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.
Welcome back my 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 outdoor fireplace. This one is awesome to say the least.
Who is Our Contestant?
Let’s go to the southeast, beautiful Georgia to be precise, to introduce homeowner John. John had a bare space out his backdoor that needed a little sprucing up. After checking out the construction plans at www.backyardflare.com, John decided to build the Pima II outdoor fireplace, and he purchased the plans.
John had to clear a grassy area to get ready for the footprint slab to be poured. Once he mapped out the positioning of the fireplace, John excavated the area and did his ground prep. John built a wooden frame and added gravel and steel beneath the concrete. After pouring the concrete, he removed the wood, and he had his footprint slab ready for some mortar and block to be stacked.
John spent the next few days building the cinder block structure, following the construction plans to a tee. John paid attention to detail with the mortar gaps and even though he hadn’t done much block work, he built beautifully.
When John was getting the cinder block structure finished he began thinking about his finish material. John added his firebrick to the inside of the firebox without mortar gaps between them. He took the recommendation of Backyard Flare and used high heat construction adhesive to adhere the firebrick to the firebox walls.
Finishing the DIY Fireplace
John picked out a great veneer with a dark tone. The chimney and hearth portions were covered first, with the keystone added just above the firebox, centered. The seating material was adhered to the top of the hearth with matching grout, before the center section of the fireplace was covered with veneer. The mantel was stuccoed for texture and the top of the chimney was adorned with a very cool cap stone.
Adding the Small Touches
Dark colored mulch was spread all the way around the fireplace and up to the edge of the very green grass. Two planters were added to the sides of the structure, which will probably have great looking flowers in them someday.
John bought a very decorative fire grate and added a few logs to it in anticipation of his first burn. Oh, and what a beautiful sight it was when John started his first blaze. He was so excited to share these pictures because he wanted to show off his DIY labor and show that it was possible to build it yourself.
Want to Build A Fireplace of Your Own?
We sure hope you like John’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. John believes that if he can do it, anyone can do 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 John’s, so you can do it too. Visit Backyard Flare to learn more so you can begin your journey too.
Thanks so much for reading about another great DIY fireplace build. We’ll bring you more soon, and as always …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.
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.
Who is Our DIY Builder?
We venture to Illinois to introduce homeowner Mario, who decided to build the Douglas Mini design. Mario reached out to Backyard Flare and ordered his DIY construction plan.
Mario’s backyard has a great looking grassy area with a brick patio. The corner of the patio needed a new addition though, so an outdoor fireplace was the obvious choice. Mario started building his fireplace as per the construction plan and got to the top of the firebox lintel.
Mario elected to make some modifications to the chimney portion of the build to give the top an angled look.
To achieve these angles, Mario used metal stud for the framework, using small self-tapping screws to tie the metal sections together. It’s very important to make sure the angles are the same on each side.
Finishing the Fireplace
Mario finished his fireplace with a beautiful stone veneer and natural stone horizontal surfaces. The firebox was finished in a red firebrick, providing a cool look. Mario bought a metal fire grate and it looks like a perfectly cut piece of aspen pine is laying there ready for a good burn.
The brick patio was laid back down to the front of the hearth, giving it an almost seamless look. If you look closely, the angles of the chimney match the door on the shed behind it. I really think Mario did this on purpose to tie the backyard together. It really works, and we love it.
Are You Ready to Build? Now is a Great Time
How has this DIY fireplace inspired you? Are you ready to build your masterpiece like Mario did? Backyard Flare can help you with any worries or concerns of the masonry word, and even with design help. We have assisted hundreds of homeowners who are weekend DIY’ers, and we can help you realize your potential to build a fireplace just like Mario’s. You can do it too.
Check back on our blog page periodically and follow us on Instagram and Facebook for additional photographs and information. We love to share great pictures and we really enjoy bragging about our customers, so we hope to hear from you.
Thanks so much for reading about another great DIY fireplace build. We’ll bring you more soon, and as always …happy building.
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. They do it all by themselves with a little help from us here at Backyard Flare.
Let’s Go Down to Arizona
We venture not far from Backyard Flare headquarters in Arizona to introduce homeowner Jason. A DIY guy who decided to build the popular Pima II fireplace design using the proven Backyard Flare outdoor fireplace construction plan.
