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how much does it cost to build an outdoor fireplace

How Much Does It Cost to Build an Outdoor Fireplace? Key Factors

Dreaming of cozy nights under the stars? An outdoor fireplace might be just what you need. But before you dive in, it's crucial to understand the costs involved.

From materials to labor, we'll break down everything you need to know to bring your backyard oasis to life without breaking the bank.

How much does it cost to build an outdoor fireplace?

The cost to build an outdoor fireplace typically ranges from $1,500 to $50,000+. A basic prefab unit costs $1,500-$5,000, while a custom-built stone fireplace can exceed $50,000. Average mid-range options cost $5,000-$15,000.

Key Takeaways:

  • Outdoor fireplace costs range from $1,500 to $50,000+, depending on size, materials, and complexity.
  • Key factors affecting cost: design, materials, location, fuel type, labor, and permits.
  • DIY can save on labor but poses risks; professional installation ensures safety and quality.
  • Ongoing costs include fuel, maintenance, and potential repairs.
  • An outdoor fireplace can increase home value by 6-12%.

If you aren't sure how much does an outdoor fireplace would cost you, I would suggest you continue reading as I'm about to elaborate everything below.

Factors Affecting the Cost of an Outdoor Fireplace

Size and Design

outdoor fireplace size and design

When considering how much an outdoor fireplace costs in 2024, size and design are crucial factors.

A prefab fireplace typically costs less than a custom outdoor option, with prices varying widely based on complexity.

While a simple, ready-made unit might be budget-friendly, a large, custom outdoor fireplace can command a premium.

Your choice should align with both your intended use and financial constraints. A fireplace is a great addition to any outdoor space, but it's essential to balance your design aspirations with practical considerations.

Whether you opt for a basic prefab model or an elaborate custom creation, remember that your outdoor fireplace cost will reflect the scale and intricacy of your chosen design.


The cost of building an outdoor fireplace varies depending on the chosen materials, with options ranging from a prefabricated fireplace kit to a custom-built outdoor fire pit or even an elaborate outdoor kitchen setup featuring a built-in fireplace.

Location and Accessibility

Where you place your fireplace matters, a spot close to your house might be easier and cheaper to build, as it's more accessible for workers and materials.

If you're eyeing a remote corner of your yard, be prepared for higher labor costs and potential challenges with utility connections.

Fuel Type

outdoor fireplace fuel type

When considering the cost of building an outdoor fireplace, the fuel type plays a significant role.

The fireplace design and chosen materials, such as a masonry fireplace built with stone or brick, greatly influence the initial expenses.

Wood-burning options like this one, including traditional fireplaces or chiminea, often have lower installation costs but may incur higher long-term expenses for fuel and maintenance.

Gas fireplaces, whether using natural gas or requiring a propane tank, typically demand a larger upfront investment but offer convenience and potentially reduced fuel costs over time.

For those seeking a budget-friendly solution, electric options are available, though they may not provide the same ambiance as their combustion counterparts.

Ultimately, the total cost depends on various factors, with each fuel type presenting its own set of financial considerations.

Labor Costs

Professional installation ensures safety and quality but comes at a price. Labor costs can vary widely based on your location and the complexity of the project. Getting multiple quotes can help you find a fair price for skilled work.

Permits and Regulations

Don't forget about the red tape. Permit fees and inspections can add to your total cost. Check local regulations early in your planning process to avoid surprises.

Some areas have strict rules about outdoor fireplaces, which might require additional modifications or safety features.

Remember, investing in quality materials and skilled labor can save you money in the long run by reducing maintenance costs and ensuring your fireplace stands the test of time.

Balance your dream design with practical considerations to create an outdoor space you'll love for years to come.

Average Cost Ranges

When planning your outdoor fireplace, it's helpful to understand the typical price ranges. Keep in mind that these are ballpark figures and can vary based on your location, chosen materials, and specific requirements.

Budget-Friendly Options ($1,500 - $5,000)

If you're watching your wallet, prefabricated kits are your best bet. These come ready to assemble and can be installed by a handy DIYer or a professional. Smaller, portable fire pits also fall into this category.

