How to Build an Outdoor Stacked Stone Fireplace

Can you believe it, we finished our fireplace and I have all the info on how to build your own outdoor stacked stone fireplace today!  I think it has been almost exactly a year since my husband brought home a fireplace insert that he found off Craigslist, yes, things take a long time to get complete around here. Although, I will admit, good things are worth the wait!

Step by step tutorial on building your own outdoor fireplace

15 years ago when we bought this house we wanted a small water fountain and we came home from work to a monstrous water fountain.  We were young and didn’t say much to the landscapers, our bad.  Soon after, we started a family, I had to purchase the catch a kid netting so we didn’t have any accidents (yes it was that big). The wonderful thing about the fountain is my dad baptized each of the boys here so I do have some wonderful memories.   Eventually the motor broke and we were ready to move on.  We had plans for a pizza oven but then my husband found a fireplace insert on craigslist so our plans shifted a bit.



 First up, a fun family affair (not really) tearing down the water fountain, we left the wall behind it and the cement foundation in tact.

Outdoor Fireplace DIY

Next, we took off all the tile from the wall and placed the fireplace smack in the middle, now the fun begins.

Step 1: Pour a concrete pad  

You would normally pour a concrete pad but in our case we already had the concrete.

Step 2: Create a Design

Sketch out your design, we wanted Built-in seating as an extension of the fireplace plus it adds just a little charm.

Outdoor Fireplace DIY

Step 3: Build a Façade Frame

We used steel to frame out the extension of the fireplace. This was the perfect material as it is lighweight, resists fire, perfectly straight and easy to cut.

How to Build an Outdoor Stacked Stone Fireplace. Step by step tutorial with pictures and almost everything was purchased off craigslist!

Step 4: Attach Cement Board

Cover the entire frame with cement board. This will provide a sturdy base for the mortar, which you’ll apply later.

How to Build an Outdoor Stacked Stone Fireplace. Step by step tutorial with pictures and almost everything was purchased off craigslist!

 Step 5: Attach Metal Lath

Use screws to attach metal lath which is a wire mesh over all of the exposed cement board. The metal lath will provide support for the stone that will be placed on top. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step, here is what lath looks like.


Step 6: Add Mortar

Prep the mortar mix according to the directions and apply it  to the metal lath with a trowel, making sure to completely cover the lath. Apply mortar in sections which will keep it from drying out prior to placing the stone, if you see it start to dry, mist the whole area.

Step 7: Install Stacked Stone

Press stacked stone material into mortar, holding in place until self-supported. Continue placement of stones, ensuring no space is left between them.

How to Build an Outdoor Stacked Stone Fireplace. Step by step tutorial with pictures and almost everything was purchased off craigslist!

We found all of our stacked stone off craigslist for $30, woo hoo!


Step 8: Attach Chimney Cap

If you are burning wood you need a cap, this traps embers from the hearth.

How to Build an Outdoor Stacked Stone Fireplace. Step by step tutorial with pictures and almost everything was purchased off craigslist!

So, I’m not going to lie, the fireplace has been done for a few months, however, being in a drought and no rain in site, everything died.  We tore all the grass out and waited patiently…..for some pavers to come up on craigslist!  Another score and a HUGE thank you to my hubby and FIL for loading up each and every paver for 4 days straight!  (this is only about half of them)pavers

Everything which used to be grass was covered with pavers.  We left two planters on each side of the fireplace which we will eventually fill with gravel and drought tolerant plants.

Outdoor Fireplace in stacked stone, tutorial with pictures

Cant wait to show you the whole space but for now we are pretty smitten with how everything is turning out.

Stacked Stone Fireplace Rock Fireplace

How to build a outdoor fireplace, step by step tutorial

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

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  1. Oh my goodness, it looks amazing! This project is in the hopper for this year (we’re in the process of waiting for The Big Thaw so that our pond can be removed), and I’m hoping to tackle the outdoor fireplace part of it myself. I can’t believe the score on that stone! Amazing! Great work!

  2. It looks wonderful!! I know your family will make many new memories with the addition and the great new space!! Sometimes, projects take time when we have otherwise busy lives and jobs. I totally get that. It sounds like it all fell into place. The pavers look super too, and no mowing or watering :))) Congrats on the awesome project!!

  3. It looks so good Kristin! How wonderful to sit out there in the evenings and your gorgeous chandelier, too. Your husband did an amazing job! Well worth the wait and all of his hard work. Your backyard is beautiful and all of that lovely open space behind you is so nice. Makes it nice and private, Happy Saturday!

  4. Absolutely stunning! I cannot wait to show my husband. We are taking down an old shed that sits on a perfect cement pad. I have been at odds of what to do with it. Not anymore!

  5. Kristin, this is amazing! Every special occasion, I hint to my husband that I want a fireplace. I’ll have to show him yours! Love the rock. We had a contractor call it, Lick and Stick! Thanks for the wonderful post!

  6. What material is your steel frame (are they flat, round, etc)? Where did you purchase it? How did you make your frame and how did you cut it?

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