Baby It’s Cold Outside… In Some Places, Outdoor Fireplace Time
Hey all you DIYer’s, are you looking forward to Christmas and the colder temps? We sure are down here in Arizona. We know we’re a bit spoiled though with the highs in the 60s still. So much of the country is getting blanketed in snow and ice already, which makes us cringe at the thought of power losses and snow shoveling. We came from that sort of weather so we know what some of you are experiencing. You’ll get through it though, we’re confident of that. Enter the DIY outdoor fireplace and outdoor kitchen possibility. These are great Christmas ideas.
Your Christmas Ideas Wish List?
Christmas and the season of giving always brings about the challenges of traffic, shopping, and figuring out what to tell your loved ones to buy for you. This year, when you sit on Santa’s lap at the mall, tell him you want to build your own DIY outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen. He’ll know what to do.
Santa will go online and he’ll visit www.backyardflare.com for great outdoor fireplace and outdoor kitchen design ideas. He’ll pick out the perfect design for your backyard and he’ll surprise you with your very own DIY construction plan. You’ll be able to get started on your backyard renovation.
If you are not planning on sitting on Santa’s lap, just tell that special someone in your life that you want a DIY outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen in your backyard. Tell them about Backyard Flare and that they are the only place to go for DIY construction plans. What a gift for someone you love or to yourself for that matter! Christmas ideas are everywhere but most don’t last a lifetime like an outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen will.
And did we say that you can always call and talk to Dan from Backyard Flare for FREE? Yep, he loves to talk “masonry” and “backyards”. He spends time each day talking with homeowners about design ideas for their outdoor space, and he helps them manage their masonry fears.
Thanks for making Backyard Flare the one stop shop for the best DIY outdoor fireplace and kitchen construction plans. It’s DIYer’s like you that make us feel special. Have a great Thanksgiving and a wonderful Christmas.
We hope to hear from you and as always… happy building.
The other day, I had to drop my car at the tire shop and because I had a few minutes to spare, I walked across the busy street to some stores. As always, I was drawn to one of my favorite stores, Lowe’s Home Improvement, and I found myself standing in the outdoor lighting aisle. If I go to Lowe’s, I almost always want to at least walk down some of my favorite aisles to see if there is anything new on the shelf. This day was no exception.
I should back up a bit and say that whenever I build any type of structure in a backyard, whether it is an outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen, I always look for ways to spice up the final look. One of the things that I have written on in the past is my love for outdoor lighting. It just makes a backyard, and specifically, outdoor structures, come alive at night. The shadows created and the way things look in the dark with some light are just awesome.
So, back to Lowe’s and the outdoor lighting aisle… In the past, if I needed lighting, I have just gone to the store and picked up what I needed to complete the lighting project. I have never shared with my audience how inexpensive it really is to add this great feature to your DIY outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen. Well, wait no more. Here we go.
Outdoor Lighting Components Explained
With most outdoor lighting, there are three main components involved. They are a power source, otherwise known as a power transformer, wire, and the lights. The transformer is a heavy cube that plugs into an outlet. Many of these transformers will turn on at dusk with photo eye technology and you simply tell it through a setting, how long you want the lights to stay on from that point. Pretty cool!
The neat part is the lights will come on automatically and shut off automatically; no work for you. They come in different wattage’s starting from around 60W to several hundred watts. For powering a structure, the smallest will be completely sufficient, especially if you’re using LEDs. A 60W transformer will sell for around $50.
The wire will hook into the transformer with screws and the wire will snake through your structure’s block work. We’ll get into the install in a different post. The wire will transfer (Direct Current – DC) low voltage as the transformer’s output to the lights, so it won’t shock you any more than holding on to a flashlight battery. It’s nothing like the power from an outlet in your house. A 50’ length of this outdoor lighting wire will cost around $20.
LED Lighting Is awesome
Lastly, the lights. Today’s technology has put LED lighting at the forefront for efficiency, longevity, and amazing power savings. LED stands for light emitting diode. An LED is a small electronic component (diode) that will glow when power is applied. No more changing incandescent bulbs, right? Can I get an amen on that one?
