If you’re looking for a great way to accent your patio, garden or just favorite spot in the yard, then adding an outdoor fireplace is it. By adding an outdoor fireplace, you can create a snug and cozy alcove for just two, or make a fantastic gathering spot for your guests. No matter what you choose, you’ll find that an out door fireplace becomes a focal point in your outdoor occasions.
Outdoor fireplace construction isn’t for everyone. It is a complicated task in its entirety. That doesn’t mean you can’t sub out the hard stuff and do the easy stuff yourself.
Location of the outdoor fireplace should be on a level area preferably with a wind buffer like a hill or trees that block prevailing winds. You may need to install shrubbery or a fence to prevent prevailing winds from ruining your outdoor gathering with wind and flying hot ash!
You’ll need a good foundation to start with, so after you decide where you are placing it, dig a footer. It should be a minimum of 8″ into the virgin soil. Set up a set of forms if your soil is sandy and loose. Set a series of #8 rebar inside of the footer and pour on some concrete. Mixing a few bags should be enough for small projects, but if you’re going all out, you may want to think about calling in some help and a cement truck.
After your foundation has dried, its time to add some blocks. Concrete blocks are set with mortar mix and a trowel. Spread a layer about 1-2″ thick along the foundation and set the blocks on it. Use a string line and tape measure to square up the blocks as you set the four corners. After the corners are set, fill in the rest using a line as a straight edge. Add more mortar and continue adding alternating corners and rows until you reach the top. Keep the height of the joints uniform by adding more than you need and tapping the block down until it’s the same as the rest. Wipe away the excess mortar with a wet sponge.
In the center of the blocks, add the fire slab and fire brick in the same way as the block. Mix fire mortar for the inner hearth and fire brick. Stack the center until you reach the top.
You should make the chimney at least 10 feet high to prevent smoke from getting in your face when you sitting or standing next to it. If you’re unclear how a chimney works, you can find countless blueprints and side drawings of fireplaces and how they work on the web or call your local building department for more details to fireplace codes specific to your region.