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Backyard Oven

From Jutta:

Hi Heather, Gene, Kiko and Nigel, we're getting closer to starting the oven-build in our backyard. I'm writing to you four because my friend Elizabeth is asking about the sketches below. I'm hoping you can give us an off-the-cuff opinion based on your experience(s).

Elizabeth has a recent Masters of Architecture from cutting-edge Waterloo, but she's not sure she wants to help build condos. So she's taking a little pause and doing some nifty things with us, including -- hopefully -- building me an oven in the backyard. She's been studying Alan Scott's Bread Builders book, which we used for the smaller ovens at Dufferin and again at Christie Pits.

But she has some questions: - what happens if there's no foundation (hard clay with pavers is there now) - what happens if we don't put a roof on it.

Our recent experience with the plywood of the bigger park oven roof burning up (photo below), leading to a visit by 12 firefighters, made me wonder if it's better to have the actual oven roof visible so we can see cracks and there's no hidden trouble.

From Elizabeth:

I'd like to resolve the following design questions (illustrated in the sketches below) before we start -- Can we get an oven-experienced person to weigh in on the points below? These decisions will impact our overall sizing and materials.

Additionally, Jeff Connell shared the following advice: "Make sure you have the door before you start construction. Better yet, start your construction around the door." He emphasised using proper insulation around the whole thing, and said that a roof above the oven is always a good idea. Do you have a door Jutta, or know what size opening you would like?

Design Questions:

(1) Is the "no foundation" option pictured below viable for the base structure? If not, what about the "slab above grade"? I'm happy to take a chance and build without a concrete slab but I don't feel confident making that decision myself.


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Content last modified on December 17, 2023, at 02:53 AM EST