An outdoor fireplace can be a great addition to your backyard space. In fact, they’re the hottest new accessory to hit the home. But before you choose to build your own fireplace, here are a few things that everyone ought to know:

- Even before you seek quotes from installers, you ought to decide on the function of the fireplace. Are you going to be using it occasionally to entertain guests, or is for some quality family time with kids and extended family? Would it be a part of your outdoor kitchen project? Are you looking to install a barbecue grill or planning to buy a fire pit that can be used for grilling? If it’s for the family, you can buy a fire pit, so that everyone can gather around the fire pit. But if it’s intended to be used by a larger gathering, a fire pit wouldn’t suffice. You can install a fireplace and get a barbecue grill to be used for cooking.

- Space is an important consideration. The size of the fireplace would largely depend on the space. You can’t install a large fireplace if the space isn’t adequate, nor buy a small one when the space is large.

- While there are modern options such as aluminum, cast iron and stainless steel, concrete is the most popular choice of material. Modern options are more preferred for fire pits. Fireplaces made of concrete can either be veneered with brick, stone or stucco, or left on their own. Clay is also a preferred material, but is prone to cracks.

- Be sure to check for building codes with local authorities and homeowners associations. While some communities have strict regulations about building plans, others are lenient and don’t really regulate the construction of outdoor fireplaces. Common regulations include seeking permission before adding or altering a structure in the yard. It’s best to speak to the local authorities and then begin construction.

- Budget is the most obvious consideration. This is again dependent on the space available and the scale of the project. For instance, if the outdoor fireplace is a part of the outdoor kitchen project, then its best to go for custom built fireplaces. They’re sure to add value to the place. But costs can range anywhere from $8000- $40,000. Portable fire pits can be installed in an outdoor area that is starved of space. Portable fire pits cost anywhere from $200- $1000 and above. Custom created fire pits cost around $1000- $15,000.

Author's Bio: 

The author of this article writes about outdoor spaces including outdoor fireplaces and outdoor kitchens.