Perhaps you and your spouse just moved out of the city to the suburbs, and you’re finally ready to realize your dream of building an outdoor barbecue pit to roast venison and sip Napa Valley wine. Or maybe you’re remodeling your backyard, and you’d love to add or renovate a wood fire pit.

In any case, you need a guide for best practices for fireplace construction and renovation. Statistics suggest that poor fireplace maintenance, construction, and usage contribute to hundreds of home fires in the Bay Area and beyond every year. If you violate local building ordinances or regulations – or light up on so-called “no burn days” – you could be fined and otherwise penalized. If you install a fireplace in violation of the rules of your homeowner’s insurance contract, and something goes wrong, your insurance may not pay for the damages.

The moral is: do due diligence, even if you’re installing a “super simple” ground level fire pit.


Understanding the Purpose of Your Fireplace Before You Design It

Are you looking to cook over the fire? If so, you consider a propane-based pit, which you can turn on and off with a switch. Going propane eliminates the cumbersome need to collect and protect a pile of wood. You don’t need to figure out how to dispose of the remnants of burned wood, either.

[Also see: Bay Area Green Remodeling]

On the other hand, maybe you really just love the aesthetic quality of a beautiful crackling fire. Or maybe you want a fire pit or backyard fireplace to roast s’mores, steaks, etc. That’s fine — just know WHY you want to do the project before you dig in.

“Simple Projects” Have a Funny Way of Getting Complicated

Maybe you love to DIY (do-it-yourself); you’re giddy at the thought of driving to Home Depot to get bricks, concrete, and other components to erect the fireplace or fire pit. But don’t be surprised if the project takes you longer than you anticipate and leads to unexpected bureaucratic snafus. Will your neighbors complain, once they smell the smoke from your freshly crackling fire? Will your Fire Department ding you for failing to adhere to a safety ordinance that you didn’t even know existed?

To get the job done right – to minimize the hassle and maximize the efficiency of your time and energy – look to the Castro Valley general construction team at B.A. Morrison. Our experienced, licensed, and highly regarded crew can help you install the best outdoor fireplace for your needs, so you and your family can enjoy hot fresh cooked food, warm cozy nights outside, stargazing, and more.

Get in touch with us today at for help.



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