Outdoor Fireplace Guide: Types, Styles, DIY + Pics!

A fireplace is a great addition to almost any backyard or patio. They are fantastic for that cozy, winter feeling. And they can also be really good for the environment- depending on the style you go with.

They are not just for heat though! There are so many other things you can do with your fireplace once the cold months pass. You can use it as a place to roast marshmallows with friends or even cook dinner on!

Imagine entertaining your friends and family around this beauty:

If you want to upgrade your house’s outdoor living space, an outdoor fireplace may be the perfect place to start. It can help you create an appealing environment that allows you to enjoy your home, on your grass lawn, or patio in a whole new manner.

Whether you want a fire pit, an outdoor fireplace, or anything in between, deciding what works best for your area and budget may be difficult but don’t worry, as there is an outdoor fireplace kit. Do not worry, since there are a variety of fantastic outdoor living goods in store for you.

This article will show you everything you need to know about outdoor fireplace plans. Continue reading our outdoor fireplace guide to learn more.

Fuel Source

Nothing sets the tone in your outdoor space like a fireplace, for which there are many fuel types. The flickering brilliance of the flames sets the tone for romantic nights with your loved one or weekend get-togethers with friends and family.

But, before you gather around a fire to enjoy the warmth and social element it provides, you need to decide which fuel type is best for you. Fortunately, there are several alternatives.

You have to consider all alternative options to get an adjustable flame. Fuel selection, material selection is an important part of outdoor fireplace plans for both a gas fireplace and an electric fireplace or any larger fireplace.

  1. Propane: Propane fireplaces are popular in the United States. Instead of using kindling to start a fire, ensure enough fuel in the fireplace, switch on the gas, and then press a button to play it. Propane is also 92% efficient, indicating that heat utilizes and is lighter than wood, which is just 60% efficient as a fuel source for our permanent structure.
  2. Natural Gas: An outdoor gas fireplace operates on natural gas. Many people love utilizing natural gas fireplaces outside since they generate heat using less fuel. This design also produces less smoke and fewer harmful components, and it is simple to clean because there are no ashes or soot for the indoor fireplace.
  3. Electric: An electric fireplace is a novel design. These devices are a mechanism that generates heat and operates on electricity. A person who possesses this type of fireplace does not have to be concerned about smoke, carbon dioxide, or the emission of any other gases. The ability to adjust the precise temperature with a connected thermostat is a nice feature on most electric versions. They are low cost, safer for children and animals, efficient energy to heat conversion, and low maintenance. So a great fireplace design for you.
  4. Wood: Wood is affordable and plentiful in many parts of the United States, particularly in the northeast and Midwest. Owners of wood fireplaces harvest their materials. Experts recommend allowing firewood to dry out for at least six months to a year to ensure moisture does not build up for these types of fireplaces. You can install an outdoor chimney hearth or just go with a fire pit if you’re intent on burning wood.
  5. Gel Fuel: A ventless gel fuel fireplace uses alcohol-based gel canisters as fuel. You have to remove the paper label from the outside of the container to burn the gel fuel. Then you similarly open its lid to that of a paint can. You can also use gel fuels for indoor or outdoor usage. They do not require power, a gas connection, or a chimney to work, so no safety hazard.


Outdoor fireplaces are available in a wide range of styles, allowing you to complement your existing decor or add a unique touch to your outdoor living space.

When you locate the perfect one, it can be a gorgeous addition to your house. It will make it feel more welcoming and functional, especially for stone fire pits. And there are many styles!

In-ground fire pits

In-ground fire pits are unique as they contain the fire within a sphere. And its flames emit extreme heat straight from the ground. This sort of fire pit is only for use outside, and it may convert a simple yard, patio, or garden into a pleasant, warm, and elegant space. Consider investing in a firepit spark screen to stay safe when the flame is unattended!

Above ground fire pits

A wood-burning or gas above-ground fire pit is a beautiful hardscaping element that serves as a great focal point. You can use natural rocks to build a stack above ground to define the pit area, a great architectural feature.

They give the pit an earthy aspect, making it appear it belongs in the environment, and there are many popular options.

Fire Pit Rings

A backyard campfire is always a hit! A fire pit ring insert, on the other hand, may keep your home flames glowing brightly and in the proper location for years. Without one, the fire and heat can cause the mortar and adhesives that maintain the fire pit bricks together to deteriorate over time. Installing a fire pit ring insert is the way to go if you want your fire pit to endure a long time.

Traditional Built-in Fireplaces

A built-in fireplace is a fireplace that is installed into a residence that does not already have one. There are no dangers of the fire spreading, producing smoke, or releasing hazardous gases. So, electric fireplaces are safer than other fireplaces with real flames in these wood-burning fires.

Fireplace Inserts

A fireplace insert is a sealed box that goes into an existing brick fireplace and is installed. So, it is replaced with a new high-efficiency wood, gas, or propane fireplace. It uses less fuel and generates more heat. These can burn fuel more efficiently and increase the amount of heat radiated into the room. There is less waste of fuel through the chimney.

Portable Fireplaces

Portable fireplaces are heaters that you can place in any area or even on a tabletop. These fireplaces are available in a variety of sizes, from little tabletop versions to medium floor units, and use different smoking materials. They are stainless steel, but most aim to imitate a real fireplace using wood, even a cast-iron-like body, or some affordable materials.

Fire Pit Tables

A fire pit table, also known as a fire table, is outdoor furniture that adds elegance and flair to a patio or backyard while providing an entertaining space as well. It is ideal for entertaining friends and keeping everyone comfortable on cold evenings.

It may be used for many things, like giving warmth and light on chilly nights, entertaining visitors, and holding cookouts.