LED lighting fixtures are sold individually, and they can run anywhere from a few dollars on clearance to around $20 for each fixture. I add at least two LED fixtures to any structure, so it is aesthetically pleasing. Two is really all you need for a structure width of only six to eight feet. The LED fixtures will have power cord on them. This cord will connect to the wire and the connectors will pierce the wire to be powered. The best part is that each LED is around 2W to 4W so you could hook up to 30 of these 2W LEDs to a 60W transformer. Do you see the math? This is turning into an electronics training course now.
How Cheap is It Really?
If you were to add two LED lighting fixtures to a fireplace, you would be able to spend as little as $110. Now that’s a bargain when you consider the look you’ll achieve. I hope this post helped you understand how simple outdoor lighting is and how inexpensive the components are. It’s really not that complicated.
Check out Backyard Flare, LLC to learn more about building your own DIY outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen and peruse our gallery for great ideas in design. See what other homeowners have done.
If you have any questions about anything, please let me know. I am always excited to hear from a fellow DIYer, or someone wanting to learn more about how to beautify their backyard space. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and as I always say, “Happy Building”.
Hello again all you fellow DIY’ers and welcome to this edition of, “That Awesome DIY Fireplace” where we introduce a DIY homeowner, tell you what state they reside in, and show you how awesome they were at building their own DIY outdoor fireplace.
Let’s go to the northeast, beautiful Pennsylvania, to introduce homeowner Mike. Mike had a very cool outdoor pavilion space with a long entertainment bar, bar stools, outdoor kitchen; and it was party central. To the side of that space, Mike had a bare corner concrete spot that begged for something like a fire structure. In April 2018, Mike visited www.backyardflare.com, and picked his favorite design, the Phoenix fireplace. He wanted a smaller footprint for the fireplace structure but something big enough to not feel dwarfed by the surrounding features, which were trees and a wrought iron fence just outside the corner of the concrete slab.
Mike started laying block, paying attention to the block layout and instructions of the construction plan. Before he knew it, Mike was a DIY mason who had never really tried to do a project of this caliber. Mike stated that he just needed a little bit of help and that the construction plan was what he needed to give him the confidence to start.
Mike kept a super clean work site and made sure he didn’t let the mortar remain on his concrete pad for very long. This made the final cleanup easier than it would have been, saving time and aggravation in the end.
Adding the Final Touches – Detail Work
When Mike was finished with the rough build, he started the lining of the firebox with firebrick. This process was pretty quick and before he knew it, Mike was ready for the final veneer material.
Mike chose to cover his outdoor fireplace with a stucco finish. Mike’s technique was to go with a smoother final finish. The seating was covered with dark stone material giving a great contrast to the white color of the structure.
Mike added a smoke arrestor to the top of the chimney to catch and extinguish embers that tried to escape from the top. With the fireplace facing right into the entryway of the outdoor pavilion, Mike’s party central area became even more stunning.
Mike added a very cool fire grate in the firebox and a piece of chain suspended metal art to the front of the fireplace. With a raging fire, behind the fire screen, it is just gorgeous.
We Know Mike is Now a Mason
Mike told Backyard Flare, “your plans were fantastic”, and that he wasn’t a mason. We beg to differ and debate that last statement. We see what Mike did and with no previous masonry experience. Mike, you’re a mason now and we’re very proud to include you into the Backyard Flare DIY family.
We sure hope you like Mike’s fireplace and that it inspires you to think about one of these fireplaces in your backyard as well. It’s really not out of reach to achieve a stunning outdoor living space. Mike said he wasn’t a mason, but we know it’s just the unknown. We’ll help you through it. If you have the DIY mindset, we can help you achieve greatness. We have assisted hundreds of homeowners who are weekend DIY’ers, realize their potential to build fireplaces just like Mike’s. You can do it too.
Thanks so much for reading about another great DIY fireplace build. We’ll bring you more soon, and as always …happy building.
Welcome back my fellow DIY’ers and welcome to this edition of, “That Awesome DIY Fireplace” where we introduce a DIY homeowner, tell you what state they reside in, and show you how awesome they were at building their own outdoor fireplace. This one is awesome to say the least.
