Category: Home Remodel

Are Outdoor Fireplaces Safe?

Outdoor fireplaces are becoming a more and more popular and permanent backyard feature. Even in a state like Texas, fall and winter temperatures get a little chilly, and an outdoor fireplace can be a unique and practical addition to property.

While there is always an element of risk with any type of fireplace, when installed correctly with proper ventilation, outdoor fireplaces are just as safe as indoor ones.

Arguably, outdoor fireplaces are more so because they are typically freestanding, meaning they are not near or attached to the house. Many states even have requirements for how far an outdoor fireplace has to be installed away from the house and things like trees and fences.

It is worth noting that in some states, though, outdoor fireplaces can be installed against a house on the opposite side of an interior fireplace. Each fireplace needs its own flue, but it is possible for both an inside and an outside fireplace to share the same chimney even. It’s recommended to discuss options with a contractor who understands the state building permits and regulations for outside fireplaces.

Just as it is recommended for indoor fireplaces, homeowners with outdoor fireplaces should have functioning and inspected fire extinguishers nearby and should understand the basics of home fire safety and protocols (and teach them and review them with their family). A local fire department also has amazing resources for homeowners when it comes to home fire safety, often free of charge.

Types of Outdoor Fireplaces

An outdoor fireplace is designed very much like an inside one.

It has a chimney and is usually made from stones and/or bricks to withstand the heat of the fire. Outdoor fireplaces can range in cost due to the size and the materials used. They can be simple or extremely elaborate statement pieces. Many outdoor fireplaces are also installed as part of a larger deck or patio redesign, and they can truly transform a backyard, making it a popular spot for entertaining guests and holding parties.

There are two main types of outdoor fireplaces, also similar to inside fireplaces:

  • Wood Burning
  • Gas

Wood Burning

There is something so nostalgic and warming about a natural wood-burning fireplace. They are a simple luxury and need simple materials. Wood burning fireplaces also give off that iconic smell that brings back so many memories and just makes you want to curl up with a blanket and mug of hot chocolate.

With that being said, wood-burning fireplaces do take a level of work. You will need a solid supply of wood and kindling, which means chopping and hauling from your own property or purchasing wood for the season. Burned wood turns into ash, so wood-burning fireplaces need to be cleaned out regularly and ash disposed of properly (bonus if you have a garden though, as ash is very useful for soil).

A wood-burning fireplace also needs a barrier called a spark screen. This safety feature ensures no rogue sparks pop and fly out of the fireplace. These rogue sparks can cause accidental burns to humans and furniture and can even catch things on fire, which is not good.


Gas fireplaces are becoming popular for their safety features and convenience, and they still look great and produce a ton of heat. Many gas fireplaces run off of propane gas and are typically installed with their own propane tank attached separately from the house. In some cases, it might be possible to have a gas fireplace run off of natural gas and connect to a line already running to a home.

Gas fireplaces are extremely easy to use and can be turned on and then off quickly. They usually involve a simple button, valve, or switch that starts the flow of gas and ignites it to create fire (think like a grill or a gas stove, it’s the same concept).

Some gas fireplaces even have a remote control.

Gas fireplaces come in a variety of design options. There are some that can simulate real flames with realistic-looking wood and be very natural. Other designs are more modern and creative and do not even try to provide a real fire experience. They have stones or glass rocks, and some are even just waves of flame across an area.

Many homeowners like gas fireplaces because there is no actual wood needed and no ash cleanup. There is also no risk of rogue sparks with gas fireplaces. However, propane and natural gas costs can increase.

Serving the Dallas & Fort Worth Metroplex

At Nouvel Construction, LLC., we have over 50 years of custom home and commercial building experience. We not only specialize in new home and building construction but also remodels, additions, and restorations.

Give us a call and get a free estimate on your next project. Our team of dedicated and professional builders and contractors would love to help make your dream a reality.

