Outdoor Fireplaces; Are They Worth It?

The popularity of outdoor fireplaces is rising, and for good reason. Not only do they enhance the visual appeal of outdoor spaces, but they also offer a range of benefits. However, given the potential cost, it’s natural to wonder whether investing in an outdoor fireplace is truly worthwhile.

Benefits of Outdoor Fireplaces: Outdoor fireplaces undoubtedly bring a wealth of ambiance and enjoyment to your living space. Additionally, they can significantly elevate the overall value of your home. The increase in property value often offsets the initial cost of installing the fireplace.

Considering the range of options: When it comes to outdoor fireplaces, there is a diverse array of options available, including fire pits and various styles of fireplaces. This leads to the question of whether all these variations are equally worth the investment.

Determining Worthiness: The worthiness of an outdoor fireplace largely depends on individual preferences, lifestyle, and intended use. Factors such as available space, local climate, and desired aesthetics play pivotal roles in this decision. For those who value outdoor gatherings, cozy evenings, and enhanced property value, investing in an outdoor fireplace is likely a prudent choice.

Assessing the Value of Outdoor Fireplaces: Outdoor fireplaces offer both practical and aesthetic benefits, making them a valuable addition to any home. They create a warm and inviting outdoor space, providing a cozy area for relaxation. While the decision ultimately depends on personal preference, outdoor fireplaces come with a few drawbacks. Besides taking up space, they bring numerous advantages.

Let’s explore some of the positive aspects of having an outdoor fireplace:

1. Gathering Hub: Outdoor fireplaces serve as a focal point in your backyard, creating a welcoming space for people to gather around a comforting fire. This ensures you can comfortably enjoy outdoor moments, even when temperatures are cooler.

2. Value Addition: It’s evident that a fireplace enhances the visual appeal of both interior and exterior spaces. Over time, the demand for fireplaces has risen, contributing to a significant increase in a home’s value if it includes a fireplace.

3. Seasonal Comfort: In colder months, spending time outside may seem less appealing. However, with an outdoor fireplace, evenings can be enjoyed in warmth and comfort, even during winter. Additionally, the scent emitted by wood-burning fireplaces acts as a natural insect repellent, making them suitable for warm summer nights.

Overall, these benefits significantly elevate the overall aesthetic and value of your home. According to a study by the National Association of Real Estate Appraisers, a fireplace can increase a home’s value by approximately 6–12%.

Considering that the average price of a home in the United States is around $269,039, a 6% increase would equate to an additional value of $16,142. This boost in value is likely to cover the installation costs of your fireplace, making it a practical investment. With all these advantages in mind, it’s safe to say that an outdoor fireplace is a valuable addition to your home.

How Much Heat Do Outdoor Fireplaces Produce?

Outdoor fireplaces typically generate between 30,000 to 100,000 BTUs of heat. This is usually sufficient to warm up a seating area around your outdoor fireplace, depending on how cold it is outside.

For comparison, a standard indoor electric fireplace usually emits around 5,000 BTUs, enough to heat a room of approximately 450 square feet. Outdoor fireplaces, on the other hand, give off much more heat. However, the colder outdoor air balances this out.

Heating a room indoors is more efficient because the warm air stays within the enclosed space. Outdoors, it’s a different story, as the warm air rises and disperses.

It’s as if the fireplace is continuously working to reheat the outdoor air.

Even with the higher BTU output, you should be able to warm the seating area around your outdoor fireplace comfortably. In extremely cold temperatures tolerance, you might need to snuggle up a bit, but generally, any outdoor fireplace should do the job.

What’s The Average Cost Of An Outdoor Fireplace?

The price range for an outdoor fireplace can vary significantly, typically falling between $500 and $20,000. This wide range is influenced by factors like the size, type, and materials used for the fireplace. Custom-built fireplaces tend to be more expensive, whereas inserts and standalone chimineas are generally more affordable.

Here’s a breakdown of the estimated costs for various types of outdoor fireplaces:

Chiminea: Around $500

Electric Fireplace: Between $200 and $5,000

Propane Fireplace: Between $200 and $5,000

Gas Fireplace: Between $750 and $6,000

Wood-Burning Fireplace: Between $1,000 and $20,000

In addition to the fireplace itself, you’ll also need to budget for materials and labor.

For custom-made fireplaces, here are some average material costs:

Stone: $1,500 – $20,000+

Brick: $1,500 – $20,000+

Metal: $100+

The overall material cost depends on the size of the fireplace. While there’s no strict cap, for a typical household, it usually ranges from $6,000 to $8,000.

The installation of the fireplace will incur additional costs, varying based on local pricing. Typically, installation starts around $1,500 to $2,000 and may increase for larger projects.

Lastly, consider fuel costs. This depends on the type of fireplace you have. Electric fireplaces are quite efficient, costing about $0.21 per hour. Propane fireplaces run on tanks that can range from $100 to $500 per year, and gas fireplaces average around $0.40 per hour. Wood-burning fireplaces require either purchased or gathered logs.

In summary, the primary expense is the fireplace itself, with installation costs varying based on size. Ongoing operational costs for these fireplaces are generally manageable.