DIY Rocks…Nothing More

Man, I love building things, both big and small. Like I stated in the header, “DIY Rocks…Nothing More”. I look around my home and I am amazed at what my wife and I have been able to build and remodel. The list is long, from hanging new doors, flooring throughout, adding cabinets to the laundry room, tile work, paint, baseboards, wall additions, wiring and plumbing, etc…

DIY Rocks

There really hasn’t been a room or area of our home that we haven’t had a direct impact on, DIY style. The inside has been a blast to build, but it doesn’t stop there. We love our backyard outdoor living area too and we do use it a lot. I would say we use it almost everyday, with the exception of mosquito season. That’s just miserable.

Building Our Backyard

Years ago it took a lot of thought to build our backyard and with the numerous layout possibilities, we had to pick what we liked. The pool was first and because it was the biggest feature, it took up the first big chunk. Then we built our outdoor fireplace and outdoor kitchen. They went on opposite sides of the large flagstone patio, which framed the backyard area closer to the house.

improve the look swimming pool umbrella palm tree flagstone planter
Pool went in first due to its size
improve the look Flagstone patio red door grill kitchen flowers
The outdoor kitchen framed one side of the flagstone patio

We enjoyed the layout for many years but we started to get a little bored with it. My wife and I started talking about a backyard refresh. This will not be a small endeavor as most of the backyard will be altered.

improve the look swimming pool patio umbrella fireplace deck planter
The fireplace framed one side of the flagstone patio nearer the house

But we are going to be doing the bulk of the work. Now, as a habitual DIYer and DIY business owner, I am not intimidated by the task. The only thing I will need to contract out will be some of the heavy lifting and trash services to haul away the old building materials. This will be the old pool decking, the old masonry that will be removed, and the flagstone patio that will be replaced with a more modern paver.

Are You Ready?

Maybe you’re in the same spot we are with regard to your backyard. Does your outdoor space need a redo, an upgrade, a refresh? It doesn’t have to be a daunting task, because we have DIY construction plans for your new outdoor fireplace and outdoor kitchen. DIY rocks can be your mantra too.

Even if you have never built with cinderblock and mortar, we can walk you through your build with step by step instructions and detailed diagrams. You will be able to follow the plans that will show you the exact placement of each and every block. There is no better way to build and you can classify yourself as a full-fledged DIYer. The BEST part is that you will save thousands of dollars if you do the work yourself.

We Are Here To Help

Don’t think you have what it takes? Go to our website, www.backyardflare.com and check out the gallery of outdoor fireplaces and outdoor kitchens built by Backyard Flare DIY customers. Anyone can do it with our help. Let us prove it to you.

DIY outdoor fireplace with painted stucco and lights
We stand on what we design. We got you covered!

And if you need a bit more help, you can get our video tutorial series that will show you how to build an outdoor fireplace. We have strived to put together a whole package that a DIY homeowner can use to have outdoor building success. Why wait? Visit www.vimeo.com/ondemand/diyoutdoorfireplace today and watch our video trailer. We know you’ll be inspired to start your DIY project and we want to be a part of it.

Backyard Flare is second to none with customer service. You want to talk directly to someone about your project? Call Dan at 520-269-9740 now and discuss your project. Consults are free of charge. Never a better way to get started. We look forward to hearing from you.

As we always say, “DIY Rocks” and “Happy Building!!!!”

Ready to DIY Your Backyard?

DIY Outdoor Fireplaces Are Within Reach

There are so many ways to add value to your home and one of the most impactful ways is to add some nice changes to your backyard. Let’s assume you have a vacant area in your outdoor space and that you want to build an outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen. There are several ways to do it, and the best and most inexpensive way is to do the lifting and building on your own.

DIY outdoor fireplace built from cinderblocks and mortar covered in stone veneer.  Metal art on chimney and pool and hot tub in front of fireplace. Patio furniture and wooden fence.  Construction zone in backyard of Cholla design.
Cholla fireplace design built by DIY homeowner using a Backyard Flare construction planh

Everyone has the ability of hiring a contractor. This will involve having a meeting and discussion with them about your vision. The contractor may have suggestions and his/her own thoughts about the layout and your backyard. They may or may not know how to build an outdoor fireplace but they won’t tell you if they don’t. They may have their own specialty in designing a certain way. Many of them are very good at what they do and their final result will be great, the majority of the time.

What is Your Favorite Design?

But what if you just like the idea of building the fireplace by yourself? Have you thought of yourself as a “do it yourselfer”? You may want to go look in the mirror and envision yourself in the DIY realm because it is so achievable to build an outdoor fireplace.

