Homeowners, are you looking to create an outdoor living space or enhance the one you already have? Outdoor fireplaces have become popular centerpieces for patios and backyards, whether for entertaining guests or just as something for the family to enjoy together. From summer barbecues to cool autumn or even winter nights spent with friends and family, an outdoor fireplace can be an invaluable addition. For homeowners wanting to add an outdoor fireplace, there are several options to choose from when it comes to style, cost and durability. Here are some things to consider when deciding on the right kind of fireplace for you.
When deciding on a fireplace, consider your needs. Outdoor fireplaces come in two main types: gas-burning and wood-burning. Gas-burning fireplaces don't require as much cleanup as wood-burning fireplaces, but they are more expensive. If cost is an issue, there are many stores that offer do-it-yourself prefabricated kits. If you're willing to spend more, professionals can custom-build a fireplace to your specifications.
Also decide what kind of material you want your fireplace to be made from. The most popular choices are stone, brick or aluminum alloy. Clay is another possibility, though it tends not to be as durable as other options. Keep practical considerations in mind, too. Your fireplace will look best if it's the right size for the space you have available outdoors, and if it's made of a material and style that complements your home.
Since any fireplace involves open flames, it's important to familiarize yourself with the building codes and safety laws in your area and what limitations they may pose on the kind of fireplace you can build. Wood-burning fireplaces will need a chimney to remove smoke, and gas-burning fireplaces will require adequate ventilation to prevent the buildup of gas. Once you have your fireplace, remember to keep a fire extinguisher or plenty of water on hand in case of accidental fires.