Tips for Creating Your Best Outdoor Fireplace

Learn tips on how to design without equal outdoor fireplace to be enjoyed year-round.
By Whitney Richardson

Domaille timber-home fireplace

Photo: Karl Neumann

It’s hard to overcome the atmosphere of a fire-encased blaze, whether within the dead of winter or chillier summer eves. Even better: Enjoying that very same warm atmosphere and your love of the outside simultaneously. Take your fireplace outdoors with these design tips.

Use exterior-grade materials.
Outdoor fireplaces can easily mimic the identical attractive look as an indoor fireplace, but any material used must be marked specifically for out of doors use — be it the chrome steel comprising your firebox or the stone you’re using to stand your hearth. This may occasionally be sure that it could delay against the weather and protect your fuel source, especially if you’re incorporating a gas-fueled hearth.

Size it appropriately.
Standard fireplace widths are 36, 42 or 48 inches. The simplest size for you may rely on how close you can be to the fireside and what’s overhead. As an example, if the fireside is under a pergola or enclosed under a porch, as this hearth is, you could not desire a large fire to heat the encircling area for the reason that walls and ceiling will retain some heat. A stand-alone fireplace, however, may require an even bigger hearth to store a more intense fire. Also note that, if placed within 10 feet of the house, the chimney might want to extend 3 feet out or above the roofline, and the vent might want to be 2 feet higher than anything within 10 feet horizontally.

Follow local codes.
Different areas will have specific regulations regarding what sort of fuel you should use to your outdoor fireplace. Burn bans typically prohibit using wood-burning fires for air-quality purposes, but should still allow gas-fueled fireplaces due to lessened emission concerns. Homeowners’ associations could have similar restrictions against visible smoke fires, in addition to design regulations that prohibit impeding another property’s sightlines with an attached or stand-alone fireplace.