K, back today to finally show you guys the finished product of our backyard fireplace :) In case you missed Part 1, the prepping and building, click here.
We left off with this pic…everything is built up and out, and the firebrick is installed.
The next step was to build the mantle, cover the cement pad with cedar and wrap the wood storage area with cedar.
I didnt take pics of the mantle building – it required to much thinking and was really frustrating at times. With the angles, the overhangs, working with the wood sizes that i had bought – it took lots of brain power!
I decided not to do a solid piece of timber as i wanted the mantle to wrap the 3 sides of the fireplace and with the width of timber that i would need for the sides, i decided to just build a box. I had to buy wood from a lumber yard rather than lowes or home depot as i needed larger planks of wood. I went with cedar as that is the best wood to stand up to the elements.
Basically the box is 3 sided and hollow on the inside. A 2×4 was attached to the fireplace and the box was hung on the 2×4.
You can see that i also wrapped the base as well as the wood storage area in cedar as well. I just cut them to size and used liquid nail to attach them.
After the wood was done, the fun began! Stone stacking. We have never done any type of masonry before and it sucked a little in the beginning but then we got the hang of it.
Fortunately we got a lot of our stone for free but we needed more and the same type was discontinued so we had to buy another style and mix it in. It was a little tough making sure that we mixed it in well enough and working with the 2 different styles.
I didnt take pics of this process either. Basically you just mix up mortar, put a scoop on the back of the stone and stick it into place. The stone goes directly on the cement, no need for wire mesh or anything. The only thing to be careful of is to make sure that your mortar is mixed properly, not to dry or to wet or it wont stick. Also, once you stick the stone on, you cant take it off to reposition it or move it around to much or it wont end up sticking.
You will have to do some cutting – but its pretty easy with a grinder. We ended up buying a cheap one from harbor freight and it worked great.
You can see that we did outline the arch in stones, we did that very 1st before we started stacking.
Once the arch was done, we just started from the bottom with stacking. We were going for a dry stacked look so we didnt want to see much mortar. Basically it was like a puzzle, just trying all different stones to get the right fit.
Once all the stones were in place, we bought a cement piping bag and filled in any gaps with mortar – we didnt go crazy with it, just any bigger gaps that werent big enough to add another piece of stone.
After the stone was done, the final step was to stain the mantle. I didnt want anything dark, i didnt want to leave it natural, and i wanted it to maybe be a little on the gray side. I decided to make a stain/wash with Old Fashioned Milk Paint in the color Driftwood. I just mixed enough to make it pretty watery and then gave all the wood about 3 coats to get it the right color. Milk paint is supposed to be great outdoors and really hold up in the weather – so we shall see :) I didnt clear coat it at the time, but i did buy some marine sealer and will be clear coating it this week, just for extra protection.
Before staining, i gave the rough cedar a light sand with 150 grit paper.
And then WE WERE DONE!!!
We have now had the fireplace in for a few weeks and have lighted a fire on as many nights as we can. We love to build a fire and then move our outdoor table in front of it and have dinner.
Our plan is to get 4 comfy outdoor chairs and put them in front of the fireplace – one for each of us. I just havent found any that i really like yet. So for now, we just have a temporary bench and coffee table out and love relaxing by the fire :)
You can see in this pic that we did cover the back in stone as well – there are a couple places in the backyard that it can be seen.
I love the focal point that the fireplace adds – its the 1st thing you see when you walk out there.
We still need to add a cap to the top – we are deciding between making a wood cap or having a copper one made…
We also need to plant around the fireplace, we will get started on that in a couple weeks.
I had saved all the receipts to give you a more detailed cost breakdown – it was one of the things that we were looking for more info on when we started, but all the receipts got thrown away – but here is an approx cost breakdown…
Fireplace Kit – $1200
Cedar for the mantle, base, and wood storage area – $200
Cinder block, bags of cement, cement tools, grinder, random supplies that we needed – $600
Stone – You need approx 70 sq ft of stone, we already had 50 sq ft that was given to us – so we only had to buy 20 sf ft which was $200. You can see that we saved tons of $$$ on stone, that would have been a really big expense if we had to buy all of it (approx $1500)
Anyways – we are LOVING the fireplace!! We use it as much as we can. We have been cooking with it, having lots of bbq’s, eating too many marshmallows and drinking lots of refreshing beverages with friends around the fire – we even break out the guitar here and there :) Fun times.
Next up in the backyard – OUTDOOR KITCHEN!!! We will be starting on that in the next few weeks!!