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Which way should I go? Build from scratch vs Buy prebuilt? Cost comparison?

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  • Which way should I go? Build from scratch vs Buy prebuilt? Cost comparison?

    Hello Everyone,

    I have been considering the following options for a wood fired pizza oven -

    Option A - buying a 36" dome wood fired pizza oven kit and DIY ($3500) - some DIY work required.
    Option B - Buy a pre-built oven ($5000) - No DIY work required.
    Option C - Build from Scratch ($ not sure how much it will cost?) Does anyone have a materials list and cost spreadsheet to do this calculation? - Full DIY work required.

    Assuming the base cost is going to be the same for all three options.

    Does anyone have any guidance for a newbie? Which direction should I go?

    Thank you all for your advice in advance.

    PS: I am in the San Francisco Bay Area.


  • #2
    Hi and welcome.
    My build cost me about $2000 all up, using secondhand materials. Would have been another $800-1000 had I bought new firebricks. But, these are local prices, I think materials are cheaper in your country.
    My 42" build: https://community.fornobravo.com/for...ld-new-zealand
    My oven drawings: My oven drawings - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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    • #3
      Thanks Mark. It looks good. I would recommend a mosaic or tile finish, but painting works too.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rnathanperumal View Post
        Thanks Mark. It looks good. I would recommend a mosaic or tile finish, but painting works too.
        Thank you. I would rather like a mosaic finish, but it would really add to the expense. Mosaic tiles are horrendously expensive here.
        My 42" build: https://community.fornobravo.com/for...ld-new-zealand
        My oven drawings: My oven drawings - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

        Comment


        • #5
          I’ll jump into your thread and reply, but just to let you know, I’m a total noobie and hit the “easy button” for my build.

          We were building a courtyard area behind the house and I decided to add a firepit and seating area. Well, let’s just say that thing took a turn and spiraled out of control. She thought that a pizza oven would be fun to have, so I began doing research and a friend forwarded me a link to this forum. Thanks Bill!!!! I read and read and read and totally confused myself. After a bunch more research, I concluded that a total DIY build from scratch wasn’t in the cards for me due to time and the season. I knew it would take 100+ hours to build and it was getting late in the fall, so freezing temps were just a few weeks away.

          I found a local guy who casts a 3-piece concrete oven kit and went to have a look. It was a 1-1/2 hour drive, but we’ll worth the trip. We saw a kit ready for delivery, one completed with insulation and mounted on a Boulder and he showed us his personal oven. We decided to “pull the trigger” and give him a deposit to build one. A few weeks later and it was ready for pick-up.

          Even after buying a “kit”, it still took a few weeks to build it the way I wanted which only happened after more research and responses from the members here on the forum. I was going to do it quickly and ultimately incorrectly, so thank goodness for the members who enlightened and educated me on the science behind these cooking vessels.

          I will say that unless you plan to do A LOT of research and are willing to do what has been proven to work, buy a completed oven. The DIY route takes time and some skill. Depending on where you live and the temperate climate, time might not be an issue. Skills on the other hand might be. Masonary isn’t necessarily difficult, it tedious for those who don’t do it regularly. I’m certainly not a mason, but was able to accomplish everything but the last day and a half of my build before getting a mason here to speed up finishing my brick work. I had planned to do it all myself, but freezing weather caused me to call in help.

          Anyway, that’s my take. If I were to do it again, I would do it the same way unless this one gets so much use that we chose to build one bigger. Probably not going to happen.


          As far as costs, my casting was $900, CaSi and ceramic insulation $160, Hardie board and steel studs $50, Perlite $40, mortar $90, concrete blocks $200, reclaimed bricks $100, fieldstone $100, sublet labor $300, concrete countertop supplies $350, lentils $100, concrete slab $300, copper chimney vent $60 and probably another $100-200 in miscellaneous expenses. Now figure in my labor and the total cost goes through the roof, but it was a labor of love and I get to say that “I built it”. Priceless.

          At the end of the day I got just what I wanted with the look that I wanted(actually came out better than I had expected) and it fit on the space we built for it. It may not be to anyone else’s liking, but it’s mine/ours and at the end of the day that’s what counts.

          In all that, the choice is yours, I would just suggest doing lots of reading and research. There are many answers here on this forum.

          My build: https://community.fornobravo.com/for...ie-ready-to-go

          Good Luck,

          Dan
          Last edited by w650gb500; 12-04-2020, 10:42 AM.

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