Who is Our Contestant?
Let’s go to the southeast, beautiful Georgia to be precise, to introduce homeowner John. John had a bare space out his backdoor that needed a little sprucing up. After checking out the construction plans at www.backyardflare.com, John decided to build the Pima II outdoor fireplace, and he purchased the plans.
John had to clear a grassy area to get ready for the footprint slab to be poured. Once he mapped out the positioning of the fireplace, John excavated the area and did his ground prep. John built a wooden frame and added gravel and steel beneath the concrete. After pouring the concrete, he removed the wood, and he had his footprint slab ready for some mortar and block to be stacked.
John spent the next few days building the cinder block structure, following the construction plans to a tee. John paid attention to detail with the mortar gaps and even though he hadn’t done much block work, he built beautifully.
When John was getting the cinder block structure finished he began thinking about his finish material. John added his firebrick to the inside of the firebox without mortar gaps between them. He took the recommendation of Backyard Flare and used high heat construction adhesive to adhere the firebrick to the firebox walls.
Finishing the DIY Fireplace
John picked out a great veneer with a dark tone. The chimney and hearth portions were covered first, with the keystone added just above the firebox, centered. The seating material was adhered to the top of the hearth with matching grout, before the center section of the fireplace was covered with veneer. The mantel was stuccoed for texture and the top of the chimney was adorned with a very cool cap stone.
Adding the Small Touches
Dark colored mulch was spread all the way around the fireplace and up to the edge of the very green grass. Two planters were added to the sides of the structure, which will probably have great looking flowers in them someday.
John bought a very decorative fire grate and added a few logs to it in anticipation of his first burn. Oh, and what a beautiful sight it was when John started his first blaze. He was so excited to share these pictures because he wanted to show off his DIY labor and show that it was possible to build it yourself.
Want to Build A Fireplace of Your Own?
We sure hope you like John’s fireplace and that it inspires you to think about one of these fireplaces in your backyard as well. It’s really not out of reach to achieve a stunning outdoor living space. John believes that if he can do it, anyone can do it. If you have the DIY mindset, we can help you achieve greatness. We have assisted hundreds of homeowners who are weekend DIY’ers, realize their potential to build fireplaces just like John’s, so you can do it too. Visit Backyard Flare to learn more so you can begin your journey too.
Thanks so much for reading about another great DIY fireplace build. We’ll bring you more soon, and as always …happy building.
Let’s Take a Trip to Visit a Gorgeous Outdoor Gas Fireplace
Hello all you DIY’ers and welcome to this edition of, “That Awesome DIY Fireplace” where we introduce a DIY homeowner, tell you what state they reside in, and show you how awesome they were at building their own outdoor fireplace. We’re going to see a stunning outdoor gas fireplace in this article.
Introducing Our DIY Homeowner
We venture down the street and across the tracks from Backyard Flare headquarters to introduce homeowner Jim, who wanted a short in stature outdoor gas fireplace. Jim specifically wanted to burn natural gas. Jim was restricted to natural gas and a short finished height by his homeowner’s association due to his home’s location on the golf course. Jim’s backyard was on the 12th tee so there is quite a view.
Jim contacted Dan at Backyard Flare and explained his fireplace design and restrictions. No sweat at all for the Backyard Flare team. Dan did a couple site visits to Jim’s backyard and they came up with a plan of action. Dan was contracted to build the fireplace, but Jim was able to save a bit of money because he helped Dan through the process …and Jim learned a lot, very quickly. It’s always a blast when homeowners can help because they learn and have a great sense of accomplishment.
Getting the Area Prepped
After the fireplace location and width was determined, a diamond blade was used to cut through the existing flagstone patio. This area was excavated and framed for the concrete slab with rebar inside the pour. An inexpensive Harbor Freight cement mixer was used which made this job relatively quick for two people.
Once the concrete cured for a couple days, Dan and Jim started laying block in a running bond (staggered) pattern.
The firebox in the middle was sandwiched between two wood storage voids on either side. An electrical line was routed through the blocks to install a 110v outlet. This outlet was used to plug in a power transformer for the structure and backyard ground low voltage lighting.
