The Ins and Outs of Choosing an Outdoor Fireplace

May 6, 2024


An outdoor fireplace is more than just a stylish addition to your backyard; it serves as a centerpiece that redefines outdoor living. Whether for warmth during cooler evenings, adding a cozy atmosphere for gatherings, or even extending the usability of outdoor spaces throughout the year, outdoor fireplaces cater to a broad range of needs.

Outdoor living spaces have increasingly become vital extensions of our homes. A well-designed fireplace not only enhances evening gatherings but also boosts the overall functionality and appeal of these spaces. By incorporating a fire feature, homeowners can enjoy their yards year-round, not just in warmer months.

Quick Guide to Outdoor Fireplaces:

  • Functionality: Extends outdoor use across all seasons.
  • Ambiance: Provides a cozy, inviting atmosphere.
  • Social Gatherings: Acts as a focal point for gatherings.

A detailed infographic showing the benefits and uses of outdoor fireplaces for year-round enjoyment. Includes points on functionality, ambiance, and social gatherings. - outdoor fireplace infographic pyramid-hierarchy-5-steps

From summer barbecues to winter evenings by the fire, an outdoor fireplace ensures your outdoor area remains a favorite spot for family and friends, no matter the season. In the following sections, we’ll explore the various types of fireplaces, cost considerations, and how to seamlessly integrate these elements into your landscape design with JM Mento Landscape Design.

Why Invest in an Outdoor Fireplace?

An outdoor fireplace is more than just a structure; it’s a strategic addition to your home that offers a multitude of benefits. Let’s delve into why incorporating one into your outdoor space is a wise investment.

Value Addition

Installing an outdoor fireplace can significantly increase the value of your property. As noted by the US Department of Energy, homes with added features like an outdoor fireplace are more appealing to potential buyers. This appeal translates into higher property values, offering a solid return on investment when it’s time to sell your home.

Property Appeal

An outdoor fireplace enhances the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor living space. Whether you opt for a classic wood-burning unit or a modern ethanol fireplace, each style adds a unique charm and sophistication that can transform an ordinary backyard into a luxurious retreat.

Social Hub

An outdoor fireplace acts as a natural gathering point. It creates a cozy, inviting atmosphere that encourages interaction and enjoyment. It’s the perfect setting for entertaining guests, hosting family gatherings, or simply relaxing after a long day. The warmth and light provided by the fireplace extend the usability of your outdoor space into the cooler months, making it a year-round destination for social activities.

Year-Round Comfort

Speaking of extending usability, an outdoor fireplace makes your outdoor space comfortable throughout the year. During the warmer months, it serves as a charming backdrop for evening gatherings. In colder seasons, it provides warmth that allows you to enjoy the outdoors without the chill typically associated with winter and fall evenings.

Enhancing Your Outdoor Space with JM Mento Landscape Design

At JM Mento Landscape Design, we understand the transformative impact an outdoor fireplace can have on a living space. Our team of experts specializes in integrating these features into your landscape in a way that reflects your personal style and meets your functional needs. Whether you’re looking for a rustic stone fireplace to complement a traditional garden or a sleek, modern design for a contemporary outdoor setting, we have the expertise to bring your vision to life.

By investing in an outdoor fireplace, you’re not just adding a structure; you’re enhancing your lifestyle, increasing your property’s appeal, and setting the stage for countless memorable moments outdoors. In the next section, we’ll explore the different types of outdoor fireplaces available and how to select the best one for your space.

Types of Outdoor Fireplaces

Outdoor fireplaces transform your outdoor living space into a warm and inviting area, perfect for relaxation and social gatherings. Each type of outdoor fireplace offers unique benefits and considerations. Here’s a guide to help you choose the right one for your home.

Wood-Burning Fireplaces

Chimineas: These are freestanding front-loading fireplaces with a bulbous body and usually a vertical smoke vent or chimney. They are perfect for smaller spaces and add a traditional charm to your outdoor area. Chimineas are primarily wood-burning, creating a nostalgic ambiance with the crackling sound of burning wood.

