I love the fact that we have helped lots of DIYers with DIY fireplace plans. We also love to hear feedback from our customers. The other day I answered my phone and began speaking with a past customer who built a Pima II fireplace design. Karen explained that she had received some bids from contractors to build an outdoor fireplace in her backyard and was blown away at the price tag. She wasn’t prepared to pay what was bid.
Karen elected at that point to start looking for assistance. She stumbled on Backyard Flare’s website while searching for “DIY fireplace plans”. After reviewing our designs, Karen said she picked the Pima II because of the large firebox and the low rough materials cost.
I listened as she told me about her building experience and about how much fun and how fulfilling it was to complete the construction by her and her family. She said that she never thought she could build a DIY fireplace on her own…that was until she discovered our plans.
I was happy to get that phone call because it solidified what we have known for years. We design our fireplaces for the customers that don’t have a ton of masonry building experience. Some don’t have any at all. Our simplistic build plans cater to the DIY homeowners that want to step into a DIY project. They may need just a little bit of instruction to get started.
Get started on your project
We know that you have what it takes to build one too and we are eager to hear about your backyard and your plans to transform it. Text Dan at 520-269-9740 and let’s discuss your design ideas. Let’s talk and know that it’s free, and with no obligation.
Take care and happy building to you. It’s time to get started!!! Go to Backyard Flare to pick your favorite design.
Our DIY outdoor kitchen build began with some ground excavation and measuring for slab height as compared to the existing concrete patio. This was very important as we planned to add brick pavers from the patio to the base of the outdoor kitchen and we wanted it to match up perfectly. Once we determined the proper slab height, we built our wood forms, tamped and prepared the ground, added our steel mesh, and got to pouring the concrete.
My father in law and I worked in tandem, with me mixing and pouring the concrete and him screeding the wet mix. Within 35 minutes, we had the concrete done and we waited for it to start setting up.
Two days later, we pulled the forms off and exposed a great looking L shaped slab that was waiting for some mortar and block. Once the block laying began, we worked for approximately 6 hours to complete the rough block build.
We mixed our N-type mortar in a mixing bin and got 15 blocks mortared in place with each 60-lb bag. This is how much you can generally get done if you don’t waste or lose too much mortar on the ground.
@Charbroil for Functionality
We dismantled a Char-Broil charcoal grill and built a base for the cooking system to sit on. The counter height was a standard 36″ and with a gorgeous flagstone, the raised bar and counter was finished. The outer edge of the flagstone was a very cool chisel cut for a rustic look.
Finish Work – Stucco and LEDs
I applied stucco to the sides of the structure and painted it to match our previously built outdoor fireplace. We ran some low voltage lighting cord and added great looking LED lights for additional ambiance. We hoped to keep the outdoor kitchen build to a minimum and we ended up spending right at $1,000 total on the structure. This cost included the material, lights, counter, and even the grill. Amazing what you can do when you have a plan to follow. A DIY outdoor kitchen can be in your future.
Let us know how we can help you with a DIY outdoor kitchen construction plan. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg so let us show you how to do it.
With so many people wanting to spruce up their backyards, why not build an outdoor fireplace? Backyard Flare specializes in helping our clients, DIY homeowners just like you, with an easy and comprehensive method of building. We do this with our DIY outdoor fireplace construction plans. Every picture in this article is an example of fireplaces built entirely by DIY homeowners who used Backyard Flare DIY outdoor fireplace construction plans.
So much goes into the planning and design of an outdoor fireplace, so trying to figure it out and hoping it functions at the end is not the way to proceed. There are lots of great designs and themes and we are confident we have designed one that would look great in your backyard. We have helped thousands of homeowners with their outdoor fireplace construction plans, and they have made us proud with the results they have achieved.
How much can you really save?
