What better way to enjoy those cool summer nights than with a beautiful outdoor fireplace? Building an outdoor hearth can quickly turn any backyard into a perfect space for nighttime entertaining, adding some magical charm to your backyard. But before you start buying the wood logs and breaking out the marshmallows, there are some important planning steps you’ll want to take first:

1. Research the Rules
Before you do anything, take the time to research city and county codes, permits, ordinances, and licenses. Some cities or neighborhoods have regulations on the types of fireplaces you can have. Some may even require inspections. Also, be sure to review your homeowner’s insurance to see if adding an outdoor fireplace will require any policy changes.

2. Decide on a Location
Where do you want the fireplace to be? An outdoor fireplace can be attached to the home or it can be built freestanding in the yard. Think about your backyard foot traffic and whether you want the fireplace to be wood burning or fueled by natural gas. If you decide on natural gas, determine where your gas line is buried and how easy or difficult it will be to have a professional tie into it. Keep in mind the other backyard features you have or are planning to add in the future, such as patios, outdoor kitchens, sheds or pools — these factors will also help you determine the best location for your fireplace. Finally, don’t forget to consider your property’s wind patterns and how they might impact your new fireplace.

3. Consider the Design
Will your fireplace be used for heating purposes or ambiance? Design options will vary depending on how functional you want your fireplace to be. For a fireplace to provide optimal heat, an open design will be more beneficial. If you want to use your outdoor fireplace for cooking, be sure to consider the grate size or the option of building a fire pit. Also, consider the aesthetics of your home and outdoor space, such as your house color, what materials are used on your home and whether your house style is traditional or modern. You want your fireplace to compliment your home’s architectural style and features.

4. Choose a Material
It goes without saying that the material used to build your fireplace should be heat-and fire-resistant. Some popular options include brick, natural stone, clay, concrete or stucco. Each material varies in price, weight, customizability and durability. The material you choose should compliment your home and other backyard features. The experts at Firenza Stone can help you figure out what material will be best suited to meet your needs.

Homeowners have many options to choose from when designing an outdoor fireplace, as well as many factors to consider. If you’re considering building an outdoor fireplace and need help with plans and designs, stop in to the Firenza Stone showroom today! Our space experts and designers are ready to help you make the most of your backyard and create the outdoor fireplace of your dreams.

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