Do you have the perfect outdoor space, but sometimes it’s just too cold to enjoy it? An outdoor fireplace gives you the pleasure of relaxing on your patio year-round, without the cold weather forcing you inside. Most homeowners pay $3,000 to install an outdoor fireplace, or between $1,200 and $21,000. Prefabricated models usually range between $1,200 and $8,335, while custom builds cost between $6,000 and $21,000.
Small-scale outdoor fireplace kits can cost as little as $135, while upscale projects can set you back $30,000 or more. An outdoor fireplace is a romantic notion, a welcoming family spot, and a great focal point for guests to gather around for social events. This guide explores cost factors so you can start budgeting for this home improvement project today.
- Average costs
- Outdoor fireplace cost estimator by type
- Cost estimator by materials
- Other factors that affect cost
- Related services
- Pro cost vs. DIY cost
- Cost by location
Average Costs for an Outdoor Fireplace in 2023
|National average cost||$3,000|
|Typical price range||$1,200 – $21,000|
|Extreme low end cost||$135|
|Extreme high end cost||$30,000|
Outdoor fireplaces come in many different sizes and styles. The larger the fireplace, the more it will cost.
Size is only one of the price determinants. The type of fireplace, materials, and labor all impact the final price tag. The type of fuel the fireplace uses also affects costs. Certain fuel types require a licensed professional to run utility lines, which results in additional fees.
You can cut costs by doing some of the work yourself. Some options are purchasing a prefabricated kit or an unfinished contractor kit. Depending on your heating needs, you could buy a small, portable outdoor fire pit. If you’re doing more than one home improvement project that involves masonry work, doing them at the same time can save you money on materials.
Outdoor Fireplace Cost Estimator by Type
You can choose a custom outdoor fireplace or one already made. A prefabricated fireplace and chiminea are the cheapest.
The least expensive option is a premade or prefabricated fireplace, which comes in a kit. These kits typically cost between $1,200 and $8,335.
Unfinished Contractor Kit
Unfinished contractor models land in between prefab kits and custom builds. A contractor kit is typically unfinished concrete that you have the freedom to customize, such as adding stone or brick veneers.
An unfinished contractor kit typically costs between $1,250 and $3,750 (not including veneer materials).
The most costly outdoor fireplace is a custom guild. You can hire a contractor to build a fireplace as elegant of a setup as your bank account can afford. Homeowners spend between $6,000 and $21,000 on average for custom outdoor fireplaces.
If you’re on a budget and don’t have much space for a fireplace, the chiminea may catch your eye. It’s a small, portable fireplace with a chimney tower. It’s wood-burning, so there are no extra costs for utility lines or wiring. Expect to pay between $115 and $500 for this small fireplace.
Outdoor Fireplace Cost Estimator by Materials
The design or style of your fireplace may be limited if you choose a kit, but the materials your fireplace is built from won’t. Just like a custom-built fireplace, outdoor fireplace kits come with a few options in terms of materials and fuel. You can choose between stone, brick, or metal to fit your current decor.
Clay is also an option, but the chiminea is the type of fireplace that is most commonly made from this material. So, if clay fits your fancy, and you don’t mind a small, portable fireplace that isn’t big enough for several people to huddle around, a chiminea is your best choice.
We’ve listed the materials below from least expensive to most expensive. Prepare to pay as high as $21,000 (or more) for a custom build, no matter the material.
- Metal: Metal is not a traditional choice for an outdoor fireplace. Most metal kits are pre-made portable fire pits rather than outdoor fireplaces with a chimney. However, you can opt to have a custom-built metal fireplace.
- Clay: Most clay options are a premade and portable chiminea. It resembles a fire pit more than a fireplace. It ranges from $115 to $500. The chiminea may not be suitable if you need to heat a large space.
- Stone: Stone is a traditional choice for a fireplace. It also goes well with an outdoor kitchen design.
- Brick: Most homeowners looking to install a grill or pizza oven choose either a brick or stone fireplace. Like stone, brick is also great alongside an outdoor kitchen. A professional can build a custom-brick fireplace if you want those extra cooking features.
Other Factors That Affect Cost
Now that you’ve chosen the fireplace type and its materials, it’s time to decide whether you’ll strike a match, plug it in, or burn some gas. Here are cost factors for heating sources and other determinants that will affect your budget.
Fuel type and utilities
You could choose a traditional wood-burning fireplace or one that uses propane or gas. Some prefab kits use electricity. The option you choose determines if wiring needs to be completed or utility lines need to run from your home to the fireplace. If so, your costs will increase because a licensed professional will have to handle this task. More materials, time, and labor will be needed the longer the utilities must run from the outdoor fireplace to connection points in the house.
Wood-burning fireplace kits typically range between $1,180 and $6,500. There are no extra costs for utilities to be run since wood is the fuel source. If you wanted to add lighting or other accessories that need electricity, factor in extra costs to run the utility line. Of course, you’ll need to scout the local prices for wood in your area.
An electric fireplace typically runs from $200 to $4,600. It gives you a virtual fireplace experience. It’s basically an electric heater that gives the look and feel of a fireplace. It’s a great option if you don’t want to pay for the masonry work of a wood-burning fireplace.