You will have fun while building and at the same time, you’ll be adding huge monetary value to your home. If you could build an outdoor fireplace in your backyard for $1,000 but get an additional $5k-$10k fo ryour home when you sell it why wouldn’t you do it? We have heard from many customers that their DIY outdoor fireplace was the reason their house sold. That makes us feel pretty good.
The only two additional things not covered in our outdoor fireplace construction plans are directions on how to pour the foundation and what to cover the outside of the structure with. There are too many variables to the thickness of your foundation and we don’t want to dictate what the final structure will look like. That’s the fun part, figuring out a great veneer.
How’d We Do?
So, we hope you have been inspired to build your own DIY outdoor fireplace and that our construction plans will be used to guide you through the build process. We know they will not lead you astray. Let us know if you have any questions about our designs or the build process. Check out www.backyardflare.com for more info and inspiration.
As we always say here at Backyard Flare, LLC, happy building.
Well, this 2020 spring sure snuck up on us. Down here in the southwest, the temps are getting into the 70s already in March, so we are looking at some DIY projects. We have decided that an DIY outdoor kitchen is what my father-in-law’s backyard needs. He’s super excited and we started talking and discussing the build and what we would want in the structure.
We have a
few hundred square feet to work with, so we have some different shapes and
configurations available to us. There is
a gorgeous mountain view to our east, so we definitely want to keep that on our
mind when we design the layout.
First and foremost, my father-in-law loves to cook on charcoal, so we are headed in that direction with the grill. We picked out a Char-Broil brand structure that we’ll modify to fit the space. That’s a real cool way to build and very economical, so we’ll be getting into that in some future posts. Secondly, we are looking to match the exterior of the outdoor fireplace that we built last year on the opposite side of the backyard. In order to do that, we’ll be putting stucco and outdoor lighting on our DIY outdoor kitchen, with flagstone as our counter material. By using the same finish material on the grill and fireplace, it’ll look like we built both structures at the same time and the overall look of the backyard will look well thought out.
We decided that a raised bar area would be a nice addition to the DIY outdoor kitchen, so the structure will have to be big enough to accommodate that extra feature. An “L” shape is something we feel will work so the guests sitting at the bar will have the mountain view to look at while they talk to the grill chef and enjoy their favorite beverage.
Starting the Construction
out the rough dimension of the “L” shape grill and then started figuring out
the level of the future concrete slab.
This is important so our patio pavers are the same height of the patio
to the house. The excavation of the site
started with a quick dig out of the slab dimension.
Using a really long level, 6-footer, we laid out random pavers from the existing patio to the farthest side of the DIY outdoor kitchen structure. This would tell us how much digging we would need to do to get it uniform and level.
Drawing and Block Count/Order
Dan at Backyard Flare drew up the grill structure using CAD and concept and then used the drawing to calculate the type of blocks and exact number of each block needed. Dan figured the mortar and concrete need as well, and then called Lowes to place the order for delivery. The best part is that almost all the building materials and even the grill will be delivered right to the side of the house, which is where the gate is located leading to the backyard. The materials purchased, including the $75 delivery fee, was only $505, and that included the grill. Wow, how much more economical can it get?
Follow along on our future posts as we build. You’ll be amazed at how easy and inexpensive it can actually be to build on your own. The DIY world is yours to explore and we can help. If you’re interested in building your own backyard paradise, let us know how we can help. Get your construction plan today and begin building your DIY outdoor kitchen tomorrow. Happy building.
I was working on a custom fireplace design and DIY construction plan for a customer the other day. We had just spoken about her fireplace structure. She had asked me questions, one of which was “should I use a chimney flue”? I explained my experience with a chimney flue and the construction method of our designs, answering all her follow up questions. She was eager to learn which made me very happy. When we finished our conversation, the phone rang again, and I answered it.
On the other end of the phone was a man who wanted to build a DIY outdoor fireplace in his backyard. Would you believe he had the exact same question concerning the use of a chimney flue. I spoke with him for a while and answered all his questions. When I hung up, I really started to think back. There were lots phone calls and emails that hit on the specific topic of a chimney flue in our outdoor fireplaces.
