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.
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.
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.
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.
Our DIY outdoor kitchen build began with some ground excavation and measuring for slab height as compared to the existing concrete patio. This was very important as we planned to add brick pavers from the patio to the base of the outdoor kitchen and we wanted it to match up perfectly. Once we determined the proper slab height, we built our wood forms, tamped and prepared the ground, added our steel mesh, and got to pouring the concrete.
My father in law and I worked in tandem, with me mixing and pouring the concrete and him screeding the wet mix. Within 35 minutes, we had the concrete done and we waited for it to start setting up.
Two days later, we pulled the forms off and exposed a great looking L shaped slab that was waiting for some mortar and block. Once the block laying began, we worked for approximately 6 hours to complete the rough block build.
We mixed our N-type mortar in a mixing bin and got 15 blocks mortared in place with each 60-lb bag. This is how much you can generally get done if you don’t waste or lose too much mortar on the ground.
@Charbroil for Functionality
We dismantled a Char-Broil charcoal grill and built a base for the cooking system to sit on. The counter height was a standard 36″ and with a gorgeous flagstone, the raised bar and counter was finished. The outer edge of the flagstone was a very cool chisel cut for a rustic look.
Finish Work – Stucco and LEDs
I applied stucco to the sides of the structure and painted it to match our previously built outdoor fireplace. We ran some low voltage lighting cord and added great looking LED lights for additional ambiance. We hoped to keep the outdoor kitchen build to a minimum and we ended up spending right at $1,000 total on the structure. This cost included the material, lights, counter, and even the grill. Amazing what you can do when you have a plan to follow. A DIY outdoor kitchen can be in your future.
Let us know how we can help you with a DIY outdoor kitchen construction plan. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg so let us show you how to do it.
Well, this 2020 spring sure snuck up on us. Down here in the southwest, the temps are getting into the 70s already in March, so we are looking at some DIY projects. We have decided that an DIY outdoor kitchen is what my father-in-law’s backyard needs. He’s super excited and we started talking and discussing the build and what we would want in the structure.
We have a
few hundred square feet to work with, so we have some different shapes and
configurations available to us. There is
a gorgeous mountain view to our east, so we definitely want to keep that on our
mind when we design the layout.
First and foremost, my father-in-law loves to cook on charcoal, so we are headed in that direction with the grill. We picked out a Char-Broil brand structure that we’ll modify to fit the space. That’s a real cool way to build and very economical, so we’ll be getting into that in some future posts. Secondly, we are looking to match the exterior of the outdoor fireplace that we built last year on the opposite side of the backyard. In order to do that, we’ll be putting stucco and outdoor lighting on our DIY outdoor kitchen, with flagstone as our counter material. By using the same finish material on the grill and fireplace, it’ll look like we built both structures at the same time and the overall look of the backyard will look well thought out.
We decided that a raised bar area would be a nice addition to the DIY outdoor kitchen, so the structure will have to be big enough to accommodate that extra feature. An “L” shape is something we feel will work so the guests sitting at the bar will have the mountain view to look at while they talk to the grill chef and enjoy their favorite beverage.
Starting the Construction
out the rough dimension of the “L” shape grill and then started figuring out
the level of the future concrete slab.
This is important so our patio pavers are the same height of the patio
to the house. The excavation of the site
started with a quick dig out of the slab dimension.
Using a really long level, 6-footer, we laid out random pavers from the existing patio to the farthest side of the DIY outdoor kitchen structure. This would tell us how much digging we would need to do to get it uniform and level.
Drawing and Block Count/Order
Dan at Backyard Flare drew up the grill structure using CAD and concept and then used the drawing to calculate the type of blocks and exact number of each block needed. Dan figured the mortar and concrete need as well, and then called Lowes to place the order for delivery. The best part is that almost all the building materials and even the grill will be delivered right to the side of the house, which is where the gate is located leading to the backyard. The materials purchased, including the $75 delivery fee, was only $505, and that included the grill. Wow, how much more economical can it get?
Follow along on our future posts as we build. You’ll be amazed at how easy and inexpensive it can actually be to build on your own. The DIY world is yours to explore and we can help. If you’re interested in building your own backyard paradise, let us know how we can help. Get your construction plan today and begin building your DIY outdoor kitchen tomorrow. Happy building.
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
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?
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.
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.
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?
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for additional info, special deals, and some fun discussion. As always, have fun and remember, happy building.
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”.
Baby It’s Cold Outside… In Some Places, Outdoor Fireplace Time
Hey all you DIYer’s, are you looking forward to Christmas and the colder temps? We sure are down here in Arizona. We know we’re a bit spoiled though with the highs in the 60s still. So much of the country is getting blanketed in snow and ice already, which makes us cringe at the thought of power losses and snow shoveling. We came from that sort of weather so we know what some of you are experiencing. You’ll get through it though, we’re confident of that. Enter the DIY outdoor fireplace and outdoor kitchen possibility. These are great Christmas ideas.
