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Which Outdoor Fireplace is Right for Me?

  • Fireplace Kits
  • Outdoor fireplace
  • outdoor fireplace kit
  • Outdoor Living

Warm weather and long weekends means that it’s the perfect time for all you weekend warriors to get outside and work on the backyard of your dreams. With a little help from a friend (or two), and a pre-engineered masonry fireplace kit from FireRock, building an awesome outdoor fireplace is just a weekend away!

But before you get started, here are a few things to consider to make sure you pick the FireRock fireplace that’s right for your project.

1. Where’s Your Fireplace Going to be Located?

Arched front outdoor fireplace on wall, full herringbone

Location is absolutely critical to choosing the fireplace kit you need for

your project. If you’re not really sure where you want to build your fireplace, take some time and nail that aspect down before you go any further.

If you do know where you want to build your fireplace, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Is my fireplace going to penetrate a roofline?
  • Is my fireplace going to be located on a covered patio?
  • Will any part of my fireplace within 10 feet of another structure?
  • Will I be framing any part of my unit with wood?

If you answered “No” to ALL of the questions above, you’re good to choose an outdoor unit.

If the answer to ANY of the questions above is “Yes,” you will need an indoor unit (which has been rated for both indoor and outdoor use). Bear in mind that while it is possible for a DIYer to build an indoor unit, we recommend that you hire a contractor for this project. Building an indoor unit has far more variables to consider, including clearance to combustibles, making the potential for a negative outcome (i.e., an unwanted fire) much greater.

The rest of this blog will assume that you have chosen to use an outdoor unit.


2. What kind of style do you want?

Straight front outdoor fireplace over woodbox

The FireRock Outdoor Fireplace Kit comes in two different style: straight front and arched front.

Both models are DIY friendly and are available in 3 different sizes (30”, 36”, and 42”), feature a straight back wall, come with 2 – 3 feet of chimney block, and work great with manufactured or natural stone veneers.

The only real difference between the straight front and arched front fireplace kits is the opening. As the names suggest, the straight front fireplace has a straight (rectangular) opening, whereas the arched front fireplace has an arch at the top of the firebox.

The straight front fireplace is a more modern style, whereas the arched front fireplace has more of a traditional/old-world/Tuscan style. The style of fireplace will have no impact on the function of the fireplace, and is a choice that is dictated purely by personal preference.


3. What size do you want?

Arched front outdoor fireplace, 2 woodboxes, and iron screen

Once you’ve determined what style fireplace you want, there’s only one decision left to make: size. Your outdoor fireplace will naturally become the focal point of your outdoor living area, so it’s important to choose a size that will fit the space. For example, if you have a large, free standing patio planned, a 30” fireplace will look out of place. Conversely, if you have a smaller space planned, a 42” unit will overwhelm the space.

Also, one thing to note when choosing a fireplace size: the size refers to the opening size (i.e., from inside wall to inside wall once the firebox has been built and firebrick installed). In general, the overall footprint of the fireplace will be 8” wider than the size indicates. For example, a 42” fireplace will have a base footprint of 50”x 28.5”. You can check out our technical drawings here to get a better idea of which size is best for you.


And that’s it! Just answer these 3 simple questions, and you’ll be well on our way to building a beautiful addition to your backyard.