Backyard Fireplaces

There are lots of evenings when the warmth and flicker of light given by a fireplace built into your patio or deck would add enjoyment to your outdoor gatherings.

When incorporating outdoor fireplaces into your patio area, there are several safety issues to consider. So take your time deciding where to build one. Usually, the best location is along the edge of the deck, on the side farthest away from the house.

Obviously, it will need a chimney, and you should be careful to burn things that will NOT throw off little embers which can be carried through the air while still hot. Avoid materials such as cardboard, newspapers, and other items which can float on air when burned.  A chimney cover is a good safety item, and relatively inexpensive.

Most commonly-found woods will be perfectly safe. But if you have your fireplace next to a wood deck, you will need a screen to keep “popping” embers from coming out onto the deck.  This is the most important consideration when thinking about installing a fireplace near your deck.  It’s a good idea to first extend a metal or stone hearth in front of the fireplace to catch any embers.

The safest, cleanest, and easiest way to have fun with an outdoor fireplace is by using natural gas (if it’s available to you). Then you can choose to use the fake logs just for visual affect, or the real thing – which comes with aromas as well as eye-catching flames.

In the event that natural gas is not already available, it would be much too costly to bring a line into your home.  Propane tanks are another alternative to consider.

A natural gas line can be extended from the house to feed the fireplace (and you can do this with your BBQ grill as well). Other options have to do with the materials you use to build the fireplace.  Stone or masonry is one alternative and the less expensive prefabricated metal is the other.

In addition to a fireplace, you can achieve similar benefits from fire pits or chimaeras.  They provide the warmth at much less cost, but the masonry fireplace has a much more substantial look and feel to it.





Charles Gueli invites you to ask questions about backyard fireplaces, and take advantage of the resources on , where guidance, information and support are always available – helping homeowners make better decisions.

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