Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Brick Oven Cost revisted

It's been exactly two years since I attempted to give those interested in purchasing a brick oven a solid bead on the costs.
In those two years, I have built more than a dozen brick ovens and consulted on a dozen others.  The answer to the question is...


What exactly do you want?  NOT a true answer, I admit, but it is the most important question that needs answering.

Because I build custom brick ovens, made for individuals and their unique locations and requirements, answering a group of questions will lead directly and effectively to an oven with a specific price tag.  It will, more importantly, result in an oven that works perfectly.

Here are a few categories of ovens and uses:
  1. The residential or home brick oven.  Usually 36" interior diameter unless you have crazy-big parties; then 42" or bigger.
  2. The outdoor brick oven, often part of an outdoor entertainment and kitchen space.  My longtime company: North Star Stoneworks northstarstoneworks.com is able to build out from the oven and integrate it into the landscape.
  3. The indoor brick oven, a smart choice in rugged climates where rain, snow, bugs, wind, and local gangs or neighbors might be a problem.  These oven can fit into conventional kitchens by placing the volume of the oven in a bumped-out space adjacent to the kitchen. Code-compliant, stainless steel insulated chimneys allow for ease of running exhaust vapors.  Indoor ovens by TBO now have make-up air channels so negative draft issues and air infiltration is eliminated.
  4. Bakery brick ovens capable of producing hundreds of loaves a day and remaining at temperature for long periods.  These oven have extra mass in the dome and extra insulation under the floor and above the dome.  They are used to cook large amounts of food ranging from pizza to roasts, bread to slow-cooked casseroles.
  5. Portable brick ovens suited for catering business that want to cook on site.

The above five categories begin to determine cost.  The other factor is style.  Ovens range from exterior finish that is very simple to elaborate details such as stone roofs, special tile and brickwork, stone, and even frescoes.

What I can do for anyone inquiring (see website TBO Checklist) is respond to a detailed request that includes photos and desired features.  If after talking with you, we have a clear idea of the oven you want, an exact cost amount will follow.  Then you'll know the true cost. 

Please note: Factories, like those that turn out hundreds of cast refractory shells that you can buy, are able to put a dollar amount on their stamped-out product because they are all identical.  The hidden costs of finishing the job and the longevity of the oven are not mentioned.

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