Lot’s of Finishing Options Were Added
When the structure block work was completed, firebrick was added to the inside of the firebox.
The natural gas line was plumbed up the backside of the structure and a shutoff valve was added inline before it was installed into the back wall of the firebox. This gas line stubbed out a few inches inside the lower right corner of the firebox. Gas tubing was added to an H pipe and a few test burns were done before anything was solidified.
The wire for the structure lighting was routed to the front of the hearth and to the inside of the storage voids, figuring out where each light would be located. The front face of the structure was adorned with a beautiful stacked stone, which was mortared in place. The remainder of the structure was covered in a smooth coat troweled stucco, which was later painted.
Natural Stone Added So Much
The horizontal surfaces were covered in a gorgeous light tan flagstone which Dan and Jim cut with a chisel method for a rougher edge. This was a bit time consuming and much slower than a saw cut front edge, but completely worth it in the end.
With the leftover flagstone, Jim extended the flagstone patio to the far-right side of the structure and filled the joints with matching mortar. After it was pressure washed, you can’t even tell where the old flagstone patio and the new came together. Totally amazing.
A vertical piece of flagstone was added to the front of the firebox after it was chiseled to resemble a mountain range in Jim’s home state of Colorado. This piece of stone helped contain the local river rock that was added to the top of the H pipe. This rock completely hid the pipe, making it look as if the flames “originated” from the rocks.
Tying the Structure to the House Decor
For continuity in the backyard, the fireplace stucco was painted to match the house. New outdoor furniture was added to the patio and many nights have been spent eating, drinking, partying, and relaxing in the backyard. So many golfers stopped to see the fireplace and to offer kind words, complementing Jim on his design.
With the ambiance of the lighting in the voids and quick start of the natural gas in the firebox, Jim and his wife have been able to say, “hey want to have a fire?”, and enjoy it in a matter of seconds. Easy on and easy off is what Jim wanted and it turned out great.
You Ready to Build One?
We sure hope you like it too, so let us know how this DIY fireplace inspired you? Are you ready to build your masterpiece like Jim did? Even though this outdoor gas fireplace included natural gas, low voltage lighting, and chiseled flagstone, it can all be done by you too. If you have the DIY mindset, we can help you achieve greatness. We have assisted hundreds of homeowners who are weekend DIY’ers, realize their potential to build fireplaces just like Jim’s. You can do it too. Visit Backyard Flare for more information and DIY construction plans.
Thanks so much for reading about another great DIY outdoor gas fireplace build. We’ll bring you more soon, and as always …happy building.
Hello all you DIY’ers and welcome to this edition of, “That Awesome DIY Fireplace” where we introduce a DIY homeowner, tell you what state they reside in, and show you how awesome they were at building their own outdoor fireplace.
Who is Our DIY Builder?
We venture to Illinois to introduce homeowner Mario, who decided to build the Douglas Mini design. Mario reached out to Backyard Flare and ordered his DIY construction plan.
Mario’s backyard has a great looking grassy area with a brick patio. The corner of the patio needed a new addition though, so an outdoor fireplace was the obvious choice. Mario started building his fireplace as per the construction plan and got to the top of the firebox lintel.
Mario elected to make some modifications to the chimney portion of the build to give the top an angled look.
To achieve these angles, Mario used metal stud for the framework, using small self-tapping screws to tie the metal sections together. It’s very important to make sure the angles are the same on each side.
Finishing the Fireplace
Mario finished his fireplace with a beautiful stone veneer and natural stone horizontal surfaces. The firebox was finished in a red firebrick, providing a cool look. Mario bought a metal fire grate and it looks like a perfectly cut piece of aspen pine is laying there ready for a good burn.
The brick patio was laid back down to the front of the hearth, giving it an almost seamless look. If you look closely, the angles of the chimney match the door on the shed behind it. I really think Mario did this on purpose to tie the backyard together. It really works, and we love it.
Are You Ready to Build? Now is a Great Time
How has this DIY fireplace inspired you? Are you ready to build your masterpiece like Mario did? Backyard Flare can help you with any worries or concerns of the masonry word, and even with design help. We have assisted hundreds of homeowners who are weekend DIY’ers, and we can help you realize your potential to build a fireplace just like Mario’s. You can do it too.
