How To Build An Outdoor Fireplace – The Easy Way

In this post you’ll learn to build an outdoor fireplace that is an easy project for the diy enthusiast!

build an outdoor fireplace diy

This post is sponsored by Spotix. All work, photos and opinions expressed here are my own. As always, use proper care and safety equipment when working with power tools.

We love spending time outdoors and are always looking to upgrade our pool patio and garden! As the weather starts to turn cooler we’ve been looking for a way to add a fire feature to fit our space under the pergola.

pool patio pergola area

We recently added a pool heater to be able to swim year round and upgraded our patio furniture cushions that were in need of replacing. But something was missing. We really need a focal point and decided to do a DIY outdoor fireplace which would be just that!

before the build an outdoor fireplace

Outdoor Patio Fireplace Wish List

On our wish list was a modern outdoor fireplace with a wood surround that would be large enough to fill the space on the backside of the pergola area. We sketched out our diy ideas and got together our materials list that I’m sharing below. A must for us was that it needed to be an electric outdoor fireplace, as we wanted to respect the environment and not burn wood or use gas.

Build An Outdoor Fireplace – Materials

  • Nine – 2 x 4 at 8′ Long
  • Seven – 1 x 6 – Pine Tongue & Groove
  • One Sheet – 1/4″ Plywood
  • Four – 2 1/2″ Heavy Duty Ball Bearing Rubber Wheels
  • Box – 2 1/2″ Deck Screws
  • Sandpaper
  • Clear Polyurethane Topcoat & Brush


  • Mitre Saw
  • Circular Saw
  • Screw Gun
  • Nail Gun
  • Level
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil, Marker

You might be wondering, how much does an outdoor fireplace cost? We spent a little under $500 for the materials and already had the tools in our garage workshop. The SimpliFire Forum 43-Inch Outdoor Electric Fireplace insert is currently priced at a little over $2,000 and comes with everything that you need. You can choose from the look of 13 ember-bed colors and four flame colors. There are other electric fireplace options to choose from as well.

Build An Electric Fireplace DIY – Instructions

Before beginning to build the outdoor fireplace and cut into the wood, we (my husband, with me as the project manager;-) determined the height of the box that we would build. The finished project would be 42″ high by 63 1/2″ wide by 12″ deep. The advantage of using the outdoor fireplace insert is that it’s not deep, so the box can be used in a tight space as we have here!

diy outdoor fireplace frames

We built a pair of frames that were the same size, measuring 41″ x 62″. These would be for the front and sides of the fireplace frame. Later, we applied 3/4″ tongue and groove to cover the box.

fireplace frame build

The next step was to build the support frame for the Simplifire fireplace.

Then the front and the back were attached with a 12″ long 2 x 4, one on each corner.

diy outdoor fireplace frame build
outdoor fireplace build for Spotix Shabbyfufu

The exterior structure is now complete and is ready for the fireplace support.

adding fireplace supports

We cut four 12″ pieces from the 2 x 4’s to create support blocks that would hold the Simplifire electric outdoor fireplace. The frame was turned upright to make it easier to attach the supports.

Building an outdoor fireplace

We turned the diy outdoor fireplace frame upside down and installed the wheels with the screw gun.

The frame has been laid on it’s side to install the horizontal supports for the outdoor fireplace insert.

We inserted the Simplifire outdoor electric fireplace into the frame at this point to be certain of a tight fit.

tongue and groove cut at a 45 degree angle

Then the frame was ready to have the tongue and groove paneling applied using the nail gun. The pieces were cut to size with a 45 degree angle.

diy outdoor fireplace ideas

Starting from the bottom, the paneling was installed with a nail gun, piece by piece. The first piece should be 3/4″ above the ground for clearance.

outdoor fireplace Spotix

After attaching the second tongue and groove panel, the fireplace box was temporarily removed. This was so that we could cut the 1 x 6 wrap to fit around the opening.

wood paneling application on an outdoor electric fireplace

The sides were wrapped in the paneling that was cut to size as we installed the front pieces.

outdoor fireplace surround poolside

The top and bottom pieces were notched around the fireplace frame to fit the opening.

fireplace diy

We used three pieces of the tongue and groove to make the top. All of these pieces were applied with the nail gun.

Two 2 x 4’s were then installed to support the plywood back.

applying polyurethane coating

The wood was sanded lightly and two coats of polyurethane sealer were brushed on to protect the wood from the elements.

outdoor fireplace diy project

We were finally ready to finish off building the outdoor fireplace! This project took us half a day or around six hours from start to finish.

back of the outdoor fireplace

It took two of us to slide the fireplace box into place, but it was not difficult!

screwing the back on to the outdoor fireplace

Lastly, the plywood back was screwed into place and the diy outdoor fireplace project was complete!

The Completed Outdoor Fireplace DIY Project!

outdoor electric fireplace

This is truly an electric fireplace option designed for all seasons and flexible to place anywhere with it’s wheels that we installed. It adds so much to our pool and gazebo area!

outdoor fireplace

It has a modern, clean look and a variety of settings and options of flame colors via the remote control.

remote control outdoor electric fireplace

Here is the pergola area at night, where the fireplace really shines! The dots are from reflections that the pool is throwing, adding to the magic!

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  1. Christy Little | Our Southern Home says:

    This is gorgeous and would be a great option for our screened porch!

    1. Thanks Christy, it was a bit time consuming but not a terribly difficult project!

  2. Susan Krauss says:

    So gorgeous, Janet!

    1. Thank you Susan, we really love it!