|This one is 2500 years old|
The two questions put me on opposite sides of the value scale. To my mind, 'affordable' should mean within the reach of the average person (if there is such a creature:).
I have tried to make my ovens, which have many custom aspects within reach of cooking enthusiasts, start-up bakeries, restaurants, and caterers. To do this I have streamlined the various steps in making an oven out of the highest quality materials. I then allow the budget to stay 'affordable' for simple finishes and to climb in cost for really artistic exteriors. Sometimes this includes the surrounding terrace and landscape.
|Large farm/orchard oven|
But, the fundamental principal is durability. A poorly made or designed oven is not worth even building. Because the ovens I build (or show you how to build) are made from precision-cut fire brick, hand-fitted, they will last hundreds of years.
|failed cast refractory oven|
|All brick construction prior to exterior|
I would not suggest anyone go way beyond their budget for an oven. However, I'd recommend considering the story behind an 'affordable' choice.
|Owens Farmhouse portable by TBO|
|Family brick oven by TBO and local masons in West Virginia|