Traditional Charm: Wood-burning fireplaces bring a classic aesthetic to any outdoor setting. They are ideal for those who appreciate the sensory experience of firewood burning—the smell, the sound, and the visual appeal of flames.

Requires Chimney: To safely use a wood-burning fireplace, a chimney is necessary to vent smoke away. This means installation can be more involved, requiring careful planning to meet safety standards.

Gas Fireplaces

Ventless: Unlike wood fireplaces, many gas models do not require a chimney, making them easier to install in various locations. Ventless gas fireplaces are efficient and clean, utilizing natural gas or propane.

Easy Maintenance: Gas fireplaces are known for their convenience and low maintenance. There’s no ash to clean up or chimney to sweep, and they can be ignited instantly with a switch or a remote control.

Quick Installation: With fewer structural requirements than wood-burning options, gas fireplaces can be set up quickly, often just needing a connection to a natural gas line or a propane tank.

An outdoor fireplace is the perfect addition to your outdoor patio

Ethanol Fireplaces

Eco-friendly: Ethanol fireplaces use bioethanol, a renewable energy source made from plant by-products. This makes them an environmentally friendly choice for your outdoor space.

Portable: Many ethanol fireplaces are designed to be portable, allowing you to move them as needed. This flexibility is great for adapting to different entertainment needs or weather conditions.

Indoor/Outdoor Use: Ethanol fireplaces are versatile and can be used both indoors and outdoors without requiring any permanent installations or connections, making them an excellent choice for those who value flexibility and simplicity.

Electric Fireplaces

Simplifire: This is a brand known for its innovative electric fireplaces that offer adjustable flame settings and various visual effects, allowing you to customize the ambiance to suit your mood.

Remote Control: Electric fireplaces often come with a remote control, making it easy to adjust settings from anywhere in your outdoor area. You can change the temperature, flame speed, and even the color of the flames.

Various Flame Effects: Modern electric fireplaces feature a range of flame effects and color options, providing the beauty of a traditional fireplace without any of the hassles associated with wood or gas burning units.

By understanding the different types of outdoor fireplaces available, you can better decide which one aligns with your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences. Whether you prefer the traditional appeal of wood-burning units, the convenience of gas, the portability of ethanol, or the modern technology of electric fireplaces, there’s a solution that will meet your needs. Next, we’ll delve into the costs associated with installing these various types of fireplaces.

Cost Considerations for Installing an Outdoor Fireplace

When considering adding an outdoor fireplace to your home, understanding the financial implications is crucial. Here, we break down the main cost components: prefab costs, custom build expenses, material costs, and labor costs.

Prefab Costs

Prefab, or prefabricated outdoor fireplaces, are factory-made and shipped to your location. They are generally less expensive than custom-built options due to standardized production processes. Prices can range significantly based on size and materials but expect to start at around $1,000 for basic models, going up to $5,000 for more elaborate designs.

Custom Build Expenses

If you desire a unique fireplace that fits perfectly with your outdoor décor, a custom build is the way to go. However, this uniqueness comes at a higher price due to the labor and design efforts involved. Custom outdoor fireplaces can start anywhere from $5,000 and can go well over $10,000, depending on complexity and materials.

Material Costs

The choice of materials can significantly affect the cost of your outdoor fireplace. Common materials include:

  • Stone: Durable and offers a natural look. Cost varies by type of stone used.
  • Metal: Typically less expensive than stone but may not blend as well into all outdoor settings.
  • Composite: A modern option that can mimic the look of stone or wood at a lower cost.

Material costs will also vary depending on the size and design of the fireplace.

Labor Costs

Installation is another critical cost factor. Labor costs can vary widely based on your location and the complexity of the installation. On average, labor can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000, with more intricate designs or difficult installations increasing these costs.

Budgeting Tips

To manage your budget effectively:

  1. Get Multiple Quotes: Always get several estimates to ensure you are getting a fair price.
  2. Consider Phased Installation: If costs are prohibitive upfront, consider installing your outdoor fireplace in phases.
  3. Choose Materials Wisely: Opt for materials that offer a balance between durability and cost.