Check back on our blog page periodically and follow us on Instagram and Facebook for additional photographs and information. We love to share great pictures and we really enjoy bragging about our customers, so we hope to hear from you.
Thanks so much for reading about another great DIY fireplace build. We’ll bring you more soon, and as always …happy building.
Hello all you DIY’ers and welcome to this edition of, “That Awesome DIY Fireplace” where we introduce a DIY homeowner, tell you what state they reside in, and show you how awesome they were at building their own outdoor fireplace. They do it all by themselves with a little help from us here at Backyard Flare.
Let’s Go Down to Arizona
We venture not far from Backyard Flare headquarters in Arizona to introduce homeowner Jason. A DIY guy who decided to build the popular Pima II fireplace design using the proven Backyard Flare outdoor fireplace construction plan.
Jason has the traditional landscape rock in his yard as most of us do in southern Arizona. A stunning tile patio was built with a perimeter tile of the same type. The Pima II fireplace is built on a 45 degree angle to the patio. The fireplace measuring just wider than eight feet is a perfect addition to this space and with wrap-around seating, lots of horizontal surface is available.
To keep continuity, Jason used the same tile for the patio to wrap up the hearth of the outdoor fireplace. This tile then extends to the horizontal seating surface, which gives it a great finished and well thought-out look. Jason added electrical line for low voltage lighting in the hearth, giving the fireplace a subtle look at night even when it’s not being used. This outdoor fireplace is backyard furniture for sure, providing a great focal point.
Stucco Is a Cost Saving Veneer Choice
For the main vertical firebox and chimney sections, Jason elected to use stucco as the finish material. In Arizona, as with many other states, this matches the home’s exterior, which also keeps the theme going throughout. With the texture and darker earth tone paint, it blends really nice with the natural desert landscape seen behind Jason’s block wall. The horizontal sections of the chimney and the top were covered with matching tile, which was saw cut with a diamond blade. Super simple by the way.
Jason wanted to add some pop, so he finished the front of his outdoor fireplace with a gorgeous piece of distressed wood for his mantel. Wanting to match other elements, Jason used metal brackets underneath the wood. These metal brackets match the metal fireplace tool set and the metal fire grate in the firebox. Jason got ready and stacked a pile of pine in the firebox, ready for a great nighttime burn. I’m sure the neighbors stare out their back doors at the glow from the chimney and they smell the sweet smell of burning pine.
Help is Available
How has this outdoor fireplace inspired you? Are you ready to build your masterpiece like Jason did and transition your backyard space? Backyard Flare can help you with any worries or concerns of the masonry world, and even with design help. We have assisted hundreds of homeowners who are weekend DIY’ers, realize their potential to build outdoor fireplaces just like Jason’s, and you can do it too.
Thanks so much for reading about another great DIY outdoor fireplace build. We’ll bring you more soon, and as always …happy building.
If you’ve gotten as far as thinking you want an outdoor backyard fireplace, then the next obvious thought should be on the construction method. To lay it out as simply as possible, either you build it yourself or a contractor builds it for you. And I’m not talking about a prefabricated fireplace where you stack a few pieces and have a fire an hour later. I’m talking about a permanent cinderblock structure with all the amenities such as seating, shelving, lighting, veneer, firewood storage, etc… Frankly a DIY outdoor fireplace can be built for cheap.
Realistic Contractor Concerns
When you elect to have someone else build your fireplace, you will pay for two specific things. They are materials and labor, the latter of which will be most of your cost. Is it easier to have someone else sweat while lifting block and splattering mortar? Absolutely, but you must then step back and look at the alternative. You! Have you given much thought to building your own fireplace? If the answer is no or even maybe, let me give you some things to mull over. Just one of them may sway you or the entire list may persuade you that a DIY project may be the way to go.
First off, let’s look at the project as a whole. Building on a large scale with construction plans can be very enjoyable and rewarding. Think of it as stepping out on a new adventure with a lot of the guesswork taken out because of the plans you hold in your hand.
