{Backyard fireplace} – Part 1


Im so sorry – i completely suck it as a blogger!  I hate when i check on blogs that i like and they havent posted for days let alone weeks!  Im no busier than anyone else – we all have tons of stuff to do.  Sometimes though i give myself too much to do with all of our projects going on and then when i do have time to sit down at the computer and do a blog post, im just not motivated to do it. I cant post during the day because we all know the computer sucks you in – one thing leads to another and 4 hours have gone by! So, i leave most of my computer stuff for the night after i have worked all day in the shop and by then im exhausted :)


Anyways – i do have the most awesome project to show you guys!!  If you follow me on Facebook you will know what i have been up to.  There are lots of pics – so i am going to break it down into 2 posts.  We started working on this about a month 1/2 ago and it took 3 weekends to be completely done.  We have been having fun with it and using it for a few weeks now.

A couple years ago my husband Santi decided to build a waterfall.  I dont have a good “before we started ripping it out pic” because it never really looked good (plus this pic was taken at the beginning of spring and the yard looks like crapola) and we always had lots of problems with it leaking (Santi is the type to just start throwing things together with no research and pre-planning) he tried really hard to make it work and even ripped out and started over a few times!

So we decided last fall, that coming this spring the waterfall would be gone!  I was beyond excited, even though we didnt have an exact plan on what we were going to replace it with.  We had lots of ideas, but hadnt decided for sure.

One day Santi came home, started ripping out the surrounding rocks and then went to Home Depot and rented a jack hammer – the flat rocks for the waterfall were cemented in.  Happy Day :)

Santi actually look a lot of the smaller rocks and buried them in the pond part!

Sweetpickinsfurniture.com  DIY outdoor fireplace

After getting rid of TONS of large rocks (my sis in law took them for her yard) and taking out lots and lots of dirt – we leveled the area to get ready for our new outdoor fireplace!  Once things were cleared out we could finally visualize what we wanted in the space – we were just going to do a firepit, but this was a perfect spot for a focal point and we decided to just go for it.  Go big or go home as they say…

Sweetpickinsfurniture.com  DIY outdoor fireplace

After leveling, doing some research on fireplaces, buying a fireplace kit and making up some plans – we poured a cement pad.  Clearly we are not pro cement layers!  We built a box, added in some rebar and poured in cement – Santi didnt buy the right size boards the 1st time for the form, so we ended up doing this two times as the cement pad is supposed to be 4-6 inches thick.  After this 1st pad dried for a few days, we poured another pad on top making it the proper thickness – the right way?  probably not!

Sweetpickinsfurniture.com  DIY outdoor fireplace

In this pic – you can see the 2 layers of the pad.  By the way, the pad was about 3×5.

While we were waiting for the pad to cure for a few days, we used the leftover flat rock from the waterfall to make a patio for in front of the fireplace.  Might as well use what ya got right?

Sweetpickinsfurniture.com  DIY outdoor fireplace

We ended up purchasing an outdoor fireplace kit from Interstate Brick in West Jordan Utah.  We looked everywhere for one in our area and were thinking that we were going to have to have one shipped in (an extra $700) – but we finally found these guys right down the street after talking with the manufacturer!!

This is basically what the kit looks like – it comes in about 20 pieces, sorta like putting together legos.    Its made from a special fireproof cement and the chimney is made in a way that is ideal for the smoke to  escape.  And yes, you can build your own fireplace rather than buying a kit – but this made things SO EASY.

Sweetpickinsfurniture.com  DIY outdoor fireplace

(image via Firerock)

The fireplace kit actually fit in the back of our truck – this is us picking up :)

Sweetpickinsfurniture.com DIY outdoor fireplace

We decided that we wanted to build our fireplace up and out – up to have a place for wood storage underneath and out because we wanted to bulk it up a little.

The 1st step was to build a base for the fireplace – in this opening is where the firewood would be stored.  We measured the kit and then built a base out of cinder block.  We only went two high – we figured this would most aesthetically pleasing, plus it would make the base of the fireplace the right height for when we were standing next to it.

Sweetpickinsfurniture.com DIY outdoor fireplace

After building the base, we started laying the fireplace kit on top of it.  Before doing this, we dry stacked the kit to make sure we knew exactly how to put it together.  The kit also came with great instructions – super easy to follow.

We had to use a special mortar on the kit itself to join all the pieces – apparently its a fire safe mortar.  The mortar came in bags and we had to mix it – again, really easy.

Sweetpickinsfurniture.com DIY outdoor fireplace

Stacking the chimney was the hardest part – just because it was up so high and the pieces are heavy.  My thumb got smashed, swelled up 3 times its size and turned black in about 10 seconds and is still numb!!

Sweetpickinsfurniture.com DIY outdoor fireplace

After building the kit, it was time to build out the sides.  All we did to do this, was to stack cinder block all the way up until where the chimney starts to slant.

Sweetpickinsfurniture.com DIY outdoor fireplace

After completing the actual fireplace part, we were on to the fun stuff.  Next up was bricking the inside.  We had to use fire safe brick on the 3 sides and bottom – this was also set in place with the fire safe mortar.  To cut the bricks, we just used a tile saw and a grinder – these were really easy to cut.

Sweetpickinsfurniture.com DIY outdoor fireplace

After we got all the bricks cut to size, we back buttered the bricks and set them in.  Just like laying tile.

To cut the bricks, we just used a tile saw and a grinder - these were really easy to cut.


K – thats all i am going to show you today – there are tons of pics and its too long for one post!  Next up is covering the cement base and wood storage in cedar, making a mantle and then adding the stacked stone.

We love the way it turned out and are having tons of fun with it!  Come back tomorrow to see the finished product as well as a price breakdown – that was one of the biggest things we were looking for online when we were researching and couldnt find much.

See ya tomorrow!