Here We Go!
I thought that this same topic would be a good one for my next blog post because the interest is obviously out there. Now let me get started by saying that if you have ten masons in a room and you give them the same picture and dimensions of a fireplace, then say, “Go build it”, it will be built ten different ways. No two structures would be alike. Now I must continue with this and say that all ten fireplaces could very well be functional fireplaces and just because they are all built different doesn’t mean any of them are wrong. They’re just different. We are just one of those masons and ours is simply a different method of building and to some, a different train of thought. The use of a chimney flue is not wrong at all, but we know they aren’t necessary if the structure is built the way we build.
This is not to say that you absolutely can’t use a chimney flue with our designs, we just know that they aren’t always necessary. A lot of masons build using these clay pipes. Some are square, some are rectangle, and some are round. Some are 12” long and some are three feet long and there are several diameters too. First, I need to go back a bit and explain what a chimney flue is used for. It is literally the tube that lines a chimney and lots of people think they are a necessity.
We Design Without a Chimney Flue
You may be thinking, “how do I not need a flue to direct the smoke”. Our designs are constructed with the interior chimney dimensions being formed by block. In essence, our chimneys designs are all squares and rectangles. There are no round edges or round entryways to our chimney openings so square and rectangle blocks dictate the way everything is formed.
Backyard Flare fireplace designs incorporate a large throat chimney, so the inside of the chimney does not get super-hot. Our cinder block fireplace designs have been heat tested and they are hotter in the Arizona summer than in the winter months with a fire burning. I can literally stand up on my fireplace after a fire has been burning for 15-20 minutes and stick my hand inside the chimney opening. I can hold my bare hand against the inside of the chimney from the top and it is warm, but not so hot that it is unbearable. This is the reason we can say that the inside of our chimneys aren’t even as hot as it is on a sunny Arizona day.
Lots of people will say you need to build your chimney with a clay flue for purposes of heat, thus keeping the heat off the cinder block. I say, if your chimney opening is big enough, not restricting the smoke and heat, you don’t need a chimney flue. You can open a chimney up pretty big and not even affect the draft of the structure, so it’s basically up to you which build method you want to subscribe to.
How Are We Different?
Backyard Flare construction plans use the same basic build method above the firebox from design to design. These chimneys appear different from the outside too. We have never had a draft problem, so we know we have a tried and true method of building that does not require a chimney flue, thus reducing the cost of the final structure.
I hope his
post has helped you out and that it has answered a few questions. Let us know if you have any further questions
and we will make every attempt to get you an answer. Thanks for reading and if you are wanting to
build a DIY outdoor fireplace, visit www.backyardflare.com
for the best and most comprehensive DIY construction plans on the market. As I always say, happy building.
Hello all you DIYers and enthusiasts of backyard fireplace and transformation. I wanted to write a bit about one of our latest ventures, a corner Arizona outdoor fireplace with storage voids that I built at my in-law’s house in Arizona. The backyard isn’t huge, only about 30 feet deep from the back of the house to the back wall, so we decided to offset the fireplace in the corner to not block the mountain view.
Doesn’t Have to be Expensive!
part of this whole build is that we really designed and built on a budget, building
as inexpensive as possible without substituting quality. In total, we spent just over $1,600, and that
included the poured concrete slab, lighting, and all finish work. It really is amazing at what you can build
and how cheap the overall cost can be when you enter the DIY world. So, let’s break it down.
The Backyard Fireplace Building Begins
We knew the footprint of the backyard fireplace so we worked with disturbing only that area. We excavated the site and prepared the ground for the concrete slab, using steel in the pour. Once the concrete cured for a few days, we began laying the block as per the construction plan, which showed literally where every block went. So easy! We established the entry point at the back of the structure for the low voltage lighting wire to come in and routed that wire through the structure.
voids and firebox were arched and that was completed by building wood jigs,
supporting them in place, and pouring concrete into them to create the
lintels. The arches really made the
three openings come to life, so we are happy we made that decision.