Your Christmas Ideas Wish List?
Christmas and the season of giving always brings about the challenges of traffic, shopping, and figuring out what to tell your loved ones to buy for you. This year, when you sit on Santa’s lap at the mall, tell him you want to build your own DIY outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen. He’ll know what to do.
Santa will go online and he’ll visit www.backyardflare.com for great outdoor fireplace and outdoor kitchen design ideas. He’ll pick out the perfect design for your backyard and he’ll surprise you with your very own DIY construction plan. You’ll be able to get started on your backyard renovation.
If you are not planning on sitting on Santa’s lap, just tell that special someone in your life that you want a DIY outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen in your backyard. Tell them about Backyard Flare and that they are the only place to go for DIY construction plans. What a gift for someone you love or to yourself for that matter! Christmas ideas are everywhere but most don’t last a lifetime like an outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen will.
And did we say that you can always call and talk to Dan from Backyard Flare for FREE? Yep, he loves to talk “masonry” and “backyards”. He spends time each day talking with homeowners about design ideas for their outdoor space, and he helps them manage their masonry fears.
Thanks for making Backyard Flare the one stop shop for the best DIY outdoor fireplace and kitchen construction plans. It’s DIYer’s like you that make us feel special. Have a great Thanksgiving and a wonderful Christmas.
We hope to hear from you and as always… happy building.
The other day, I had to drop my car at the tire shop and because I had a few minutes to spare, I walked across the busy street to some stores. As always, I was drawn to one of my favorite stores, Lowe’s Home Improvement, and I found myself standing in the outdoor lighting aisle. If I go to Lowe’s, I almost always want to at least walk down some of my favorite aisles to see if there is anything new on the shelf. This day was no exception.
I should back up a bit and say that whenever I build any type of structure in a backyard, whether it is an outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen, I always look for ways to spice up the final look. One of the things that I have written on in the past is my love for outdoor lighting. It just makes a backyard, and specifically, outdoor structures, come alive at night. The shadows created and the way things look in the dark with some light are just awesome.
So, back to Lowe’s and the outdoor lighting aisle… In the past, if I needed lighting, I have just gone to the store and picked up what I needed to complete the lighting project. I have never shared with my audience how inexpensive it really is to add this great feature to your DIY outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen. Well, wait no more. Here we go.
Outdoor Lighting Components Explained
With most outdoor lighting, there are three main components involved. They are a power source, otherwise known as a power transformer, wire, and the lights. The transformer is a heavy cube that plugs into an outlet. Many of these transformers will turn on at dusk with photo eye technology and you simply tell it through a setting, how long you want the lights to stay on from that point. Pretty cool!
The neat part is the lights will come on automatically and shut off automatically; no work for you. They come in different wattage’s starting from around 60W to several hundred watts. For powering a structure, the smallest will be completely sufficient, especially if you’re using LEDs. A 60W transformer will sell for around $50.
The wire will hook into the transformer with screws and the wire will snake through your structure’s block work. We’ll get into the install in a different post. The wire will transfer (Direct Current – DC) low voltage as the transformer’s output to the lights, so it won’t shock you any more than holding on to a flashlight battery. It’s nothing like the power from an outlet in your house. A 50’ length of this outdoor lighting wire will cost around $20.
LED Lighting Is awesome
Lastly, the lights. Today’s technology has put LED lighting at the forefront for efficiency, longevity, and amazing power savings. LED stands for light emitting diode. An LED is a small electronic component (diode) that will glow when power is applied. No more changing incandescent bulbs, right? Can I get an amen on that one?
LED lighting fixtures are sold individually, and they can run anywhere from a few dollars on clearance to around $20 for each fixture. I add at least two LED fixtures to any structure, so it is aesthetically pleasing. Two is really all you need for a structure width of only six to eight feet. The LED fixtures will have power cord on them. This cord will connect to the wire and the connectors will pierce the wire to be powered. The best part is that each LED is around 2W to 4W so you could hook up to 30 of these 2W LEDs to a 60W transformer. Do you see the math? This is turning into an electronics training course now.
How Cheap is It Really?
If you were to add two LED lighting fixtures to a fireplace, you would be able to spend as little as $110. Now that’s a bargain when you consider the look you’ll achieve. I hope this post helped you understand how simple outdoor lighting is and how inexpensive the components are. It’s really not that complicated.
Check out Backyard Flare, LLC to learn more about building your own DIY outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen and peruse our gallery for great ideas in design. See what other homeowners have done.
If you have any questions about anything, please let me know. I am always excited to hear from a fellow DIYer, or someone wanting to learn more about how to beautify their backyard space. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and as I always say, “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.
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.