Serving the Naperville Community
Few things are more enjoyable than sitting around a cozy fire on a crisp fall night. An outdoor fireplace will add warmth to your Downers Grove, IL, backyard, and can extend your outdoor season considerably. As with anything that involves fire, you want to make sure that your fireplace will be both safe and functional.
DO Plan Ahead for Your Outdoor Fireplace
When investing in any landscape design project, it’s important to start with a good plan. This will help ensure that both your vision and budget are met. You first have to decide whether you want a gas or wood burning fireplace. Then you should consider how much space you can allocate to an outdoor fireplace and how many people will typically be using it. These factors will affect both the design and location of your new fireplace.
Will you be adding the outdoor fireplace to your existing landscape, or are you starting with a blank slate? If you are adding to an already established landscape, you’ll need to plan around existing features and decide if some things should be moved to a new location or removed from your landscape altogether.
DO Choose the Right Location for Your Outdoor Fireplace
Selecting the right location can make all the difference in how much you enjoy your new fireplace. You want a spot that’s close enough to the house to be convenient but not so close that smoke wafts in the windows. You also need to choose a spot that’s a safe distance from trees and other flammable objects.
Related: Deciding on a Location for Your Outdoor Fireplace in Burr Ridge, IL
A fireplace should always be on level ground and never on a flammable surface such as a wooden deck. Stone, concrete, or brick pavers all provide a safe and durable base for a fireplace.
You also need to consider the location of utilities. If you have a gas fireplace, you may need to have gas lines if you don’t already. An experienced landscape contractor can provide important information on safety codes and industry standards to help help you decide on the perfect location.
DON’T Forget About the Necessary Permits
Before beginning any outdoor fireplace project, you should consult your community by-laws or fire department to make sure you follow all the local rules. The fireplace may need to be a certain distance from the home, or there may be specific material requirements. Local contractors are adept at making sure the proper boxes are ticked off and any necessary permits are obtained.
You should also contact your home insurance company to add the outdoor fireplace to your insurance policy. An outdoor fireplace on your property could require additional coverage.
DON’T Forget to Leave Space for Extras
An outdoor fireplace is often a hub for socializing. Be sure you’ll have ample space for seating so that everyone can enjoy the warmth. You may even want to consider built-in seating so that you always have overflow seating on-hand. A low seating wall or stone benches make excellent fire-safe seating options.
If you have a wood burning fireplace, you will also require space for wood storage, fire tools, and fire safety equipment. Built-in wood storage keeps wood dry and conveniently within reach. Take your outdoor fireplace up a notch with a pizza oven, which makes a great draw for gatherings of all ages.
Related: 5 Tips for Updating Your Outdoor Fireplace in Wheaton, IL
DO Get Creative
An outdoor fireplace makes a beautiful focal point in any backyard. The size of the structure provides the opportunity to match your home’s exterior or to introduce a new design to your landscape