Built-in or Portable? How to Choose an Outdoor Fireplace

Outdoor living spaces add instant square footage to the home without the cost and mess of an actual renovation or addition. A patio is an affordable way to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine without giving up the comforts found inside. One of the most popular additions to these spaces is fireplaces. They provide light, warmth, and add a touch of romance to any setting. The only problem is how to choose from all the options available. One of the first choices is to determine if a portable or fixed fireplace is needed.

Consider Size Requirements

The size of a fireplace is not the only measurement to consider. The unit must be far enough away from the house or any patio cover to avoid being a fire risk. Fences, neighboring homes and trees, and other structures are also concerns. A small backyard may not provide enough space for a large, permanent structure but could still easily manage a portable fireplace.

Determine the Use

Portable fireplaces like a chimenea or a bowl-shaped fire pit may be sufficient if all that is wanted is decoration for a conversation area or to roast the occasional marshmallow. Larger, built-in units are best for homeowners that want something that is large enough to provide warmth and to be used as an extension of an outdoor kitchen. The designs for fireplaces are adaptable enough to include brick ovens, smokers, and even grill areas.

Remember the Weather

A permanently fixed fireplace may require more effort to protect and maintain than homeowners want to contribute. It may not be worth the investment to build a fireplace in areas where the weather is too cold to allow the use of it all year or where frequent severe weather requires patio equipment be stored away. A small, easily moved and stored unit is more convenient in these situations.

The decision to either build or buy a fireplace is only one of the many choices people make when they add this backyard feature. Other choices include what it will use as fuel, the material preferred for the base, and the actual design. Visit the All Things of Patio Blog to find out more about what is available in outdoor fireplaces.