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 email@example.com 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.