How to Build a Retaining Wall Fireplace

What You'll Need
Retaining wall stone
Fire brick
Cap stones
Plastic funnel with a tab with a hole

A retaining wall fireplace is a beautiful feature to have on your patio. It adds a great atmospheric piece to any outdoor living space in the summer months and is ideal when you are entertaining guests. It can also boost the value of your home, and there is no end of customized designs you can have for your home. Building your own helps to ensure that you get the exact results that you want while also saving money in the process. FOllow the simple steps below to effectively build a basic outdoor fireplace in a retaining wall.

Step 1 – Make the Preparations

Before you purchase any materials or start work, you should check with your local planning permission department to familiarize yourself with any legal requirements regarding building a retaining wall fireplace.

When you are ready to start work, establish the area for the fireplace making sure that it is adequately far from any trees, buildings or other landscape features. Hammer a wooden stake into the center of the location.

Step 2 – Mark the Area for the Fireplace

Connect the plastic funnel and the stake with a 2-foot length of twine. You should then fill the funnel with some form of powder—mortar powder is fine for this—and then move around the stake, allowing the powder to pour out forming a circle. When this is done, extend the twine to 3 feet in length and make another circle in the same manner. You will have one circle of 4 feet in diameter with another circle outside it of 6 feet in diameter.

Step 3 – Dig the Foundations

The inside circle needs to be dug out to 10 to 12 inches in depth. Remove all the dirt away from the site. Pour gravel into the foundation and rake it out flat and to about 4 inches deep. Pour a couple of inches of sand on top of this and make sure that it is level. Next, dig the area between the 2 circles to several inches in depth and apply sand to the area of a couple of inches' thickness.

Step 4 – Place the Wall

Along the outer ring of the larger circle, place the retaining wall stones, and then place firebricks on the inside of these wall stones. The first layer needs to be firmly set into the sand base, minimizing any gaps. Place the stones together as close as possible. As you place each stone, thoroughly test it for stability and sturdiness. Build up the wall with the stones until it reaches the desired level. You can use cap stones on the top to give it a finished appearance. To make sure that these stay in place, you may want to use mortar to hold them together.