In the world of outdoor living spaces, a popular and growing trend is to incorporate a working fireplace into your deck space. These can not only add ambiance and be festive spots to entertain friends and family, but they can function as true outdoor cooking spaces and can increase use of a deck in cooler weather.
The first thing to consider when contemplating the addition of such a feature is how it will be used. Will you be cooking on the fireplace, or is it more feature than function? If it’ll be a gathering area, how many people do you ideally wish to have around the fire pit or place at one time? Is your area large enough to successfully allow you to utilize this feature?
Now that you have an idea of how it will be used, let’s talk style. Would you prefer a traditional wood-burning fireplace, or a contemporary/modern (gas/propane) style? Wood burners naturally include chimneys, so they are taller, and the hearth area tends to be larger because they must hold logs. Wood burners also emit more heat than gas-burning fireplaces.
A prefab or modular unit, or a custom-built addition? Pre-fab units are more budget-friendly and can be easily purchased at most home improvement stores. Custom-built fireplaces come at a higher cost, as they require a stone mason, labor costs, and addition of any ancillary features.
These decisions truly come down to preference and budget.
Here are a few other general things to think about when introducing a fireplace to your outdoor space:
- It should be completely clear of any low-hanging branches, bushes, shrubs, or other flammables
- Fuel source – Wood burning? Gas or propane?
- Fire pit – If considering an open fire pit, think of radiant heat on deck surface and of embers flying. It should also rest on top of a fire-resistant mat.
- Consider distance from house, wind pattern, and sun/shade availability when planning location
- Check local ordinances
If you have a fireplace on your deck, or if you are considering one, share your thoughts in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!