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

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

3 Ways to Improve

3 Ways to Improve the Look of Your Backyard

swimming pool umbrella palm tree flagstone planter
An uncluttered and clean backyard is a welcoming backyard.

Okay, I’m going to get right into it today.  Not need to beat around the bush here.  Your backyard…and mine…needs help probably.  Your backyard might be old, dated, tired, messy, and it needs a little “pick me up”, so why not get started?  There are quite a few things that you can do that will make a HUGE difference and at the same time not break the bank.  Here are 3 ways to improve the look of your backyard.

Start By Picking Up the Place

First, pick up the clutter.  If you’re like most of us, you have odds and ends laying around.  You may have a section of your yard that is dedicated to compiling the old car parts or the old bikes that haven’t been ridden in years.  Chances are that if you haven’t needed them in the past year (or five) you won’t need them at all in the future.  Collect them and put them on Craigslist so you can make a few bucks too.  Just cleaning up a cluttered corner will make a huge difference.

Unsightly Patio or Deck?

swimming pool patio umbrella fireplace deck planter
A clean backyard draws you in for an extended stay.

Second, sweep up the patio or deck area of your yard and then look up.  Are there spider webs hanging around the lighting fixtures or the underside of the patio cover?  Take down those spider houses with a broom and make a change up high.  Get a hose or high pressure sprayer and clean up the whole area that is attached to the house.  This includes patios, brick work, decks, patio covers, and even the back of the house itself.  You’ll be amazed at how much dirt your house holds onto.  A quick wash down may bring the color back to your home’s exterior too.

Time to Pick and Trim

Flagstone patio red door grill kitchen flowers
Cleaning low and high will make it look more inviting.

Lastly, pick the weeds growing in your flowers and trim your bushes and trees.  The branches and clippings will usually take a while to get rid of if your garbage can isn’t big enough to handle a lot, but the yard will sure open up.  Getting rid of low hanging branches and unwanted ground plants will make an immediate positive impact on the overall look of the yard.

The best part is that these three de-clutter and cleaning tasks are virtually free to do.  They shouldn’t cost you any money, just a little time and sweat equity.  In the end, you’ll have a nicer, cleaner, and more welcoming backyard area.

Who knows, your clean backyard may go on to inspire other projects.  Start small and work your way up to a finished backyard sporting an outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen.  You’ll love it in the end and you’ll marvel at the hidden gem that was under all that dirt and clutter.

Check Us Out

If you are interested in any construction plans for an outdoor fireplace or an outdoor kitchen, look no further than Backyard Flare.  We specialize in easy to follow DIY construction plans that will take virtually all the guess work out of the build.  Follow the plans, finish the structure, and begin relaxing in your backyard.

Call or text Dan at 520-269-9740 or email him at dan@backyardflare.com for additional info, special deals, and some fun discussion.  As always, have fun and remember, happy building.

Outdoor Fireplace Review in LA

This Outdoor Fireplace is Amazing

DIY outdoor fireplace with fire
Blaine and Kristen are enjoying their outdoor fireplace.

Welcome back to 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.

Let’s go to the southeast, in beautiful Louisiana, to introduce homeowners Blaine and Kristen.  Their backyard needed a little extra something and after a bit of thought, they decided to build an outdoor fireplace.  Blaine and Kristen started their research online through Google searches and read a lot of material on outdoor fireplaces.  While on one of their searches, they found Backyard Flare and decided to use the Pima II design, outdoor fireplace construction plan to build the fireplace.

Blaine’s World…Excellent

DIY outdoor fireplace concrete pad extension
Area next to existing patio was excavated for the concrete extension.

Blaine and Kristen have a brick home with a grassy backyard surrounding a poured concrete patio.  Blaine dug out dirt next to the patio and formed the area for the slab.  Steel mesh was added inside the concrete pour and they successfully poured the slab extension.  The extension concrete was added so the fireplace didn’t have to be built on the main patio concrete.

 

 

Concrete pad for DIY outdoor fireplace
Finished concrete pad for their outdoor fireplace.

DIY outdoor fireplace plan cinder block mortar
Getting the cinder blocks mortared in place.

Blaine and Kristen followed the Backyard Flare outdoor fireplace construction plans and hit it out of the ballpark with their newly found masonry skills.  It really should be noted that Blaine and Kristen are not masons, nor have they worked a lot with cinder block and mortar.  They just followed the outdoor fireplace plans and called Dan at Backyard Flare with questions here and there.

Time For Veneer Choices

DIY outdoor fireplace with veneer and tile
The veneer and tile choices look great together.

After the cinder block was done, Blaine and Kristen decided on a real nice stacked stone veneer in a soothing gray tone.  It turned out beautiful.  For the horizontal surfaces like the seating and the mantel, they picked a tile with a complimenting tone, and because they had covered the seating surface with solid 2” tall cap block, there was a great flat surface for the tile work.

Completed DIY outdoor fireplace with owner and dog
Kristen and their dog proudly stand next to the completed DIY project.

When it was all said and done, Blaine and Kristen added a fire grate in their firebox and started building fires.  They immediately began building memories and are very happy with the final project.  What’s next for them?  Maybe an outdoor kitchen or pizza oven?  Time will tell, but until then we’ll let them enjoy all their hard work on the fireplace.