The Chiminea remains a popular and affordable alternative for those looking for an outdoor fireplace that can be transported from one area to another. The bulbous, spherical body, which users fill from the front, is one of this kind of fireplace’s most notable and recognizable features.

Portable fire pits

Portable fire pits are the greatest method to ensure you can coax light and heat no matter where you are camping, whether they’re small, foldable, flat-packed or a mix of all three. It also makes things like camp cooking a little easier, plus it is reusable with ample space.

A close cousin are these pool fire bowls– which are a gorgeous backyard addition!

Buying Considerations

An individual must first understand the environment in which they reside before selecting an outdoor fireplace. Someone who lives in a hot and humid climate may have different requirements than someone who lives in a cold and dry one.

Before buying, you have to select a suitable place considering the adjacent structures and also decide on the type of fuel used for the adequate heat for the storage space. You can also make an outdoor fireplace on a budget– check out our guide!

Type: What kind of design do you want?

How To Make An Outdoor Fireplace Cheaply

Style is one factor that has no bearing on the fuel but does impact the building material.

Many individuals want their outdoor fire pits to blend in with their surroundings and not stand out. Conventional materials such as clay, brick, or stone may appeal to someone who lives in an older, more traditional home.

More modern fireplace materials, such as glass, plastic, and other synthetics, tend to appear better in newer homes. Although having a home constructed of a specific material does not limit what may be used in the fireplace, it might impact the yard’s overall beauty.

Planning the Right Size Fireplace

How To Make An Outdoor Fireplace Cheaply

When it comes to fireplaces, size is important.

An outdoor model should have a bigger firebox so that wood of different sizes may be used and the heat can be directed toward the crowd. A tiny fireplace should be powered by a clean, efficient fuel such as ethanol or electricity.

These two varieties are the smallest and waste the fewest resources, making them suitable for anybody looking for a porch or patio decoration.

Wood-burning and propane fireplaces may be significantly larger than gas fireplaces, making them perfect for larger homes.

Function: What’s the main purpose of the fire?

out-door fireplace

Fireplaces are used to create a soothing atmosphere as well as to heat a space. The heat efficiency of modern fireplaces varies depending on the design. In cold or stormy areas, materials like stone and metal perform best since they are extremely robust and endure wind and rain.

Although stone might be costly, it is difficult to damage.

On the other hand, plastic and thin synthetics should be kept in warmer, gentler climes where they won’t be blown away.

Any fireplace with wooden paneling will need to be sealed, although it will look nicer in a hot, dry environment. Glass can withstand extremes of heat and cold, but it may be damaged by wind and storms.

Selecting An Idea

what to do with fireplace ashes

Finally, individuals must examine the types of fuel that are accessible in their area. Those models may not work for everyone because not everyone will have natural gas connections running across their area or simple access to propane.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a stain- and corrosion-resistant material that can withstand extreme temperatures. It’s also simple to keep clean. It is, however, rather hefty, so it may not be the ideal choice if you need something portable.


You may build a fire pit from the ground up using paver stones. The stones are long-lasting and can be placed in any way you like, making it simple to personalize the design. Furthermore, this is a low-cost fire pit and outdoor fireplace material.

Cast Iron

One of the most corrosion-resistant materials for a fire pit is cast iron. It also conducts and distributes heat, allowing you to use your outdoor fire pit even when chilly weather. It’s also pretty hefty, so keep it in one spot for the most part.


This is a low-maintenance outdoor fire pit material that is also one of the more economical options. It won’t rust and is very light, making it ideal for portable models.


For chimeneas, ceramic material is a common choice. It holds up nicely, despite being a little flimsy. It is also heat-resistant, which means it does not emit as much heat like other materials. Ceramic material does not get as hot to the touch as other materials, which is a common worry among families with children.


Copper is an excellent heat conductor. Thus it provides a warm fire with minimal effort. It is long-lasting and corrosion-resistant, and the natural patina it develops gives it a distinct look. It does, however, take a little more care and is one of the most costly fire pit materials available.

Can you build a DIY outdoor fireplace?

Yes, you can build a DIY option cheapy! You can start with fire pits that burn wood. Consult your local utility provider before digging for an in-ground fire pit to ensure there are no hidden lines or pipes before the material selection. Designate the position of your fire pit once you have decided on a place free of low-hanging trees or other structures.

Dig a hole for your fire pit. Make sure it is level by tamping the earth. Now start laying down the paver stones. It can take a little Tetris to get everything to fit, but once you have finished the base, fill in the spaces between the pavers with sand. You will need an even layer, so use the tamper.

After you have made sure everything is level and filled in, you WIll use the other wall stones to construct the fire pit’s walls. Create 2 or 3 tiny holes all the way around the enclosure while placing your stones to allow air to enter the fire ring for combustion. You will be almost done once you have completed that stage! Add wood, and you have got yourself a working DIY wood-burning outdoor fireplace.

Prepare to enjoy a fresh new centerpiece for any outdoor events now that you have a comprehensive grasp of the different types of outdoor fireplaces, how they operate, and the benefits and drawbacks of the gas fireplace, as well as others. Now that you know what kind of fireplace you want, plastic and thin synthetics, Make sure you understand all of your options to acquire it.

Just take safety precautions, follow safety tips, and stay safe from accidental burns while working on your fireplace or outdoor structure, especially when you burn the fuel after the fuel selection.

Eugene Duke Pic

Hi, my name’s Eugene Duke and I love sitting by my fireplace reading a book and sipping on an adult beverage. Do you have a fireplace in your house? I’ll help you figure out the best type and style of fireplace for your home.


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