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Precast Outdoor Fireplace
Time: 00:45
Scott Cohen provides ideas for using precast outdoor fireplaces in smaller spaces such as courtyards.

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Kit Masonry FireplacesThese can be ordered in a variety of firebox sizes. These versatile kits speed construction time and reduce the required skill level of the installation labor. The smoke shelf and flue sizing are all pre-determined so no math is required. Standard structural engineering is available and permits are easier to obtain than custom features. These boxes can be veneered with a variety of stone or brick fa├žades.

Installed prices range from $8,250-$16,850 depending on size and veneer

Available in Southern California from The Green Scene.

Pre-Cast Concrete or Cast Limestone FireplacesThese are designed primarily as gas burning and not wood burning. While it is often ok to burn small amounts of wood in these features, with the addition of a spark arrestor, most manufacturers advise against it. These features are easy to assemble and because of their portable design, usually do not require permits or structural engineering.

Custom Masonry FireplacesThese require structural engineering and familiarity with local soils conditions. Some engineers require soils reports before beginning structural calculations. Custom features are built from the ground up, depending heavily on the skills of the installing mason. Firebox size, smoke shelf fabrication, flue sizing and chimney height are all important considerations. These features require 3 times more labor to construct, but can accommodate any weight veneer and allow the versatility to combine with water features, match existing architecture, provide large wind breaks, etc.

Custom Outdoor Fireplace
Time: 00:47
With a concrete fireplace, you can coordinate the color and shape with existing landscaping elements or incorporate special design features.

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Do not discount the required structural engineering, permit process time, multiple inspections, enormous footings, and higher skilled labor costs when preparing your proposal.

Installed costs range from $14,850-$35,850 depending on size, veneer and styling.

ChimineasChimineas are all clay open fire garden heaters shaped like oversized vases with an opening in the belly for quaint garden areas and smaller fires.

Prices range from $85-$350 (available from landscape supply stores, or search "chimineas" online).