If you want to build stone fireplaces, you can make them as intricate or basic as your do-it-yourself skills will allow. The steps below can get you started on your outdoor stone fireplace and be ready for your next cook-out.
You will need the following tools and materials before you begin:
- Stone bricks;
- Mortar mix;
- Mortar trowel;
- Measuring tape, and;
- 2 stainless steel grills.
Step 1 – Decide on the Size and Location
Be particularly careful if you want to locate your stone fireplace on the patio. Is it far enough away from the house? Some districts have codes governing these matters, so it may be worthwhile checking with the authorities first. Also, make sure that you have a space that is at least 3 ft away from the fireplace for seating.
Step 2 – Choose a Design for Your Fireplace
The simplest design for the do-it-yourself enthusiast to construct is a U-shape of stone bricks, with a two grill system. A lower grill holds the fire, and a higher grill above holds the food. The lower grill should ideally be at least 1 ft off the ground so the fire will draw properly. The higher grill should be high enough to cook at without hurting your back. If you are really sophisticated, you can provide adjustable settings for the higher grill so that your guests can choose how they like their steak. Also, you may wish to build a stone box for keeping lumber and charcoal dry to one side, if you have enough materials left over.
Step 3 – Select the Materials
For safety’s sake, ensure that the materials you choose are suitable for use with fire. Choose a stone that complements the style of your house, and make sure that the mortar mix you select is suitable. A stainless steel grill is best for the higher grill because it will last longer, although it may be quite expensive.
Step 4 - Build the Walls
When you have measured how high your higher and lower grills will be, create supports for the grills by placing a couple of bricks on each side lengthways rather than sideways. Accordingly, the grills can be rested on these bricks when in use and removed for cleaning.
Step 5 – Check for Cracks
When you build a stone fireplace outdoors, the biggest danger to it is the weather. Cracks will let water in which could expand and damage the structure of your fireplace. If you do find a crack, make sure to repair it as soon as you can.