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September 10, 2022

What type of Outdoor Fireplace is Best?

There’s nothing like firing up the last few weeks of summer evenings with an outdoor fireplace.

However, after a quick online search, you realize one thing: “How do I know which type of outdoor fireplace is best for me?”

We get it, there are tons of options to choose from! This is why we’ve broken down this quick article to narrow down which kind of outdoor fireplace is best for your living space. 

Outdoor Fire Pits

Outdoor fire pits are very popular and can be heavily customized, as their design greatly varies. 

A fire pit won’t exactly be an outdoor fireplace. They tend to be rounded areas that resemble a camping firepit. They vary from DIY basic holes above or below ground made with basic rocks to more luxurious, rare and exotic stonework. 

If you’re not into a DIY project involving heavy lifting, there are plenty of premade firepits on the market. These range from more economic, portable models burning wood, propane, natural gas or even charcoal. 

Some fire pits can even be used to grill food, for an authentic backyard camping experience. You can talk to us if you need help with an outdoor fire pit project. 

Chiminea Outdoor Fireplaces

When you imagine an outdoor fireplace, a chiminea style is one most people would think of. 

The word “chiminea” is Spanish for Chimney, hence why this style of fireplace is popular across Mexico and the Southwestern U.S. Chiminea outdoor fireplaces are becoming trendy in Canada as well. More traditional models are made of terracotta, but most modern chimineas are made of metal.

A huge advantage to this style of outdoor fireplace is that the fire is mostly covered. This means if you’re spending cooler evenings out in light rain, your fire won’t be as affected and the chiminea frame radiates more heat than an open fire pit.

This allows your outdoor gatherings to remain cozy for you and your guests!

If you have safety concerns, especially due to young kids or pets, the enclosure of an outdoor fireplace will provide the safest option for your family. 

Chimineas are available as wood burning models, natural gas and propane. 

Traditional Outdoor Fireplaces

If you have a larger budget and want the best of everything, then going all out on an outdoor fireplace is your best bet. 

The only difference between an indoor and outdoor fireplace is simply that one is inside the house and the latter isn’t. Keep in mind that outdoor fireplaces do have to be resistant to the elements, as they will be exposed to rain, sleet or snow. 

There are two types of full outdoor fireplaces to consider: 

  • Portable
  • Built-in

Portable Outdoor Fireplaces 

Portable outdoor fireplaces share some similarities between firepits and chimineas. You buy them in a box and they are simply put together in a safe area (note: it still may require a permit from your municipality). These can be later moved to another location or put away. 

A caveat to portable fireplaces is that they are more prone to rusting or damage whereas a built-in outdoor fireplace is a permanent, durable fixture. 

Built-in Outdoor Fireplaces

If you’re looking to have an efficient, unique and impressive outdoor fireplace, a built-in option is best for you. A built-in outdoor fireplace is larger and will remain in one spot permanently. 

Since they’re generally built from scratch, a big plus is that they’re highly customizable. They can be constructed with an amalgamation of stones and rocks for a cozy and customized feel. Although they are an investment, a built-in outdoor fireplace can directly increase your home’s value! 

They can even be installed with propane or natural gas, which will save you on cleanup and maintenance. Additionally, you can go with the more traditional wood-burning for a more natural, wood crackling atmosphere. 

Note that a DIY job is difficult but still possible. Usually, a professional touch is required sooner or later with a built-in outdoor fireplace. 

Tip: With any type of outdoor fireplace, ensure you check with your building, strata and/or your municipality regarding permits surrounding these fixtures. 

If you need help selecting and installing your outdoor fireplace, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts at Whyte Plumbing.