How to Make an Outdoor Fireplace for a Cozy Santa Fe Backyard

Whether you’re savoring the tranquility of a cool summer night under the vast New Mexican sky or seeking solace from the winter chill, the flickering glow of a crackling fire offers warmth and comfort for cherished moments year-round.

But how to make an outdoor fireplace?

Join us as we explore the steps to bring this idyllic vision to life in your Santa Fe backyard, from the process to safety tips and how working with a professional landscaping agency can make a difference.

How to Make an Outdoor Fireplace for a Cozy Santa Fe Backyard

Building an outdoor fireplace can be a rewarding project that adds charm and unique character to your backyard. We’ll explore the step-by-step process of constructing a fireplace, from planning and design to execution.

Check Local Codes

Research local codes and regulations regarding fire pits and outdoor structures. Check for any restrictions on the type of materials you can use, required distances from property lines and structures, and limitations on when and how you can use your fireplace.

Determine the Purpose of Your Fireplace

Think about how you are planning to use your outdoor fireplace. Are you looking to create a cozy ambiance for gatherings, or do you also want it to serve as a functional cooking area?

Understanding your intended use will help you choose the right design and materials for your project.

For example, for a fireplace intended primarily for cooking, choose heat-resistant and durable materials like fireproof bricks or stones that can withstand high temperatures without cracking.

For a fireplace designed for ambiance and aesthetics, choose visually appealing and comfortable materials like decorative tiles and natural stone veneers.

Choose the Design

Once you’re clear about your fireplace’s purpose, opt for a design that fits your backyard aesthetic and functional needs.

Consider the fireplace’s size, shape, and material to make sure your design aligns with your vision for the space.

Popular design options include:

  • Traditional brick fireplace: It creates a cozy ambiance and adds timeless charm and warmth, serving as a place for gathering around the flames and preparing food together.
  • Stone fireplace: It offers rustic elegance, blending with natural surroundings to create a focal point in your Santa Fe backyard.
  • Portable fire pit: It combines warmth and ambiance with flexibility and convenience. You can easily move the fireplace around your backyard or even take it on your camping trips.
  • Chiminea: Featuring a freestanding, clay or cast iron fireplace with a distinctive chimney design, this fireplace option is ideal for intimate gatherings on cool evenings in smaller spaces.

Make a Plan

Create a detailed plan for your outdoor fireplace project, including measurements, a materials list, and a construction timeline.

Consider factors such as site preparation, assembly or construction steps, and any additional features or accessories you plan to incorporate.

Prepare the Tools

Gather all the necessary tools and materials for the job to ensure a smooth construction process with everything you need. The tools can include:

  • Shovels
  • Rakes
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Mortar mix
  • Bricks or stones
  • Safety gear, such as gloves and goggles

Build the Fireplace

With your plan in place and tools ready, it’s time to start building your outdoor fireplace. Follow your plan carefully, starting with site preparation and foundation work if necessary.

Depending on the design you selected, lay bricks or stones to assemble a pre-made fire pit, or set up a chiminea.

Once construction is complete, take time to inspect your fireplace for any potential safety hazards or structural issues.

A father and a small boy next to an open fireplace​
To make an outdoor fireplace in your Santa Fe backyard, check local codes, choose design, and make a plan​

Outdoor Fireplace Safety Tips

Gathering around the fireplace in your Santa Fe backyard can create delightful moments in any season, with the flames and enchanting atmosphere making memories to cherish.

