Outdoor patios and courtyards provide homeowners with additional living and entertaining space during warm-weather months. Extend the outdoor season into fall and winter by adding an outdoor fireplace to the landscape. Outdoor fireplaces not only create a warm, welcoming environment, they also add value to the home. Banish the chill by selecting an outdoor fireplace or fire pit design that suits your architectural style.
Traditional outdoor fireplaces resemble their indoor counterparts. These permanent landscape focal points feature a base, hearth, firebox, mantel and chimney. Traditional masonry outdoor fireplace materials include brick and a variety of decorative stone finishes. Select materials that coordinate with the existing patio hardscape. Choose from wood or gas fireplace versions. Get approval from neighbourhood or homeowners associations prior to construction, if necessary. Work with a reputable company that will guarantee its work.
Chimineas, freestanding Mexican clay fireplaces, were originally used for cooking. They typically consist of two parts: the chimney and pot-bellied base, which fit together to create a single unit. Most chimineas come with a decorative metal stand. Place a layer of sand in the fire compartment to protect the clay from heat damage. Use the chiminea on a concrete, stone or brick surface. During cold weather, store the chiminea indoors to prevent cracks in the clay.
Consider a kiva fireplace for a patio with Southwestern flair. This rounded fireplace commonly occupies the corner of an outdoor space, and often includes built-in bench seating on either side of the fire source. Lightweight construction methods have replaced the heavy adobe clay used in the past. The modern kiva fireplace includes a standard brick firebox and chimney covered with a wire-mesh frame to create its unusual shape. A smooth stucco plaster coat is applied over the wire armature.
An indoor-outdoor fireplace gives homeowners the opportunity to enjoy the warmth and ambience of a roaring fire on the patio and in the living room at the same time. This gas fireplace features openings on both sides, providing a view from the inside to the outside. It provides heat via a sealed combustion chamber with glass panels rated for window use. A specialised air distribution system allows fresh air to enter the chamber, and fumes to exhaust to the outside.
Fire pits come in all shapes, sizes and designs. They bring to mind an open campfire, imparting a casual feel to outdoor living spaces. Fire pits can be either wood-burning or fuelled by a gas source. Choose from permanent fire pits constructed of brick, natural stone or concrete blocks. Affordable and portable premade fire pits feature metal-and-ceramic construction. These models include dual-purpose features such as grilling grates, cocktail table surrounds and beverage coolers.
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