Some of us have a small perfectionist attitude making it difficult to sit back and watch someone build something for us, knowing we would do it differently. I want to build to my taste; with my ideas in mind. Contractors, many times, provide building crews that are only interested in getting done in order to move on to the next project. In the end, it’s all about cash flow. Do they care about the final look of something they may never see again, but that you will have to look at everyday for quite some time? Maybe, however, I prefer complete control of my projects and how they’re built. That’s why I love DIY and that’s why I always try to persuade others to jump on the DIY train. It’s a fun train.
It may seem small, but you also need to consider whether you will want contractor building crews in your backyard all day for the duration of your project. They always seem to show up too early or not at all. Then there’s the problem with the mess that is always left each day.
Think About a DIY Project
When you build yourself, you control the pace of the project. Some DIY warriors can complete a fireplace project in as few as 9-10 days while still holding down a job. Others will spend a few weeks to construct their fireplace working only a couple hours here and there. When you build, it’s up to you how you structure your timeline.
If the previous reasons haven’t convinced you to build your own fireplace then think about the money you could save by not soliciting the services of a contractor. As mentioned before, most of your cost with a contractor will be for labor. It is estimated that you can take the total cost of your materials and multiply it by 5-6 to give you an approximate labor cost. With this example, if you were to spend a total of $1,000 for materials, then the labor could cost as much as $5,000-$6,000, for a grand total of $6,000-$7,000 for a completed fireplace. That’s expensive!
Not only are you paying for labor, but at times the contractor will make money on materials too. In other words, they will charge you more for each block than what it will cost for you to go to your own home improvement store to buy them. You’ll only know that though if they provide you with an itemized list of materials and labor broken down.
Nothing is set in stone with how fireplaces have to be built, or even how much you have to pay. The truth is, however, that you will save money if you step out on faith and build your own outdoor fireplace. Think about how you’ll feel when you finish your own DIY outdoor fireplace project, knowing that you could have spent so much more.
Look No Further Than Backyard Flare
If you’re looking for assistance in the form of DIY outdoor fireplace construction plans, please visit Backyard Flare, LLC at www.backyardflare.com. We have many fireplace designs that we’re sure would look great in your outdoor living space. We would love the opportunity to work with you to make your backyard the talk of the neighborhood. We’ll give you the knowledge needed and be there for you along the way. Thank you for reading and we hope to hear from you.
As we always say …happy building.
Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook, as we have lots of cool DIY outdoor fireplace photos and videos added almost every day. Contact Dan with any questions.
Let’s talk about two beautiful DIY fireplaces built by the same people, years apart, in two different states. These fireplaces transformed their backyards into such welcoming areas. But first, let’s meet our player
s. Husband and wife team, Marko and Kelly, were customers of Backyard Flare years ago and they built a stunning DIY outdoor fireplace and pizza oven combo when they lived in sunny Florida. They used a Backyard Flare construction plan and the backyard was positively changed forever. The structure drew lots of accolades from Backyard Flare followers and it was definitely a beautiful, one of a kind, fireplace. It’s easy to see why so many people were raving about it. It was so different than most.
I have seen lots of pizza ovens and most are earth tone colors. Marko and Kelly decided that a bold and deep reddish color would look great on their oven instead of keeping it like everyone else’s ovens. I have to say, I was impressed with the color choice. It worked so well with the surrounding area and it brought a pop of color not seen anywhere else in their yard. Coupled with the dark tones of the accent tile and the light color stucco, it was a hit. I’m sure it made a huge impact in the sale of their home, bringing in more money on the sale, than they would have had with a plain Jane backyard.
And then They Moved
Now fast forward a few years, with Marko and Kelly relocated to the great state of Utah. They bought a new home and needed to bring the backyard up to a standard they were used to. The new fireplace structure, although smaller than the Florida fireplace, is no less impressive.
The fireplace sports a square topped firebox and an equally wide firewood storage void under the hearth. Natural stone is on the horizontal surfaces, including the top of the fireplace. Keeping with the earth tone feel, Marko and Kelly added a wood mantel and a beautiful faux stone veneer.