Bathroom Remodel Ideas

A stunning and inviting bathroom can help you greet the coming day in peace and feel relaxed before going to bed. It’s important for a bathroom to be both beautiful and functional. Large bathrooms may offer more possibilities, but there are still many things to consider when remodeling a small bathroom. At Nouvel Construction, we offer bathroom remodeling services in the Dallas area. Here are some great bathroom remodel ideas.

Simple, Clean, and Modern

Think minimalism. Keep floors and walls neatly decorated while aiming for simple fixtures that do not boast many embellishments.

Use of Accents

Create a one-of-a-kind bathroom by shopping around for interesting accent pieces. Find a hanging mirror, reclaimed wood shelving, and a unique rug. Hit up antique shops or home decor stores that offer interesting pieces to find items to sit on your shelves.

Freestanding Tub

A freestanding tub can become a focal point in your bathroom. There are many options available for freestanding tubs. Find one that looks like an antique clawfoot tub or opt for a jet black tub that really pops.

Unique Walls

Instead of going for regular painted walls, make unique walls. Choose one wall to serve as an accent wall or cover all the walls in your bathroom with something other than paint. There are many options. Consider shiplap, wallpaper, or tile. Wallpaper and tiles come in endless color and design possibilities and can match any decor theme you are thinking of.

Incorporation of a Theme

Dream up a theme for your bathroom. This will give you direction as you choose all the features and colors for your bathroom. Here are a few ideas:

  • Industrial farmhouse
  • Rustic
  • Nautical
  • Modern

Luxury Bathroom Upgrades

When remodeling a bathroom, why not add some luxurious features? There are many options out there to make your bathroom more comfortable and functional.

Heated Floors

Stepping out of the shower onto a heated floor is a welcome experience. You can use a variety of flooring types with a radiant heating system to still give your bathroom the look you are hoping for.


Many bathrooms are dark, and a skylight can help to make your bathroom brighter without any worries about privacy. When there is more light in the bathroom, the room feels larger.

Defogging Mirrors

Foggy mirrors can be frustrating when you step out of the shower, and there are many options out there today to remedy this problem. You can buy mirrors with defogging systems already built-in or purchase a system to install with a mirror that you already have.

Glass Shower Enclosure

Installing a glass shower enclosure makes your shower feel more open and spacious. When you utilize glass in your shower, it feels like it is part of the bathroom and not wasted space. Choose frosted glass if you prefer some privacy while in the shower.

Vanity Underlighting

Putting lights under your vanity may seem a little strange, but it can serve several purposes. Vanity underlighting can provide a pleasant night light or simply bring light to the dark corners of your bathroom. This will make the space seem brighter and more inviting.

Heated Towel Rail

Just as heated floors are nice when you step out of the shower, so are heated towels. Install a heated towel rail to warm your towels as you are getting clean. Choose a basic one or go for one that is decorative and makes a statement.

Ideas for Small Bathrooms

If you are remodeling a small bathroom, there are many great ideas to make your small space shine and feel more organized.

Clear Out Clutter

Small bathrooms just don’t have room for clutter. When you are going through a bathroom remodel, remove everything from your bathroom and make sure nothing that is expired or does not get used makes it back in. Use a linen closet or other space to store rarely used items. When you put your items back in your bathroom, make sure to do so in an organized way.

Create Systems for Organization

Purchase storage crates, baskets, or bins that all match and look nice in the style you have chosen for your bathroom. Use these to hold all the small items you need to store in the bathroom. This will keep the space neat, tidy, and organized.

Utilize Space-Saving Bathroom Items

If you are picking out a new tub, vanity, toilet, and mirror, look for space-saving options. Small bathrooms will feel crowded if you choose large items. Also, look for ways to incorporate more storage in your small bathroom, such as floating shelves over the toilet, a medicine cabinet instead of a mirror, and a cabinet with drawers.

Remodel Your Bathroom With Nouvel Construction

Create the bathroom you have always been dreaming of with the help of Nouvel Construction. We can help you with any of your Dallas home remodeling needs. Contact us today for an estimate.