• Outdoor Fireplaces and Alternative Fire Features

  • Interest in FORMAL OUTDOOR FIREPLACES is off-the-charts crazy.

    Homeowners love the idea of an outdoor fireplace, and can’t wait to have a custom designed fireplace installed in their luxury outdoor living space. That is, until they see the entry price of $15,000.  Yes, $15,000— and the most recent creation was north of $25,000.

    It’s a complicated process, with outstanding results.

    After walking through the process step-by-step, homeowners can appreciate the complexity, time and cost of installing one of these sought after crowd pleasers.  Footers are dug and poured, a cinder block interior is constructed then faced with brick and mortar, the interior fire box is lined with fire brick and clay mortar, and a clay tile flue is constructed and topped with a “bird cage”.  The process continues with a custom mantel, often a rescued slab of lumber or limestone— and the customized details from there are bounded only by our imaginations.

    Outdoor Fireplaces often consume 3 masons, scheduled for 2-3 weeks.

    But there are AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVES to achieve the cozy outdoor fireplace effect. Fortunately, these creative alternatives are also completely customizable and abundant. Rustic boulder fire pits are my favorite and the most cost affective at around $1,200.  Man made stone materials like Belgard or Unilock make fantastic fire features too, particularly when accompanied by a natural stone cap or ribbon, but are at least double the price of the more basic fire features.