A fireplace outdoors can warm up an evening any time of year, but here in Colorado, it can be particularly inviting in fall.
The style of fireplace should suit the clientsb property and lifestyle but I always advocate a gas or propane source, since many communities have banned the burning of wood due to air quality and fire safety reasons.B Also, the instant gratification of a beautiful and warm fire by match or push-button is without compare.
The fireplace should also integrate into the surrounding landscape, whether natural or man-made.B A fireplace can be a very simple ring on a flagstone patio in native plantings like this one.B The source is a barbeque-size propane bottle, operated manually and lit with a match.B I like to have a surround that allows the client to either sit on the side or pull up a chair and put their feet up to warm.
A fireplace can also be part of a more involved outdoor space and integrated as a retaining feature.B Here is a sequence of photos that show an undeveloped back yard, a sketch showing the client the idea, and the resulting patio with landscape screening and fireplace with terraced retaining on either side.
Landscape screening (construction progress photo)
Fireplace with terraced retaining
Here is another fireplace built into an extensive existing boulder retaining wall.B The fireplace itself acts as retaining as well.B This unit is natural gas, operated remotely by a switch inside the house.
The fireplace cut into a hillside can also be more formal with seating and lighting included.B The seat heights and depths here were specifically designed to accommodate large cushions (not the tiny pillows in the photo) and so are lower and deeper than common seating.
Contact Alpine Design and Planning Inc. at 970-925-6585 for help designing your outdoor fireplace.