Finding the best location to place your outdoor fireplace
An outdoor fireplace will add both character and value to your home, but finding the right location for your outdoor fireplace is one of the most important decisions to make. You may already have a location in mind that lends itself perfectly to a fireplace. But could that location detract from something else, like the views or accessibility?
The right spot can determine the overall atmosphere of your backyard. Placement will also determine how often a fireplace gets used. Also due to its size, an outdoor fireplace will become a focal point in your yard, so it is also important to think about where this type of feature will be enjoyed without detracting from other focal points or views.
There are a few things to consider when deciding on that perfect spot that are key. That is why we have put together our list of the top 5 things to consider when finding the best location for your outdoor fireplace.
1. Wind Direction
Here in New Zealand the wind can change quite drastically thanks to our beautiful terrain. These changes can be seemingly random, but there are seasonal trends that should be considered. That is why it is important to take into account your property's wind direction, combined with the time of year you feel you'll be using the fireplace the most. Place your fireplace in a location where it will act as a wind break, or where it's sheltered. This will create a calm and comfortable place in front of the hearth where you will be able to relax by the fire.
According to MetService the prevailing wind direction in NZ is Westerly. North of Taranaki the general flow is South Westerly. In the North Island the winds generally decrease for a period in the summer, but in many parts of the South Island July and August are the least windy months. A warm and drying wind is often evident on the Western side of mountain ranges .
2. Available Space is key
The most common location for an outdoor fireplace is located against a wall or along a fence. Like all Trendz fireplaces, most are free-standing and can also sit at the edge of a patio. However, it is important not to forget to make sure you have enough space for patio furniture or built-in seating in front of your fireplace.
It's important that the fireplace has enough space for lots of family and friends to pull up a chair. As the sun sets and the cool sets in, a memorable night can be had before the fire.
As tempting as it may be to stick a fireplace to a wall this can also mean you're facing away from a key view, which leads us on to our next point.
3. The million dollar view
An outdoor fireplace’s width and height are a huge advantage when it comes to blocking wind and creating privacy. However, these qualities can backfire if the fireplace is positioned in front of a million dollar view. Making sure that you locate the fireplace in the right spot to maximise the views potential is important.
To enjoy the view with the ambiance of an outdoor fireplace can be achieved by placing it off to one side so that the view remains open. When laid out in such a way there can be enough heat to keep everyone warm, while the view remains unrestricted. It could be quite uncomfortable for guests to swivel 180 degrees between a conversation by the fire and the awesome view behind them!
The fireplace should be built on a hard surface. If the ground is too soft, this could cause the fireplace to crack or to become uneven and unsafe. If the ground is too soft in the space that you’ve selected, there is no need to worry. You will just need to make sure the foundation is properly fitted before you start the installation process. you can read more about this in this blog 10 things you need to know about installing an outdoor fireplace
5. Legal Requirements
It is important to make sure you check with you local council to make sure there are no restrictions in place as to how close you can place your outdoor fireplace to your boundary line. There may also be certain restrictions around wood-burning fireplaces as the smoke can become a risk around places like airports. Another thing to be aware of is making sure the fireplace isn't too close to trees or shrubs. Not only can this pose a potential fire risk but may increase the amount of maintenance required on your fireplace.
All our Trendz fireplaces come with engineers reports and drawings and are within most councils size restrictions.
Get some inspiration by checking out what our customers have created in their backyard with an outdoor fireplace by downloading our style guide.