Get Fired Up

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Expand your outdoor living space with a beautiful outdoor fireplace or fire pit.

The element of fire is something to which we have been drawn since the beginning of time. It is essential for life. Humankind has used it for years to heat, cook, protect, and more. It is also a key welcoming part of social gatherings. Sitting around a fire invites engaging conversations, the opportunity to roast some marshmallows, and perhaps even get up on your feet and do a little dance. No matter its inspiration, fire can be an integral part of your outdoor living setting when you understand how to take a meaningful and thoughtful approach to its incorporation.

In order to further appreciate how to add a fire pit or fireplace in your outdoor living setting, we spoke with Kyle Luetjen, President, and Corey Luetjen, Installation Manager, of Stone Creek Midwest in Overland Park, Kansas. When you want to enhance your outdoor living environment with a fire pit or a fireplace, there are many factors to take into consideration as you search for that perfect outdoor setting. Expanding your usable living space outside of your home can be an exciting adventure, as long as you give the process some thoughtful consideration beforehand.


Photo courtesy of Stone Creek Midwest

KCH&S: How do I choose between a fire pit and a fireplace?

STONE CREEK: It really comes down to cost and personal preference. Of course, location comes into consideration, too, as fireplaces take up more space. You have more flexibility with respect to where you can put a fire pit, although we have created 15-foot-long fire pits.

KCH&S: Where is the best place to put an outdoor fireplace?

STONE CREEK: The best place is to put it is at an angle facing the deck and patio on the side and perpendicular to the house. Many people choose to do this as to block the neighbor’s view. Fireplaces that are built eight to 10 feet tall help create the privacy a homeowner is looking for. 

KCH&S: Should I choose a wood-burning or a gas fireplace?

STONE CREEK: Again, this is a matter of personal preference. However, many homeowners opt for gas, as it is easier to use and cleaner. However, a gas unit does cost more to install. On the other hand, wood burning, while more natural, is less clean and produces more smoke. Some people opt for wood burning but install a gas starter on it.


Photo courtesy of Stone Creek Midwest

KCH&S: How much does an outdoor fireplace / fire pit cost?

STONE CREEK: When built from scratch, expect to spend about $3500 – $4000 for a fire pit, but this does not include costs associated with running the gas line. Kits are popular, and you can get them at any price range. Custom fireplaces will cost a bit more. For a fireplace, you need footing installed and a patio, and when built from scratch, it can cost anywhere from $15,000 – $20,000.

KCH&S: Are there any sort of legal issues and / or ordinances of which to be aware?

STONE CREEK: Every city has its own ordinance. In Overland Park, for example, no chimney can be as tall as the house and the fireplace or fire pit must also sit more than 15 feet from the house if the chimney is lower than the house. Also, there is a 10 foot setback line requirement from the edge of the yard. 

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