DIY outdoor fireplace built from cinderblocks and mortar covered in stucco and paint.  Construction zone in backyard of Santa Cruz design with desert foliage behind and mountains.
Santa Cruz fireplace design being built by a DIY homeowner using a construction plan

You don’t have to figure it out all by yourself either. Backyard Flare in Tucson is a design company that focuses on outdoor fireplaces and outdoor kitchens. They sell DIY fireplace plans and kitchen plans for homeowners just like you, so you can build with confidence.

DIY outdoor fireplace built from cinderblocks and mortar under pergola.  Construction zone in backyard of Tombstone design.
Tombstone fireplace design being built by a DIY homeowner using a construction plan

Maybe you have an idea in your head of what you think your backyard fireplace will look like. Maybe you have seen pictures of outdoor fireplaces and you want to build one like those. The beauty is that all of our designs are very modifiable. We may have a design and DIY construction plan available that isn’t on our Backyard Flare website.

Call us and let’s discuss your design – 520-269-9740. We will save you money and we will give you the confidence you are looking for to build on your own.

Visit Us Today And Get Started

We hope that you’ll visit our website and browse through our designs and pictures. Most of our customers are DIY homeowners who have little to no masonry knowledge or experience. We are confident that you will be successful in building an outdoor fireplace or kitchen using our DIY construction plans. We have taken out the guess work and we want you to have a great DIY experience.

DIY Outdoor Fireplace Costs

How expensive is it…really?

So do you have a desire to add a DIY outdoor fireplace to your backyard? Have you been thinking about designs and placement? Anything you build on your own or have built to improve your outdoor living space will have a cost associated with it. Build costs can be drastically different when you compare a DIY built fireplace to one you pay to have built.

By saying that the build costs vary drastically, that is no overstatement in any way. Let’s break this down, starting with how much a DIY built fireplace would cost. When you get a construction plan from Backyard Flare, LLC, you will get a materials list that tells you exactly how many of each block, how much mortar, concrete, steel, etc, that you will need to build a specific design.

DIY Outdoor Fireplace Costs Broken Down

Each building material has a cost, so for ease of explanation, let’s use $1.00 as the cost for a block, $3.00 for a bag of concrete, and $4.00 for a bag of mortar. Let’s then throw in $300.00 for other build materials like firebrick, wood, angle iron, and rebar. If you have a fireplace design that would require 150 blocks, that is $150.00 to start. Let’s say 10 bags of mortar and 15 bags of concrete also, so that would be $40.00 and $45.00, respectively. With the added $300.00, the total would be approximately $545.00 for the rough building materials.

Let’s say you were able to pour your own foundation for $300.00 in materials. Also, that you found a great looking veneer for a total of $500.00. Adding these costs to the rough build, your total build materials for the fireplace would be approximately $1,345. With no labor costs, and only sweat equity and a whole lot of fun, your costs wouldn’t exceed that for the most part.

outdoor fireplace cholla veneered swimming pool
This is our Cholla design built by a DIY homeowner

Contractor Costs Broken Down

When you have a contractor build the fireplace, you need to start with the $1,345 cost for materials to get a decent calculation. Most of the time, there are additional costs associated with mark-up for the materials. We won’t add those in. At least here in the Arizona area, we have figured out that average labor costs are 4-5 times the materials cost. These calculations would be $1,345 X 4 and $1,345 X 5. These equal $5,380 and $6,725, respectively.

These two labor amounts are only approximate and they are not set in stone. When you add the two labor costs to the $1,345 cost for materials, you could expect to pay $6,725 to $8,070 for the fireplace.

Are you Convinced Yet?

When we look at the differences between the costs of a DIY built fireplace and a contractor built fireplace, there are literally thousands of dollars separating them. Most people would agree that saving money is important. This savings can be directly attributed to building your fireplace DIY style.

When you’re ready to build a gorgeous outdoor fireplace on a budget, your first stop should be www.backyardflare.com. We can offer you a step by step DIY construction plan that will guide you all the way through your build. No sense in trying to figure it out on your own. Starting at only $39.99, you will have the best and most comprehensive DIY construction plan on the market. We look forward to helping you with your DIY project.

How to Build a DIY Outdoor Fireplace

If you’re reading this, you either stumbled on it, or you were actively searching for information on how to build a DIY outdoor fireplace. Either way, welcome and I am so happy that I can share this with you. I get questions on a daily basis from people who say they were excited when they finally found Backyard Flare. Building a DIY outdoor fireplace became a reality at that time for many people who originally thought they needed to figure it out on their own.

Masonry construction outdoor fireplace with storage and concrete lintels
Build your DIY outdoor fireplace and then veneer it however you like. There are no rules.

Can anyone really do it? Actually “yes” you can.

So, if you are able to lift a bag of concrete off the ground, then I believe you have what it takes to build a DIY outdoor fireplace. Believe me, it doesn’t require that you have to have worked with masonry before. If you have only ever seen cinder blocks while walking past them at Home Depot or Lowes, you are still able to build if you follow our construction plans.

