5 Ways to Add a Fireplace to Your Deck

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Home Improvement

This outdoor fireplace is the perfect addition to any deck.
Blend Images/Trinette Reed/Thinkstock

Decks are often underutilized outdoor spaces, with only a few chairs, a table, and maybe a candle to keep the bugs away. However, with the right fireplace, a deck can become a popular gathering spot for everyone in the household. A fireplace can add ambiance, lighting, heat, and the ability to toast marshmallows to your outdoor entertainment area. Additionally, the fireplace can turn the space into a functional area during the chilly winter months, making it a worthwhile investment.

However, deck fireplaces tend to be more expensive than fire pits or portable fireplaces. Therefore, it’s important to do your research to ensure that you get the ideal fireplace for your needs. Once installed, a fireplace is costly and challenging to replace. Here are some tips to assist you in selecting the right fireplace for your deck.

5: Assess the Area

Before designing your deck fireplace, evaluate the space you have available. Consider the dimensions of your deck and how much space you have to work with. The fireplace you choose should be big enough to provide sufficient heat but not so big that it dominates the space. Incorporate the design into the surrounding area to avoid it standing out. Consider foliage and existing decor, and choose a style that complements your home. The positioning of the fireplace is crucial since it affects the overall appearance of the deck. Zoning codes may influence where it can be placed, and you must also consider how it will affect your view and privacy.

Try Temporary Options

If you’re unsure about committing to a permanent fireplace, consider using a portable outdoor fireplace or chiminea. These are affordable and simple to use, allowing you to “test-drive” the concept before making a final decision.

4: Consult an Expert

When it comes to home improvement projects, it’s often more cost-effective to hire a professional. True outdoor fireplaces can be expensive, and contractors can handle the masonry, gas line installation, and other construction issues more efficiently and cost-effectively than a DIY approach. Obtain multiple quotes to get the best deal, and remember that project quotes are typically free, allowing you to get a lot of great ideas from the experts you consult without spending any money.

Consulting a professional for fireplace installation is beneficial as they are knowledgeable about local permit requirements and regulations that may affect the installation. The height of chimneys may be restricted in some regions, and burn permits may be required. Additionally, gas lines should be installed by professionals, making their involvement necessary at some point.

When deciding between wood-burning and gas-burning fireplaces, it is essential to consider their benefits and drawbacks. Wood-burners require larger chimneys and hearth areas to accommodate logs, emit more heat, and offer a more authentic feel. Gas fireplaces feature exhaust vents that take up less space, but their functionality requires a gas line, which can be expensive and require maintenance.

Gel-burning fireplaces that use alcohol gel fuel have faced controversy due to their reported rapid spread and difficulty to put out.

The design of the fireplace is crucial, and there are various options available, including stone, stucco, brick, and ceramic tile accents. The cost of materials will impact the design, with stucco being the cheapest but least impressive. Fireplaces can be constructed in various architectural styles, from traditional to modern or with a regional twist.

The fireplace’s bells and whistles, including built-in grills, sinks, bars, and wood storage, can be added for an additional cost to make the fireplace a multi-functional entertaining area. Fire safety is crucial, and it is recommended to keep a fire extinguisher, hose, or bucket of sand nearby and supervise children and pets.

Additional Information

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  • Belden, Derick. “Outdoor Fireplaces.” Southern Living. 2012. (July 10, 2012). http://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/decorating/outdoorfireplaces-00400000008575/
  • Better Homes and Gardens. “16 Fabulous Outdoor Fireplaces.” 2012. (July 10, 2012). http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/porch/outdoor-rooms/fabulous-outdoor-fireplaces/#page=6
  • Better Homes and Gardens. “Outdoor Fireplace Ideas.” 2012. (July 10, 2012). http://www.bhg.com/decorating/fireplace/outdoor/outdoor-fireplace-ideas/#page=1
  • Caifa, Karen. “CPSC, firms recall fuel gel due to fire, burn risks.” CNN. Sept. 1, 2011. (July 10, 2012). http://articles.cnn.com/2011-09-01/us/fuel.gel.recall_1_gel-cpsc-chairman-inez-tenenbaum-fires-spread?_s=PM:US
  • Fireplace Mall. “Tips for Using Outdoor Fireplaces, Fire Pits, and Fire Bowls.” 2011. (July 10, 2012). http://www.fireplacemall.com/Article_Library/Using_Outdoor_Fireplaces__Fire/using_outdoor_fireplaces__fire.html
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1. Why install a fireplace on your deck?

Installing a fireplace on your deck is a great way to enhance its functionality and add to the ambiance of your outdoor living space. A fireplace provides warmth on chilly evenings, creates a cozy atmosphere and can even serve as a focal point for your deck. Additionally, it can add value to your home and increase its appeal to potential buyers if you decide to sell in the future.

2. What are the different types of fireplaces for decks?

There are various types of fireplaces that can be installed on your deck, including wood-burning, gas, and electric. Wood-burning fireplaces are traditional and provide a natural flame and aroma, but require more maintenance and safety precautions than other types. Gas fireplaces are more convenient and energy-efficient, but require professional installation and maintenance. Electric fireplaces are the most low-maintenance and easy to install, but don’t provide the same heat and ambiance as wood or gas options.

3. What are the safety considerations when installing a fireplace on your deck?

Safety should be a top priority when installing a fireplace on your deck. You must ensure that the fireplace is installed according to local building codes and manufacturer instructions. Fireplaces should be placed on non-combustible surfaces, such as concrete or brick, and at least 10 feet away from any combustible materials. Additionally, you should have a fire extinguisher and smoke detector nearby and never leave a fire unattended.

4. How much does it cost to install a fireplace on your deck?

The cost of installing a fireplace on your deck varies depending on the type of fireplace, materials used and complexity of the installation. Wood-burning fireplaces are typically the most expensive to install, with costs ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 or more. Gas fireplaces can cost between $2,500 to $7,500, while electric fireplaces are the most budget-friendly option, costing between $500 to $2,000. Keep in mind that additional costs may be incurred if you need to hire professionals for installation or if you need to make modifications to your deck.

5. How do I maintain and clean my deck fireplace?

Maintenance and cleaning requirements for your deck fireplace depend on the type of fireplace you have. For wood-burning fireplaces, you should have the chimney cleaned annually and remove ashes regularly. Gas fireplaces require less maintenance, but should be inspected and serviced by a professional every few years. Electric fireplaces only require occasional dusting and cleaning with a damp cloth. Regardless of the type of fireplace, you should always follow manufacturer instructions for maintenance and cleaning to ensure safe and effective operation.

6. Can I install a fireplace on any deck?

Not every deck is suitable for a fireplace installation. The size of your deck, its proximity to your home and the availability of a gas line or electrical outlet are all factors to consider. Additionally, you must ensure that your fireplace is installed in compliance with local building codes and regulations. If you’re unsure whether your deck is suitable for a fireplace installation, consult with a professional installer or building inspector.

7. What are some design considerations when installing a fireplace on your deck?

When selecting a fireplace for your deck, consider its design and how it will fit with the style of your home and outdoor living space. You should also consider the size and placement of the fireplace, as well as any additional features you may want, such as a built-in seating area or storage for firewood. Incorporating lighting and other outdoor d├ęcor can also enhance the ambiance of your deck fireplace and create a welcoming outdoor space.

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