Finish Work Decisions
When the rough
build was completed, we lined the firebox with firebrick in a stacked pattern to
change it up and covered the whole structure in smooth coat stucco. The stucco was then painted to match the
color of the house, so it tied everything in.
Almost all horizontal surfaces were covered in a gorgeous honey brown
flagstone that we chisel cut for a rustic edge.
The LED lighting was added to the front of the structure and inside each
storage void, where it was connected to the low voltage wire. We are so happy we made the decision to add
lights because it makes the whole structure come to life even when not in use.
The patio spanning the front of our backyard fireplace was completed in a random pattern with colored concrete pavers. It sure made the whole sitting area complete, giving it a finished look. We have enjoyed the fireplace even through the summer with ambiance fires, so we’re not letting the warm nights slow us down. Sitting at a distance is the way we do it when it’s warm outside. Just make sure you and your guests have your drink of choice while you sit and relax.
Want to Build a Backyard Fireplace Too?
We hope you love our backyard fireplace and all of what we built as much as we do and that you are inspired to step into this as well. Backyard Flare, LLC is the leader in DIY outdoor fireplace construction plans. Whether you are an accomplished mason or someone who has NEVER worked with block and mortar, you can build our designs. Open the construction plan and begin building your own backyard fireplace. We are confident that you too can build a masterpiece, so get going on your design ideas.
There are many ways to install backyard lighting in your outdoor space. In this quick tutorial, we’d like to specifically go over our method of installing low voltage lighting in a outdoor fireplace structure. We are currently building an amazing DIY outdoor fireplace at my in-law’s house in Marana, Arizona, a suburb of Tucson, and it is turning out beautiful. To include that “extra something”, we made sure to add a little lighting to the fireplace, so it really shows off the structure at night. Backyard lighting makes the world of difference when added tastefully. Just a little goes a long way.
Bring Your Backyard To Life
Even when we aren’t enjoying the warmth of a fire, we want to be able to look out the window into the backyard and see the fireplace, and the lighting will really make that happen. The backyard lighting also gives off enough ambient light, so the backyard isn’t completely dark. We want to be able to go outside and walk around the backyard at night without having to turn on all the exterior patio lights.
Lowes? Yep…They’re Everywhere
Here at Backyard
Flare, we love to shop at Lowes Home Improvement because they have so much
variety in their departments. Follow
them on Instagram at @loweshomeimprovement for great pics and design
ideas. For the lighting on our
structure, we ventured to the outdoor lighting aisle and we picked up a Hampton
Bay 150W transformer, a 100-foot spool of low voltage lighting cord, and six Hampton
Bay LED lights. The total was about $125,
but you’ll see that it was worth every penny.
Backyard Lighting Installation
So, let’s get into the installation method. To understand low voltage lighting, it is important to know that it’s like powering a light bulb with a battery. A transformer will plug into a wall outlet, but the alternating current from the outlet will be converted in the transformer to direct current, like a battery. The 100-foot power cord is attached to the back of the transformer like you would attach speaker cord to a receiver, only a screw driver is used after the ends of the wires are stripped.
We routed the cord to the structure, and it entered on the back-left side. We ran it through the structure, cutting grooves into the tops of the cinder blocks for channels where necessary. The cord ran everywhere we wanted lights, and then it exited the back-right side of the fireplace.
figured out exactly where we wanted the lights, we used a 3/8” masonry drill
bit and drilled holes big enough to pass the LED light connector through the
block. Inside the block, the lights’
push pin connectors were attached to the power cord and… we had light. The lights were attached to the front of the
structure using wall anchors in the block.
To install the wall anchors, we drilled more holes using a ¼” masonry
drill bit. It’s just like adding them to
drywall, but with a little bit more dust.
