Jun 2018 DIY: HEAT UP WINTER NIGHTS WITH THESE OUTDOOR FIREPLACES
From enclosed wood burning traditional fireplace settings to concrete fire pits, free standing or built to fit features, the installation of an outdoor fireplace adds functionality and elegance to any outdoor entertainment area.
What’s more is unlike building a Do It Yourself indoor fireplace, outdoor fireplace features are fairly simple to construct when following Sephaku Cement’s Simple DIY Steps.
Sephaku Cement reveals easy to follow steps to building an outdoor fireplace feature to create an eye catching garden centrepiece and a cosy meeting ground to gather at during chilly days and winter nights.
- Step One: Excavate The Construction Area and Lay a Solid Concrete Foundation.
Once having selected the ideal location to erect your freestanding or built to fit DIY outdoor fireplace, excavate the land and prepare an appropriate foundation. Keep in mind that your concrete fireplace will be a heavy loadbearing installation and thus requires a sturdy and level foundation to support its structure. We recommend a foundation up to 20cm’s deep and if possible reinforced with rebar rods placed at up to 5cm intervals. Allow for your concrete foundation to cure for at least 24 hours, where a period of 48 hours or more would be ideal.
- Step Two: Build a Base and Fire Box
Next up, on top of your level and cured foundation build a base ideally using a four inch (10 centimetres) concrete slab on which you can brick up a fire box. Making use of firebrick and refractory cement your fire box will be of the desired dimensions of your outdoor fire place with the utmost care taken to ensure that each brick placed is level and square to the concrete slab base.
- Step Three: Building the Throat of the Fire Place
For enclosed fire place features (step three and step four can be omitted in the construction of fire pits) now it is time to build the throat of the fire place. The Throat is characterised by masonry that tapers the fire box to meet the flue of the fireplace. Although the trickiest step to building a DIY fireplace, using a technique referred to as “corbeling”, overhang bricks so that they create a step at each course as they taper inward. Further reinforced by a steel angle iron to carry the weight of the masonry over the firebox, as you step each row of brick in over the fire box, continue to reduce the opening to eventually match the desired size of the flue.
- Step Four: Erect the Flue
Set in a bed of mortar, slide the flue block selected to fit, plumb to the throat that tapers the fire box. The flue is responsible for channelling exhaust gases from a fireplace, completing the basic construct of your outdoor fireplace feature.
- Step Five: Decorative Stonework and Finishes
Attributing to the aesthetics and theme of the fireplace, select desired stonework, cladding and finish to complete the look of your fireplace. Set in a bed of mortar place the stone work to form the desired look making sure to use materials that can withstand the residual heat from the fire.Adding to the aesthetics of outdoor patios, keeping family and friends warm when entertaining during winter or offering a mesmerising view set against the backdrop of the night sky, an outdoor fireplace is one of the most rewarding and functional installations to any outdoor entertainment area.