Depending on where you live, outdoor living could be a year-round reality. Or, maybe once December hits, the backyard is generally off-limits until the first signs of spring. But, no matter what your address, an outdoor fireplace can bring added enjoyment to your home, extend the usability of your outdoor space, and maybe add some value to at the same time.
One of the benefits to outdoor fireplaces is "their ability to add extra square footage to your living space by becoming an extension of your home's interior," said TMS Architects. "To enhance this effect, continue the style and color scheme you have used in your home and provide ample comfortable seating."
The cost of your outdoor fireplace will vary widely depending on what you choose. The first consideration is whether you want something prefabricated, which will start at a much lower cost and not require construction, or prefer to go custom. According to Improvenet.com, a professionally installed outdoor fireplace can run a good $20,000, but expect the cost to climb even higher depending on the scale and materials.
You can cut costs dramatically by going prefab. "If you decide to opt for a prefabricated or modular fireplace purchased from a specialty retailer or home improvement store, your wallet will take a significantly smaller hit - more in the $1,000 to $10,000 range," said HGTV. "The size and materials will go a long way to determining the cost. Whatever you invest, the returns are likely to be hefty in terms of cozy and comfortable quality time spent with friends and family."
Here are a few ideas to "fire" you up.
For those who want the fire without a big price or space commitment, this Grandview 24-inch Propane Gas Outdoor Fireplace from Home Depot is a great choice. The freestanding unit gives off great warmth and provides a warm appearance for just $250.
The Jasper Steel and Faux Stack Stone Outdoor Fireplace gives more of a custom look without the custom price, and at 72 inches, is a substantial piece that can set the foundation for a gracious outdoor space. The cost: $1,398.
On the high end, there's this 78-inch Brown Natural Stone Propane Gas Outdoor Fireplace. It looks custom, provides an adjustable heat level, and requires no construction. But, you'll pay for the privilege of owning a large piece with this level of detail. The cost: $4,557.
If you're not limited to where you can locate your fireplace because you've got the space, and you want to make it part of a focal point (while also showcasing some beautiful landscaping, as in this example), creating an outdoor entertainment area with the fireplace in the center is a great way to go. Here, the fireplace anchors the patio without detracting from the views, and also provides some additional seating.
Getting maximum usage out of your outdoor fireplace typically means a couple of things: ample seating, and coverage from the elements. Add in a TV and an outdoor kitchen, and you never have to stay inside again!
Really want to do something different? How about a fireplace that butts right up to your pool, so you can enjoy the warmth while lounging or swimming laps.
While many outdoor fireplaces tend to have a more traditional or rustic look, creating a sleek look in line with a more modern aesthetic is easy to achieve.