We made sure to add a light on the inside of each storage void too so the voids would be back-lit. It added a lot of appeal to the look of the structure and sure made a huge impact at night. The addition of light to an outdoor fireplace or kitchen is super simple and we know that you can do it. We sure hope this helped you out and that it eased your hesitation to add lighting to your structure or backyard. If you’re interested in building your own DIY outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen, visit us at Backyard Flare for the best and most comprehensive outdoor construction plans on the market.
Show Us What Your Lighting
love to see some of your outdoor lighting.
Please send pics of your projects to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading, and I hope you learned
something here. Until next time, have
fun on your outdoor projects and happy building.
Dan Heston Backyard Flare, LLC Tucson, Arizona www.backyardflare.com www.diyoutdoorfireplaces.com 520-269-9740
Okay, so the weather is improving right? Well, at least in a lot of areas it is. It will be time for some outdoor attention at your house. Your backyard and even your front yard will be begging for some kindness, and there are a few things you can do to make it look fantastic. Here are three things you can do to add appeal to your outdoor space.
Let’s Get Busy
Clean up the clutter and dirt. I can’t stress this enough. Clutter and stuff laying around makes a space look messy. Whether the clutter is toys, yard tools, or just a pile of pool towels, picking it up and putting it away will make a huge impact. That’s where I always start. I address the easy stuff first. Now you’ll be able to address the horizontal surfaces of the backyard, the patio, a table top, etc. Get a wet rag and wipe off. Step one finished.
Trim your bushes and trees. I have a palm tree and a lemon tree in the back corners of my backyard. At times, the palm tree will have one or two hanging down and they will be starting to dry and turn brown. These low hanging nuisances are easily trimmed with a pole saw and it changes the look drastically. This palm stands like royalty behind my swimming pool waterfall, so when it looks trimmed and tidy, it makes a huge difference. The lemon tree blooms constantly here in Arizona, so we have to cut off branches that almost touch the ground under the weight of the fruit. We pick the lemons and then trim some of these low hanging branches, transforming the underside of the tree. Step two finished.
Pick your weeds. Here in Arizona and in many areas in the southwest, we have rocks in our backyards. I guess you can say we don’t really have yards as most would define them…grass. When the rainy season arrives, I swear my neighbor throws handfuls of weed seeds over the wall, while snickering like the Grinch. Then he waits until the weeds grow and laughs as I address the problem. By picking weeds, I get back to the clean and organized look of a rocked backyard space. It’s amazing how much better it looks. Step three finished.
Now Get Started
these three simple things, I get my backyard to a clean, organized, and
welcoming oasis, worthy of a party. The
beauty is that it doesn’t cost me anything other than a bit of sweat equity to
transform my backyard. Perform this
three-step ritual a few times a year and your backyard will continue to impress
all who venture there.
By doing these three simple things, I get my backyard to a clean, organized, and welcoming oasis, worthy of a party. The beauty is that it doesn’t cost me anything other than a bit of sweat equity to transform my backyard. Perform this three-step ritual a few times a year and your backyard will continue to impress all who venture there.
Hopefully You’re Inspired
We hope you will use these quick and easy steps to work on your outdoor backyard presence. Send us before and after pictures of your outdoor space, cluttered and then clean. We would love to share in a separate blog post how our readers are making their backyards an extension of their home lives. Send pics and your story to email@example.com and thanks for reading and we hope to hear from you.
The other day my phone rang and it was a customer of Backyard Flare that had purchased a DIY construction plan for the Pima II design. This customer was looking for information about whether he needed to build the fireplace on a concrete pad or whether he could just build it on the dirt. This question comes in quite often so I wanted to address it again. Concrete pads are necessary for a masonry outdoor fireplace.
