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How to Make an Outdoor Fireplace in 4 Steps


Outdoor fireplaces have grown in popularity during the last few years.  One question we frequently receive from homeowners is "How do I make an outdoor fireplace?"  There is a defined and proper way to build an outdoor fireplace so that it works - and you don't have to spend a fortune!  Anyone can throw some brick, block, and mortar together and call it an outdoor fireplace, and lots of people are willing to take your money and do this work for you.  However, there is no guarantee that the end product will be properly designed, and the smoke may not go up the chimney.  Accordingly, here is "How to Make an Outdoor Fireplace in 4 Steps":

Step 1: Pour a concrete pad.  The pad should typically be 4-6 inches thick, 3-4 feet deep, and 4-5 feet wide.  You should normally allow 24 hours for the concrete to set up before you move to Step 2.

how to make an outdoor fireplace, concrete

Step 2: Stack up the pieces of a pre-engineered masonry outdoor fireplace kit.  This is the "secret sauce" of how to build an outdoor fireplace.  The pre-engineered masonry fireplaces are designed with the correct angles and dimensions so that the smoke from your fire will go up the chimney - which is key!  This is science, not art, and a pre-engineered masonry kit (FireRock brand shown below) comes with the science already built in.  In addition, these kits can be installed by 2 people with no previous experience in only a few hours, by simply following the instructions. 

how to make an outdoor fireplace, fireplace kit

Step 3: Install the firebrick.  As soon as Step 2 is complete, you can move forward with installing the firebrick.  The choices regarding firebrick are color and pattern.  Firebrick color choices are buff (yellow, as shown below) and red, with buff being the most popular choice by far.  The most common firebrick patterns (in order of installation ease, starting with the easiest) are running bond (as shown below), herringbone, and split herringbone. Regardless of which pattern you select, you will need a masonry saw to cut some of the pieces.

how to make an outdoor fireplace, firebrick

Step 4: Put on the veneer of your choice.  An outdoor fireplace can support any type of veneer, so it really is a matter of preference by the homeowner.  The choice usually boils down to aesthetics and cost.  The three most common veneers (in order of cost, starting with the least expensive) are manufactured stone, brick, and natural stone.

how to make an outdoor fireplace, completed fireplace

If you follow these 4 steps, the entire project takes 3 days, and can be done by 2 people.  The 1st day is not a full working day, as you are pouring the concrete pad, and then waiting for it to set up.  The only way to build a properly designed and functioning outdoor fireplace in such a short amount of time is to use a pre-engineered masonry kit.  That's how it is done!





How much is the cheapest fireplace you have for sale? How much is the fire-retardant mortar?
Posted @ Tuesday, January 03, 2012 1:13 PM by Reginald Allen
I am in the exploratory stage. I like the info on this website and feel I have the skills to do this project. How much are kits?
Posted @ Wednesday, January 23, 2013 3:49 PM by Steve Klapheke
I am looking to build an outdoor fireplace and came across your site. What would it cost me to purchase the materials from you and where in NJ can I get them from?
Posted @ Monday, March 11, 2013 3:46 PM by Brian Cook
Brian - There are several factors that will impact pricing, and I need to know what city you are in to locate the closest dealer, but I have passed your email to the inside sales person that handles your region. She will reach out to you and answer all of your questions. Thanks for your interest in FireRock.
Posted @ Friday, March 15, 2013 2:34 PM by Paul Dabbs
Like those who posted before me, I am interested in this as it suits my skill level and would like to know the cost of the kits. Please have someone contact me for my region - Contra Costa County, CA. Thanks.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 30, 2013 2:07 PM by Alex
Is this a kit I buy from you or a local place. I'm from central pa and would like to know the cost of these kits to determine how big I can go..thank you!
Posted @ Sunday, July 21, 2013 2:12 PM by brenda mace
@Brenda -- Thanks for your question. Yes, the photos above are from a kit, which you can purchase from any one of our 400+ dealers nationwide. Our signature line of FireRock fireplaces come in a variety of styles and width openings:  
To locate your nearest dealer and to get a full quote, please reach a FireRock representative today at: OR  
Posted @ Monday, July 22, 2013 7:36 AM by Calvin Truong
How tall does the chimminy have to be if the hearth measures 36 wide x 33 high x 45 deep. And should a damper be installed if its an outside fireplace.
Posted @ Wednesday, November 06, 2013 10:25 AM by Al Lofaso
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