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Outdoor Fireplaces: It’s Easy if You Do it Right

Outdoor FireplaceOutdoor fireplaces add atmosphere and beauty to any backyard. They create a cozy outdoor area where you can entertain family and friends or just relax after a busy day. An outdoor fireplace will provide many years of outdoor enjoyment and benefits for your northern New Jersey home and lifestyle, but it’s important to make sure it’s built correctly.

Building an outdoor fireplace is not as easy as it may seem. It requires proper planning and adequate skills to ensure sound construction and safe operation. There are a lot of DIY home projects, but building an outdoor fireplace is one project you need to turn over to a professional contractor.

Consider these important factors that are essential for outdoor fireplace construction:

Expert Skills

Most outdoor fireplaces are built from some type of brick, stone or concrete material. Do you have the masonry skills required to do this? These materials have to be stacked and cemented with the right mortar between each stone for the width and height of the fireplace. They have to be perfectly aligned and often braced from top to bottom to create a sturdy structure that’s balanced all the way around. If one or two stones are uneven, the entire fireplace could crack or fall. Unless you’re an experienced mason, you shouldn’t attempt it, otherwise you could end up paying a lot more to fix it.

The Right Tools

Any DIY project requires proper tools. If you’re not experienced in masonry work, you probably don’t have any masonry tools or other tools required for this type of project. You have to research the project and invest money in equipment that you may never use again. Proper tools could possibly cost you several thousand dollars. That is several thousand dollars that would be better spent hiring a professional contractor to build your outdoor fireplace.

Enough Time

Building an outdoor fireplace is not a project that will go quickly, especially if you’re a novice. Masonry work is slow and tedious. It takes time for the mortar between stones to dry, and you run the risk of stones slipping out of place with wet mortar. Considering your work schedule and your free time, do you really want to spend countless hours on a project that requires advanced experience and skill levels for good results?

Your Budget

Outdoor fireplaces built from beautiful materials like limestone, flagstone or river rock aren’t cheap to build. If you’re using quality building materials, the majority of your project costs will be in the cost of materials. Often, fireplace construction requires cutting materials to sized dimensions. If you don’t have the skills and proper tools for this, you run the risk of damaging costly materials, and that would result in buying even more materials.

Safety Issues

Outdoor fireplaces in Bergen County and Passaic County require building permits. Permits are mandated to ensure that all outdoor fireplaces meet New Jersey Uniform Construction Code. Any outdoor fireplace with faulty construction or construction that doesn’t meet code standards can quickly become a fire hazard which could destroy your home and property.

The firebox, flue, chimney and all building materials must comply with code standards. An outdoor wood burning or propane fueled fireplace may have air quality regulations. An outdoor gas fireplace requires a gas line that must be installed by a licensed contractor. If safety regulations aren’t followed, there are fines up to $2,000. To avoid any unnecessary risks of fire damage to your home and property, hiring a professional outdoor fireplace contractor is advised.

Building an outdoor fireplace is a high-end project that needs the knowledge and expertise of a professional. The job requires experience and specific skills to guarantee good results. It’s a labor-intensive project that requires heavy-lifting of expensive materials and the proper equipment to install them. Depending on the materials you choose, outdoor fireplaces can cost up to $35,000 or more.

The Advantages of Hiring a Professional Outdoor Fireaplce Contractor:

  • Help with planning and fireplace design.
  • Help with location and property restrictions.
  • Help with building necessary patio or terrace structures for the fireplace.
  • Knowledge and experience in construction techniques.
  • Knowledge of building materials.
  • Expert masonry skills.
  • Proper tools and equipment to build and install the fireplace.
  • Necessary labor and equipment to delivery heavy materials.
  • Ability to eliminate costly mistakes and save you money.
  • Knowledge of area safety regulations and building codes.
  • Ability to pull required building permits.

Outdoor fireplaces allow you to expand your living space and entertain family and friends year-round in your home. You can continue to enjoy chilly fall and winter evenings in a warm, cozy outdoor setting. Outdoor fireplaces add value to your home and ambiance to your outdoor spaces. They provide added warmth and light with year-round enjoyment for your patio, deck, pool and landscape.

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor fireplace to your northern NJ home, it’s easy if you do it right. Hire a professional landscape design contractor that can guarantee a beautiful outdoor fireplace with perfect results.