First Look: Building Our Outdoor Fireplace

July 27, 2016

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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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We pretty much always have somewhere between two and thirteen projects going on at any given time. Most of you probably read about the wall covering we worked on last week for our office. We’re also working on a few finishing elements for the basement, ordered a new ceiling fan for our bedroom, and are working on a little side thing that will be revealed at some future point (hopefully in the next month ;) ). And, right now, we’ve teamed up with on a few upcoming projects, the first of which is our outdoor fireplace.

When we built the deck, we knew we would eventually have a fireplace, so you may remember that we designed it to have a place so we could add one when that time came. Well, that time started last week and will end this weekend. Here’s the spot we added for the fireplace:

First Look: Our Outdoor Fireplace

One thing I’ll say is, there are very lax permitting laws in our town when it comes to outdoor fireplaces. Meaning, no permit is needed, and we can build it right up to the property line. Everything else is kinda common sense stuff that helps prevent you from building something that will burst into flames. We’ll go over everything in greater detail on our final post, but here are some pictures of the progress (some taken with my phone, so pardon the quality).

First Look: Our Outdoor Fireplace

First Look: Our Outdoor Fireplace

Once the concrete foundation was laid, we mortared in some cinder blocks for a base and heat shield to go around the insert.

First Look: Our Outdoor Fireplace

The angle of the photo makes it look like it isn’t centered on the slab, but it is. :)

The insert we bought is actually part of an outdoor fireplace kit that is usually surrounded with stone. We have something else in mind, but the insert kit will be perfect for what we want to do, and it will save us days of masonry work. Which, I’ve learned, is my least favorite thing.

First Look: Our Outdoor Fireplace

So, that’s it for now. Our deck is a mess, there’s trash everywhere, and I’m physically exhausted. But we’re gonna have a sweet outdoor fireplace when it’s all done, and I’ma build a fire in it this weekend! Follow juliamarcum on Snapchat to see more real-time updates and keep an eye out for the final post on this next week.

First Look: Our Outdoor Fireplace

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What do you think?

  1. Hi Chris & Julia,

    How much does it cost to build an outdoor fireplace like yours?

  2. Kristin says:

    Everyone seems to be posting all the amazing outdoor renovations recently. I have to say though, I have been totally blown away by your new outdoor living place and am super excited to see the fireplace completed; so cool!

  3. Karmen says:

    This is totally off the subject of the fireplace. We painted our bedroom Chelsea gray -love it! If we were to use that same color in the bathroom that is in our bedroom what color would you paint the vanity or would you not use that color in the bathroom. I started painting the bathroom that color but I’m worried since we have no windows in the bathroom it might be too dark…Help!


  4. Cali says:

    I have to ask…. Does it bother you that the fences are different? That would bug the heck out of me! Lol :)

    • Julia says:

      There is literally nothing we could do about it, so we try to not let it bother us. I think the fireplace will actually help take focus away from that and we’re excited to add a lot o plants in front of the fence, too.

  5. Johanna says:

    Is there no podcast this week? I miss it ?

    • Julia says:

      We recorded one for this week, but Preston has been out of town on business so unable to put the final edits on it. We’ll keep you posted.

  6. jen says:

    How is the trek decking handling the concrete and mortar mess? Is it all cleaning up off the decking nicely?

    • Chris says:

      We’ve had it covered mostly, but there’s a bit of mortar dust and such that needs to be cleaned off. Most of it comes off with sweeping, so once we’re all done I think a good pressure washing will take care of it.

  7. Oh do I hear you!!! We built a small brick wall to edge a planting bed/small hill we had in our yard and it was definitely one of the harder projects we tackled. It’s a craft/trade that really goes underrated, especially when it’s also a finished masonry project. We love our cute little wall though, as imperfect as it is, and also love that we did it ourselves.

    I can’t wait to see your fireplace!

  8. Trish says:

    I can’t wait to see it! You are going to love having a fire feature on your deck. I just love our fire table. My favorite thing is having my kids and all their friends hanging out at night, their pre-teen faces lit by the fire. I remain quiet in the kitchen and I get to hear a lot of interesting stories! You are going to have so many great memories out there:)

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