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How to Build a Fireplace Into a Wood Deck

A fireplace adds a décor and comfort element to an outdoor deck. Attractive stone or brick units become a focal point for outdoor living while providing warmth on a cool evening. The project falls within the capabilities of most do-it-yourselfers with basic tools and skills.

Set the posts for the platform for the fireplace. Pour concrete piers or supports at the corners of the platform and use anchor bolts to attach treated 4-by-4-inch posts. Cut these posts to the planned level of the base of the fireplace. If the base of the fireplace opening is planned to be 6 inches above the existing deck, cut the posts to a level that is 6 inches above the existing level.

Frame the platform with 2-by-4-inch lumber and cover with 5/8-inch plywood or flame-retardant materials if required by local codes. Using the 4-by-4-inch posts as corners, construct a floor frame of 2-by-4-inch lumber, spacing the boards so the centers are spaced 16 inches apart, within a frame of 2-by- 4-inch lumber built around the four corner posts. Also frame the front, back and sides below the floor of the platform if they are visible. Use treated 2-by-4-inch lumber, spaced 16 inches apart, for the framework below the floor of the platform for added durability.

Place the fireplace insert on the platform. Utilize a fireplace made of stainless steel for weather resistance. Attach the flue or chimney above the fireplace insert according to manufacturer's instructions.

Build a frame from 2-by-4-inch lumber around the insert and chimney. The design of this cover is up to the builder. Construct low walls around the fireplace using the 2-by-4-inch lumber spaced 16 inches on center between a top and bottom plate or board. Use 16 box nails in the stud framework. Connect the short walls at the corner. Use the same techniques to build stud walls or framework to cover the chimney portion of the project. The exact design of the framework is dictated by the shape and size of the fireplace insert, and the planned design elements of the exterior of the project. Cover the wood framework with exterior-grade plywood.

Cover the plywood exterior of the fireplace project with stone, stucco or brick. Install the exterior finish according to the manufacturer's instructions. You can use any cover that fits with the décor of the home. Add any trim or finish pieces necessary to complete the project.

Things You Will Need

  • Concrete
  • 4-by-4-inch treated lumber
  • 6-inch anchor bolts
  • 2-by-4-inch lumber
  • 16 box nails
  • Plywood
  • Fireplace insert
  • Flue or chimney
  • Stone, brick or stucco exterior siding

Tip

  • Allow enough room around the fireplace for chairs and other furniture necessary to enjoy an evening's fire. Place a fire-resistant material in front of the fireplace opening to create a hearth.

Warning

  • Consult local building codes concerning the placement of the fireplace. Most regulations require a distance between the fireplace and combustible surfaces such as home walls. Also, some communities have prohibitions against wood-burning fireplaces due to air pollution concerns. Use a gas fireplace insert in these situations.

About the Author

Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.