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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on LawnStarter.
If you’re looking to add warmth to your outdoor social gatherings, consider a crackling outdoor fireplace. But how can you make this outdoor feature fit into your landscape?
We’ve gathered 26 cozy outdoor fireplace ideas for the backyard to help you get your creative juices flowing. From the classic wood-burning fireplace to the long firebox, the design ideas are limitless.
This helpful guide explores different outdoor fireplace types, where they might fit in your yard, and charming design styles.
We’ll also cover the costs of prefabricated kits and custom-built fireplaces. And remember, before planning your outdoor fireplace design, check your local building codes and regulations regarding wood burning.
5 Types of Outdoor Fireplaces
Most of the decision of which type of outdoor fireplace to go with will come down to your preferences and what might go with your already established outdoor decor.
Let’s talk about some different types of outdoor fireplaces.
1. Wood-Burning Fireplace
A wood-burning fireplace offers the sweet bliss of a crackling fire and the aroma of burning wood filling the air.
A wood-burning fireplace requires some work to get it burning and maintenance after use, so you have to decide if the amount of work it requires outweighs the benefits.
You’ll also need a place to store the wood and fireplace tools, such as a poker and small broom.
2. Gas Fireplace
You can still have an outdoor fireplace without it being wood-burning. Gas fireplaces offer the same ambiance without the struggle of keeping the fire going. With the push of a button, a fire ignites.
But with that push of a button comes the need for natural gas lines.
3. Electric Fireplace
Electric fireplaces are an option for homeowners with a smaller outdoor space.
Electric fireplaces are smaller and easier to move around than wood-burning or gas fireplaces.
However, one of the most significant downsides to an electric fireplace is that there’s no doubt that the flames are fake.
4. Prefabricated Fireplace
A pre-assembled or prefabricated outdoor fireplace (freestanding fireplace) offers instant gratification — no long thoughts on the design, no waiting for it to be built brick-by-brick.
You’ll also have more flexibility on where to locate a pre-assembled fireplace within your landscape design. A prefabricated fireplace is also more affordable than a custom-built outdoor fireplace.
Cost: Prefabricated outdoor fireplaces typically cost between $1,200 and $8,335, while custom-built fireplaces usually range between $6,000 and $21,000.
5. Unfinished Contractor Kit
If you’re the do-it-yourself type, you’ll be pleased to know that you can undertake an outdoor fireplace project.
But first, you’ll need to hire a professional to prepare an “unfinished” concrete outdoor fireplace. From there, you can purchase the stone or brick veneer and apply the materials yourself.
You’ll save on labor costs, and you can customize the design yourself.
Cost: Expect to pay between $1,250 and $3,750 for an unfinished outdoor fireplace contractor kit (not including the price of the veneer materials).
6 Places to Add a Cozy Outdoor Fireplace
You can add an outdoor fireplace to many locations throughout your backyard’s landscape design.
You should also consider what your outdoor social gatherings usually look like — are they small and intimate or is it usually a big group?
If you host big groups, you may want to station your fireplace in a large area so that your guests can warm themselves by the fire.
We’ve thought of some key locations for you to consider that could accentuate the features of these spaces and make your outdoor fireplace an undeniable focal point.
1. Incorporate a Fireplace Into Your Outdoor Kitchen
If you have an outdoor kitchen, you’ve extended your kitchen. If you add an outdoor fireplace to your outdoor kitchen, then you’ve practically extended your living room.
Get cozy lounging on your outdoor furniture by the fireplace while waiting for your food to cook. Maybe make some yummy s’mores, too.
Cost: On average, an outdoor kitchen costs between $5,060 and $17,275. Most homeowners spend $13,175 to install an outdoor kitchen.
2. Outdoor Fireplace With a Pizza Oven
Maybe you don’t want a full-fledged outdoor kitchen, but pizza is cooked so often in your house that you’ve considered a pizza oven.
An outdoor fireplace design can have a pizza oven incorporated into it.
3. Screened-In Porch With a Fireplace
Need to warm up your screened-in porch for the winter? An outdoor fireplace could be the perfect addition.
4. Poolside Fireplace
Imagine how dreamy a nighttime dip in your swimming pool would be with a poolside fireplace – or soaking in the hot tub by an outdoor fireplace.
Sounds like paradise!
5. Entertainment Area With TV and Fireplace
Gone are the days of watching the big game on the TV in your garage.
Create an outdoor entertainment area equipped with a TV mounted above a crackling fireplace.
