How to Build an Outdoor Fireplace Easily

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If you have an ideal location in your lawn or garden for a simple outdoor fireplace, you've taken the first step in the construction of your new hearth. An outdoor fireplace is a great way to provide warmth and light when entertaining guests, and you can even build it to accommodate some culinary purposes.

Things You'll Need

  • Clay, bricks, stones, tiles or gravel
  • Outdoor fireplace kit or plans
  • Fireplace screen and tools
  • Fire wood or charcoal
  • Design your outdoor fireplace -- its style, how big you want it to be and whether or not it will be a permanent fixture. Choose a location away from your home, garden structures and tall plants to avoid accidental fires.

  • Prepare the place where you intend to build your outdoor fireplace. This includes removing grass, sod and lawn debris from the location of your new outdoor fireplace and possibly digging a trench to level the ground. Add a layer of gravel, clay or bricks as a foundation to prevent an accidental blaze.

  • Create the hearth's foundation and its wall bases by laying bricks or concrete in the shape of your fireplace. A few layers of gravel add a firm base, as well as a moldable structure that the walls of your fireplace's chamber will benefit from. Whether circular, square or rectangular, your outdoor fireplace will need a sturdy foundation to stay level.

  • Continue building the walls upward, securing bricks and rocks with caulk or grout, until your fireplace's chamber has reached your desired height. Construct a hole in the side of the fireplace in which you will feed logs and lumber as wide and tall as you like. Seal any gaps or holes between your construction materials, as you want the chamber of your fireplace to be airtight to prevent fires from starting outside the hearth.

  • Make the chimney of your outdoor fireplace so that it blows smoke away from your home, trees and other structures. Taller chimneys help improve the draft your fireplace receives, and chimney pots can be used to increase the height of home-made smoke stacks.

  • Personalize your outdoor fireplace by painting it, adding heat-resistant decor items to it or arranging potted plants around it. Play with the idea of changing the look of your outdoor fireplace with your whims or the seasons to create a new entertaining space every few months.

Tips & Warnings

  • Start a fire in your new hearth before decorating and adorning it to make sure everything is working alright. This gives you a chance to make alterations before adding the final touches to your outdoor fireplace.
  • Prevent smoke from sudden breezes by making the chimney as tall as possible and putting the hearth's opening low to the ground.
  • Keep your new outdoor fireplace out of danger from the elements and careless admirers. Grill covers work great against rain, snow and debris, and "introducing" your fireplace to new guests will bring to their attention that it is a functioning hearth.
  • Don't build an outdoor fireplace without checking your city council's rules, restrictions and regulations on the construction of such structures.

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References

  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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