Jason has the traditional landscape rock in his yard as most of us do in southern Arizona. A stunning tile patio was built with a perimeter tile of the same type. The Pima II fireplace is built on a 45 degree angle to the patio. The fireplace measuring just wider than eight feet is a perfect addition to this space and with wrap-around seating, lots of horizontal surface is available.
To keep continuity, Jason used the same tile for the patio to wrap up the hearth of the outdoor fireplace. This tile then extends to the horizontal seating surface, which gives it a great finished and well thought-out look. Jason added electrical line for low voltage lighting in the hearth, giving the fireplace a subtle look at night even when it’s not being used. This outdoor fireplace is backyard furniture for sure, providing a great focal point.
Stucco Is a Cost Saving Veneer Choice
For the main vertical firebox and chimney sections, Jason elected to use stucco as the finish material. In Arizona, as with many other states, this matches the home’s exterior, which also keeps the theme going throughout. With the texture and darker earth tone paint, it blends really nice with the natural desert landscape seen behind Jason’s block wall. The horizontal sections of the chimney and the top were covered with matching tile, which was saw cut with a diamond blade. Super simple by the way.
Jason wanted to add some pop, so he finished the front of his outdoor fireplace with a gorgeous piece of distressed wood for his mantel. Wanting to match other elements, Jason used metal brackets underneath the wood. These metal brackets match the metal fireplace tool set and the metal fire grate in the firebox. Jason got ready and stacked a pile of pine in the firebox, ready for a great nighttime burn. I’m sure the neighbors stare out their back doors at the glow from the chimney and they smell the sweet smell of burning pine.
Help is Available
How has this outdoor fireplace inspired you? Are you ready to build your masterpiece like Jason did and transition your backyard space? Backyard Flare can help you with any worries or concerns of the masonry world, and even with design help. We have assisted hundreds of homeowners who are weekend DIY’ers, realize their potential to build outdoor fireplaces just like Jason’s, and you can do it too.
Thanks so much for reading about another great DIY outdoor fireplace build. We’ll bring you more soon, and as always …happy building.
If you’ve gotten as far as thinking you want an outdoor backyard fireplace, then the next obvious thought should be on the construction method. To lay it out as simply as possible, either you build it yourself or a contractor builds it for you. And I’m not talking about a prefabricated fireplace where you stack a few pieces and have a fire an hour later. I’m talking about a permanent cinderblock structure with all the amenities such as seating, shelving, lighting, veneer, firewood storage, etc… Frankly a DIY outdoor fireplace can be built for cheap.
Realistic Contractor Concerns
When you elect to have someone else build your fireplace, you will pay for two specific things. They are materials and labor, the latter of which will be most of your cost. Is it easier to have someone else sweat while lifting block and splattering mortar? Absolutely, but you must then step back and look at the alternative. You! Have you given much thought to building your own fireplace? If the answer is no or even maybe, let me give you some things to mull over. Just one of them may sway you or the entire list may persuade you that a DIY project may be the way to go.
First off, let’s look at the project as a whole. Building on a large scale with construction plans can be very enjoyable and rewarding. Think of it as stepping out on a new adventure with a lot of the guesswork taken out because of the plans you hold in your hand.
Some of us have a small perfectionist attitude making it difficult to sit back and watch someone build something for us, knowing we would do it differently. I want to build to my taste; with my ideas in mind. Contractors, many times, provide building crews that are only interested in getting done in order to move on to the next project. In the end, it’s all about cash flow. Do they care about the final look of something they may never see again, but that you will have to look at everyday for quite some time? Maybe, however, I prefer complete control of my projects and how they’re built. That’s why I love DIY and that’s why I always try to persuade others to jump on the DIY train. It’s a fun train.
It may seem small, but you also need to consider whether you will want contractor building crews in your backyard all day for the duration of your project. They always seem to show up too early or not at all. Then there’s the problem with the mess that is always left each day.
Think About a DIY Project
When you build yourself, you control the pace of the project. Some DIY warriors can complete a fireplace project in as few as 9-10 days while still holding down a job. Others will spend a few weeks to construct their fireplace working only a couple hours here and there. When you build, it’s up to you how you structure your timeline.
If the previous reasons haven’t convinced you to build your own fireplace then think about the money you could save by not soliciting the services of a contractor. As mentioned before, most of your cost with a contractor will be for labor. It is estimated that you can take the total cost of your materials and multiply it by 5-6 to give you an approximate labor cost. With this example, if you were to spend a total of $1,000 for materials, then the labor could cost as much as $5,000-$6,000, for a grand total of $6,000-$7,000 for a completed fireplace. That’s expensive!
