For those who want the feel of a fireplace without the high cost and permit issues,
I came up with the “fire-hearth” design. Construct a simple wall as a backdrop, veneer
with fire-brick and cap it with a mantle. Add decorative corbels of concrete or steel
and build your fire-pit below in either half round or square shapes. The hearth wall
can be great for screening views or creating a focal point not achievable with a
Consider local weather conditions. Leave the bottom of your fire pit open to allow
water to percolate out. In heavy rain areas, leave a weep or drain hole just above
the height of your adjacent patio.