Here at Lee Masonry Products, we believe the hottest new component for patios ( and backyards ) is the outdoor fireplace. It’s the perfect way to extend the outdoor season. An outdoor fireplace takes the chill off early spring evenings and gives late fall guests a warm place to gather as the sun goes down.
Sam Hoehner, Manager of the Lee Brick & Block location in Louisville ( KY ) was recently interviewed for an upcoming article in the August edition of My House My Home magazine. In that article Sam called outdoor fireplaces “… the newest must-have.”
In years past, it was more common for families to gather around the stone or brick barbecue pit for their outdoor festivities. But today’s outdoor fireplaces are better because they are far more decorative, while remaining practical. And people say they use them to roast marshmallows over the coals !
Sam also says,
“Outdoor fireplaces provide warmth and give guests a place to gather around. The raised hearth design gives folks a place to sit even when there’s no fire. Many homeowners are adding a fireplace, laying pavers in an area, putting in some retaining walls or landscaping block, and finishing the design with outdoor furniture.”
Lee Brick & Block is the Kentucky distributor for the Fire Rock fireplace system. These easy to build fireplaces come in indoor (conventional) and outdoor (garden) styles.
The indoor fireplace system comes in four sizes, to include 30”, 36”, 42”, and 48” openings.
The typical installation of the indoor fireplace system can cost 50% less than a traditional masonry fireplace, making this system a great substitute for both new home and remodeling work.
The outdoor fireplace comes in 30” and 36” openings and can be laid and finished within a day. Many designs incorporate additional items into the finished product including grills, a place to store wood, and raised hearths.
“It can take several days to build the throat and smoke chamber on a traditional masonry fireplace,” Sam says. “With the Fire Rock fireplace, the main box can be laid up within an hour by two people. Not only does this system save the builder and homeowner money on the price, it also saves a lot of time.”
Bud Renfroe, Director of Design for Housewarmings, a complete hearth and patio company based in Lexington (KY), says, “We specialize in customized fireplaces and grill islands.”
Housewarmings plans to use Fire Rock fireplaces quite often, mostly due to the friendly design and how attractive the finished product looks.
“As part of the service we offer, we will visit the homeowner’s home and work with them on a design that will meet their individual needs. We will also do a cardboard mock-up of the fireplace so that the homeowner can get a comfort level and feel for the finished product before we move forward.”
Bud also mentions that “The fireplaces we offer are total outdoor applications. By that we mean that there is nothing on any part of the fireplace that will rust, rot, or decay over time.”
There are many factors to consider when planning an outdoor fireplace, such as:
- When fireplaces are incorporated into porches, it’s important to remember that they give off sparks that can ignite the existing structure or nearby trees and shrubs.
- Make sure the chimney does not vent into a tree canopy.
- Check with your homeowners or neighborhood association to make sure the fireplace project is allowed and check with your city or county building department to see if a building permit is required before beginning construction.
- Keep in mind metal, prefabricated fireboxes will rust when exposed to rain or snow.
- Masonry construction is preferred for longevity and ease of maintenance.
Fire Rock’s pre-engineered fireplace system is cast from masonry material, which is not susceptible to rust. The components in the kit can be installed only one way, the company says. A reasonably handy homeowner could even install it himself. After installation, it can be covered with finish materials such as brick or Mountain Stone, our manufactured stone veneer.
In addition to the Fire Rock fireplace system, Lee Brick & Block also carries a full line of clay and concrete pavers, segmental retaining wall, landscaping block, concrete block, clay face brick, caulks & sealers, and many other masonry related products and accessories.