I cannot begin conveying this information to you without thinking about the old saying “if you play with fire you are bound to get burned”. Fire features such as fire pits and outdoor fireplaces have become a staple in outdoor living enjoyment spaces. They have rapidly moved into the spotlight as one of the most wanted and requested structure additions we are asked about homeowners. With this in mind, fire elements and structures can cause more of a danger than a pleasure if they are not built by an experienced professional.
A fireplace on your screened porch
There’s nothing better than having the luxury of an outdoor fireplace on your screened porch. They provide beauty, warmth and ambiance and turn your screen porch into a comfy place for conversation under the protection of an outdoor roofed structure. In order to provide a safe environment to enjoy for years to come there are many things to consider.
When planning to include an outdoor fireplace to your screened porch design there a couple of ways you can proceed. A standard fireplace built from scratch is stunning but can be quite pricey. A typical custom outdoor fireplace starts at around $10,000. The basis behind the expense in building one comes in the need to add a full foundation. And, depending on how high off grade it is can really dip into your wallet. This can bust your budget when you have to get down to grade with your footers. Another factor in starting from scratch is the chimney stack. In order to comply with building codes and for the sake of safety, the chimney stack must exceed the height of the roof. Expenses here incur with the individual characteristics of your roof line. Not only does the chimney stack have to be a specific distance from the roof itself, it must also be a specific distance from each side of your structure.
An alternative to building solely from scratch is to build a fireplace with concrete block in the foundation which goes all the way up to the stack. From there, you can install a veneer that can be done in a myriad of different mediums. The most common medium we use on fireplace veneers is cultured (manufactured) stone. Natural stone is another option but is rather expensive.
Another important consideration in building an outdoor fireplace on your screened porch is to decide how your fireplace will burn. Your fireplace can use real wood, or it can be a gas burning fireplace. In some cases homeowners opt to do both. We can run the gas line for you. When you get into the realm of wood burning fireplaces you have to consider elements that will go into your fireplace design such as mantels, hearths and size and location of your fire box which is used to store your wood. Another factor is do you actually want a place to store your wood, or a spot above the mantel to mount a television? All these things factor into the planning, design and ultimate construction of your fireplace.
It doesn’t have to be from scratch to still be good
Among the many options to installing a fireplace onto your screened porch a viable alternative is to install a Zero clearance firebox which in essence is a fireplace kit. These fireboxes include a fire box, a flue and all the elements you need for a fireplace. We install these by framing them in wood and wrapping them in a veneer of your choosing. The great thing about these is they can be installed atop a deck or on a porch without needing a foundation. We also use Aspen fireplaces which are the same concept with the added choice of using a wood burning insert, or a gas burning insert, or even a wood stove insert. We have also heard great reviews about Lennox fireplaces. The Lennox kit is a skeleton of a fireplace which we can add wood framework and veneer to complete. These kits come with capability to add a wood stove, but in doing so you won’t see the fire as much. Depending on the veneer you use, we will still have to figure out the weight of the Lennox systems to determine if it is deemed fit to place on top of your structure and still meet all the necessary safety and code requirements.
With a myriad of choices, the key to getting the fireplace you really want in the location you desire is to build it when you start your outdoor structure. Waiting until your space is completed will make the addition tremendously expensive. If you feel like adding a fireplace at the time of your structure’s construction would be biting off more than you can chew then we can phase your project for you. Talk with us about where the fireplace is going and this way we can take some steps in advance such as reinforced foundation, running of gas lines, etc. for the future addition. We can build the framing and foundation in anticipation of the addition of your fireplace at a later date so we are not ripping out framing to install your fireplace as an afterthought. This way the stage is set when your lifestyle and budget allows the addition.
A fire pit can fan those flames of desire for a fire element in your outdoor space
An outdoor fireplace is a great addition to your outdoor living space; however, fire pits can provide that same cozy ambiance that you are looking for at a fraction of the price in many cases. We can build fire pits atop your deck if you go with gas. Wood burning fire pits spark off embers that could pose a danger or damage your deck. In a synthetic deck setting these factors are even more pertinent because of the resin within the synthetic material. We strongly suggest not burning atop a wood or synthetic deck for this reason. In a patio setting a fire pit is often the perfect choice when considering the addition of a fire element. Approximately 20% of the patios we build have a fire pit.
If you are burning to add an outdoor fireplace or fire pit to your outdoor space, contact Archadeck of Columbus today. We can help you plan, design, and build a space that is safe and beautiful. Call for a free consultation (740) 879 – 3730
See more images of outdoor fire structures by visiting our outdoor fireplace and fire pit gallery located on our website.