A gas-fueled option can be as low as $740 and as high as $5,670. Installing a gas pipe is about an average of $30 per linear foot. This does not include the costs of the licensed professional to do the installation.
Propane fireplaces are basically gas fireplaces, except they’re fueled by and have their own propane tank. Propane kits typically cost between $225 and $5,420. You’ll also need to pay for the tank at an annual cost of $100 to $500.
The size of the fireplace will determine how long a contractor has to work and the labor fees. Size can also determine how many laborers are needed and the amount of materials used.
Outdoor fireplace kits for a larger fireplace will increase expenses due to the unit size affecting shipping costs.
Pro Tip: While you may be tempted to save money by getting a smaller fireplace, remember that this is a common mistake. It not only results in not getting the heat you expected and need, but the wood has to be smaller to go inside the fireplace.
The size of your outdoor fireplace will dictate the time as well as the number of laborers needed to complete the project. Contractors charge about $70 to $150 an hour. Other factors that affect labor costs are the type of fireplace you choose, fireplace design, and necessary materials.
The proximity of the work area to where contractors must park affects cost. It will take more laborers to move materials if the project area is farther away. This not only increases the number of workers but also increases the amount of time and energy it will take to complete construction.
You may want to relax in front of your fireplace while watching a movie or listening to music. Factor in the extra costs of having an electrician do the wiring if you want to use anything in your outdoor space that takes electricity.
Adding things like storage, lighting, a grill or a pizza oven will also drive up costs. You may even want to extend the floor of the firebox so you can sit closer to the fire on cold days or romantic nights. This extension, called a hearth, costs extra.
Sometimes a permit may be required to build an outdoor fireplace, like if gas lines need to be installed. Have your contractor check to see if any permits are needed or if any other codes need to be adhered to.
Here are some other services you may need related to your outdoor fireplace project, or some additional home improvement ventures that will complement or enhance your enjoyment of your year-round outdoor living space.
If you’re really early in your home improvement project phase, you may not have constructed the patio that you want your fireplace to sit on. It costs an average of $3,994 to install a patio.
The illumination from an outdoor fireplace creates a great organic ambiance. It can make you feel more connected with nature. It’s romantic. But you may need more light than what the fire emits, or you may need lighting in warmer months when you’re not using the fireplace. Depending on the design you choose, outdoor lights can add style to your extended living space. Landscape lighting costs between $2,000 and $5,000, with most homeowners paying an average of $3,250.
Outdoor Kitchen Installation
Outdoor fireplaces and outdoor kitchens go hand in hand, especially when made from the same material. Homeowners typically spend between $5,057 and $17,276 to build an outdoor kitchen.
Now that you’ve decided on an outdoor fireplace, you may want to consider other home improvements to your yard. In general, landscape design ranges between $2,200 and $6,180 per project. Expect to pay about $50 to $150 per hour for a designer’s services.
Many projects fall under landscaping, including installing a garden, waterfall or water fountain, and landscape edging. The cost depends on the type of project.
Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
If you want to save money, you can take the DIY route and purchase a portable fire pit and easily place it wherever you like. However, keep in mind that a fire pit stands alone and doesn’t connect to a chimney.
You could also install a prefabricated fireplace kit without the help of a professional. This will save you labor fees of $70 to $150 an hour.
Another option is to half DIY–– hire a professional to install an unfinished contractor kit and then attach the veneers yourself. Contractor kits can cost as low as $1,250.
Otherwise, it’s not recommended that you DIY a custom outdoor fireplace. While you can indeed find plans online, these projects require advanced masonry skills and a thorough understanding of fireplace safety.
Cost of an Outdoor Fireplace by Location
Shipping and delivery costs can increase your expenses. It’s best to order prefab kits from local stores. If there are no stores in your local area, your shipping, freight, and delivery costs could be much higher.
FAQ About an Outdoor Fireplace
Yes, an outdoor fireplace can increase the value of your home. Having an outdoor fireplace can also help you sell your home faster. Make sure your fireplace is well-maintained to get the highest return on investment. z
It depends on whether it is a masonry fireplace or a factory-built one. A masonry fireplace is custom-built on-site and lasts longer than a factory-built fireplace. Prefabricated or factory-built fireplaces do not last as long. Their life span is about 20 to 30 years, and they have limited warranties.
Yes. The soil type and type of fireplace will determine the base that is needed. A prefab fireplace is typically lighter than a custom-built one, so a custom-built outdoor fireplace will need a concrete slab that is stronger and thicker. If you’re installing on your current patio, have a professional assess it. Make sure you find out the specifications required for your outdoor fireplace.
If you’d rather enjoy the outdoors year-round and find yourself only going inside to escape the cold, an outdoor fireplace is the perfect home improvement project for you. It can add value to your home and quality of life.
You could cut costs with a DIY outdoor fireplace, or have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your outdoor fireplace meets safety requirements and your expectations. For a high-quality outdoor fireplace that adds value to your life and home, find a professional contractor near you.
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