More and more of our valued landscape construction clients have been inquiring about the potential to install an outdoor fireplace. We love an outdoor fireplace project for the way the results keep inviting homeowners outside throughout the year, allowing for more enjoyment of properties. As we continue to stay home as much as possible, the more we can do to both cozy up our yards and increase their versatility, the better.
Landscaping projects are long-term investments in the value of your property. An outdoor fireplace is attractive and eye-catching, and will make your home stand out from others when you choose to put it on the market. Simply ideal for entertaining, an outdoor fireplace provides a focal point in your yard and a wonderful, warm location to gather and spend time together.
As outdoor fireplaces are mostly enclosed, they are quite safe as long as they are being closely watched at all times. They will still provide a great deal of heat, if constructed properly, and can even add an additional option for outdoor cooking.
Bylaws around outdoor fireplace construction
Calgary bylaws for outdoor fireplaces are the same as those for fire pits. They are required to be built in to the ground, on a brick or stone pad, or in a fire-proof container. They must be placed at least two metres away from homes, garages, outdoors structures, fences, and property lines, and away from trees and shrubs, or anything that can easily catch fire.
Outdoor fireplaces should be built with a screen or spark guard to stop sparks from flying about. Openings in the screen must be less than 1.24 centimetres wide.
Fires must not reach a size of more than one metre high and one metre wide and must be supervised at all times. It is advisable to keep a fire extinguisher and/or a source of water nearby.
Ask the following when considering an outdoor fireplace
Mirage Landscaping specializes in custom-built outdoor fireplace areas where we can incorporate the very best of our masonry skills. Our outdoor fireplace designs can incorporate flat patio areas, benches, and retaining walls for shrubs, annuals, and perennials that can then be outfitted with underground irrigation. We can also include options for outdoor lighting, even wiring in electrical lights for additional (and easy) ambience. Solar lights are also an option.
The perfect permanent outdoor fireplace area takes planning because there are just so many options. Start by thinking about the reasons you are considering an outdoor fireplace. Ask yourself what your priorities are for the space:
- Would you like a spot for cooking and eating?
- Would you prefer to have a place to sit and lounge?
- How can you compliment your current architecture and landscaping?
- Would you like to include planting spaces and irrigation?
- Where would you place lights if you could?
- What about a roof or covering over one area?
- Is an outdoor entertainment centre (including speakers and a television) part of the plan?
You can let your imagination run wild when planning your outdoor fireplace. The main rule of thumb is to be sure it is safely placed away from buildings, structures, and anything flammable.
Construction materials for outdoor fireplaces
Construction materials for outdoor fireplaces must be fire-safe. The more common are brick, concrete, cinder block, and stone. Where the flames actually burn – what is called the “firebox” – must be built with materials that will withstand extreme temperatures, such as steel or a fire-rated brick. Fireplaces with chimneys must include a proper flue pipe leading from the firebox to the very top of the chimney.
Outdoor fireplaces can be run with wood, natural gas, and propane.
When going with the natural gas option, which is the lowest-cost fuel option, you will have to have an additional gas line installed, which will be a larger up-front cost.
Wood outdoor fireplaces provide the ambient appeal of a crackling, scent-filled fire. They do require a steady supply of logs, however, and also must be cleaned regularly.
Propane is another option for an outdoor fireplace, and trading in empty tanks for full ones is quick and easy.
Patio construction by Mirage
Mirage Landscaping can lay the foundation for your perfect backyard oasis with our patio construction expertise. We have experience creating all sizes of patios from all different kinds of materials to encourage people to spend time in your yard while also capitalizing on the space you have available.
Contact us for a fast, free quote
Landscape construction projects do not stop when the weather gets cooler. For the most part, there’s still a lot we can do throughout the winter. We are dedicated to satisfying the needs of our valued customers through the creation of stunning, efficient, affordable projects. Contact us for a fast, free quote today!