If you are looking for a fresh way to entertain friends and family in the backyard, outdoor stone barbecue fireplaces can add a touch of rustic ambience. Cooking authentic wood-fired pizza, or slow-roasting a chicken over a real wood fire is sure to be a hit when entertaining guests. There are many attractive options for these outdoor fireplaces, sometimes called fire pits, including permanent structures that you can buy or build yourself.
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Outdoor stone or masonry fireplaces are typically permanent structures built right into a patio or deck area. Some stone fireplaces come in easy-to-build kits for the do-it-yourself enthusiast. If you do not wish to undertake building a stone or masonry fireplace yourself, you can contract a mason or brick layer to do the job for you. You can construct an outdoor stone fireplace with a rotisserie or grill attached for cooking over the fire.
Besides the obvious aesthetic benefits and improved ambience, outdoor stone barbecue fireplaces offer a bit of practicality as well. On warm summer evenings, you can keep the heat out of the house by cooking outdoors in your stone fireplace. On a cool autumn evening, you can stay warm and cosy while enjoying the brisk night air.
There are generally three choices of materials in the construction of stone fireplaces. You can make them from stone, such as limestone, granite or marble--all of which come in a variety of colours and designs. The stones are cut to size and are extremely durable, especially granite. You can construct outdoor fireplaces of natural stones that are polished, smoothed and shaped for easier use--although they can still be more difficult to work with for some people. A final option is cultured stone, which consists of stone-like pieces made from resin. They are made in numerous colours and are lightweight and easy to manage during installation.
Location is important when deciding where to build your outdoor stone barbecue fireplace. Generally the closer to the house the fireplace is located, the more often it will be used. The fireplace should rest on a fairly flat surface of grass, gravel or dirt to allow for drainage during rainy seasons. Leave ample space around your stone fireplace to allow for seating.
Check your local zoning and safety codes before building an outdoor stone barbecue fireplace. Some areas require a building and safety inspection for any new structure. Make sure the fireplace is built away from any low-hanging branches, trees or power lines. It will also need to be at least 20 feet away from all inflammable structures or materials. When you burn a fire, use a mesh screen lid to prevent burning embers from escaping or otherwise creating any problems.
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