Outside fireplaces can be a lot of fun for your family. They allow you to enjoy the backyard even in some of the colder months of the year. You can use them to stay warm while barbequing, you can use them to roast marshmallows, you can even use them during an outdoor party.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion about outside fireplaces. You might have some questions if you are thinking about getting one. How does the weather affect them? What type should you get? Does the kind of fuel it burns matter?
In this post, we’ll cover many of the most common questions about outside fireplaces so that you can determine if it is right for you.
Inside This Post, You’ll Discover:
- Does Weather Make a Difference On The Decision of Homeowners To Purchase an Outside Fireplace? – To begin, the weather is discussed in regard to outside fireplaces.
- What Are Some Outside Fireplace Types That You Can Use In Your Backyard? – We cover general fireplace types that you might use outside of your home.
- What Does It Take To Build a Wood Burning Outside Fireplace? – We cover concerns you might have when it involves outside fireplaces that burn wood.
- Are Outdoor Gas Fireplaces Difficult To Install? – We examine gas fireplaces as a wood alternative.
- What Are The Main Differences Between a Fire Pit and an Open-Hearth Fireplace For an Outdoor Living Space? – These two main types of fireplaces come with some specific differences. We examine them here.
- Is an Outdoor Fireplace a Good Idea For a Covered Patio Heater? – We talk about covered patios and whether outdoor fireplaces should be used with them.
- Should DIY Outdoor Living Fireplaces Be Built Out of Outdoor Fireplace Kits? – When building one yourself, we talk about the use of fireplace kits.
- Is a Fireplace Inside of Your Home a Better Purchase Than a Fireplace Built For an Outdoor Space? – We compare outdoor and indoor fireplaces and which is the smarter purchase.
- For Interior Spaces, What Are The Advantages of Having an Electric Fireplace? – We list why electric fireplaces are the best choice for your home.
- Which Fireplace Brand Should Be Installed For a New Home or an Existing Home Renovation? – The brand of fireplace you should pick is mentioned here.
Outdoor heating is fantastic for people that like entertaining guests during colder months. You can throw parties when it is a little chilly outside without issues. However, some weather is worse than others. One of the biggest factors that change many people’s minds about outdoor fireplaces is how much it rains. Rainfall makes it much harder to enjoy your outdoor spaces, even if you have a fireplace outside to help keep your friends and family warm.
The top five driest states every year are Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, and New Mexico. If you live in one of these states or one of the others that don’t get much rainfall, you are in luck. You can use your fireplace outside without worrying about too much rain. Of course, if you live in one of the many states that get quite a lot of rainfall, this can cause you a big hassle. Due to the rain, it is unlikely that you’ll be enjoying the backyard. Not only will the rain get you and your guests wet, but it can ruin your fireplace if it is made out of metal. For that reason, many outdoor fireplaces require a cover when the weather is bad to protect them.
This is an important thing to keep in mind. If you like the idea of a fireplace outside of your home, you need to be aware of how much rain your area gets. If you get a significant amount of rain in your area, you won’t be getting much use out of any outdoor fireplaces. In the end, you need to decide if the amount of rain in your area will make the purchase worth it.
There are many varieties of outdoor fireplaces. The main distinction is what fuel type your fireplaces use. There are wood burning fireplaces and gas fireplaces. A wood fire is any kind of fireplace where wood is burned to produce heat. A gas fireplace can come in a couple of varieties. Propane gas and natural gas are the two most common gases. Natural gas requires a connection to your utilities. Propane requires you to change out propane tanks after they become empty.
A gas fireplace can come as a vent-free variety or one that requires venting. However, if you are using these in the open air, then even ones that require venting don’t need a vent. If you use these under a covered area, you’ll need to know if your fireplace needs venting or not and install ventilation if required.
The style of the fireplace can vary quite a bit. A freestanding fire pit is commonly used. These can have wood burned in them or they can be a gas fire pit. Regardless if it is a gas fire pit or not, they can come in a wide variety of materials. You can get one in stone, cast iron, stainless steel, and more.
A common type of fireplace that burns wood is a chiminea. A chiminea is a freestanding fireplace that looks like a chimney on its legs. Typically, a chiminea looks like it is made from clay or terracotta. Of course, a chimenea can come in other materials as well, but clay-looking chimineas are more traditional.
Some fireplaces look like open-hearth-style fireplaces. They are a square or rectangular fireplace with a small chimney on top of it. These are great for the edge of a patio. These are commonly made from cast stone, cobblestone, or some other variety of stone.
Small tabletop fireplaces are also available. These smaller units don’t produce much heat and the fuel needs to be changed frequently. However, if you just want to warm up an area directly around a table that people are sitting at, these small devices can be a fun novelty.
Building wood burning fireplaces can be a big or small job depending on the fireplace that you are building. If you are creating a simple pit to burn wood in, this can be achieved quickly. However, if you want a large stucco fireplace to be a part of your outdoor kitchen, the cost and building will be different.
For instance, what if you want to build a fireplace that attaches to an outdoor pizza oven? If you are inexperienced, you might need to hire a professional to make sure it is built correctly and looks nice. Will the fireplace and pizza oven share a chimney or will they be separate? Do you need to install covered wood storage nearby? These are things that will have to be considered during the planning phase.