While they might not have all the bells and whistles, they'll still create a cozy atmosphere in your backyard.

Mid-Range Outdoor Fireplaces ($5,000 - $15,000)

This range offers more customization and higher-quality materials. You're looking at semi-custom designs with better finishes and possibly some extra features.

These fireplaces are typically built on-site and can be tailored to your space. You'll get a more permanent structure that adds real value to your outdoor living area.

High-End Custom Fireplaces ($15,000 - $50,000+)

For those dreaming big, custom fireplaces offer unlimited possibilities. These are architectural features that become the centerpiece of your outdoor space.

Expect high-end materials like natural stone, intricate designs, and possibly additional features like built-in seating or pizza ovens. The sky's the limit here, with some luxury designs exceeding $100,000.

Choosing Your Range

Consider your long-term plans when deciding on your budget. If you're planning to stay in your home for many years, investing in a higher-quality fireplace might be worth it.

On the other hand, if you're sprucing up your yard for a quick sale, a more budget-friendly option could give you the best return on investment.

Remember, these ranges are just starting points. Your final cost will depend on the specific factors we discussed earlier.

Get multiple quotes from reputable contractors to get a more accurate estimate for your project. And don't forget to factor in ongoing costs like fuel and maintenance when planning your budget.

By understanding these cost ranges, you can set realistic expectations and make informed decisions about your outdoor fireplace project.

Whether you go big or keep it simple, the end result will be a warm and inviting outdoor space for you to enjoy.

Breakdown of Specific Costs

Understanding the nitty-gritty of outdoor fireplace costs helps you budget more effectively. Let's break it down into key components.


The heart of your fireplace costs lies in materials. Bricks and stones can range from $500 to $5,000 depending on quality and quantity.

Concrete, a popular choice, might set you back $300 to $1,000. Don't forget metal components like grates and dampers, which can add another $200 to $500 to your bill.


Skilled hands don't come cheap, but they're worth it. Labor typically accounts for 40-50% of your total cost.

Expect to pay $50 to $150 per hour for professional installation, with the job taking anywhere from 20 to 80 hours depending on complexity.

Fuel System Installation

Gas line installation can cost $200 to $1,000, while a wood-burning setup might be less initially but require more maintenance. Electric systems are the cheapest to install but might lack that authentic fireplace feel.

Chimney and Ventilation

A proper chimney is crucial for safety and function. Costs can range from $1,000 to $6,000 depending on height and materials. Don't skimp here – good ventilation prevents smoke-filled patios and potential fire hazards.

Additional Features

Want to go beyond basic? Built-in seating could add $1,000 to $5,000. Mood lighting might cost $200 to $800. A fancy mantel? That's another $500 to $2,000.

By understanding these cost components, you can make smarter choices about where to splurge and where to save.

Remember, investing in quality for key elements like the chimney and fuel system can save you money (and headaches) in the long run. Prioritize what matters most to you and your outdoor living experience.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

outdoor fireplace installation

Pros and Cons of DIY

Tackling the project yourself can save money on labor costs, potentially cutting your overall expense by 40-50%.

It's also rewarding to build something with your own hands. However, DIY comes with risks – mistakes can be costly and dangerous, especially when dealing with gas lines or structural elements.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional

Professionals bring expertise, ensuring your fireplace is safe, up to code, and built to last.

They handle permits, source materials efficiently, and often guarantee their work. While more expensive upfront, their experience can prevent costly errors and future repairs.

Cost Comparison

A DIY project might cost $1,500-$6,000 for materials and tools, depending on complexity. Professional installation typically ranges from $5,000-$20,000 all-in.

Consider your skills, time, and the complexity of your desired fireplace. For simple prefab units, DIY might be feasible. For custom builds or gas fireplaces, the extra cost of professional installation is often worth the peace of mind and quality result.

Ongoing Costs

Fuel Expenses

Your fireplace's hunger doesn't end with installation. Wood-burning units might cost $50-$100 per cord of wood annually.