Where You Live is Important
Think about all the places you have been and the ground you have walked on. There’s Arizona with ground so hard that it almost takes a jack hammer to dig down a couple inches. Then there’s Florida with gorgeous sandy beaches, but that sandy soil reaches inland too. You have the northeast states that have frost lines so deep, that it’s a wonder that it ever thaws out. And we can’t forget the northwest that gets a lot of rain that could create washout conditions.
There is our dilemma with phone calls relating to how thick or whether a concrete pad is necessary. Even here in Arizona, I always build my outdoor structures on concrete. This is for peace of mind so if there is any ground settling, the structure will hopefully be okay.
If a masonry built structure settles, and it has been built on a running bond (stair step) block pattern, the cracking will look like a stair step going up. The blocks will often separate at the seams, not crack. This is not the way you want your outdoor structure to end up, because you spent your hard labor to build it.
What should you do?
Do it right from the beginning and pour some concrete. Support that structure and keep it from settling and cracking. Now you say, that’s all fine and dandy, but how thick does the concrete need to be? There’s an issue with that portion of the concrete pad question in that there is no “one answer” to that question. There is no recommendation that we can give you because your geographic area and soil will dictate the answer.
Remember all the different soil types we cited a few paragraphs ago? There are so many variables that exist that will need to be addressed and recognized before a concrete pad thickness answer can be formulated. Our advice is to seek out some professionals in the concrete industry and ask. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and see if there is a person who used to pour concrete for a living that is working there in retirement. They are sometimes a wealth of information. Go to the internet and search for recommendations based on your soil type and geographic area. Again, lots of information.
So, what have we learned? I always recommend a concrete pad for an outdoor masonry built fireplace or kitchen. There is no hard and fast recipe that applies to everyone that they should follow to pour the pad, so go find your local resources. They’re out there.
If you would like to discuss your backyard outdoor fireplace or kitchen and would like to learn more about the DIY world we love so much, visit Backyard Flare. We can help make it a reality, saving you thousands of dollars. Give your backyard a face-lift and beautify your outdoor space.
You can do it!!! I remember receiving a phone call from Shelley who said she lived in New Jersey. Shelley explained to me that she was single, in her sixties, and that she lived on a piece of property that had a small creek running through it down the hill from her backyard. Shelley explained that she really wanted an outdoor fireplace but that she was super apprehensive about doing it herself. Because of the limited knowledge she had about masonry construction, Shelley was concerned with her age and ability to do the physical labor. I asked her some questions about her ability to lift and explained what the project would require.
Shelley Said Yes to the Outdoor Fireplace
We talked it through, and by the end, Shelley was ready to take on the challenge. A DIY outdoor fireplace does not have to be intimidating or seem out of the realm of possibility if you have the right tools, preparation, and a good plan. A construction plan that is…something that will take the guess work out of the project. If you are physically able to lift a 60-pound bag of mortar, or if you have someone who can do it for you, that’s the first step. If you’re willing to step into a work site with an open mind, then you too can do what Shelley did.
Shelley built her very own DIY outdoor fireplace and although it was small, it made a huge impact in her backyard and it is definitely a focal point. Do you agree, and do you think you want to join the DIY world? She had us do some special design work to make the fireplace what she wanted. We angled the chimney on all sides and designed the firebox to be low on the structure, which gave it a neat look.
It Was Fun According to Shelley
After building the structure, Shelley said that she took her time and didn’t push hard to get it done quickly. She said that if she could do it in her sixties, then anyone could do it. This is a testament that most people have the capability to do more than they truly think. There is an inner construction worker in most of us. Give your insecurities to us and let us provide you with a DIY construction plan. If you follow it, you to will be able to build a beautiful outdoor fireplace just like Shelley did.
If you are wanting to learn more about the process of building a DIY outdoor fireplace, visit us online at Backyard Flare. We know that you can do it and that we can help. A construction plan may be exactly what you need to overcome the fear of building so you can DIY too. Thanks so much for reading and we hope to hear from you soon. Leave a comment and let us know if you think you’re up for a DIY project.