Outdoor Fireplaces – Custom or Kit?

You’re ready to upgrade the backyard with an outdoor fireplace that’s both functional and beautiful. There’s nothing like the glow of an open flame to warm up the evening, and outdoor fireplace kits offer an alternative to building something permanent. However, custom outdoor fireplaces have advantages too, so think about different models and options before you start stocking up on firewood.

Understanding Outdoor Fireplace Kits

Not all kits for outdoor fireplaces are created equal.

  • Chimineas are the simplest setups combining portability with affordability. Their large vase shapes and natural clay or cast iron finishes make them an easy fit with any style of exterior decor. This type of portable outdoor fireplace doesn’t require assembly.
  • Most outdoor fireplace kits will need handyman hat. Whether you go with cast concrete, limestone or a masonry kit, find out if the model requires permitting.
  • Large DIY fireplace kits often need structural engineering around decks or patios to ensure safe installation and operation, so take a good look at the specs before you buy a fireplace kit.

Portable Outdoor Fireplaces – Pros and Cons

  • Pro – One of the most attractive features of a portable outdoor fireplace rings up at the cash register. This is an exterior upgrade that’s easy on the budget and comfortable in tight backyards. Unlike larger fireplace kits, portables don’t have to clear permitting hurdles. They rarely pose problems for surrounding structures, they’re easy to store in the garage, and smaller models can even go camping.
  • Con – You won’t get curb appeal or custom design options out of a portable. Because they’re less expensive, material quality and durability can be a concern. Keep in mind safety factors too like open-flame protection and stability around kids and pets.

Custom Fireplace Designs

While a custom outdoor fireplace costs more than a kit, that price tag comes with plenty of pros and very few cons.


  • You can to hire a contractor who handles permitting, engineering and construction.
  • Your design choices are unlimited, and a permanent installation enhances backyard ambiance and property value.
  • If you want an over-sized hearth for warming up guests or a built-in grill dedicated to weekend cookouts, your contractor makes it happen
  • Quality custom fireplace construction also ensures performance safety and years of virtually maintenance-free enjoyment.

Con – Once it’s built, you can’t move it to the other side of the patio

If you’d like more information about the differences between kits and custom installations, contact American Backyard Concepts. We’re always happy to share our ideas, and our 3-D design services let you envision just how well a custom outdoor fireplace can light up your outdoor world before we begin construction. We’ve been bringing backyard beauty to Florida homeowners for more than 23 years, and our estimates are free, so just give us a call at 407-847-9322.