Whether it’s the perfect spot for gathering your family and loved ones for some outdoor fun, or a place where you can relax, a fireplace can be a wonderful addition to any backyard. But if you want to build the fireplace yourself, you might be wondering how to build an outdoor fireplace? Thankfully, the entire process is not that hard, and you’ll be building one in a snap.
This article will make the entire process dirt simple and will help you build your fireplace without too much trouble, so let’s get started!
What You Will Need
- An open area for your fireplace
- Knowledge of local fire codes
- Aggregate soil or concrete for the base
- Caulk gun
- 4-foot level
- Torpedo Level
- Ladders (possible if your fireplace is high)
- A fireplace kit
If you are building your fireplace on concrete, then you will need some aggregate soil to give it a nice and sturdy base before you pour the concrete. You also need to make sure that the concrete is reinforced enough to take the weight of the fireplace once you add it on.
Additionally, you will also need to know the state and local fire codes and rules for an outdoor fireplace. Usually, this isn’t too much of a hassle and won’t stop you from building the fireplace, but rules are rules, and you will need to have knowledge of them.
Finally, the last thing you will need is a plan, and the proper fireplace kit. If you don’t want to use a kit, then make sure you have a lot of heat-safe materials, such as stone, to build your fireplace with. Your firebox should be made of heat-resistant metal too, and for the purposes of this guide, we will assume you are using a fireplace kit.
1. Lay Your Foundation
Whether that means laying foundation blocks or pouring concrete into the aggregate soil, you will need to start in the middle to keep everything aligned. Make sure to use both your levels regularly, and give yourself room to make changes if the foundation is not level. If you are using foundation blocks, don’t use too much adhesive to make them stick together, because the blocks will hold themselves together.
2. Build the Firebox
The firebox is the box that will hold your fire, and it is the most important part of the fireplace. The kit will have an instruction on how to do this, but you basically build a box from the stones on the outside and then line the interior with firebrick to keep things heat resistant. Finally, you will place a lintel block on top of this and then add your angle iron.
3. Build the smoke chamber
Next, rack the smaller blocks on top of one another at 2 inches on each side so it looks like a staircase. Go about three layers high with this, and be sure to keep the back wall of the fireplace plumb. The smoke chamber is, you guessed it, where the smoke will go before it goes out of the chimney.
4. Build the chimney and the cap
The last part of the fireplace is to build the chimney, and you just need to stack the blocks up until your fireplace reaches the maximum height you want it. Always make sure to level your bricks and make sure everything stays straight though, and then you can add your cap once the chimney is done.
The cap helps keep things out of your chimney, while not impairing the smoke flow, so it’s a good investment to have.
Do I need a Kit?
Fireplace kits do make the entire process easier. They provide everything you need to build a fireplace in one simple kit, along with instructions and diagrams to make everything much easier to use. If building an outdoor fireplace is your first DIY project, then you should use a kit, if you are confident you know what to do, then don’t.
Should I get an outdoor fireplace or firepit?
Well, an outdoor fireplace gives you a large spot that people can gather around. It also provides some nice ambiance and decoration for your yard. However, a firepit gives your yard more of a campfire and also allows for you to see your fire from all directions, and not just the direction the grate is facing. Figure out what you want from a fire, and then choose.
Can I install an electric fireplace?
Outdoor fireplaces don’t need to only be wood burning. If you like the ease or the idea of an electric fireplace, then there are special electric fireplaces that can be used outdoors with no trouble at all. Just make sure the fireplace is rated for outdoor use and you should be good to go!
What should I consider when picking an outdoor fireplace?
Well, first, an outdoor fireplace is very large. Space is certainly something that you will need to take into consideration when choosing to build one. Additionally, you will want to pick a fireplace style that will match your home.
What if my patio is screened in?
You can still have a fireplace! You just need to make sure that your patio is properly vented to let all the smoke out. If you are unsure, then you will need to open your patio before using your fireplace.
Building an outdoor fireplace can be very easy, and it can also be very fun to see exactly how a fireplace works. There are a lot of parts involved, and learning how to build an outdoor fireplace might just teach you a few things.
If you liked this article, then maybe try building your own outdoor fireplace and see how it goes. Whether you go from scratch or buy a kit, you’ll be able to learn and build a great addition to your yard with only two hands and some grit. Now that’s a story you can tell while around the fire!