Outdoor fireplaces are currently one of the hottest trends in home accessories. Not only does an outdoor fireplace completely change the look and feel of your yard, but it can also allow you to enjoy your outdoors even more. More so, whether it’s a home or a rental property, an outdoor fireplace will help it stand out in a competitive marketplace, says the Onsite Property Management team.
If you’re considering purchasing an outdoor fireplace, keep in mind that there are many choices, styles, sizes, and prices to suit every budget. You can always buy a generic fireplace from a store, or you can get a prefabricated and custom-built outdoor fireplace.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the perfect outdoor fireplace for your home. Here are a few tips to consider:
1. Why do you want an outdoor fireplace?
Before you rush and order a fireplace, consider why you want it in the first place. Are you going to be using it to produce heat, light, or do you simply want it because it is stylish and will give your backyard a new look?
If you want it to produce heat or light, you may need to consider other accessories like a cover and storage space to keep the supplies. If you plan to use it to improve the look of your home, you may also need to spruce up the surroundings to enhance the overall beauty. The point is that before you go about choosing the type of fireplace, make sure you understand your reasons for buying one.
2. Gas or wood?
The two primary choices for operating a fireplace are gas or wood. Generic fireplaces can be constructed as standing permanent appliances without any major connections. However, a fireplace that uses wood tends to produce more heat and is more cost-effective to operate than a fireplace operated by gas.
However, the downside is that a wooden fireplace needs to have a chimney that is of adequate size to receive a draft so that the fire burns with intensity. On the other hand, a gas fireplace will require a gas line and proper venting.
More importantly, the gas line will need to be buried underground and then piped to a nearby connection point at your home. The initial costs of constructing a gas fireplace tend to be high. These are some factors that you should keep in mind before deciding whether you want a wood fireplace or one that works with gas.
3. What is the best material?
In general, your outdoor fireplace should match the style and decor of your external home features. Classical non-combustible materials used for an outdoor fireplace include brick, stone, concrete, tile, rock, and slate.
The cost of the fireplace construction also depends on the type and amount of these materials, plus the labor costs. Keep in mind that before construction of your fireplace begins, the foundation has to be installed to provide support for the stone/concrete for fire safety and preventing settling and cracks.
4. The location
Planning to install a fireplace requires attention to detail because one has to consider the overall appearance, safety issues, and how it impacts the environment. The fireplace should be the focal point of your home or should complement your backyard and be proportioned to the size of the yard.
If you plan to have many people over every week, you need to consider free space. Don’t make the mistake of having a small fireplace, because a smaller fireplace produces less heat and light and you will have to chop up the wood into many small pieces to fit the firebox interior. If you have a pool, it might be a good idea to have it constructed away from the pool so that it is not affected by wetness. Otherwise, the water will cause cracks in the foundation.
5. Other factors
Apart from the things mentioned above, you might also want to consider an outdoor fireplace that can stand up to extremes of temperature, is easy to clean and maintain; and will remain functional for many years. After all, this is not a cost you will undertake again and again, so it’s best that if you have decided to purchase an outdoor fireplace, you do it right the first time around.
Another very important thing to remember before you begin construction of the fireplace is to check with your local authorities and find out the rules and regulations as per the fire and building codes. In some cases, you may need a permit and must have the place inspected before construction can begin.
This is important because you don't want any problems if you decide to sell your home. If you're unsure of your community's regulations regarding outdoor fireplaces, you can contact the homeowner's association so that you plan everything according to the rules. But overall, buying an outdoor fireplace can be a terrific idea and is very trendy and popular these days.