DIY Network

How to Build an Outdoor Fireplace

An outdoor fireplace can give a landscape added warmth and beauty. Use these tips and instructions to enhance any outdoor space.

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  • Time


  • Price Range

    $1,000 - $2,500

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Dig a Trench


  • Consult professional contractors when building a gas fireplace.
  • It is best to hire a stonemason for large structures to make sure the fireplace doesn't collapse.
Mark the location and size of the fireplace with spray paint. Pick a comfortable place in the yard that is visible from the house and dig a trench for a cement foundation.

Step 2: Build the Foundation

Use a plate compactor to create a hard surface for the foundation. These can be rented for about $70 a day (Image 1). Mix the cement, and pour it into the trench. Allow the cement to cure for 24 hours. Build the foundation using cinderblocks and mortar. Spread 2" of mortar onto the foundation and start setting the blocks (Image 2). Check to make sure it's level (Image 3) and adjust with more or less mortar. Let the structure set for 24 hours. Then you can start on your stone veneers.

Step 3: Place the Stones

Back butter each stone with mortar and drag a line across the mortar with a trowel (Image 1). Then set the stones (Image 2), using spacers to keep the rocks from touching. Finish the fireplace with a cap rock. Hire a licensed contractor to install the log burner.

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