Want to transition your outdoor space seamlessly from summer to fall? Aside from a few blankets and throw pillows, an outdoor fireplace is the key to year-round coziness. But while the idea of sitting fireside under the stars is a dream, buying the right fire pit and installing it properly can get tricky.
We asked and co-founder of ,as well as landscape architect about what first-timers need to know. From prepping your yard to shopping the perfect design, here is your 101 guide to completing your outdoor living area with a fireplace.
First thing's first: you need to ensure that your outdoor space is fit for a fireplace or pit, allowing the fire to burn without causing any damage.
"A natural wood burning fire pit would need at least a 12-18 inch permitter of dirt or stone that won't allow embers to catch fire," says Downing. "Electric and gas fireplaces are more of a modern look and don't require much space as they usually come as a stand alone unit."
Parker also recommends making sure the area is free of low-hanging vegetation and that you build a solid frost footing or compacted sub base underneath the pit itself.
$2,849, Stone Arch Propane Outdoor Fire Place, Wayfair
"If you would like exterior lighting, outlets or accessible power sources are important. As is a nearby water source or hose bib for convenience," Parker says. "It is critical to design the fireplace where you will have ample space for comfortable seating. A good Wi-Fi signal may be a ."
$183, Black Outdoor Firehouse, Blue Rhino via The Mine
"For yards, I would suggest a fire pit. They’re easy and old fashioned," Downing says. "For patios and balconies, I would use electric or gas units that are all-in-one."
You also need to be aware of your local zoning, building, and fire codes, according to Parker. Keep in mind that "it is typically required to have a licensed contractor install gas and electric lines."
$7,595, Ixtapa Square Fire Table, RH.com
The truly fun part of this whole process? Shopping the endless design options. Your outdoor space should be an extension of your indoor style, especially since you'll be able to see your fireplace from indoors! Parker's three favorite designs include: Masonry outdoor fireplaces, stone “council ring” fire pits, and fire bowls.
"Fire bowls are a beautiful all-in-one addition to the landscape, that work well in many settings, including terraces and balconies," she says. "These features are typically gas-burning, which is a big if you want easy clean up, and they come in a wide variety of sculptural styles."
$370.59, Georgia Firepit, Joss & Main
Adding an outdoor fireplace isn't a matter of buying one online and calling it a day. "Always understand your budget before considering undergoing the project," says Downing. "Make sure you calculate materials and estimate labor costs accurately."
$199.99 Red Ember Alto Steel Chiminea, Red Ember via Hayneedle
Whether you're seeking help from an outdoor fireplace expert on Thumbtack or a landscape architect, give them as much information as possible to reduce confusion, costs, and time. If you want to build a fireplace from scratch or install a modern fire table, give them all the details and get a price quote.
Contact for pricing, The Famosa Fire Pit Table, Cooke Furniture