A gas fireplace can also vary in how difficult it is to install. Typically, these fireplaces will cost more. How difficult the installation is will depend on what type of fuel that you use. If you are going to be using a fireplace that needs to be hooked up to your utilities, then the lines will need to be run by a professional. These lines will carry the gas underground to the spot your fireplace will be located. If you are using a fireplace that just needs propane tanks, things are easier. You just need to place your fireplace where it needs to go and hook the tank up to it.
If you are using tanks, you may need a cover to hide the tank. You also may want to store additional tanks somewhere around your house. If gas lines have been run, you’ll likely want to pour concrete over them, unless the lines run under a dirt area.
Another thing to consider is how heavy the actual fireplace is. Metal fireplaces tend to be heavy, but large stone fireplaces can even be heavier. Heavier fireplaces will be slightly more difficult to install. Also, heavier fireplaces will need a proper foundation that can support the weight.
Open-hearth fireplaces are much larger when compared to outdoor fire pit options. These large fireplaces are often made out of some type of stone. Even though they are outdoors, open-hearth fireplaces will usually have a small chimney to direct the smoke upwards.
A fire pit is a little different. Any emissions produced by fire pits will be noticeable to people sitting nearby. However, fire pits generate heat that is easier to feel all around the pit. With open-hearth-style fireplaces, you would usually only feel the heat in the space in front of the firebox.
A fire pit can come in a couple of varieties. You have fire pit tables that are great for lava rocks and you have fire bowls that are great with fire glass. Fire pit tables are usually square or rectangular.
With open-hearth fireplaces, you need to place logs onto a log grate so that enough oxygen can flow to the fire.
Whether you are using fire pits or open-hearth fireplaces, you might want a spark screen. Fire pits have domed metal spark screens, while open-hearth fireplaces can have more traditional types of screens.
Covered patios can be great, but many outdoor fireplaces don’t belong on them. If your fireplace has any sort of smoke, carbon monoxide, or other harmful emissions that it produces, these don’t have any way to escape with covered patios. The only solution is to build ventilation for your fireplace similar to what you would have with an indoor fireplace.
Some fireplaces don’t require ventilation. These include things like a ventilation-free gas fireplace or a fireplace that runs on electricity. These two options can work with a covered patio.
Whether you have a fully enclosed patio or you have a deck that is partially covered, you need to consider if there is adequate space for harmful emissions to escape. With most outdoor fireplaces, you want them completely exposed to the open air, with little to nothing covering the space above.
This depends on how much custom work you want to do. Fireplace kits are a much easier path and you know what it will look like when it is finished. However, building fireplaces from scratch can also be rewarding.
The problem here is that many people don’t have the tools or experience to build a custom fireplace. Of course, you can hire a professional to do this for you. If you are planning to hire a professional, make sure they have images of outdoor fireplaces that they have built previously.
If you want a fireplace that you know will look good and you want to build it with your own hands, using a kit is the best way to go. Otherwise, some fireplaces don’t even require a kit. They already arrive as a single unit.
While outdoor fireplaces can be fun in some of the driest states in the US, there is another option that allows you to use your fireplace all year round: an indoor fireplace. You don’t have to worry about the weather with a fireplace inside of your home. If you don’t already have one inside of your home, that should always be your first purchase before installing outdoor fireplaces.
Electric fireplaces are the best option for the focal point of the living room. They are simple to install, there is no regular mess to clean up, and chopping wood isn’t required.
Electric fireplaces are a home decor centerpiece that helps dictate the interior design style of the rest of the home. With higher-end electric fireplaces, the ambiance can perfectly match fireplaces that burn wood.
If you choose an electric fireplace, you don’t need to hire a residential architect like you would if you were to have a new wood fireplace installed. It is a much simpler home improvement project. In many cases, an interior designer isn’t even needed since there are electric fireplaces that can fit all kinds of decorating styles.
Even if you already have a traditional fireplace inside of your home, this isn’t an issue. You can do a remodel of your existing fireplace by using a fireplace insert. Fireplace inserts slide directly into your old fireplace, converting it into a completely electric model. You can still use the old fireplace space and get all of the advantages that electricity has to offer.
If you don’t already have a fireplace, you can find electric fireplaces with a variety of body styles and mantel styles. There is no shortage of great designs. For a custom experience, you can use an insert and build a mantel directly around it.
If you get a fireplace with a high BTU heater, you can often warm an entire house with a single fireplace. The infrared quartz coils that are found in these heaters are so efficient that you can expect your heating bill to be nice and low. Once you set the temperature, the fireplace will only use enough electricity necessary to keep the area as warm as you want it.
Electric fireplaces also come with a remote control device. Quality brands offer smartphone apps to work your fireplace remotely from anywhere within your home. These apps can control the fire effects, audio effects, heat output, and more.
For a quality fireplace that has realistic flames, efficient heat, and a timeless look, you need to get a MagikFlame fireplace. These features come with every model:
Fantastically Ultrarealistic Fire Effects
Atmospheric Crackling Log Sounds
Efficient 5,200 BTU Heat
Effortless Smartphone App