unit and disposing of the ashes from burning wood.
Magikflame Electric Fireplace Buying Guide
When you invest in a MagikFlame fireplace kit, you can rest easy knowing that you’re guaranteed that your fireplace provides both the comfort you need in the winter along with the realism of a real fireplace that you seek. There are many benefits that our fireplaces provide, aside from providing the supplemental heat you seek. Unlike a wood burning fireplace, you don’t have to worry about the soot or other byproducts of the burning process bothering allergies, asthma, or causing other indoor air quality issues. You also don’t have to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning as you would with furnaces, wood stoves, wood burning fireplaces and, to a lesser extent, gas fireplaces.
Once you’ve decided to invest in your new fireplace insert, you can learn about the models we provide, how they work, and each of the features they have in our MagikFlame Electric Fireplace Buying Guide. Inside the guide, you learn how to control the fireplace insert through both the controls on the insert and the app on your phone.
For example, our MagikFlame Churchill Corner Mantel package is a great fit for small homes, as well as condos and apartments. The MagikFlame Churchill is beautifully styled and will command the attention of everyone who walks into your home and they’ll become mesmerized by the realistic flames and crackling sounds. You can also place a television set on the mantel or holiday decorations.
With MagikFlame, you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay for your new fireplace as we offer payment plans and financing. We’ve partnered with Bread to provide our customers with affordable and simple financing options to make it easier to have a realistic electric fireplace that the whole family, and your pets, can enjoy.