Great Ways to Finish Your Outdoor Fireplace

Great Ways to Finish Your Outdoor Fireplace

There are some great ways to finish your outdoor fireplace.  Basically, there are endless of ways to add the finishing touches which will make your outdoor fireplace a one of a kind.  Even if you build the basic rough structure that another person constructed, yours will look different.

If you pay attention to detail, your fireplace and backyard landscape can look like something in a magazine.  We will cover five of the big finishing touches and things you can do to give your fireplace the wow factor.

1. Low voltage lighting

Even when the fireplace is not being used, low voltage lighting is a great way to add a great night time visual aspect to it.  The lighting is powered by a transformer specifically designed for these types of lights.  By connecting the fireplace lights to landscape lighting in your yard, everything will be illuminated at the same time.

Lighting adds a great look to any fireplace
2. Natural stone seating surface

By using a natural stone material for the seating, you will have a very durable, and inexpensive surface.  There are a couple widely used stone options, such as flagstone and bluestone.  Both can be purchased at landscape supply retailers and you will have tons of colors and patterns to choose from.  Cutting the stone is as simple as using a diamond blade for a smooth edge or a chisel and hammer for a rough rustic edge.

Natural stone was used for the seating surface, shelves, and top.
3. Stacked Stone Veneer

Stacked stone is a great way to finished the vertical surfaces of the fireplace, but it can be somewhat expensive as compared to other finish options.  This type of material is purchased in arrangements that will fit together seamlessly.  The stone is real and engineered during the cut process, meaning that it will be very easy to install.  Cutting this stone will take a bit more time and patience as it is sometimes brittle.

Stacked stone added to the fireplace hearth.
4 . Faux Veneer

Faux veneer is a fabulous way to add a cheaper finish to the outside of your fireplace than natural stone.  The great thing about faux veneer is that you can find virtually any texture, color, shape, and size imaginable.  The faux stone is basically a manmade product that is painted and finished to look just like a real material.  The faux stone is very easy to cut but it may take a bit of extra time fitting it together.  There is no “one way” to put it together most of the time, so using your Tetris skills will come in handy.  Faux veneer will usually require corner pieces that will give you a great finished look as the material wraps from one vertical surface to another.

faux veneer outdoor fireplace
DIY built fireplace with faux veneer.
5. Wrought iron accents

Wrought iron accents will add both a décor and some functionality to your fireplace.  First, add an elevated fire grate in your firebox.  This will both give you a great look, but it will aid in keeping your burning wood elevated for proper air flow.  Fireplace tools will give you the capability of working and stoking your fire as you need to.  Many tools sets will come with a holder as well keeping it nice and neat.

outdoor fireplace wrought iron
Adding wrought iron definitely adds character.

Well there you go, five considerations that if done right, will set your fireplace on a pedestal.  You don’t have to do them all to achieve a great look, but they certainly won’t hurt.

If you want to build your own outdoor fireplace, check out www.backyardflare.com for some great ideas and inspiration.  We are sure you will get a vision for how you can transform your backyard into a great destination.

Building a Dream Backyard

Building a Dream Backyard

The latest fireplace profile comes to you from South Carolina.  Builder and homeowner Nick had plans of building a dream backyard and he contacted Backyard Flare, LLC for help.  Nick is a DIY enthusiast and he knew he could build his own outdoor fireplace. He chose the Douglas design and got his construction plan from Backyard Flare.

Starting Off With a Blank Slate

Building a Dream Backyard
DIY fireplace built in South Carolina using a Backyard Flare DIY construction plan.

Nick had an existing stamped concrete patio in his backyard with a small flowering garden on one corner.  The patio wasn’t designed or constructed with weight bearing in mind so Nick poured an additional slab for the fireplace.  Nick built a wood frame to see the footprint of the structure as well.

Building a Dream Backyard
Nick had a bunch of bushes to remove.

Drainage was added to the slab so that water would not accumulate.  This is a very smart move when building a non-linear structure.  The drainage was built through the entire slab so any water drained behind the structure.

Nick’s DIY Construction

The cinder block work was started with the wing walls built to the same height as the main seating section.  The normal Douglas design has the side extensions higher than the center seating section so this modification was Nick’s vision.

Ready for Veneer
Nick finished the rough build phase of construction.

The entire structure was built in rough form, then it was time for veneer and finish work.  Nick covered the horizontal surfaces with a neutral flagstone.  The edges were left rough for a great outdoor look.  Nick chose a great looking faux stone with a relatively small pattern.  The pieces were not all the same size so there was a bit of puzzle piecing the veneer together.  This task slows down the construction but it makes for a great looking veneer pattern.

Building a Dream Backyard
Nick added flagstone for the seating and a great looking veneer to the vertical surfaces.