Understanding these costs will help you plan and budget for your outdoor fireplace project effectively. In the next section, we will explore how to design your outdoor fireplace to enhance your outdoor living space seamlessly.

Designing Your Outdoor Fireplace

Designing an outdoor fireplace involves more than choosing what looks good. It’s about matching style with functionality while ensuring safety and compliance with local regulations. Let’s break down the key aspects:

Choosing the Right Style

  • Rustic: Ideal for those who love a natural, cozy feel. Think stone surrounds and wooden accents that blend into a garden setting.
  • Modern: Features clean lines and minimalistic designs, often using materials like polished metal or smooth concrete.
  • Industrial: Emphasizes raw materials with an exposed structure look, such as steel or iron, often combined with brick elements.

Choosing a style that complements your home’s architecture and your personal taste will make your outdoor space more inviting.

Selecting Materials

The materials you choose for your outdoor fireplace affect not only the aesthetics but also the longevity and safety of the installation.

  • Stone: Offers durability and a classic look. It’s naturally resistant to weather elements and can handle high heat.
  • Metal: Commonly used for its versatility and modern appearance. However, it can be prone to rust if not properly treated or maintained.
  • Composite: A modern material that is lightweight and can mimic the look of more traditional materials like stone or wood but with added weather resistance.

Each material has its benefits and challenges, so consider your climate, the level of maintenance you’re willing to commit to, and of course, your style preference.

outdoor fireplace

Location and Safety

Proper placement and safety considerations are crucial to enjoying your outdoor fireplace worry-free:

  • Ventilation: Ensure there’s adequate airflow around your fireplace. This is crucial for safety, especially for wood-burning and gas fireplaces.
  • Proximity to Structures: Fireplaces should be installed at least 10 feet away from your home and any other structures to prevent fire hazards.
  • Local Regulations: Check with your local building codes and fire department regulations before installing an outdoor fireplace. Some regions have specific requirements regarding the type of fireplace allowed or the installation process.

For example, many areas require a certain distance from the house or a non-combustible base. Ignoring these could not only be unsafe but might also lead to fines or required removal of the installation.

By considering these aspects — style, materials, and safety — you can create a beautiful and functional outdoor fireplace that enhances your outdoor living space. Next, we’ll explore how JM Mento Landscape Design can help integrate this new feature into your landscape seamlessly.

Maintenance and Safety Tips

Maintaining and ensuring the safety of your outdoor fireplace is crucial for its longevity and your enjoyment. Here’s how you can keep your fireplace in top condition and use it safely.


Regular cleaning is essential. Remove ash and debris after each use to prevent clogging and potential fire hazards. For wood-burning models, clean the chimney at least once a year to avoid soot and creosote buildup which can lead to chimney fires.


Inspect your fireplace regularly for cracks, rust, and other wear. Check gas connections and burners in gas fireplaces for leaks or blockages. For wood-burning units, examine the integrity of the chimney and flue.

Weather Protection

Protect your fireplace from the elements to prevent damage. Use weather-resistant covers when not in use, especially during extreme weather conditions. This is particularly important for fireplaces made of materials susceptible to water damage, like certain metals or stone.

Safe Operation

Follow these safety tips to ensure a secure environment:

  • Check Wind Direction: Always check the wind direction before lighting your fire to avoid smoke blowing towards your home or seating area.
  • Use Proper Fuel: Only use recommended fuels. For wood-burning fireplaces, use dry, seasoned wood. Never use gasoline or other accelerants.
  • Clear Area: Keep the area around the fireplace clear of flammable materials and ensure it’s placed on a non-combustible surface.
  • Supervision: Never leave the fire unattended. Ensure it’s completely extinguished before leaving it.
  • Emergency Preparations: Have a fire extinguisher or a bucket of sand nearby for emergencies.

By following these maintenance and safety tips, you can enjoy your outdoor fireplace safely and keep it in excellent condition for years to come. Next, we’ll discuss how JM Mento Landscape Design can enhance your outdoor space with custom fireplace designs and professional landscaping services.