DIY outdoor fireplace with fire
Get the drinks ready for the first fire.

Where Can You Go?

We sure hope you like Blaine and Kristen’s Pima II outdoor fireplace and that it inspires you to think about one of these outdoor fireplaces in your backyard as well.  It’s really not out of reach to achieve a stunning outdoor living space, so think about your potential.  Blaine and Kristen proved that average homeowners can make it happen in the world of DIY.  If you have the DIY mindset, we can help you achieve greatness.  Backyard Flare has assisted hundreds of homeowners who are weekend DIY’ers, realize their potential to build outdoor fireplaces just like Blaine’s and Kristen’s, so 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.

Dan Heston

Backyard Renovation Pricing

How Much $$$ Can Be Saved?
Backyard Renovation Pricing

Backyard Flare is dedicated to helping our customers.  We want you to have as much information as possible before you step into a backyard addition.  We want you to understand backyard renovation pricing.  One question I get quite often from inquisitive DIYers is how much money can be saved by not using a contractor to build an outdoor fireplace.  With this question, there is no “one” answer and the savings, albeit a guarantee, cannot be exactly quantified.  There are costs that will be a surety, such as labor, but each contractor bills a little bit different.  There is no exact savings amount, other than saying a lot, unless you have an itemized quote from a contractor that you then compare to what you will spend.

Now let’s break this down a step further.  Most contractors do an excellent job and I believe you will get your fireplace built if you choose to go the route of a contractor to get it done.  I can’t step on the back-breaking work that they perform day in and day out.  It’s a tiring business for sure and they definitely deserve a pat on the back and some kudos.

Backyard Renovation Pricing

Having said that, you may be wondering about how contractors bill for jobs.  If you have elicited the work of a contractor for anything in the past, you will notice that some will give you a written estimate and others will come over and throw a monetary figure at you after looking at the building area for a few minutes.

A written estimate is better for you, provided it is broken down into independent materials and labor costs.  This will tell you roughly what they think the materials will cost with their slight mark up.  Most contractors will make a few dollars on materials as well, with the understanding that they had to go load them, deliver them, and then unload them at your worksite.  It’s a lot of work so it’s an okay upcharge, I guess.

Tactics and More Tactics

The contractors that throw out a price with no explanation of materials and labor make me smile.  These contractors are betting that you will jump at the offer and that you won’t throw up any objection.  Long and short, they don’t want you to know the breakdown of the profit they are making. It’s okay to haggle and negotiate too.  Remember, this is your backyard, and they will be working for you.  You dictate whether they leave each day with trash all over the place and you will be watching them while they finish the build.

These two quotation methods from contractors drastically differ but both are widely used.  Some that don’t write the job estimate are good at what they do and will provide a breakdown if asked to.  Just remember that you will probably be a bit shocked at how much contractors will charge for labor. It will make up the majority of the quote.  It’s a good living for company owners, believe me on that one.

So What Do You Do?

So, you have an option.  Either go with a contractor or elect to try to build the fireplace with your own two hands.  This is where the music is queued, and we emerge at the top of a hill with a DIY construction plan.  We swoop down to your backyard and hand it to you, and then we stand off to the side, waiting for questions while you build.  The trailer for the movie seems so awesome, but deep down we know that the movie will probably never be made. I guess we’ll stick to creating the construction plans and to our design work.

We Think DIY is the Best Build Decision

Enough already… we have more explanation to get back to.  When you build yourself, the labor that contractors charge won’t be an issue. There won’t be a subtraction from your bank account for labor as you’ll be the labor force behind the entire build.  This shouldn’t scare you either.  We have had a lot of customers who have done amazing at building their own fireplaces and they have never worked with mortar or block.

DIY Pima II Outdoor Fireplace with Stucco Mantel Firewood l
Jason’s DIY Pima II outdoor fireplace is built and ready to go.

One such customer, Jason, sent us pictures of his DIY Pima II outdoor fireplace to share.  After sharing them on our Instagram page, we asked him some pricing questions about his DIY build.  Jason replied, “I got quotes for $7k-$9k to build this exact plan and I built it for $1,600-$1,800.  Two easy weekends with my dad.  It was super easy with your step by step guide.  I’m a banker by trade so I’ve never done concrete block work ever.”

We’re so happy that Jason had a great experience and that’s an amazing savings of at least $5,200.  That’s a lot of money still in Jason’s bank account and the best part is it sounds like he really had a good time with his dad while building the fireplace.  Backyard renovation pricing wasn’t a big deal to Jason because he opted to save the money and pay sweat equity instead.

We’re Here to Help

DIY Pima II Outdoor Fireplace with Stucco Mantel Firewood and Lighting
Jason’s DIY Pima II outdoor fireplace is so inviting with a gorgeous fire.

Think about that when you contemplate your options.  Building your own DIY outdoor fireplace doesn’t have to be stressful or worrisome.  We have what you need to walk you through the process of a DIY outdoor fireplace.  Visit us at www.backyardflare.com for great design ideas and information.  We can help you with a great layout and will work with you personally to ensure you have the information you need to comfortably move forward in the DIY construction world.  Build with one of our DIY construction plans and let us worry about the logistics of the design.  You simply have fun and marvel at what your hard work.  Thank you so much for reading and as always… happy building.

-Dan