A homeowner’s desire to have a backyard worthy of envy usually ends up with some renovation project. Over the summer, homeowners were building decks, pools, and firepits. However, when the weather gets colder, they’re looking to upgrade the dinky firepit and want to turn it into a full on outdoor fireplace.
In HomeLight’s End of the Year Report for 2021, 65% of realtors said outdoor fireplaces are in demand, but they’re really popular in warmer climates, such as Memphis, Tennessee. The appeal of an outdoor fireplace is two-fold. Not only do you get to enjoy being outside during the chillier time of year, but they also add value to your property!
Which is best: wood or gas?
Outdoor fireplaces are most commonly fueled by either wood or gas. However, when it comes to choosing what’s best to install, that really depends on your preference. Both are great choices, but 48% of real estate agents say that gas-burning outdoor fireplaces are the most popular and they add the most value.
Gas is the preferred option because they don’t need as much maintenance as a wood-burning setup. Along with ease of use, you don’t have to worry about violating any local ordinances regarding fire safety or air pollution (you’d be amazed that some people complain about the smell of burning wood!).
How much value can an outdoor fireplace add to your property?
Typically, when we’re gearing up to take on a renovation project, we’ll consider how the improvement will impact our home’s livability and the amount of enjoyment it’ll bring us. Of course, we’ll also factor in the overall cost and whether it’ll be worth the investment further down the road.
Let’s say you were to install a gas-burning fireplace inside your house. That would only increase your home’s value by 17% – in March 2020, that would equate to be between $3,743 to $4,385. It’s not a game changer, but it’s still a nice chunk of change.
However, if you wanted to install a gas-burning fireplace outside, there would be a whopping 72% increase of value added to your property! Depending on where you live, you could get at least $5,753. If you live in the Pacific region, you’d get a 123% return, meaning you could see an increase of at least $9,497.
Now we have to mention that these are national averages. Your actual return on investment is going to depend on where you live, the complexity of the project, materials and labor. Installing a custom outdoor fireplace can easily cost $20,000 or more!
Should you invest in an outdoor fireplace?
It’s not unusual for homeowners to do projects around the house that will make life in the home more enjoyable. For those who like spending time outside, it makes sense that they’d want to continue enjoying their backyards even when it’s colder.
An outdoor firepit is an okay feature to have, as it certainly can keep you warm during those chilly nights. However, for those who want to elevate the experience and invest in something fancier, a gas-burning outdoor fireplace is the way to go. It burns cleaner, is less likely to break any local ordinances, and it increases your home’s value.
But… the real question you need to ask yourself is if an outdoor fireplace is right for your home. You need to look at the market and see if there’s even a demand for outdoor fireplaces. Yes, they’re popular on a national level, but that doesn’t mean they’re in demand in your neighborhood. If you’re planning to sell any time soon, you can ask a realtor for advice. If you aren’t planning to move for a long time (if at all), then by all means, install one!
It’s your home so you may as well do what’ll make you happy!