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Planning phase....concrete pad necessary? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Planning phase....concrete pad necessary?

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  • Planning phase....concrete pad necessary?

    First, what a great site.....Im so ready to get rolling. I have a bit of a sloped back yard, under my new deck, so Im designing a couple of retaining walls to have a nice area for my oven. My question is, I was thinkin of incorporating my stand as part of the retating wall,,,im not holding back to much 'yard'. My question is, I see most of these ovens are built on a cement pad. If I made concrete footers to hold my stand, would I necessarily need an entire pad? Or just a good thick footer under my block stand. Not much frost here in VA so thats not a real concern. Id appreciate any thoughts on this.....

  • #2
    Re: Planning phase....concrete pad necessary?

    From the research I've done, I think the main concern with the type of foundation you're describing comes with the potential for frost heave. If you're in a climate where that's not a concern, then I suppose you just need to be confident that it will support the weight of the oven (which will be considerable).

    With a little searching, you can find others who have built into retaining walls as you describe. I'm sure you've thought of this, but I gather adequate drainage in this kind of a site is especially important for stability.

    I hope others who know more will chime in.



    • #3
      Re: Planning phase....concrete pad necessary?

      Thre is a member who lives in North California near Magalia/Paradise. It is about 1500-2000 feet in elevation. Just enough to get a light dust of snow that last maybe a day. He built his as part of the retaining wall. Now if only I could remember his avatar name...


      • #4
        Re: Planning phase....concrete pad necessary?

        I think it was Pizza Freak?

        I looked for pics but can't find any. He built his stand into a hillside with retaining wall as part of his stand....

        My oven progress -


        • #5
          Re: Planning phase....concrete pad necessary?


          What kind of stand are you planning? If you are going to do a standard block stand, then I would put a pad down, regardless if you would need to sink deep footings on the corners. If you are planning something like a steel stand, that is only supported at the corners, then you could just use the footings to support the steel corners, depending on design. It you are going to use the retaining wall itself to support one end, then the whole design of the retaining wall needs to take into consideration the weight of the oven, in addition to the normal design criteria of how much soil it needs to retain.

          Personally, if you are building anything on a slope, I would use something like sonotubes to pour piers into firm soil down below the existing grade and below the frostline and to the height you want your base to be, then build from there. Regardless if you are going to build a retaining wall and fill it in behind the wall later. And if you are going to to a standard block wall, I would still do a slab, supported by the piers I suggested. You might want to do the piers, then the retaining wall, then fill soil in behind the wall, and use that soil for the form for the bottom of your slab, if that makes any sense.

          So either engineer the wall to support the weight of the oven, or just put piers in to support the oven then build the wall.

          Just my two cents, others here know a lot more about it than I!
          Travis n'Texas


          • #6
            Re: Planning phase....concrete pad necessary?

            Try doing a calculation of the total oven weight and let that guide you. I've seen plenty of letter boxes and fences half fallen over because of inadequate foundations. You can under do it, but you can't over do it. Stronger is better.
            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


            • #7
              Re: Planning phase....concrete pad necessary?

              Seems to me that no matter what the calculations are, a pad is not neccessary at all. If your footings are engineered to hold the oven's weight - or over built, if you're not sure, then why not? Neither the hearth nor the oven are ever going to know, or care, if there is a pad under there.

              Only thought is that a pad with rebar in it would prevent the hearth stand from moving apart. But I am sure that a well ancored footing, say, I dunno, 12 to 18 inches deep?, would not allow that either. My house is pretty heavy. No pad, just a footing-like foundation.

              Hope this helps some.