Enhancing Your Outdoor Space with JM Mento Landscape Design

When it comes to transforming your outdoor living area, the expertise of JM Mento Landscape Design shines through with their ability to seamlessly integrate an outdoor fireplace into your landscape. Their approach combines custom designs and a full-service methodology to make your outdoor dreams a reality.

Landscape Integration

Integrating an outdoor fireplace into your existing landscape is more than just placing a fire feature in your backyard. It involves thoughtful consideration of the overall design and how each element complements the other. JM Mento Landscape Design excels in creating a cohesive outdoor environment where the fireplace acts not only as a warm focal point but also enhances the natural beauty of your garden.

They consider the natural flow of your outdoor space, the types of plants and trees around, and how the seasons affect the landscape. By doing so, they ensure that the fireplace fits perfectly into its surroundings, providing warmth and charm throughout the year.

Custom Designs

Every outdoor space is unique, and so should be its fireplace. JM Mento Landscape Design prides itself on crafting custom fireplace designs that reflect the personality and style of the homeowner. Whether you prefer a rustic stone fireplace for a traditional look or a sleek, modern fire table, they can tailor each design to meet your specific desires and needs.

Their portfolio includes a variety of materials and styles, from classic wood-burning structures to contemporary gas fireplaces. This versatility ensures that no matter what your vision is, JM Mento can bring it to life with precision and creativity.

Full-Service Approach

Choosing JM Mento Landscape Design means you’re opting for a stress-free, comprehensive service. From the initial consultation to the final installation, their team handles every detail. This full-service approach includes site assessment, design, construction, and maintenance guidance, making the process as seamless and enjoyable as possible.

Their dedication to customer satisfaction and quality craftsmanship ensures that the installation of your outdoor fireplace will be handled with the utmost care and professionalism. Plus, their extensive knowledge of local regulations ensures that every aspect of the installation is compliant and safe.

By entrusting JM Mento Landscape Design with your outdoor fireplace installation, you’re not just making an aesthetic upgrade to your property; you’re also enhancing your lifestyle and increasing the value of your home. Their expert team is ready to transform your outdoor space into a stunning, functional, and cozy area that you and your family will enjoy for years to come.

In the next section, we will conclude our discussion on the long-term benefits of investing in an outdoor fireplace and how JM Mento Landscape Design can help elevate your lifestyle and property value through expert landscaping solutions.


Investing in an outdoor fireplace is not just about adding warmth to your backyard; it’s about creating a lasting enhancement to your lifestyle and a solid investment in your property. At JM Mento Landscape Design, we understand the transformative power of a well-designed outdoor space.

Long-term Investment

An outdoor fireplace is a feature that stands the test of time. It not only withstands the elements thanks to durable materials like composite concrete but also adapts to changing seasons and trends. This resilience ensures that your investment remains valuable and functional, year after year. As noted by various sources, including the US Department of Energy, enhancements like these significantly increase the utility and appeal of your property, potentially raising its market value.

Lifestyle Enhancement

Imagine gathering around a glowing fire with family and friends, or enjoying a quiet evening under the stars. An outdoor fireplace extends your living space, providing a cozy, inviting outdoor area for relaxation and entertainment. Whether it’s integrating a fire element that adds magic to outdoor dining or creating a focal point for social gatherings, the benefits to your lifestyle are immense and varied.

JM Mento Landscape Design: Your Partner in Outdoor Excellence

At JM Mento Landscape Design, we are more than just contractors; we are creators of dreams. Our approach combines your personal vision with our expertise to craft spaces that are not only beautiful but also deeply personal and functional. From the initial consultation to the final reveal, our goal is to make the enhancement of your outdoor space a seamless and enjoyable experience.

We invite you to explore our landscape design services and see how we can help transform your outdoor area into a stunning extension of your home. Let us help you make your dream outdoor space a reality, enhancing both your lifestyle and the value of your property.

Thank you for considering JM Mento Landscape Design for your outdoor living needs. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you and create a space that you’ll cherish for years to come.

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