Cinder block DIY outdoor fireplace with construction plan
Print your DIY outdoor fireplace plan and bring it to the work site. So easy.

Our designs are very simple even though they are absolutely gorgeous. And the best part is that the majority of our customers are people who are new to the world of DIY outdoor fireplace building. Many have never mixed mortar or used power tools. Our construction plans show people in a very detailed way how to go about putting a DIY outdoor fireplace together.

What do the DIY outdoor fireplace plans work?

We created DIY outdoor fireplace construction plans that are so easy to follow and comprehensive. Most of the guess work is taken away. The construction plans contain large, easy to see, isometric diagrams, and lots of very detailed written instructions. Imagine following a Lego book, but add the written part in as well for more detail. You will take the materials list in the plan and buy exactly what it says, as we have calculated each block and material down to the amount you’ll need. Pretty cool huh?

Cinder block anyone?

Our DIY outdoor fireplace construction plans all follow a cinder block build method. You will be able to pick out whatever veneer you like to finish the structure. By the end of the build, you’ll be high-fiving your family and friends. Then it’s time to get ready to enjoy the warmth of a raging fire on a cool night.

If you’re looking for more information and pics, or just some more inspiration, check out our Instagram profile, “backyardflare”, and our Pinterest profile, “DIY Outdoor”. We know you’ll find something that will look great in your backyard. Let us know how we can help you succeed and how to save thousands at the same time.

When you’re ready to get your plan, go to Backyard Flare, and pick out your favorite design. Once you purchase it, you will receive it in PDF directly to your email. We strive to serve you and to make sure your building experience is the best it can be. Let us show you the reality to outdoor comfort. Call or text me (Dan) direct at 520-269-9740 if you want a free consult. I’ll be waiting.

Outdoor Fireplace Construction Plan

What does your dream backyard look like?

DIY outdoor fireplace TV pergola
DIY homeowner built outdoor fireplace with storage voids and mounted TV.

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.

DIY outdoor fireplace built by a homeowner in a corner under a patio cover. This is surrounded by chairs and is poolside.
DIY homeowner built, poolside corner fireplace under a patio cover with a TV

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.

Cinder block construction outdoor fireplace and outdoor kitchen under construction in a backyard.  This fireplace is surrounded by chairs and is under trees.
DIY outdoor fireplace and grill structure being built by a homeowner

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.

Dan Heston
Backyard Flare, LLC
Tucson, Arizona
520-269-9740

Inexpensive DIY Outdoor Fireplace

Our Arizona Backyard Fireplace

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!

The best 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

Concrete slab for DIY outdoor fireplace
Getting the slab poured is lots of fun.
Wood form with steel and concrete for outdoor fireplace
Use wire mesh or rebar in your concrete pour to add strength to the slab.
Man pouring concrete for outdoor fireplace
Concrete is a dirty job but lots of fun at the same time.

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.

Masonry construction outdoor fireplace with storage and concrete lintels
We filled wooden jigs with concrete to create the arched lintels.

The storage 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

DIY outdoor backyard fireplace at night with fire
Just an amazing night with family and friends.

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.

Finished DIY outdoor fireplace with painted stucco and brick patio
Finished DIY outdoor backyard fireplace with painted stucco and brick patio

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. 

Backyard Lighting

Outdoor lighting on DIY outdoor fireplace at night
Beautify your DIY outdoor fireplace with lighting.

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.

Light Positioning

Low voltage lighting cord in a DIY outdoor fireplace. LED lighting and cinder block
Run the power cord through the structure by cutting grooves into the block.

Once we 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

We would love to see some of your outdoor lighting.  Please send pics of your projects to dan@backyardflare.com.  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

3 Ways to Improve Your Backyard

Check Out Your Backyard

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

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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

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.

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 dan@backyardflare.com and thanks for reading and we hope to hear from you.

Dan Heston
Backyard Flare, LLC

DIY Outdoor Fireplace and Concrete Pads

Concrete or Dirt? That is the Question

cDIY Concrete slab in backyard with grass wood
Concrete slab is ready for cinderblock.

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

DIY concrete pad deck level outdoor fireplace
Finished concrete is ready for block work

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?

DIY outdoor fireplace, stone seating
DIY outdoor fireplace on new poured concrete pad.

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.

Test Time

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.

Thanks for reading and as always, happy building.

Dan Heston
Backyard Flare, LLC
Tucson, Arizona

You Can Do It

Feeling Apprehensive?

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.

DIY stone outdoor fireplace
Talk about charming. This backyard patio was transformed into a great sitting destination.

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

DIY outdoor fireplace plan
The fireplace sits on the edge of the patio with the treeline in the background.

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.

DIY outdoor fireplace with fire
Shelley built her first fire and started making memories.

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.

As always, happy building,

Dan