Outdoor fireplaces have become extremely popular in recent years, partly because of the obvious warmth they add to an outdoor setting, and also because of the charming ambiance they bring to the whole yard. What could be more enjoyable than sitting around the back yard on an autumn evening, with friends and family circled around an outdoor fireplace? In this quasi-living room atmosphere, the best of both worlds can be appreciated, with the natural beauty of the outdoors and the inherent intimacy of an indoor setting.
Fireplace design considerations
The trouble with considering fireplace design ideas is that there are just so darn many of them that it can be a daunting task to sift through them all to see what appeals to you, and what might work well in your particular yard. When considering fireplace design ideas, here are some factors to keep in mind so you can make the best possible choice for your circumstances.
- Have an idea of where would be the best place to install a fireplace, taking into account privacy, available space, the default wind direction, and possibly even local building codes
- The sizing of your fireplace may be dictated by local building code or space in your yard
- Is there enough room for seating of guests in your proposed fireplace location?
- Would a fireplace kit fit your needs better than building from scratch? There are cost considerations to think of with either scenario
- When thinking about a location for your fireplace, make sure to also consider the soil type, potential freezing and thawing, and how the weight of the fireplace will impact the base area. These points can normally be bypassed by building on a solid-based patio
- Would you prefer to burn natural wood in your fireplace, or would you choose a gas-powered fireplace? Pre-fabricated fireplace units can be ready to go, right out of the box after hook-up to a power source like gas
- Be aware of the venting and chimney requirements for the wood-burning fireplace you have in mind
- Do you or does someone in your family have the expertise to build a fireplace by yourselves, or would you have it custom-built by an expert?
- Where will you store the wood for your fireplace? This should not be in a location within a few feet of the home itself, because it can serve as an invitation to termites
- If you should discover in your research that a fireplace may not be a viable option for your circumstances, would a firepit be a workable solution and provide much of the same charm and appeal?
Fireplace design ideas
As mentioned above, there are too many fireplace design ideas for them all to be considered at length, but here are a few of the most common styles. If none of these appeal to you, be aware that many more than these are possible.
- Modern – this style is distinguishable by its typically rectangular firebox opening, and its undecorated look. Standard materials are industrial, e.g. grey concrete
- Mediterranean – the distinctive feature of a Mediterranean style fireplace is the colorful ceramic tiles which frame the firebox
- Southwestern – this style is characterized by a stucco finish that gives it the look of southwestern adobe. A popular variation of the southwestern fireplace is the kiva, which has the smooth, rounded shape of a Mexican bread oven
- Traditional – these are the fireplaces prevalent in many backyards that are commonly faced with brick or stone, and complement a ranch or colonial style home nicely. The firebox can be square or arched, and the design often includes a mantel or hearth.
Fireplaces are quickly becoming one of the most popular outdoor features. At Increte of Houston, we can make your outdoor fireplace design vision come true. Call us at (281) 499-3990 or send us a message here.