Outdoor fireplaces are the perfect addition to your backyard landscape. It’s not difficult to see why New Jersey homeowners love these natural stone, concrete and brick fire features so much.
With the right fireplace, you can create an incredible focal point for your outdoor living space, make your space seem much cozier and more inviting, add to the romance of your backyard and increase the overall value of your home.
A fireplace makes it possible for you to enjoy spending time outdoors even after the summer is over, as it will provide you with enough warmth to stay comfortable on your patio on a chilly autumn night.
If you’ve been daydreaming about installing an outdoor fireplace of your very own, you’re probably eager to get started on your project. Before diving in headfirst, though, we urge you to read through these simple tips for long-term happiness and success.
Be Style Savvy
Homeowners have a lot of great options when it comes to selecting a style for their brand new outdoor fireplace units. Because natural stone is considered to be so timelessly elegant, many New Jersey homeowners choose to work with natural flagstone, bluestone, granite and similar materials when constructing fireplaces, hearths and chimneys for their outdoor living spaces.
Others like the look of natural stone, but don’t like the price tag associated with these materials. A sophisticated veneer can be a fabulous alternative or you may elect to purchase a kit that has been assembled from manufactured concrete.
The concrete is designed and produced in such a way that it looks just like natural stone but is actually much more affordable. Still, other homeowners prefer the classic look of a fireplace constructed entirely of brick.
In order to make the right choice for your property, we urge you to consider how the different materials would interact with your existing landscaping, hardscaping, and architectural features and to consider whether or not the style and design will hold up as design trends evolve in the future.
Location, Location, Location
In order to get the most value from your outdoor fireplace, you want to make sure that it will be highly functional and serve all of your needs. This means that you must carefully consider the most strategic location for your fireplace unit.
Those with outdoor living rooms will, of course, want the fireplace to be adjacent to these types of seating areas so that guests can relax and enjoy the flames.
If you have a swimming pool or hot tub, you may want to consider locating the fireplace near enough to these spaces to provide warmth and comfort for swimmers when the temperatures get a bit cooler.
Size Things Up
One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make when installing outdoor fireplaces is in assuming that “one size fits all.” This could not be further from the truth and failing to properly size your fireplace for your space could significantly diminish your project outcome.
A fireplace that’s too big for your space will detract from your ability to relax and actually enjoy the space, whereas a fireplace that’s too small may fail to keep your outdoor living areas sufficiently warm enough to be worth the cost and effort of lighting a fire.
Carefully measure your space and speak with a professional about the ideal size for a fireplace in your backyard. It’s also smart to use an online design software tool that will allow you to get a 3D look at how the fireplace will look and function within your specific space.
Think About Fuel Options
Most outdoor fireplaces are either woodturning or they run on gas/propane. It’s important to consider your options before making a decision, as it can impact long-term usage, costs and maintenance.
Wood-burning fireplaces offer a low-cost source of heat and light for users, but also produce more smoke and soot. Fireplaces that rely on fuels like gas or propane are a bit more expensive to operate, but they are also a lot more convenient as it takes less time to get the fire going and they demand less ventilation.
Follow the Letter of the Law
As much as you’d like to think that you can do whatever you want with your property, the State of New Jersey (and probably your city council) has something to say about that. The government is responsible for ensuring that any changes you make to your home are entirely safe for you and the community as a whole.
Because of this, there are specific codes and ordinances pertaining to the installation of outdoor fireplaces, chimneys, etc. It’s very important that you take the time to research the regulations that pertain to your area so that you can make sure that you get it right the first time.
The last thing you want is to invest a whole bunch of time and money on your fireplace, only to get fined or to find out that you need to take the thing out and start over.
DIY vs. Professional Installation
The final question you should be asking yourself is whether or not you should install your new outdoor fireplace on your own, or if you should seek out the help of a professional. This will depend on a couple of things.
First, the style and materials selected for your fireplace can play a role in the decision-making process. While many manufactured concrete fireplaces are sold in easy-to-assemble kits, a natural stone or brick fireplace that is built from scratch will take a lot more planning and precision.
Secondly, you’ll need to consider your own comfort and skill levels. If you’ve worked with natural stone or masonry materials frequently in the past, you might feel confident in your ability to construct a safe, reliable and beautiful outdoor fireplace.
If you haven’t attempted this type of work or just aren’t feeling all that confident, though, we urge you to find a local contractor that can handle the task on your behalf. Make sure that the contractor understands local fire codes and regulations prior to beginning work. If you’re installing a fireplace kit, it’s also wise to select a contractor that is familiar with the kit manufacturer.
Installing an Outdoor Fireplace in NJ
Are you ready to take the plunge and install a stunning outdoor fireplace of your very own? As the leading supplier of natural stone and manufactured concrete fireplaces in NJ, Braen Supply has everything you need to complete your project successfully and affordably.
We offer a massive inventory of high-quality fireplace construction materials and kits from the leading manufacturers in the nation. Our team of experts is more than happy to discuss your plans with you and to provide you with tips and advice for the construction, usage and maintenance of your new fireplace.
You’ll find that all of our materials are available at competitive, wholesale prices. After deciding which materials to use, you can take them home at your convenience or have them bulk delivered to locations throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC, CT and PA.