6. Fireplace by a Pergola
Your pergola is probably the centerpiece of your landscape. You can take the essence of that centerpiece one step further and add a fireplace by your pergola.
The chimney of an outdoor fireplace can sit adjacent to the outer edge of your pergola. Or, if you have a circular pergola, you could place an outdoor fireplace in the middle.
15 Design Ideas for a Cozy Outdoor Fireplace
Although design options for a cozy outdoor fireplace are almost limitless, here are some design ideas to inspire you.
1. Keep It Casual
An outdoor fireplace doesn’t have to be fancy if that’s not your style.
Maybe you love a brick fireplace, but it’s too clean-cut.
You can sporadically place round stones throughout the structure of a traditional brick fireplace to give it a more casual and laid-back appearance.
2. Rustic Outdoor Fireplace
A rustic outdoor fireplace might be up your alley if your patio furniture is made from wood.
A stone fireplace compliments the wood patio furniture well and gives off rustic vibes.
3. Modern Farmhouse Style
Add wood panels above the fireplace to achieve a modern farmhouse style for your outdoor fireplace.
An oversized wooden mantel above the fireplace would also be an excellent addition.
4. Tuscan Style
If you’re going for a Tuscan-style outdoor fireplace, you’ll want to incorporate plenty of red and orange colors in the stones for your fireplace design.
Wicker or wooden outdoor patio furniture pairs well with a Tuscan-style design.
5. Complement the Style of Your Home
If you have existing stonework around your home or big arches that you adore, use those ideas for your fireplace design. It will help complement the style of your home.
6. Match Your Pavers to Your Fireplace Stone
If you have a paver patio, you could use the same color scheme for your stone fireplace – this would create a seamless transition from patio to fireplace.
7. Add Landscape Lighting Near Your Outdoor Fireplace
As dreamy as an outdoor fireplace is, it might not offer as much light as you’d like for your outdoor living space.
When you add landscape lighting to your outdoor fireplace design, you’ll brighten the space allowing for more opportunities for reading a good book or having a family game night.
8. Outdoor Fireplace With a Water Feature
An outdoor fireplace with water features ultimately offers the best of both worlds — a roaring fire paired with calming water sounds.
A stucco outdoor fireplace offers a smooth, seamless look – it’s a great option if you don’t want to see the lines of a brick or stone fireplace.
10. Brick Fireplace
With a brick fireplace, you have options. Evaluate your backyard patio and decide if you want to have all the same color brick, mixed colors, or paint over the bricks to give them a nice, clean look.
Cobblestone offers a different personality than brick in a fireplace and is traditionally thought to provide a more elegant look.
12. Double-Sided Outdoor Fireplace
With a huge outdoor area, a double-sided fireplace would offer a more remarkable focal point. Guests could spread out on either side of it and still enjoy it.
13. Long Firebox
It can be cozy when everyone is gathered close by the fireplace, but if you’d prefer your guests to spread out a bit more, check out an outdoor fireplace with a long firebox.
A long firebox extends the area of warmth provided by the fire.
14. Extended Chimney
If the chimney is your favorite part of a fireplace, consider an outdoor fireplace with an extended chimney.
An extended chimney can draw your eyes up further and help you take in the beauty of your outdoor fireplace that much more.
15. Short Chimney
Short, sweet, and to the point. A short chimney still does its job, but without the height.
How Much Does an Outdoor Fireplace Cost?
On average, most homeowners spend $3,000 to install an outdoor fireplace, with costs typically ranging between $1,200 and $21,000.
Expect to pay between $1,200 and $8,335 for a prefabricated outdoor fireplace and between $6,000 and $21,000 (or more) for a custom build.
Will an Outdoor Fireplace Add Value to My Home?
Yes, an outdoor fireplace can add value to your home. An outdoor fireplace is generally part of your extended living space, which is why it can add value to your home.
How Do You Maintain an Outdoor Fireplace?
For a wood-burning outdoor fireplace, clean the debris and soot from the fireplace using an outdoor wet-dry vacuum or a broom after each use. You can also wipe around the fireplace with a soapy sponge.
A professional chimney sweep is recommended annually to achieve a deep clean.
Ensure the gas valve is turned off before cleaning an outdoor gas fireplace. Clean the screen using a vacuum or stainless steel cleaner and examine it for any dents or damage. Spray the cleaner straight into a rag and not directly on the screen.
When to Call a Professional
An outdoor fireplace is no small job — it will be a permanent focal point for your outdoor space. Furthermore, various permits are likely required along the way. Consult with a construction pro to help make sure your ducks are in a row to get the job done.