How much space do I need for an outdoor fireplace?
In New Zealand, one of the most popular ways to elevate an outdoor entertaining area is with an outdoor fireplace. Not only does it provide long-lasting warmth and cooking facilities but it also creates an ambience that no electric heater can match.
When talking to people considering an outdoor fireplace, they’re often concerned that their outdoor area is too small for a feature fireplace. Some have even purchased a smaller fireplace to work with the space constraints and later regretted not choosing a larger design.
In this article, we explore some considerations and recommendations to factor in when choosing the right outdoor fireplace for your space.
How to determine your outdoor fireplace space restrictions
Before we explain the specifics of our fireplace designs and the amount of space they’re best suited to, let’s explain the steps you need to take to find out your specific requirements.
1. Measure the space
Spend some time in your entertaining area and mark out the place where you ideally want your outdoor fireplace to be. If in doubt, try the specifications of a few different models to see how they would look in the space.
Remember to measure the height clearance too – if your backyard has a roof, an overhanging tree, or other obstructions, make note of these.
2. Talk to your contractor
If you have hired a professional landscaper or architect, ask them if there are any relevant restrictions on the planned position of your fireplace. It’s likely they have considered the requirements and have council approvals already in place.
If you’re installing this on an existing property, consider the distance from the boundary, prevailing wind directions, and access. You can find an easy checklist to run through on our resources page.
3. Ask your supplier
The Trendz team has worked with professionals and homeowners across New Zealand so we know all about the consent process. Just ask us to guide you through the steps to ensure your outdoor fireplace is fully compliant. The team are happy to work with your local builder or landscaper to gain the necessary approvals.
4. Approach your council
Depending on your location, you may be able to install an outdoor fire without a permit. However, it is always wise to check with your local council. Space restrictions also depend on your chosen outdoor fireplace and the site. We can help you with this and recommend a fireplace that meets your council’s criteria.
Your area may be subject to fire bans and restrictions. We’ve covered these rules in an article explaining fireplace bans and the rules around them but the team is always willing to answer any questions you may have.
5. Check the boundary restrictions
According to the New Zealand Building Code, all outdoor fireplaces must be located at least 1 metre from the property boundary, unless council permission has been granted. However, your local requirements could be more than this so ask your local council to be sure.
Check out our helpful article discussing outdoor fireplace consents, if you haven’t already.
6. Check the fire permit requirements
In cases where a fireplace is within 3 metres of a boundary, you may also require a fire permit to light it. If you want to light your fire without obtaining a permit, it may be worth factoring this in.
Outdoor fireplace installation requirements
Where possible, aim to have at least four metres of clear space above, to each side, and to the front of your outdoor fireplace. We usually suggest factoring in the minimum boundary distance, your chosen fireplace in square metres, and 3 square metres of seating as a starting point.
This will depend largely on the size of the fireplace you’re looking to install. The Twin Peak and Single Peak feature a larger firebox than the rest of our outdoor fireplace range and so the potential heat output is significantly greater.
It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that heat output is under your control. If you find that the fireplace is emitting too much heat, simply let it burn down slightly and be more sparing with your top-ups.
Additionally, position your fireplace away from any combustible materials, such as trees, buildings, or decks. It is also worth checking that the flue has a cap on top of it to prevent sparks from escaping.
The Mini Burton is our smallest fireplace, with a bare concrete shell, a 6mm black steel firebox, and a matte black stainless steel flue.
- Dimensions - 2,600h x 1,400w x 650d
- Weight - 1,000kg
- Recommended minimum space – 16m2
Larger than the Mini, the Burton also has a bare concrete shell, a 6mm black steel firebox, and a matte black stainless steel flue.
- Dimensions - 2,850h x 1,800w x 700d
- Weight - 1,500kg
- Recommended space –25m2
The Douglas has a bare concrete shell with traditional angles and a 6mm black steel firebox.
- Dimensions - 2,600h x 1,390w x 650d
- Weight - 1,500kg
- Recommended minimum space –25m2
The Hudson has an iconic square chimney made of reinforced concrete and a 6mm black steel firebox.
- Dimensions - 2,600h x 1,400w x 650d
- Weight - 2,500kg
- Recommended minimum space – 25m2
One of our larger statement fireplaces, the Single Peak features a steel firebox, woodboxes, swinging cooking grill, polished concrete hearth, and matte black stainless steel flue with a slimline chimney cap.
- Dimensions - 3,730h x 3,500w x 1,000d
- Weight - 6,200kg
- Recommended minimum space – 35m2
The Twin Peak is a larger version of the Single Peak but with two black stainless steel flues. Designed for large outdoor spaces, this fireplace brings grandeur, powerful heat output, and cooking capabilities.
- Dimensions - 4,030h x 4,150w x 1,000d
- Weight - 7,200kg
- Recommended minimum space – 45m2
Trendz is here to help
Our team handle hundreds of fireplace deliveries across New Zealand every year and know what fireplace is best suited for each area. If you have any questions or are unsure about what model to go with, contact us today.
To find out more about your options, browse the full range on our website or explore our helpful resources. You’ll find everything you need to get started, including:
- Product brochures
- Installation instructions and spec sheets
- Technical design files
- The outdoor fireplace checklist
- Inspiration guides