Outdoor Kitchen Installation – MA

At this Organic Farm in MA we build an outdoor kitchen area. It will consist of bluestone counters, natural stone veneer, an Argentine style grill, and a pizza oven. Along with regular cooking and entertaining the owner will use this outdoor kitchen for cooking demonstrations and videos as well.

Outdoor Kitchen Installation:

To build the kitchen we install a concrete base, and then block up the form. The counters are designed to stand on columns so that there is space below for wood storage. It also has a small set of shelves and a firebrick cutout for the Argentine grill.

Outdoor Kitchen Prep
Outdoor Kitchen Prep

Once the blockwork is done we install the natural stone veneer. This is a 1″ thick sawn stone in the stacked stone style. We use a mix of sizes, run the stones mostly level, and break the joints to give it an authentic drystack stone wall look.

At the same time we install the firebrick to line the open grill. Firebrick is a special heat resistant type of brick that is used to inside fireplaces, ovens, etc. It can withstand a very high heat without cracking and crumbling like regular brick/concrete/stone. As an extra detail we lay the firebrick in a 45 degree herringbone pattern.

Outdoor Kitchen Stone Veneer
Outdoor Kitchen Stone Veneer
Outdoor Kitchen Open Grill
Outdoor Open Grill
Natural Stone Veneer
Natural Stone Veneer

Once the veneer and firebrick is on get ready to install the counters. We use 2″ thick thermal bluestone and the kitchen is designed to use several standard size pieces. We also add some steel to the spans b/c there will be a stone pizza oven on top.

Stone Counter Prep
Stone Counter Prep
Outdoor Kitchen - Stone Counters
Outdoor Kitchen – Stone Counters

The grill is an Argentine Style grill or sometimes called a Gaucho Grill. It is an open grill with large adjustable rack. The pizza oven is a pre-made oven from Forno Bravo that we set on top of the re-enforced counter. Once the grill and oven are in the wood fired outdoor kitchen is ready to use.

Stone Surround Fireplace – Concord, MA

At this home in Concord, MA the owners would like to update their existing brick fireplace with a new granite stone surround. They are also interested in removing the raised hearth and setting the new one flush with the floor to open up more space in the room.

Fireplace Before
Fireplace Before

This job is fairly straightforward in that the new stone can built right over the existing brick. The granite we use is only 1″ thick so fits inside the existing wood frame without needing to re-do any of the carpentry. The existing hearth we will need to remove in order to accommodate the new flush to the floor hearth that is desired.

So first we remove the brick hearth and install the new granite hearth in the old footprint. We are able to remove enough brick to get the new hearth perfectly even with the floor as desired.

Granite Hearth
Granite Hearth

Next we install the granite facing for the fireplace. The granite we use is a ~1″ thick stone sold as paving stones, but makes for good veneer as well. We are able to use standard sized stones from the stoneyard which we cut to fit on-site. A high bond mortar adheres it to the wall, and we set the stones very tightly as to hide the joints.

Stone Surround Installation
Stone Surround Installation
Stone Surround Installation
Stone Surround Installation

The last few pieces go in and the new stone surround fireplace is complete. The new fireplace has a much cleaner and contemporary look and is a quick and relatively easy way to make a big improvement.

Stone Surround Fireplace
Stone Surround Fireplace
Stone Surround Fireplace
Stone Surround Fireplace

Outdoor Fireplace Installation – Concord, MA

Fireplace Design

At this home in Concord, MA we are hired for an outdoor fireplace installation at the back patio. The homeowner wants a fireplace that throws a lot of heat, and that has a nice hearth for sitting on so they can enjoy the patio and fireplace during the colder months. To accommodate this we design a custom Rumford Fireplace. Named after Count Rumford’s design from the late 1700’s, the Rumford Fireplace is a tall, shallow fireplace that narrows towards the back and reflects more heat outwards. We follow the specified dimensions for the firebox itself, and then we custom design the surrounding stonework.

Fireplace Design
Fireplace Design

The fireplace design has a wide, wrap around hearth good for seating, and a cavity below for wood storage. The face of the fireplace is handsome and proportional with sloped sides and a chimney matching the width of the firebox. We will use a gray stacked stone veneer, granite for the hearth and caps, and reclaimed wood for the mantle.

Before

Outdoor Fireplace Installation

Foundation/Firebox/Blockwork

First we excavate and pour a concrete pad, and then block up the hearth. Once the hearth is up we start the brickwork for the firebox. The firebox is made from a special brick and mortar both of which can withstand very high heat.

Blockwork for Hearth
Starting the Firebox

As the firebox goes up we block around it forming the body of the fireplace. Once we reach the top of the firebox we need to transition the opening to meet the chimney. This is either done by corbeling the brick, or by using precast Rumford parts. In this case we corbel the brick until meeting the 1′ x 1′ size of the chimney liner.

Top of Firebox
Top of Firebox
Transition
Chimney Liner

Once the first chimney liner is in we are done with the brickwork and continue blocking up the slopes and chimney until we reach full height.

Completed Blockwork
Completed Blockwork

Fireplace Veneer and Cap Installation

The blockwork for the outdoor fireplace installation is done and now we can begin the finish work of capping and veneering. First we make a test fire to make sure the fireplace is drawing properly. Proper draw is important for any fireplace so the smoke goes up and away and not out the front. Outdoor fireplaces can be extra challenging in that swirling winds, downdrafts, and other outdoor variables can blow smoke where you don’t want it. To guard against this we make sure the opening of the fireplace, chimney liner, and chimney height are all to the proper proportions to ensure the best possible draw. In this case the fireplace is drawing great and no adjustments need to be made.

outdoor fireplace installation
Test Fire/Veneer/Hearth

The hearth goes in and we veneer up the face until reaching the sloped portion of the caps. The sloped caps take some extra care as it is a steep slow, so we pin them onto the backing block with metal ties before mortaring them in place.

Slope Cap Installation

Once the caps are on and dry we continue veneering. We leave a wooden spacer where the mantle will go and finish veneering to the top.

Veneering the Outdoor Fireplace
Veneering the Outdoor Fireplace

The mantle is a hand hewn hardwood beam that we pick out from an architectural salvage yard. We pin it onto the face to give it a ‘floating shelf’ look without the need for any corbels or brackets below.

Hand Hewn Fireplace Mantle
Hand Hewn Fireplace Mantle
Fireplace Mantle Installation
Fireplace Mantle Installation
Fireplace Mantle Installation
Fireplace Mantle Installation

The mantle is in. Next we add a granite cap to the top of the chimney, give everything a cleaning, and the outdoor fireplace installation is complete and ready to enjoy.

Outdoor Fireplace Installation
Outdoor Fireplace Installation
Outdoor Fireplace Installation
Outdoor Fireplace Installation
Outdoor Fireplace Installation
Outdoor Fireplace Installation