Not only are you paying for labor, but at times the contractor will make money on materials too. In other words, they will charge you more for each block than what it will cost for you to go to your own home improvement store to buy them. You’ll only know that though if they provide you with an itemized list of materials and labor broken down.
Nothing is set in stone with how fireplaces have to be built, or even how much you have to pay. The truth is, however, that you will save money if you step out on faith and build your own outdoor fireplace. Think about how you’ll feel when you finish your own DIY outdoor fireplace project, knowing that you could have spent so much more.
Look No Further Than Backyard Flare
If you’re looking for assistance in the form of DIY outdoor fireplace construction plans, please visit Backyard Flare, LLC at www.backyardflare.com. We have many fireplace designs that we’re sure would look great in your outdoor living space. We would love the opportunity to work with you to make your backyard the talk of the neighborhood. We’ll give you the knowledge needed and be there for you along the way. Thank you for reading and we hope to hear from you.
As we always say …happy building.
Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook, as we have lots of cool DIY outdoor fireplace photos and videos added almost every day. Contact Dan with any questions.
Is there a day that goes by where you don’t contemplate the perfect S’more or the ingredients that it takes to construct one? I don’t think so, as these quandaries are what keep lots of people up at night. I often lie there for hours at a time, beads of sweat collecting on my forehead, while I count marshmallows and small squares of chocolate. Did I break the graham cracker perfectly, so the two sides are equal? Is the marshmallow gooey enough? The perfect S’more…oh my…so much to consider.
Funny to think about, and “no” I really don’t drive myself into crazed sleeplessness over something as simple as a S’more. Having said that, I thought this would be an amusing blog post to write about how to build the perfect S’more and to get some feedback on what constitutes your perfect S’more.
So Many Questions
What is the perfect roast level of the marshmallow? How much chocolate is necessary for these tasty and crunchy dessert sandwiches? These seem like crazy questions and an over analyzation of a simple sweet snack, but really think about what you do when you build the perfect S’more. You make a lot of micro decisions when you are in the S’more frame of mind.
You will usually impale a helpless marshmallow on a skewer or metal stick and hold it over the open flame without mercy. The question lies; however, do you hold it just outside the flame or catch it on fire? Do you require a golden brown slow roast, or do you prefer the stick mounted flaming marshmallow ball like a torch used by Indiana Jones? How long do you let the marshmallow burn before you blow out the flame? Is there a point when too much burn is too much, and intending to start over, you resort to flinging the sticky mess off the stick for the dog to devour?
Do you prepare your graham cracker and chocolate before the marshmallow torture or do you yell at others in panic to get your cracker and chocolate ready? If you’re like most, you do the latter. You were so focused on the marshmallow torture and open flame that you “tunnel-visioned” yourself out of paying attention to the chocolatey crunchy portions of the sweet treat. Remember that your failure to prepare the cracker and chocolate should not constitute an emergency on the part of your family and friends.
S’more (Some More) Questions
Do you forget and leave the graham crackers open, so the dog gets into them, “Pavlov Dog Style”? Do you viciously eat a good portion of the chocolate beforehand, and then realize that there may not be enough to go around? Are you the one that puts the hot and sticky marshmallow skewer down on the chair in haste not realizing that it will glue itself to the seat cushion?
With so many things to consider, should we as humans even be stepping into the tough decisions necessary to build the perfect S’more? Is it better done as a team event? This blog post has not done anything except make me hungry for a S’more and nervously anxious at the thought of building one. I hope the next time you decide to make the perfect S’mores that you talk it over first with your guests. Think about logistics and have a game plan before indulging in such glorious delicacies.
Or just have fun. S’mores are a great way to share memories with family and friends. Leave a comment and let us know some of your S’more memories or thoughts. We’d love to hear them.
Build Your Own Marshmallow Fireplace
Please visit www.backyardflare.com if you are interested in a DIY fireplace or outdoor kitchen construction plan. They are perfect places to build a fire necessary for your marshmallow torture. Thanks for reading, and as always…happy building.
Oh my gosh, I am excited about this DIY summer. So many people are diving into great DIY outdoor fireplace and outdoor kitchen projects. We have received countless emails and calls about custom fireplaces and are really pumped to see these structures built. There are so many great ideas and backyard spaces that are begging for a stunning outdoor fireplace. Do you have one of those spaces? If you said yes, we want to hear from you too.
