Hello all you DIY enthusiasts, time to get your mind wrapped around the “DIY in 2018” mindset. It’s time to figure out what great projects you will be building. Something indoors is always good when Jack Frost is still hanging around, but why not get started on designing your new backyard?
Bring that outdoor living space to life and build a beautiful outdoor fireplace and outdoor kitchen in your back yard. While you’re at it, add a pizza oven and a sitting area. Cover the whole project in faux stone veneer and stucco with a matching paint color and get to living outdoors.
The new year brings great deals and lots of sales on grills, grates, outdoor furniture, and even building supplies too. Grilling out during the super cold months of January and February probably aren’t optimal, but if you get the supplies and the plan ready, you can start building right when the weather turns for the better.
We here at Backyard Flare can help you with a great design and we can certainly work with whatever structure shape you want to achieve. Give us the dimensions and space you have to work with and we will show you some great possibilities. We will work with you along the way and you’ll stay involved during the whole process. It’s a fun process and you’re in charge.
Have a great beginning to your 2018 and let us help you get into the “DIY in 2018” mindset. Happy New Year and happy building.
I was surfing the web the other day as I do quite often and I noticed differences between good and bad drafting structures. If you know what to look for, it’s very apparent, an it almost always has to do with the outdoor fireplace draft. Some of the best looking fireplaces seemed to be the dirtiest. I started paying attention to the fireboxes of some of these fireplaces.
Gas Fireplaces – The Good and Bad
A lot of fireplaces are designed and plumbed to burn natural gas or propane. Gas fireplaces are easily controlled and can be turned on and off quickly. This can also be problematic if the structure isn’t built correctly.
Even with a gas fireplace, burning either natural gas or propane, which are very popular, soot build up can still be a problem. This occurs if the fireplace does not vent well. Heat rise in a fireplace is most often referred to as the draft. The single most important aspect of any fireplace, inside or outside, is its functionality and whether the smoke rises effectively. This will be either through the chimney or out the front of the firebox and up the front of the structure.
Now some may think that because a gas fireplace doesn’t produce smoke that it shouldn’t matter. The truth is that gas fireplaces are sometimes dirtier than a wood burning fireplace when it comes to soot discoloration of the structure.
Pay attention to the inside of outdoor fireplaces that you see around your town. Stick your head inside and look up. Do you see a tiny chimney opening, or a large opening that will collect the smoke before allowing it to evacuate upward? Most of the time, there will be very apparent issues with regard to the path of least resistance. When a firebox height in is equal to the chimney opening, you will have problems with a bad draft.
Importance of a Good Fireplace Draft
The smoke or invisible soot from a gas burn will exit the structure through the front when draft is affected. This smoke and/or soot will travel right up the front of the structure and the front will turn black. A wet rag and some dish soap can easily remove the soot from a fireplace. It’s just a hassle to deal with.
If you’re interested in building a beautiful outdoor fireplace in your backyard or if you just want to explore the possibility and learn more about them, please visit us at www.backyardflare.com. Thanks for reading.
After building your outdoor fireplace, outdoor kitchen, or other outdoor structure, there are endless ways to finish the look. You will have to consider options for both your horizontal and vertical surfaces as well as extra bling such as lighting.
This article isn’t long enough to possibly explain or list the seemingly endless combinations of veneer and seating options so we’ll just briefly talk about a few of the more popular looks. There are a lot of manufacturers that make and deal in different types of products but they all effectively do the same thing. They add a beauty to the outside surface of your outdoor fireplace. Faux stone, tile, stacked real stone, and stucco are among the most popular looks.
The basic purpose of these vertical veneers is to cover the drab gray cinder block. Let’s go through them one by one. Faux stone looks very realistic and it can add a rustic look like the fireplace was built entirely out of rock. Lots of different looks are available. Tile veneers can expand into regular ceramics or even a natural travertine stone. These tile veneers will give you a more modern look most of the time.
Stacked stone is a real stone that has been milled and shaped so the pieces fit together nicely. Some of the better products will look seamless. The small size of the stone allows for several different colors and stone variations to be used in conjunction with each other. Very elegant. The final veneer that offers a great look is stucco. Stucco can be textured or applied as a smoother surface. The beauty of stucco is that it weathers well and it can be painted to match other items in your backyard.
When it comes to the horizontal surfaces of the outdoor fireplace, look to natural stone for a smorgasbord of different textures and colors. Most of this stone is very easy to work with. You will cut the sections of stone with the same diamond blade you used to build your cinder block structure.
If you decide on the color of the vertical veneer and the horizontal surface material at the same time, you can pick great matching elements. Certain colors and textures really complement each other but there is definitely no “one way” to complete the finish work of the structure. As far as veneer and horizontal surface material is concerned you have more options than you can imagine.
Lighting is a great way to add that special flair to any outdoor fireplace. It brings a certain elegance to the fireplace and if used along the bottom of the hearth, it will frame it nicely. Low voltage lighting is the way to go for this look and the addition of this lighting is relatively inexpensive.
Comment on this article with your thoughts. Share your favorite final look and/or what you did to make your fireplace a one of a kind.
Visit us at www.backyardflare.com for great content and ideas for your outdoor fireplace.
If you have ever wondered how to go about building your backyard to perfection, then keep reading. We hope this article will give you a bit of guidance.
For many, their backyard area is an eyesore. Others just need a bit of spicing up. If you are in either category, you can achieve the perfect backyard if you adhere to the right phases in the right order.
Building your backyard
The first phase is planning the layout. Step back and really look at what you have. This will be a great time to brainstorm with a tablet of paper and pencil to sketch out different scenarios. By drawing different layouts on a piece of paper, you can compare the different possibilities and see what works the best for your space. You may find that certain layouts will make better sense than others. Talk your ideas over with family and friends and take in their ideas. You never know, you may not have thought of everything.
Building your backyard
The second phase is gathering what you will need to get the job done. This includes everything from a construction plan, the tools necessary, and the materials needed to build your project. If you are wanting to build a masonry structure, have the vendor deliver the blocks, mortar, and cement on a pallet to as close to the work site as possible.
The tools needed are sometimes specialized so you won’t have too many other opportunities to use them again. These will be trowels, masonry cutting blades, etc. Borrow what you can and don’t buy them if you don’t have to. If you must buy a tool, buy cheap, and even if you must buy two, it still may not be as expensive as one professional grade tool.
Building your backyard
The third phase is the best part, the building of the project. A solid foundation is paramount for many masonry structures due to their weight. A lack of stability under a masonry structure could result in shifting and cracking. The building phase is a great time to get help from family and friends. Sometimes a pizza and beverages go a long way.
The building phase will be the part everyone will see so definitely take your time and pay attention to the small stuff, the detail, the minutia. It’s the attention to detail that will make your project a stand-out backyard.
When you get to lighting and irrigation make sure you don’t have too much of the project finished. This is especially irritating if you have to rip out some of the progress to add electrical and water lines.
While building your backyard, pay attention to the phases and your project will turn out to be the talk of the town thus your neighbors and family will be in awe. Be careful because you will then be the go-to for the how to.
If you need any assistance on a masonry structure like a fireplace, kitchen, pizza oven, and want a DIY construction plan, visit www.backyardflare.com. Building your backyard does not have to be a chore or burden. We’ll help you along the way and give you the insight you’ll need to get it done and on a budget. Happy building.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.