The other day, my wife and I attended a dinner party at the home of a previous fireplace and pizza oven customer. We were able to spend some time outside enjoying the fireplace and just the awesomeness of the backyard. Homeowner Tom helped me build this structure, so this is technically a DIY build in a sense. Tom learned a lot and he was able to add lots of great value while we had a blast constructing his masterpiece.
Massive Structure Size
There is so much to his fireplace and pizza oven structure. To get started, the whole circular structure is a whopping 31 feet in diameter. It’s massive to say the least. It surrounds a seven-foot-wide natural gas fireplace. Inside the four-foot-wide firebox is an “H” pipe covered with bright red fire glass. The fire glass color is great because, if you look closely at the picture, it turns blueish purple when it heats up. Such a great look.
The front of the fireplace is covered with a great stone veneer and the remainder of the structure was stuccoed to match the texture on Tom’s house. The seating is all smoothed flagstone cut to match the curvature of the seat back wall. On the hearth, there are several low voltage lights that add that extra something. It looks amazing every night, whether there is a fire blazing away or not.
The left side of the structure holds the pizza oven built around a BrickWood Ovens DIY mold. It didn’t get any easier than that mold to build around and then wait until the mortar cured. The pizza oven is covered in stucco that is painted the same color as the rest of the structure.
To the left side of the pizza oven, we added a piece of polished granite, so Tom could roll out his pizza dough and prepare his pizzas. No need to run into the house every time, the counter is right there. Seeing how much Tom and his family has used the fireplace and pizza oven makes me smile that they are building lots of great memories. The parties with family and friends are a lot of fun and the quiet nights in front of the fire are special for them too.
Check us Out
If the idea of a fireplace and pizza oven sounds like something you would want to step into, there is a great place to go, Backyard Flare. You can look through the great design ideas and also figure out what you want in your backyard. Big or small, every fireplace structure looks great. We want you to begin living in your backyard again. What better way to start than by building your own fireplace and pizza oven?
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. You can certainly do it yourself and beautify your backyard space. I can be reached at email@example.com and as I always say, “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 firstname.lastname@example.org and as I always say, “Happy Building”.
Let’s Take a Trip to Visit a Gorgeous Outdoor Gas Fireplace
Hello all you 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 outdoor fireplace. We’re going to see a stunning outdoor gas fireplace in this article.
Introducing Our DIY Homeowner
We venture down the street and across the tracks from Backyard Flare headquarters to introduce homeowner Jim, who wanted a short in stature outdoor gas fireplace. Jim specifically wanted to burn natural gas. Jim was restricted to natural gas and a short finished height by his homeowner’s association due to his home’s location on the golf course. Jim’s backyard was on the 12th tee so there is quite a view.
Jim contacted Dan at Backyard Flare and explained his fireplace design and restrictions. No sweat at all for the Backyard Flare team. Dan did a couple site visits to Jim’s backyard and they came up with a plan of action. Dan was contracted to build the fireplace, but Jim was able to save a bit of money because he helped Dan through the process …and Jim learned a lot, very quickly. It’s always a blast when homeowners can help because they learn and have a great sense of accomplishment.
Getting the Area Prepped
After the fireplace location and width was determined, a diamond blade was used to cut through the existing flagstone patio. This area was excavated and framed for the concrete slab with rebar inside the pour. An inexpensive Harbor Freight cement mixer was used which made this job relatively quick for two people.
Once the concrete cured for a couple days, Dan and Jim started laying block in a running bond (staggered) pattern.
The firebox in the middle was sandwiched between two wood storage voids on either side. An electrical line was routed through the blocks to install a 110v outlet. This outlet was used to plug in a power transformer for the structure and backyard ground low voltage lighting.
Lot’s of Finishing Options Were Added
When the structure block work was completed, firebrick was added to the inside of the firebox.
The natural gas line was plumbed up the backside of the structure and a shutoff valve was added inline before it was installed into the back wall of the firebox. This gas line stubbed out a few inches inside the lower right corner of the firebox. Gas tubing was added to an H pipe and a few test burns were done before anything was solidified.
The wire for the structure lighting was routed to the front of the hearth and to the inside of the storage voids, figuring out where each light would be located. The front face of the structure was adorned with a beautiful stacked stone, which was mortared in place. The remainder of the structure was covered in a smooth coat troweled stucco, which was later painted.
Natural Stone Added So Much
The horizontal surfaces were covered in a gorgeous light tan flagstone which Dan and Jim cut with a chisel method for a rougher edge. This was a bit time consuming and much slower than a saw cut front edge, but completely worth it in the end.
With the leftover flagstone, Jim extended the flagstone patio to the far-right side of the structure and filled the joints with matching mortar. After it was pressure washed, you can’t even tell where the old flagstone patio and the new came together. Totally amazing.
A vertical piece of flagstone was added to the front of the firebox after it was chiseled to resemble a mountain range in Jim’s home state of Colorado. This piece of stone helped contain the local river rock that was added to the top of the H pipe. This rock completely hid the pipe, making it look as if the flames “originated” from the rocks.
Tying the Structure to the House Decor
For continuity in the backyard, the fireplace stucco was painted to match the house. New outdoor furniture was added to the patio and many nights have been spent eating, drinking, partying, and relaxing in the backyard. So many golfers stopped to see the fireplace and to offer kind words, complementing Jim on his design.
With the ambiance of the lighting in the voids and quick start of the natural gas in the firebox, Jim and his wife have been able to say, “hey want to have a fire?”, and enjoy it in a matter of seconds. Easy on and easy off is what Jim wanted and it turned out great.
You Ready to Build One?
We sure hope you like it too, so let us know how this DIY fireplace inspired you? Are you ready to build your masterpiece like Jim did? Even though this outdoor gas fireplace included natural gas, low voltage lighting, and chiseled flagstone, it can all be done by you too. 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 Jim’s. You can do it too. Visit Backyard Flare for more information and DIY construction plans.
Thanks so much for reading about another great DIY outdoor gas fireplace build. We’ll bring you more soon, and as always …happy building.