How to Construct an Outdoor Fireplace?
A fireplace can be the perfect way to add a little extra warmth and comfort to your backyard. It is also a great place to entertain family and friends. But before you build a fireplace, there are a few things to keep in mind.
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The first thing to consider is how large your backyard is. This is important because it will determine the size of your outdoor fireplace as well as whether you can accommodate it in a corner or on a patio. Choosing the right spot for your outdoor fireplace will depend on factors such as convenience, views from inside the house, privacy from neighbors, access to electrical outlets (if necessary), and safety for pets and kids.
Another consideration is the type of materials you want to use. Traditionally, outdoor fireplaces are made of stone. However, modern designs may incorporate a variety of different materials including concrete, wood, and steel.
Regardless of the material you choose, it is crucial to have a fireproof hearthstone for your fireplace. This will help prevent sparks from flying out the front of your fireplace and will also reduce the amount of smoke and carbon monoxide that enters your home.
Make sure your hearthstone is at least 4 inches thick and extends at least 16 inches in front of the firebox and 8 inches on either side. This will keep the smoke and fumes away from your home and make it safer for you to spend time in your backyard.
Next, you will need to lay a foundation for your outdoor fireplace. This is a very simple process. The most common approach is to use concrete but you can also go with a foundation block design instead. Just be sure that the foundation is on a solid flat ground and check it with a surveyor’s level.
Once you have a good flat foundation, you can start building your fireplace frame. This is the main part of your structure and it will hold the rest of your firebox together.
For most people, they prefer to use concrete for their foundation because it is a very stable material and it is a lot cheaper than bricks. However, you should not pour concrete directly onto the soil as it needs a 4″-8″ crushed aggregate base and steel reinforcement. This will also prevent the concrete from cracking if it is exposed to high heat.
When laying your foundation, start by placing the blocks one by one around the perimeter of the hole. Be sure to use a level to ensure that each block is the same height, and be sure to stagger the joints between rows of blocks as well.
After a few blocks have been laid, you can begin to glue them together. Be sure to use very small amounts of adhesive so that the blocks don’t “swim” and are firmly anchored into place. The gravity of the blocks will also hold them in place.
Lastly, be sure to cut or form expansion joints on your concrete pad. This is to ensure that the weight of your fireplace won’t crack your concrete pad if it moves or settles over time.