An outdoor fireplace is a great way to set your outdoor living space apart. An architectural focal point, the outdoor fireplace adds great ambience, warmth and privacy to your backyard. There are just a few things you need to consider when purchasing an outdoor fireplace. Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about outdoor fireplaces below.

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Do I need a permit to add an outdoor fireplace to my outdoor living space?

Check your local codes and ordinances to see if they permit outdoor fireplaces and what actions need to be taken in order to build or install. Usually no permits are needed to install, but always check.

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What’s the difference between a fire pit, chimenea and outdoor fireplace?

Chimeneas are spanish-style outdoor fireplaces usually reserved for burning wood. Chimeneas require a supply of wood as well as place to store it. Fire pits generally are raised off the ground and provide viewing of the fire from all sides giving it that campfire feel. Fire pits are available in wood burning, natural gas, and propane. Outdoor fireplaces are also available in different fuel types, but they provide a much grander presentation. If you don’t have a gas line readily available, an outdoor electric fireplace may be a great option for you. Please be sure it is an electric fireplace rated for outdoor use.

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What steps should I take prior to installing an outdoor fireplace?

Check your local municipalities and building codes. Take measurements of your outdoor space to get a general idea of the area’s size and if you have the room to accommodate an outdoor fireplace.

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Who can install my outdoor fireplace?

Be sure to take your time and find the right professional to perform your install. Rushing through this selection process may have you wishing you didn’t. Finding an experienced professional for your install will save you loads of time and give you piece of mind. If you have a gas or propane fireplace, contact a licensed plumber or other gas professional to perform the install.

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Can gas logs be installed in my outdoor fireplace?

Absolutely! You can follow the same guidelines as a gas log install for the inside of your home, but make sure you choose an outdoor gas log set.

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Can I install an electric fireplace outdoors?

Yes you can. There are electric fireplaces rated for outdoor use.

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Can I install an indoor gas fireplace outdoors?

No, there are specific outdoor gas fireplaces that are fully rated for outdoor use.

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What do I need to know before choosing an outdoor fireplace?

Space is usually a great place to start. Keep in mind that an outdoor fireplace will need a bit of room. Another thing to consider is the type of fuel source you have readily available or what type of fuel you prefer, i.e. wood, natural gas, propane, electricity, etc…

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Can I put an outdoor fireplace inside my screened-in patio area?

Yes, but it needs to be properly vented and that the vent is functional. If it is a ready to use item, please refer to the manufacturer’s specifications.

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Can I burn wood in my gas or electric outdoor fireplace?

No, burning anything other than the gas fuel type intended can create a potential fire hazard and never burn a fire in your electric fireplace.

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How do I choose a location for my outdoor fireplace?

Prior to install, take into consideration the clearance overhead as well as the potential footprint of your outdoor fireplace. Always call before digging! You’ll want to check the location of any underground utilities to save yourself time and possibly some heartache. You don’t want to put a permanent structure on top of utility lines. You’ll want a spot that is nice and level, but make sure any water is able to flow way from your chosen location. Notice the wind direction in your space, wind can negatively affect the functional use of your outdoor fireplace. You wouldn’t want wind pushing smoke in to your outdoor living area.

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Can I cook on my outdoor fireplace?

You can certainly cook in your wood burning fireplace as people have done for hundreds of years, if you have the proper tools and equipment. It's hard to beat a delicious meal cooked in cast iron cookware over an open flame.

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How much maintenance is required for an outdoor fireplace?

The amount of maintenance of your outdoor fireplace depends on the type you choose. Wood burning fireplaces require the most maintenance such as locating and storing wood, not to mention cleaning out ashes. Gas logs require little maintenance. You’ll need to replace the embers over time and clean the gas logs periodically to remove soot from their surface, which can be done easily with soot remover. Electric fireplaces require little to no maintenance. You’ll want to dust the exterior regularly as you would any outdoor appliance or furniture.

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