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Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -

Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -


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Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

Outdoor Fireplaces Give Guests a Warm Welcome


Like the proverbial moth to the flame, humans have long been drawn to the beauty, sight, sound, warmth and even the smell of a fire. Indoors, a fireplace is a popular spot for family members to gather and enjoy good conversation, each other’s company and the glow of a crackling fire. Nowadays, many people are also gathering around outdoor fireplaces, as well.

The addition of a fireplace and comfortable outdoor furniture can instantly turn an ordinary patio into a welcoming open-air gathering place where friends and family can enjoy a glass of wine under the stars or toast marshmallows and make S-mores together. It is like adding another room or entertaining space to a home without the enormous expense of building an addition.

Homeowners who are considering adding an outdoor fireplace will find that they will need to make a number of decisions regarding design, placement and decor. Here are a few of the things a homeowner will need to decide upon before building a fireplace, which will definitely be the focal point of any outdoor living space.

Choosing Building Materials

The materials a homeowner chooses to build his outdoor fireplace with will definitely set the mood for his open-air living area. A fireplace crafted from rough-hewn stones, for example, will give a patio a more rustic look than, say, one fashioned out of sleek adobe or elegant brick.

Other things that a homeowner must consider when choosing materials for his outdoor fireplace are ease of cleaning and its ability to withstand the sometimes harsh outdoor elements.

Gas or Electric

While many people swear by the natural beauty and warmth of a real log fire, others prefer the ease of having a gas fireplace. This is typically a very personal choice, as both gas and wood fireplaces have their pluses and minuses.

Placement of the Outdoor Fireplace

The placement of the outdoor fireplace is very important. Breezy conditions can cause some outdoor fireplaces to smoke, so it is best to build them where they can get some protection from the wind. In addition, smoke from an outdoor fireplace that is completely surrounded by buildings and/or trees can billow back down into the patio area if its chimney is not built tall enough to clear these obstructions.

Creating the Living Space

A fireplace standing by itself on a patio will not be very welcoming, so it is important for homeowners to place the right type of outdoor furniture around it so that guests will want to collect around its beauty and warmth. Homeowners should not only look for furniture that utilize weather-resistant, easy-to-care-for materials, but also pieces that will complement the look of their fireplace.

A beautiful outdoor fireplace can add a touch of unexpected elegance to any backyard. Plus, it can turn a humble patio into an additional living area in which homeowners can entertain guests or spend time relaxing for relatively little money compared to putting on an addition to a home.


Stella Horn is a guest writer for design blogs. She recommends as a great place to find outdoor furniture companies.

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