After the construction was completed, Nick added a couple colored deck chairs and a rustic piece of log for a small “beer holder”.  The chimney was adorned with a great looking wreath and a log holder was added for spare firewood.

Nick used veneer on the backside of the fireplace for complete finished look.
Build Your Own Dream Space

If you would like to explore the possibility of building an outdoor structure such as a fireplace or outdoor kitchen visit us at www.backyardflare.com.  We will help you with all your design needs so most of the guess work will be taken out of it for you.  Thanks for reading and we hope to hear from you.  Happy building!

Outdoor Fireplace Design

The Backyard Transformation

Build a focal point in your backyard.

Outdoor fireplace design was on my mind from the beginning but how it happened was luck on my part.  Sometimes an opportunity to step into the do it yourself (DIY) world leads to a fantastic learning experience and you have to grab it by the horns.

I was standing in my house years ago looking out the window into my backyard and I knew something was missing.  We had even worked on the backyard for a couple years and felt done.  I walked out the sliding glass door onto my drab grey patio and took it all in.  My backyard is exactly 60’ wide and 60’ deep.  Our 5′ tall cinder block perimeter wall is the usual property division method in southern Arizona.

The primary addition to the backyard was a pool which was surrounded by brown landscape rock.  Flagstone was laid down as the extension of the concrete patio at the back of the house.  At the back corners of the flagstone were knee high planters constructed from stackable prefab blocks.  The right side of the yard was bare and needed something else.  The planter looked a bit out of place and it wasn’t that interesting.  I needed balance and aesthetics.

Outdoor Fireplace Design Explained

My wife and I had seen outdoor fireplaces and fire pits on image searches while perusing landscape websites and I strongly considered one of these fire structures.  I had knowledge of masonry construction but had never built anything large scale.  We decided that a fireplace largely outweighed the fire pit idea after discussing our backyard layout.  We wanted the larger focal point so the fireplace was our decision. Continue reading “Outdoor Fireplace Design”

Fireplace Building Tools

Tools for DIY Construction

DIY fireplaces vs contractor built fireplaces – which one would I choose?  You can probably guess that one based on the URL of this website.  I always gravitate toward trying to build everything myself and because of this I rely on a few specific fireplace building tools.

Picture of DIY outdoor fireplace built using a Backyard Flare construction plan.
Beautiful outdoor living space

I believe that most people have what it takes to build their own outdoor fireplace.  When you think about the cost savings alone, you will understand that it just makes sense.  If you can lift 30 pounds repeatedly and occasionally a bag of mortar, then you can do it so if you choose this route you’ll need a few different tools to start construction.

Fireplace Building Tools

This is not a comprehensive list of tools needed but it’ll definitely get you going.  A wheelbarrow, hose, and hoe for mixing the mortar, as well as a trowel for laying the block are helpful items.  You’ll need a level, preferably about a 4-footer and a measuring tape.  The wheelbarrow and hoe will be to mix your concrete and mortar.  There are many different sizes and shapes of trowels, and it will become apparent which one you prefer once you use a couple different ones.  You’ll need one that is big enough to transfer and apply the mortar but not so big that you feel as if it’s inhibiting your ability to work cleanly without dropping mortar everywhere.

Block Cutting

If blocks will be cut, you will need some type of saw with a diamond blade.  I have used a circular saw as well as a 10” grinder.  The grinder is by far my go to method for block cutting as it is very easy to control.  This cutting process is best done dry, but make sure to use eye protection as small pieces of concrete from the block will be flying around.

When you cut blocks, make sure to account for a mortar gap.  You will want it to be around 3/8”.  If it is slightly smaller or even larger than 3/8” you don’t have to worry.  Mortar will make up for any imperfections.

When you have a design to follow or a plan that will guide you along the way, you will be ready to start laying block.  Good luck with your construction and happy building.  We always welcome questions and additional information to follow to our other readers.

DIY Outdoor Fireplaces at a Glance

Assess Your Outdoor Space

Do you have a boring or just unattractive backyard?  Is your outdoor space mostly dirt or is it missing the focal point or pizzazz it deserves? This is the time to get off the fence of indecision and build your own outdoor fireplace.  The DIY outdoor fireplace is a great way to transform your backyard.  With our assistance, you can get the backyard of your dreams.

DIY Outdoor Fireplace built by homeowner using a Backyard Flare construction plan.
http://www.backyardflare.com

Imagine hosting parties and gatherings around a beautiful outdoor fireplace.  This can be a reality centered around a transformed backyard living space, thus you will literally be creating an extension of the inside living space into your backyard.  Build today and then begin enjoying what you deserve.

DIY Outdoor Fireplace Plans

Visit us today at www.backyardflare.com for lots of great information and an assortment of great looking construction plans.  One of these construction plans is sure to look amazing in your backyard.