Completely overwhelmed... Buy one from a builder? or make my own?

I am an avid baker and now I am also making pizza regularly (and then freezing). I have a set-up for my weber grill that works sort of, but I would love a wood-burning oven.

I have been tempted to buy a used bee-hive oven or an Ooni Pro oven, but that will run me a lot already and it’s not as good as a brick oven, but it’s INTIMIDATING to think about building one from scratch. I don’t have a dedicated spot un my yard, but I could make one easily enough.

I know there are all sorts of plans and different materials, but is it really worth doing it yourself when there are experts out there that can do it? how much did it cost to build yours when all said and done (and that includes buying tools/materials to get the job done).

Hi Melissa,

Welcome. I’m glade you reached out to this forum. I can relate to all of your questions. If I were you I would definitely build one of the ovens that brickwood oven has to offer. The way the have you build it not only is indestructible but any skill level can do it. Not going to lie to you some of it requires hard work. But it is truly satisfying know you did it yourself. There are plenty of people here if you need advice too.

If you chose to have a professional contractor do it make sure they absolutely follow the plans brickwood oven supplies you. They say they are experts but may do the project so its easier for them. Or what they are use to.

The next thing to consider is what type of oven is best for you. I picked the Mattone Barile Grande. Mostly because its the most versatile oven and also its one if the oldest designed oven in history. Every time I use it, it amazes me. Last weekend I had it up to 971 degrees and was still hot, 190 degrees 18 hours later.

Just imagine, you can cook pizzas. Then through in some chickens and cook bread all in one night. Good luck. Hope this helps

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My two cents…depends. If you have time for a project and someone that wants to help then yes. If all by yourself no, since it will require quite a bit of manual labor and lifting and trips to the Home Depot (Lots!). If you’ve got some time thanks to covid however, it’s stimulating to do something so different (normally I do IT all day long) and rewarding. Me and my wife have almost completed a gorgeous pizza oven that you would think a professional crafted…that being said it’s take up most weekends for 2 1/2 months.

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It did seem a little overwhelming at first. Especially when I received the ~ 96-step instructions!

I can tell you this - I have never constructed anything substantial in my life. I saw this as an opportunity to do something with the family - especially my teenage sons, that they would remember and learn from. It’s taking me a LONG time but don’t regret one second. We have had more laughs, learned more new skills and can’t wait for the day we start cranking out pizzas.

I would go for it!

-js

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I would agree with the comments so far. It’s definitely an undertaking to build your own but it is well worth the effort!

It helps to have somebody give you a hand and plan on it taking about a month if you are working on it only during the weekends. You can get it done in a couple of days if that’s all you were doing but I found it easier to spread it out.

The plans from Brickwood Ovens were awesome! They may look a bit intimidating but the detail given makes the project a no-brainer. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of work but the instructions are very easy to follow and you don’t need to be a master Carpenter or Mason to get the job done.

Also keep in mind that you probably can’t find all the materials you need at a store Like Home Depot. It helps to have a building material supplier nearby.

Here is my oven…

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Here’s a question to go with it. Leveling the area. I live on a sloped yard. Does ANYONE have a flat yard? Just thinking about getting things level seems overwhelming?

And what is ballbark cost to build the brickwood oven (basic)? (I will look it up now too.).

Answering my own question - size would be the Matone Barile I think… (you can make loaves of bread in this one too?). And I really need to think about this as we have a deck and I would probably want a patio for this or at least setting it up so that it works well if we want to change the footprint of anything.

Is cost estimate close?

There are a few different ways to accomplish a level finish.
One way is build the block up on the low side to level, the other way is to level down the dirt. Meaning dig the dirt out level and build up, after the build is up back fill the low areas. Hope this helps

Hi,

Yes there are many ways to level out your base. I built mine on level ground I can’t give you a definitive answer. I’ll let someone else chime in on that.

If your building it and having a patio around it thats good. If your building it to go up against your deck be careful. Although the oven can have a door on it and the fire is enclosed nevertheless there is a risk of embers dropping on the deck. I have see it done though dont get discouraged. Also don’t build it close to your house. Embers go up the chimney and you don’t want them landing on your house. Even though you have a spark arrestor on the chimney it does not guaranty nothing will come out. Check with your local building codes on how far awy it needs to be.

Ballpark figure on cost? 1000 to 1500. I’m in mine for 1700 so far, but I’m putting on some bells and whistles. Metal roofing, and brick veneer top to bottom plus tile for the upper base pad. Hope this helps.

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Oh, I wouldn’t put it up my deck or next to my house. (We JUST got new siding!). This is all probably a pipe dream anyway!

I thought the same thing.

I did the base and cinder blocks last summer and this summer finished the oven. I still need todo some stone on the lower cinder blocks. I had absolutely no experience with masonry before I started.

My advice: build the oven. There’s a wealth of information in this forum and everyone is very helpful.

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Hi Melissa and welcome to the forums!

There are few perfectly level yards. One of the early steps involves excavating so you can install a base rock base for the concrete pad. Optionally you install footings below your local frost line. That’s your opportunity to establish a level surface. If you have a steep slope you might consider some landscaping blocks to build a low “retaining wall” on the uphill side. Give yourself space (several feet) to get around the oven on that side.

As for the general question, it’s totally worth it and you will feel accomplished beyond description when you’re done. As others have said there is hard work involved. The good news during this pandemic (and we need some silver linings) is that big box stores have been delivering items like concrete and cinder blocks at no charge. Your refractory and brick dealers are already set up to do that because most of their output goes to construction sites.

And, there is no deadline to get it done, other than your own.