To enhance the enjoyment and minimize the risk of accidents, follow several important safety tips:

  • Consider the fireplace’s position: Place your fireplace or fire pit at a safe distance from your home and neighboring properties to prevent accidental fires. Locate them away from flammable materials, such as wooden structures or overhanging branches.
  • Choose fuel: Use only approved fuels, such as natural gas, propane, or dry firewood. Don’t burn plastics or treated wood that can release excessive smoke and toxic chemicals.
  • Opt for safe fire-starting methods: To start your fire, use kindling or fire starters rather than accelerants like gasoline. Don’t throw flammable liquids in the fire to avoid sudden flare-ups and potential injuries.
  • Supervise: Never leave your outdoor fire unattended — especially with children and pets around. Monitor the fire at all times and make sure it is fully extinguished before you leave the area.
  • Consider safety equipment: Always have ready a fire extinguisher, a hose, or a bucket with water close to your fireplace. These can help you quickly extinguish small fires or contain flames that get out of control.
  • Maintain proper clearance: Keep furniture, decorations, and other flammable items at a safe distance to minimize the risk of fire-related accidents.

Why Work With a Landscaping Company to Build Your Fireplace

Although building a fireplace on your own is possible, working with a trusted landscaping company comes with a number of advantages.

You can benefit from their specialized knowledge in design, construction, and local regulations to ensure your outdoor space is not only attractive but also safe and compliant with municipal codes.

Landscaping companies can help you choose the right materials and features to complement your backyard’s design, providing convenience and peace of mind by managing the entire project from start to finish. Read more about flagstone patio ideas in our extensive guide.

The result is an expertly crafted fireplace that is seamlessly integrated into your Santa Fe backyard oasis.

A fire pit in a backyard​
Working with a landscaping company ensures access to expertise and guidance throughout your fireplace project​

Plan & Build Your Outdoor Fireplace With Urbanna Landscaping

As a trusted partner for your outdoor projects, Urbanna Landscaping creates designs that serve as unique connections between architecture and nature.

When it comes to building a backyard fireplace, our passionate team can execute the project from beginning to end. We follow a personalized approach, considering the specific characteristics of your backyard and taking the time to understand your lifestyle and preferences.

From choosing materials that complement your landscape to adding features like seating areas, built-in grills, and decorative accents, we support you through the entire design and construction process — until you see the flames dancing in your fireplace.

Our goal is to create an outdoor oasis that both highlights the beauty and functionality of your backyard and enhances your outdoor living experience.

For those who prefer the do-it-yourself approach, we offer comprehensive services that encompass design, planning, and handling of necessary paperwork, including permitting, HOA approvals, and submissions.

As you work on-site, feel free to reach out — we can provide guidance and support, and oversee the planting and installation of hardscapes.

Work with Urbanna Landscaping on your fireplace project and enjoy a beautiful addition to your home for years to come.

Explore our portfolio to see examples of our work and envision how we can transform your outdoor space into a stunning retreat that reflects your unique style and vision.

Ready to transform your outdoor space?

Outdoor Fireplace Ideas: FAQs

If you are looking for more insights on how to make an outdoor fireplace in your Santa Fe backyard, check our commonly asked questions.

What materials can I use for an outdoor fireplace?

To build an outdoor fireplace, you can use bricks, stones, and concrete blocks. Each material offers unique aesthetic and functional benefits, allowing you to choose the option that best suits your preferences and budget.

Can I use my outdoor fireplace for cooking?

Yes, you can use your outdoor fireplace for cooking — in this case, plan to add features like grills, rotisseries, or pizza ovens.

What additional features or accessories can I use with my outdoor fireplace?

Additional features and accessories you can use include outdoor seating arrangements, lighting options like string lights or lanterns, and decorative elements such as planters or artwork.

How long does it take to build an outdoor fireplace?

The time it takes to build an outdoor fireplace depends on different factors such as the design you have chosen, materials, and complexity of the project. Simple fire pits or portable fireplaces may be completed in a few days, while larger, custom-built structures may take several weeks to complete.

Working with Urbanna Landscaping can expedite the process, saving you time and effort while achieving high-quality results.

How much does it cost to build an outdoor fireplace?

The cost of building an outdoor fireplace can vary widely depending on design, materials, labor costs, and additional features or accessories you decide to include. Simple DIY fire pit kits may start from a few hundred dollars, while custom-built stone fireplaces or elaborate outdoor kitchen setups can reach several thousands of dollars.