DIY an Outdoor Fireplace!

September 18, 2018

It’s the ultimate in backyard enjoyment and entertainment – the outdoor fireplace – where you can hang out with loved ones and share good times around a fire feature you’ll use for years to come. Can you build one yourself? We posed some questions to the experts to find out the basics – cost, difficulty and must-haves for DIY’ing your own outdoor fireplace.

How Much Does an Outdoor Fireplace Cost?

An outdoor fireplace can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $20,000. On average to have one built will run you at least $3,000, but there are pre-made kits which include gas and electric models that are fairly inexpensive and require very little elbow grease. Touchstone’s wall-mounted fireplace ($600) is sleek and beautiful and Outdoor Greatroom’s stone arch freestanding gas fireplace ($3,000) transforms an ordinary patio into an outdoor living room! 

Don’t forget to check out the variety of options at Home Depot near Southlands in Aurora. Fireplaces range in size from 28 inches tall to 78 inches and are made out of steel, porcelain tile and faux and natural stone. Depending on whether you want an outdoor fireplace for the ambiance, the warmth, or to cook in will help you narrow down your options and choose the right design.

How Hard is it to DIY?

If you’re starting with a design from the ground up, you should have basic construction skills and knowledge. But the savings is undeniable. For a standard 5-foot by 4-foot brick fireplace with a 12-foot chimney, it might cost $1,500 in materials. A professional mason might charge between $5,000 and $12,000 for a similar fireplace, depending on the size, material choice and complexity of the design. For a complete tutorial including a materials list and step-by-step instructions, visit or wikihow.

Where Should We Put Our Outdoor Fireplace?

The location for your outdoor fireplace should be a safe distance from your house (see restrictions, next), and a safe distance from other buildings, sheds, playhouses, etc. Some plan the seating after the fireplace is in place, some people create an overall design of which the fireplace is a part.

Restrictions or Extra Insurance?

The City of Aurora‘s Fire Department does have some restrictions regarding outdoor firepits, fireplaces and chimneys. The department classifies them as portable outdoor fireplaces and requires they be located at least 15 feet from any structure or combustible materials.

You might call your insurance agent to see if your existing homeowners’ policy will cover any damages caused by an outdoor fireplace. And if you’re planning a big construction project to make your fireplace, call Dig Safe (811), which will prompt your local utility companies to check the locations of their buried lines so you don’t accidentally disturb them.

The Great Outdoors in Southshore!

Southshore backyards are open spaces perfect for relaxing and entertaining in the master-planned community of Southshore, right next to the lake! Come by for a tour of the exciting models from Toll Brothers, Richmond American Homes or Century Communities. You’ll want to see all the models, in ranch and two-story designs, priced between the upper $300s and the $700s.