When you planned out for backyard or patio area, did you remember to include some form of outdoor fireplace to extend its use? Most people think of patios for BBQs and summer entertaining, but the addition of outdoor fireplaces can give extra life to the outdoor area.
There are outdoor gas fireplaces, outdoor propane fireplaces as well as outdoor wood burning fireplaces such as fire pits or chimineas, You can also choose from a portable outdoor fireplace to a an outdoor stone fireplace set in its own outdoor room.
When considering outdoor fireplace plans, the type of fuel you will be using is important. There are two main types of fuel -wood or gas (be it propane of natural).
Let’s look at some common types of outdoor fireplace.
This in its most basic form is the simplest kind of fireplace around. It is a large round bowl which holds the fire. A rustic fire pit is just a hole in the ground, a slightly more elaborate one will be edged with bricks, more elaborate again will be a raised circular wall in which a metal bowl is placed to hold the fire.
The portable fire pit consists of a copper of iron dish supported over the ground by feet, there is usually a grill over the bowl where the fire is laid. The ash is collected in the bowl. The portable fire pits sometimes have a mesh lid to sit over the fire.
Fire pits can be used for heating or cooking. Traditionally the fuel used was wood, but outdoor fireplace kits are available to convert some to gas.
The chiminea or chimenea comes from Mexico. It was their form of indoor cooking and heating. The chimenea combines an oven and chimney, so basically a bulb shaped object with a ling stem and a hole in its tummy.
The original chimineas were made from clay, but today they can be found in all kinds of materials from pottery to cast iron or ceramic.
It is possible to move a chimenea once set up, but they can be heavy, as they are filled with sand and bricks to form the base to set the fire on. Cooking is done on a grill over the fire and some chimineas have doors as well.
Both fire pits and chimineas use wood and this is attractive to people who love the charm of an open fire, the sounds and the scents all add to the experience. But they do require fuel to be available and there will be cleaning up afterwards.
Outdoor Gas Fireplace
With a gas fueled fireplace you will never have to worry about making sure you have enough wood for the fire. If unexpected visitors arrive, the fire is lighted as the touch of a button.
If you currently have a wood burning fireplace, then outdoor fireplace kits are readily available to convert you fireplace to gas with a number of differing fire effects. Any conversion should be done by a qualified professional.
Outdoor Fireplace Designs
Looking into installing an outdoor fireplace, there a number of things to consider including the fuel (wood or gas), the position of the fireplace in your yard design (location is very important, cost (a big budget can include a outdoor stone fireplace, a smaller budget a fire pit) and of course use (do you want to be able to relax in front of the fire or will you want the flexibility of moving it around)