Although we’re all dreaming of summer, there’s still plenty of good use for your outdoor space left in the year. And you can extend the usefulness of your outdoor space by adding an outdoor fireplace to your yard. Just imagine cozy nights of snuggling under a blanket and stargazing or toasting marshmallows as a family.
Here are some tips to maximize your enjoyment of an outdoor fireplace:
Create a Room-Like Arrangement
If you’re going to invest in an outdoor fireplace, you should think about designing the entire outdoor space the way you would a living or family room. That means a variety of comfortable patio furniture surrounding the fireplace and hearth, as well as side tables and such for setting down mugs of steaming hot cocoa.
Plan for No-Mess Cooking
Outdoor fireplaces aren’t just for looks; depending on what kind you settle on, you can often use them similarly to charcoal grills for cooking food. More than half of Americans say they cook outdoors all year round. If you do anticipate doing so, make sure you have a station set up near the fireplace where you can set down platters or hot Dutch ovens, store cooking utensils, etc.
Make Fuel Storage Beautiful
Whether you choose a gas-powered fireplace with a tank or a wood-burning fireplace, you’ll need to consider where that fuel will be stored. Some freestanding gas fireplaces have a spot for the fuel tank to be tucked away, but if not you’ll want to plan for a decorative way to disguise it. And if you’re sticking to old-fashioned wood, you can find safe containers that will keep the wood dry while also keeping it handy.
Consider Maintenance Needs
Outdoor fireplaces are commonly made of stone, stucco, tile, and brick; each has not only a unique look, but also unique maintenance needs. Be sure you’re aware of those needs and how your local climate might affect them as you’re choosing a material.
Take Fireplace Safety Seriously
Fireplaces are safe when properly installed and carefully used, but it’s important that you respect anything involving fire (and teach your children to do the same). According to data collected between 2007 and 2011, U.S. fire departments were called to an average of 8,800 home and outside fires having to do with grills and outdoor fire pits. So be careful around your fireplace, never leave it burning unattended, and keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby in case it gets out of control.
Dreaming of an outdoor fireplace to enjoy as the nights turn cooler? Let us know!