An outdoor fireplace can be both a beautiful and functional asset – plus add value to a home. It provides the perfect focal point for entertaining, and it offers warmth at the same time.
Not only that, but outdoor fireplaces can instantly upgrade the sophistication of a patio. When positioned right, they can extend the usable square footage of your home outward – making it appear that your home is larger.
When you look at it this way, permanent stone fireplaces are more of an “investment” in your property, because when you go to sell your home, the increased value can essentially cover the cost you paid for the installation.
All that said, we don’t want to pay more than we need to. According to Improvenet.com, a professionally installed outdoor fireplace can cost up to $20,000!
How to Save Money on an Outdoor Fireplace…
Much of this expense is due to custom designs that are built from scratch. However, there are plenty of upscale (and custom-looking) models that will give you the sophistication and functionality that you’re looking for – at a fraction of the price.
These “pre-fab” products allow homeowners to cut costs significantly because design plans are greatly minimized – if not eliminated altogether. Installation also takes less time because the construction process is virtually nothing, especially if you already have a patio in your backyard where to plan to locate your fireplace or fire pit.
You might actually be surprised at the options available when it comes to pre-fab fireplaces, like I was, but check some of them out:
Summary: The Sunjoy Mornington fireplace has a simple, stylish design with a lot of nice features built into it. The Sunjoy is a wood-burning model, so you get to have the outdoorsy campfire smell as well as having a powerful heating unit (Bonus!).
For example, it has shelves underneath the unit for storing extra wood or supplies. This stand-alone fireplace also has large flat surfaces on either side for setting food and/or drinks, adding home decor or other items. It’s simply extra surface and storage space that comes in handy.
The copper chimney on top not only adds an extra level of sophistication to this outdoor fireplace, but it is also designed to divert smoke away from you and your friends.
The Mornington really dresses up a back patio, but it also provides lots of function as well. It is unique enough to look custom-made, yet it can fit well into lots of different styles of decor – whether you have a log cabin, an English tudor style home or a California ranch.
Dimensions and Specs: 69″ long x 45″ tall x 27″ deep, 500 lbs
Don’t want to deal with firewood, ashes or smoky air? This natural stone outdoor fireplace uses propane gas… but also gives you faux logs resting on a steel grate for the look and feel of a real fire.
In fact, this unit can heat an area up to 155 square feet, so don’t be afraid to use it in wintertime! It’s the perfect excuse to use your back deck or patio more often.
The natural stone walls combined with the porcelain tile surfaces give this outdoor fireplace a very finished look that looks custom-designed. It actually looks like something I’d like to have in my family room or great room – although the CalFlame can’t be used indoors.
And yes, you can position it against the wall of your house or a fence if you want to keep patio space free for furniture, etc…
Dimensions & Specs: 78″ tall x 78″ wide x 43″ deep, 580 lbs
Summary: If you like modern and easy, you will like the Loft. It includes lots of high-tech features. However, you will need to build a frame for it (see video below for simple solution).
I like this unit because it is modern-looking. (Note: the Loft is framed with stainless steel, so it you have a barbecue or outdoor kitchen with stainless steel appliances, this will tie in nicely.)
An speaking of modern, this is a liquid propane unit with vent-free technology and an easy ignition system, so you don’t have to hassle with firewood, smoke, etc… It also includes a fuel-saving intermittent pilot and a remote control. Modern linear burner generates up to 36000 BTUs.
Dimensions and Specs: 39.5″ x 37.5″ x 20″ (approx)
If you want to know how to build a fireplace “on the cheap”, check out this video below. It demonstrates the basics of constructing a large stone fireplace around a base structure of very inexpensive cinder blocks: