DIY: Build Outdoor Fireplace Space in Your Backyard
An outdoor fireplace not only provides a cozy place to relax at the end of the day but also increases the aesthetic appeal of the house. An attractive outdoor fireplace can be made at home without any professional help. Read on to find out how to make an outdoor fireplace as a DIY project.
An outdoor fireplace is a sensible fixture in the backyard that allows you to warm yourself as you lounge outside on cool evenings roasting marshmallows and barbecue. Fortunately, an outdoor fireplace is easy to build and can be finished without professional help.
However, make certain that you put safety first, as you would with any project that is DIY. Build outdoor fireplace space safely with these simple instructions.
The Building Plan
You can start making the outdoor fireplace by digging out a large patch of the earth using a shovel. The pit need not be perfectly even, but make sure it is deep enough – at least 10 inches.
Follow it by laying down a concrete slab that is 10 inches thick on the edges and 6 inches thick in the center to support the structure. If you live in a place that has freezing winters, extend this slab beyond the frost line.
After that, build a square or rectangular bottom pad using fire-safe bricks. Set the bricks tightly packed but without any mortar. This will allow water to drain out of the fireplace through in between the bricks, in case of rain.
Laying this foundation and bottom pad is a must if you erect the fireplace on your patio. This protects it from ugly burn blemishes and keeps it from getting damp.
Now, raise the walls of the fireplace by setting the bricks, one on top of the other staggered or in a straight line, with a layer of mortar paste between them. The walls can be as high as you see opposite and comfortable.
In case you’d like to build an outdoor fireplace with a chimney, don’t forget to leave an opening on its front to feed wood into the fireplace. To build the chimney, after raising the walls high enough, set each succeeding row of bricks a little on the inside, on all four sides of the fireplace.
This is called the ‘tapering method’, and bit-by-bit you will observe the chimney taking shape. Building these chimneys not only keeps the inside of the fireplace smoke-free by providing ventilation but also aids safety purposes and reduces fire injury risks.
Once you’re done with laying the bricks, you may decorate the fireplace by covering the outside of it with fancier, colorful bricks and rocks or paint a mural, as your imagination permits.
There are certain dos and don’ts that you must keep in mind since the structure you’re building is one that deals with fire. Some people debate the use of clay in open-air fireplaces as it is not a sensible choice and is quite risky as it can collapse. If you must, the surface that you use it on should be cemented or tiled.
A fire screen is a brilliant accessory that can be added to the fireplace and requires little expertise to fit it into place, so it is a great project for those who wish to DIY.
Build an outdoor fireplace space with a fire screen by first finding the exact center of the fireplace. Put up the central bracket on the header and ensure that it is as farther away from the face as possible.
Mark the spot and drill a one-inch hole into it and screw in the central bracket using a lag bolt. Now, for the rods, mark the spots on the sides of the fireplace and drill one-inch holes.
Using pliers bend the rods at perpendicular angles so you can attach them directly to the sides of the fireplace. String up the fire screen onto the rod and thrust the rods to be attached on the right side through the left of the central bracket and vice versa.
Make sure that there are no spaces in between the curtains from the center to the close and tack the rods into place by nailing them into the drilled holes.
You can now spend time warming yourself over the fireplace outdoors without fretting about safety.