Home Improvement

What to Know Before Building an Outdoor Fireplace

There is something appealing about cooking food over an open fire in summer. And roasting marshmallows is a cozy entertainment when the nights turn chilly.

Yet according to the United States Fire Administration, it takes under thirty seconds for a small flame to get out of control.

Building an outdoor fireplace is tempting. But first, check what is legally permitted.

If you’re planning on proceeding, read on and make sure you’ve thought through all the issues.

The Legalities for Your Outdoor Fireplace

Before you start building an outdoor fireplace, you need to check on the rules and regulations. In some areas, you will need a special license. In others, you may only be permitted to use a specific type of fuel.

There will also be laws governing how far your fireplace must be away from your home. This will also apply to the closest trees, fences, and other fixtures. The height of your chimney may also be stipulated by local ordinances.

Once you’ve established what you may and may not do, contact your insurance agent. You want to ensure your homeowner’s policy will cover you for accidental fire damage. Check with your local utility department to be certain you will not be causing damage to buried lines or pipes.

Options for Building Your Fireplace

There are a number of great outdoor fireplace ideas and you should look into the various possibilities. Here are the main options:

  • An outdoor stone fireplace which you might like to build to match your outside patio
  • An outdoor gas fireplace which is more environmentally friendly as well as being cleaner to operate
  • An outdoor wood-burning fireplace on which you should only burn hardwoods that will cause less smoke

The Best Location for Your Fireplace

There are a number of considerations here. You will probably want to be able to see it from inside your home.

It is common to have the back of the fireplace against a wall or fence. Do you need plenty of space, so your guests may sit in comfort and enjoy the fire?

Position it in such a position that it’s sheltered from the wind. You may also use the fireplace stone work to create a wall.

Some Additional Features

You may choose to have built-in seating around the fireplace. Or you may go with special furniture under a canopy or similar roof.

You might also decide on a wood-storage area that will match your design. A hanging place for your utensils can be an attractive feature. You may go for wrought iron tools, for example.

Final Points to Consider

Keep it simple. And stick to your budget. You can always add to it at a later stage.

Brush up on your fire safety knowledge. Make sure the family, including your children, are well-versed in safety precautions.

See to it that you have an adequate fire extinguisher within easy reach. And make sure everyone knows how to use it!

Now to Build Your Outdoor Fireplace

If you’ve worked through all these suggestions, you have a fair idea of what you need to do before you start to build your outdoor fireplace. Think of all the pleasure it can bring you during hot, sunny days, and cooler evenings.

If you’re still convinced this will be an asset to your home, take a look at our website. Scout around for ideas not covered in this article. And then, go to it.

We trust you will enjoy many happy hours with your new home addition.

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