The best part about a late spring and summer build is that you can take your time on the construction. By doing most of the building during the hotter parts of the spring and summer, there won’t be any rush to complete the structure. Your construction can be solely a few hours each weekend or sporadic hours throughout the week. Those cooler days will arrive and when they do, the fireplace will be ready to go.
I was at a graduation party a couple days ago and it just so happened to be at a friend’s house where I built Backyard Flare’s second ever fireplace. This structure is absolutely huge. I remember building this structure in the heat of the Arizona summer, under the beating rays of the sun. Plenty of water was consumed and I think we are still paying off the credit card bill from our purchase of sunscreen. We killed a saw while cutting block and even drew a little bit of blood during the build. Those things at the time were a nuisance, but now I look back on them and smile, remembering all the fun we actually had during construction.
Reminiscing an old DIY Summer
During the graduation party, I ventured out into the backyard and walked around the fireplace to reminisce. It was built on an old basketball court after the homeowner’s kids grew up and moved out. I wanted to stoke up a fire, but because the temperature was still in the 90s, I decided that that wasn’t necessary. I took a few pics to show my wife that the fireplace still looked great after more than ten years.
What I’m getting at is that a well built outdoor fireplace or kitchen becomes backyard furniture in a sense. A decade later, a fireplace will still be there, begging to be used.
Let us know how we can help if you are interested in stepping into a fantastic DIY build. Visit us at www.backyardflare.com, email us at email@example.com, or call Dan at 520-269-9740. We would love the opportunity to help you design a beautiful fireplace or kitchen. Take care and as always…happy building!
I have been traveling quite a bit lately. Additionally, I have been fortunate enough to have gone to some really neat locations. Just a few visited in the past few months are Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, Winterpark, Colorado, El Paso, Texas, and the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. When I go to a new place, I love the opportunity to walk around and explore the old and new.
One thing that seems timeless is the fireplace built in an old house lot. They still stand, absent the house or an old cabin. I love walking around these towns and noticing great outdoor fireplaces built in new areas, at shopping malls, at apartment complexes, and even outdoor patios of fancy bars and restaurants.
The old vintage stone fireplaces through their cracks and stains can sometimes tell a silent story, letting your mind wander at how much they have seen and been witness to over the passing years. Who graced the hearth and seating around these graceful structures? What conversations and decisions took place in front of the fire?
Imagine the fireplaces in the homes and parks of West Virginia that kept home owners and those fighting in the civil war warm. They used them every day during the harsh winters. Imagine the fireplaces in the Grand Canyon lodges that kept tourists warm during the 1930s when the park was really becoming a destination. Now those are old fireplaces with stories too abundant for us to even imagine.
How About the New?
But let’s think about how we can create our own memories and stories around an outdoor fireplace. When you spot an outdoor fireplace at an outdoor shopping center, stop and check it out. Sit on the hearth and if it is providing heat, enjoy it for a few minutes. Relax and even grab a drink if you have time. Become the history that can be told by that fireplace 100 years from now.
Pay attention to where you are and if you see an old or even a new fireplace that needs to be in a photograph, take a pic and send it to us at, firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know where and how you found it.
Oh my…the Christmas season is in full swing and decorations are being added to everything indoors. Why not add some spice to the outdoors too? Add some small things or even some big things to your fireplace and make it spectacular. Some people add great decor to their structures and turn them into a “Christmas Fireplace”. We have seen some spectacular outdoor fireplaces this 2017 Christmas season that we just have to share.
Does it get much better than a decorated outdoor structure with signs of noel and joy? I don’t think so. Check out the mantel covered in red berries and a green pine wreath above it. With the vases full of flowers, this fireplace makes me want a warm glass of cider or some hot chocolate with extra marshmallows.
It doesn’t take much to turn an already gorgeous outdoor fireplace into a seasonal masterpiece. Another wreath makes this fireplace step right into the Christmas season and the lighting overhead adds a lot too. By adding reds and greens, as well as lighting and images of Christmas, you will turn a nice space into an even more welcoming space.
What are some of your holiday decorating ideas? Write a comment and let us know and even share a picture of how you designed. Thanks and we hope you have a great holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Care to add a DIY fireplace to your backyard? Visit us at www.backyardflare.com for great information and ideas for your next project.