Gas fireplaces typically run $50-$150 per year, depending on usage. Electric options are the most budget-friendly, usually adding just $30-$80 to your annual electricity bill.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Regular upkeep is crucial for safety and longevity. Budget $100-$300 annually for professional chimney sweeping and inspections. DIY maintenance can save money but requires time and effort.

Potential Repairs

Even well-built fireplaces may need occasional TLC. Set aside $200-$500 annually for unexpected repairs like replacing damaged bricks or fixing gas lines.

Proper maintenance can minimize these costs, keeping your outdoor oasis warm and worry-free for years to come.

Cost-Saving Tips

Choosing Affordable Materials

Opt for less expensive materials without sacrificing style. Consider using a mix of brick and stone veneer instead of solid stone. Concrete pavers can mimic the look of natural stone at a fraction of the cost.

Simplifying the Design

A straightforward design can be just as stunning and far more budget-friendly. Focus on one standout feature, like a beautiful mantel, rather than complex architectural elements. Remember, sometimes less is more.

Timing Your Project

Plan your build during the off-season when contractors are less busy. You might snag better rates in late fall or winter. Also, keep an eye out for end-of-season sales on materials and prefab units.

Comparing Quotes

Don't settle for the first estimate you receive. Get at least three quotes from reputable contractors. Be sure to compare apples to apples – cheaper isn't always better if it means cutting corners on quality or safety.

By implementing these tips, you can create your dream outdoor fireplace without breaking the bank. Smart planning and strategic choices can lead to significant savings without compromising on the cozy ambiance you're after.

Return on Investment

Impact on Property Value

An outdoor fireplace can boost your home's value by 6-12%, depending on quality and design. It's an attractive feature for potential buyers, often providing a solid return on your investment.

However, don't over-improve your neighborhood – keep it in line with local standards for the best ROI.

Enjoyment and Lifestyle Benefits

The true value often lies in the enhanced living experience. An outdoor fireplace extends your living space, creating a cozy spot for year-round entertainment.

It can reduce heating costs by providing warmth outdoors and even lower restaurant bills as you opt for more nights.

While the financial return is important, don't underestimate the priceless memories and relaxation your outdoor fireplace will provide. It's an investment in your lifestyle as much as your property.

Financing Options

Home Improvement Loans

Consider a home improvement loan for larger projects. These often offer lower interest rates than credit cards and can be tailored to your project's scope. Some lenders even specialize in outdoor living spaces, potentially offering better terms.

Credit Cards

For smaller projects, a credit card with a 0% introductory APR could be a smart choice. Just be sure you can pay off the balance before the promotional period ends.

Some home improvement stores offer their own credit cards with special financing options.

Saving and Budgeting

The most cost-effective approach is to save up for your fireplace. Set a realistic timeline and budget, then start putting money aside monthly.

This method avoids interest charges altogether and allows you to build at your own pace without financial stress.

Remember, whichever option you choose, make sure the payments fit comfortably within your monthly budget. A beautiful outdoor fireplace shouldn't come at the cost of your financial peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Is a gas or wood-burning fireplace cheaper to install?

Wood-burning fireplaces are typically cheaper to install but may have higher long-term maintenance costs. Gas fireplaces cost more upfront but offer convenience and potentially lower fuel costs over time.

2. Do I need a permit to build an outdoor fireplace?

Most localities require permits for outdoor fireplaces. Check with your local building department early in the planning process to avoid delays or fines.

3. Can I build an outdoor fireplace myself to save money?

DIY is possible for simple, prefab units. However, for custom builds or gas fireplaces, professional installation is recommended for safety and longevity.

4. How much value does an outdoor fireplace add to my home?

An outdoor fireplace can increase your home's value by 6-12%, depending on quality and local market conditions. It's also an attractive feature for potential buyers.


Building an outdoor fireplace is an investment in your home and lifestyle. While costs vary widely, careful planning and smart choices can help you create your perfect outdoor oasis without breaking the bank.

Remember to balance your dream design with practical considerations, and don't hesitate to seek professional advice when needed. Your cozy outdoor retreat awaits!

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