It’s not just the fireplace that brings the total feel to the backyard. The natural flagstone table in front of the fireplace draws the earth tones to the patio. A huge pergola with a large outdoor table is the perfect place to have an outdoor dinner or just a place to sit and really relax. The white picket fence in the background with the bold green grass, adds contrast to the whole picture. The large boulder wall behind the fireplace and the slight hill with natural vegetation adds to the rustic look as compared to the veneer on the fireplace. The bold color on the pots to the sides of the fireplace make the structure appear to be wider than it is.
This is such a beautiful fireplace and I am sure this backyard will create lots of great memories. Great job Marko and Kelly. We are sure you will continue to enjoy your backyard paradise and we hope you will continue to share your fireplace with us.
Kudos Go Out
Special thanks to Marko and Kelly for sharing these great photos with us and allowing us to share them with the world. Also, thank you to all our faithful readers out there and to those who just found us. We can help you with your outdoor fireplace dream. Visit our website at www.backyardflare.com for some great inspiration and fireplace ideas.
Check us Out on Social Media
Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of cool info and fun pics and video. Thanks for reading and as I always say…happy building.
You have probably seen a lot of fireplaces built without mantels and with a clean front face to them above the firebox. Inversely, lots of fireplaces have been built with shelves, commonly referred to as a mantel, above the firebox. Either look is cool but I’ve always thought the mantel addition to the front of an outdoor fireplace was a neat touch. Hanging a fireplace mantel can be difficult depending on the type of material used. The most widely used mantel material is wood so we’ll cover that in this post.
So let’s assume you are done with your fireplace rough build, finished to a bare cinder block front face. You now have a drab gray block wall and you want to know how to hang the large four foot wide, railroad smelling, piece of dark beautiful wood as a mantel. That sure is a descriptive mouthful, but there is a bit of worry in the planning. The last thing you want is for the mantel to come down or appear to sag at all in the life of your fireplace.
We have an installation method for your heavy wood fireplace mantel, using pieces of steel. Have you ever paid attention the hinge side of a door in your house? If not, open one up. Look at the hinge and see how the edge of the door has been cut out in the shape of the hinge. This allows the hinge to be recessed into the door, allowing the smaller gaps when the door is closed.
Get Some Supplies
You can use that same technique when hanging a wood mantel to the front surface of the fireplace. You will need at least two or three pieces of 1/8” thick steel. These pieces of steel will be about 2”-3” wide and about 10”-12” long, depending on the size of your mantel obviously. You can use a chisel and hammer or a router and cutting bit for a faster method. Cut out the back of the wood from the top, equal to the width of the metal. As an example, if you have an 8” tall railroad tie, you will probably want to cut out at least 5”-6” down, assuming your piece of metal was about 10” long.
This metal will be bolted to the wood with some pretty gnarly screws or bolts. Using a heavy threaded bolt will insure a good bite into the wood. You will drill holes in the metal and put a couple of bolts in the wood, per piece of metal. The metal will be pretty flush with the back of the wood and the head of the bolt may be a bit further out. No biggie.
Your mantel can now be held up by your favorite helpers or suspended with vertical wood pieces. Drill some more holes in the exposed section of metal above the wood and mark your holes on the cinder block. Drill into the block and add lags. These lags are like wall anchors in your drywall. They will expand when a bolt is screwed into them.
At the End
Once the mantel is in place, it may have a slight front tilt, but that’s okay for water runoff. You can shore up the underside of the wood with some shims to even it out if it is leaning too far forward. The veneer will be applied to the structure and directly over the metal that is holding the mantel in place. The mantel will appear to be floating and your guests will think you’re a genius for being able to complete such a feat.
We hope you can use this technique and that you’ll send us some pics of your install. Hanging a fireplace mantel doesn’t have to be a hard task, so we hope you’ll try to DIY the job. We’d love to see how it turned out for you and in your project so send pics. If you have any questions about hanging fireplace mantels or anything else about your outdoor fireplace, let us know. We can be reached at email@example.com or at 520-269-9740. Check out www.backyardflare.com for great DIY fireplace inspiration. As always, happy building.