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What Are the Best Tips for Making a DIY Outdoor Fireplace?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A DIY outdoor fireplace is a great way to transform a yard into a comfortable and attractive living space year-round. Before starting the project, however, it is important to consider a few important factors: materials to be used for the project, the location of the DIY outdoor fireplace, the budget for the project, the fuel source for the fire, and the proximity of the fireplace to any flammable objects. Local laws and regulations regarding construction projects must also be researched before any project can be taken on.

It is very important to keep in mind that a DIY outdoor fireplace project will take a significant amount of work to complete. If brick is being used as the primary material, it may be necessary to hire a professional in order to build the structure properly. Bricklaying is a difficult process that requires experience and knowledge, and building the DIY outdoor fireplace incorrectly can lead to costly repairs or even injury if the structure collapses. Other materials can be easier to work with, but they may not be as attractive or durable as brick. Concrete, for example, is easy to work with, but it will need to be painted or otherwise tinted to make it an attractive option.

Local regulations should be researched before making a DIY outdoor fireplace.
Local regulations should be researched before making a DIY outdoor fireplace.

Assembling the proper tools ahead of time is also of key importance to the DIY outdoor fireplace project. The necessary tools will vary according to the type of fireplace being built as well as the size and shape of the fireplace; it may be necessary, for example, to rent a power tamp or small excavator for exceptionally large fireplace areas, while a shovel and pickaxe may be appropriate for smaller projects. Bricklaying equipment will be necessary if brick is used, and concrete tools such as a trowel and cement mixer will be necessary for concrete.

Bricklaying requires a significant amount of work.
Bricklaying requires a significant amount of work.

If a gas fixture is being installed to power the stove, it may be necessary to consult a professional who can run a gas line from the home to the fireplace. This must be done properly and safely to ensure the reliability of the fireplace. If the fireplace will be wood fired, a pit will need to be dug so the fire is beneath the surface of the fireplace area. This will prevent stray sparks and spreading fire. Think carefully about the fireplace structure itself. It should be enclosed so that stray sparks will not ignite nearby flammable objects, but it will also need to be built in such a way that airflow is possible, preventing the fire from going out quickly.

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Discussion Comments


I have a fire pit in my backyard that I use all the time. I will invite a few friends over and we will build a fire, have a few drinks, roast some marshmallows and generally just enjoy the ambiance of being around a fire.

I was able to make my own fire pit really easily. I was walking through an alley one day when I found a huge old charcoal BBQ grill. The basin for the charcoal was bigger than any basin I had ever seen. I got the idea immediately that I could use this basin as a fire pit if I just took the legs off. I dragged it home, made a few minor changes and I had a fire in it that night. It works great and it was completely free.


I am not sure if this qualifies as a fireplace, but it is really easy to make a backyard fire pit by just using stones. Basically, you need to pick a spot in your backyard where you are willing to let the grass die. Make a ring of good sized stones and light a campfire in the middle.

The grass will die but you will have an authentic outdoor campfire in your backyard. If you use it regularly over the course of a season and then dismantle it at the start of the spring the grass should grow back without any problems.


You can make a really great outdoor DIY fire pit or BBQ using only bricks. You basically just make the normal fireplace structure out of the bricks and then light up a fire.

There was a house being torn down about a block from where I live and I was able to scavenge a bunch of old bricks from the work site. They have come in handy on a number of projects but I think I am most proud of my backyard fireplace. It looks great, works great, and it did not cost me a cent.

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    • Local regulations should be researched before making a DIY outdoor fireplace.
      By: markcarper
      Local regulations should be researched before making a DIY outdoor fireplace.
    • Bricklaying requires a significant amount of work.
      By: dja65
      Bricklaying requires a significant amount of work.