Fireplaces have become increasingly popular, both indoors and outdoors, and are a beautiful addition to any home. There are many different fireplaces that you can install either outside or inside. But can you convert an indoor fireplace into an outdoor one?
Gas and wood-burning fireplaces can be converted into outdoor fireplaces, but they are challenging to move around. On the other hand, electric fireplaces are easy to move around, but the typical electric fireplace cannot be placed outside unless specified otherwise by the manufacturer.
How and if you can convert indoor fireplaces mostly depends on the type and location, but we’ll look at each type of fireplace and the feasibility. We’ll also cover safety requirements and other alternatives if converting is not an option.
Which Types Of Fireplaces Can Be Converted To Outdoors?
There are various types of fireplaces, including electric, gas, and wood-burning ones. Each one has different safety regulations, which differ depending on if they’re indoor or outdoor.
Gas and wood-burning fireplaces can be converted but physically relocating them is difficult. Electric fireplaces typically cannot be placed outside but are easy to relocate.
Let’s take a look at each type in more detail.
Can Electric Fireplaces Be Converted To Outdoors?
Electric fireplaces require electricity to work; they are either plugged into a 120-volt wall outlet or are hard-wired directly into the house’s central electrics. Because of the electricity use, can they still be converted for outdoor use?
Electric fireplaces are certified as safe to use indoors or indoors/outdoors. Indoor-only electric fireplaces cannot be converted as they lack the required safety features to protect them from the elements such as rain, dust, and moisture in the air. Indoor/outdoor electric fireplaces can be placed outside.
You can always check your user manual to see if your fireplace is certified for indoor or outdoor use.
Suppose you have an indoor/outside electric fireplace that’s inside; you’ll be pleased to know that moving it outside will be a piece of cake!
Electric fireplaces are similar to heating units, so you can easily pick one up and place it outside. You’d only need to plug it into a wall outlet, and you’re good to go.
At least, that’s true for models that function on a regular 120-volt wall outlet. If you have an electric fireplace that’s hard-wired into your electric circuit, moving it will be much more difficult, if even possible at all!
But most electric fireplaces are not too difficult to move. However, it’s always recommended that you consult a professional to be sure you meet all the safety requirements.
Suppose your electric fireplace isn’t a certified outdoor fireplace, and you want to buy one; the leading brand is Amantii and its sister company Remii.
Can Gas Fireplaces Be Converted To Outdoors?
Gas fireplaces are easy to ignite, beautiful, and some don’t even require a chimney. There’s no smoke residue, making them an excellent choice for indoors or outdoors. But are they convertible?
Gas fireplaces can be converted for use outside; however, relocating them can be a difficult and often expensive job. You will need a registered gas safe professional to move it as many are connected directly to the house’s gas supply.
When it comes to relocating your gas fireplace, there are three things you need to bear in mind:
Gas fireplaces tend to have one of three venting ways:
- Direct-vent (which requires a chimney).
- Natural vent (these can use a chimney or piping).
You need to know which you have to make sure your fireplace can vent properly.
As for models that require a chimney, it’s going to be rather challenging to relocate, as your fireplace needs to be connected to the chimney. You could always relocate the chimney as well, but that would run up the costs even more.
Vent-free gas fireplaces are the easiest to relocate, as they typically don’t require to be connected to anything other than the gas lines.
Location is essential as gas fireplaces are often built into a wall/chimney rather than freestanding.
Ideally, it’s built into the wall that backs onto the patio/back garden. This way, you could essentially open the wall on the outside and close it on the inside (or leave it open to have a double-sided fireplace).
Can Wood-Burning Fireplaces Be Converted To Outdoors?
Wood-burning fireplaces are the oldest and most authentic fireplaces, but they’re also the hardest to convert.
Wood-burning fireplaces can be converted, but they will need a chimney or flue due to the smoke and by-products they produce. Moving wood-burning fireplaces is difficult due to the weight, size, and connection to a chimney, but it’s not impossible.
Just like the gas fireplaces, you can have a freestanding brick chimney built to house your wood-burning fireplace outside. This is a more costly alternative as you’ll have to pay to have the structure built and pay to have it moved, but freestanding fireplaces are stunning.
Alternatively, you can use the existing chimney if it’s in the right location and open it up on the outside. A professional can brick up the inside and open up the outside. This will be a bit cheaper than physically moving the fireplace. Still, it does depend on it being in the correct location.
What Are The Options For Outdoor Fireplaces?
It may not always be feasible to move your fireplace outside, or it may be too expensive. Don’t worry; if you’re still set on having an outside fire to huddle around, then there are many other fantastic options.
Let’s take a look at a few.
This is usually a hole dug in the ground and lined with concrete or bricks. You can then burn wood for an authentic fireplace feel to toast marshmallows or enjoy a glass of wine.
There are also many gas fire pit designs if that’s more to your liking.
Fire pits can be built from scratch by yourself or by a professional and can cost between $600 and $5000 depending on the materials used.
This freestanding metal bowl comes in various shapes, sizes, and designs. A metal fire bowl will cost in the region of $100-$600, whereas granite or ceramic bowls can cost between $400-$3000.
These can burn wood, or you could buy gas-powered fire bowls for easy ignition.
This is the same idea as a fire bowl, but it’s the centerpiece of an outside table. Fire tables are sleek, beautiful, and eye-catching, and there are many designs to choose from.
Lots of fire tables are custom-built jobs to ensure safety and durability, and you can match them to the rest of the house and garden. For this reason, they tend to be a bit pricier; you can pick up cheaper, pre-made fire tables for $300-$600. Custom-built fire tables will cost around $2000-$5000 depending on the size and materials used.