Over the last decade, outdoor fireplaces have continued to be a rising trend in outdoor living design. A fireplace provides an elegant focal point that visually transforms a patio into an outdoor living room, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. When planning an outdoor fireplace, there are a number of options to consider.
Custom-Build versus Modular Fireplace Units
Custom outdoor fireplaces can be built using a variety of masonry products, including nearly any Belgard retaining wall product. The benefit to a custom-built fireplace is that you have the design flexibility to create any size or style that suits you. Belgard also offers the Belgard Elements™ line of modular fireplaces that are pre-built in a factory setting, shipped in sections and installed with a pallet loader. The benefits are lower installation costs and a shorter construction window.
Use Interior Fireplace Design Principles
To enhance the “outdoor living room” feel, employ interior design techniques when designing your outdoor fireplace and surrounding patio. Examples include accessorizing the room or creating a faux rug in the paver design.
Research Local Building Codes
Codes will vary by municipality, but in general terms, gas-burning fireplaces have fewer restrictions and can typically be placed anywhere in a design, including directly against another structure. Wood-burning fireplaces typically need to be placed at least 10 feet from another structure. Some building codes require additional safety measures or restrict the use of wood-burning units altogether.
Built-in Outdoor Gas Fireplaces
An economical option that can typically be installed anywhere is a built-in gas fireplace, which can be built on the exterior of the home, on a porch or under a pavilion.
Think Outside the Box
When creating a custom build, consider how you want to use the space and work with your contractor to come with with creative solutions and ideas.
Consider Built-in Seating
Built-in seating is one of the leading trends in outdoor design and makes an excellent addition to an outdoor fireplace, adding both form and function to an outdoor room.
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Next week: If your yard is sloped, come back to theOutdoor Living by Belgardblog for ideas on using terraced design to create more usable space. Or check out Belgard’s fire pit kits for simple solutions to inspire your outdoor fireplace design..
Christi is a professional writer who has been writing about outdoor living and design for magazines, websites and blogs since 2009. A lifelong resident of south Louisiana, she is immersed in a culture that is a gumbo of music, food and outdoor activities. With her husband Pierre, she especially enjoys spending time with their two sons in their Belgard backyard. The Simoneauxs regularly entertain guests in their outdoor kitchen where the specialties are craft cocktails, grilled meats, garlicky dressings, and Cajun and Creole creations. Thanks to the local climate, there's always something interesting in their herb garden to enhance the recipes.
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