I am building my oven to fit with an existing fireplace and built-in grill that has bluestone countertops. I will be removing the bluestone for the area where the oven will be located. Is the ledge (overhang) at the front and the back of the oven necessary; or can the oven be built on a base that is the same size as the footprint of the oven?
Welcome to the Brickwood forums, Bill!
My very-unofficial read on this is that the overhang is mostly there to provide some weather protection for the base BUT SEE BELOW. The front overhang allows room for the door to rest. It is also useful for adding and removing food and pans from the oven, and when scraping out ashes. The rear overhang balances the look aesthetically, and maybe accepts stress transferred from the center of each slab by the embedded rebar grid.
For your application, I don’t see a need for the rear overhang, and it would be your judgment on the front (but again, consider the door in your design). The oven itself sits squarely over the base at either side.
Brickwood designed the base and slab so they can still function even when they are constructed by average DIY’ers who are doing concrete and masonry for the first time (like me!). They are heavily over-spec’ced for load capacity. If you are building into an existing structure, and you think through the requirements (as your question indicates you are doing), you should be fine.
@BrickWood can give you more-informed guidance on this question, but my less-informed take is that others have customized these designs to a great degree (look through the galleries for examples) and you can too provided that you keep load requirements in mind.
Thank you for weighing in (pun intended)! I appreciate your time and response. You hit my concerns and thoughts on the proverbial head though I had not given thought to the door.
Ultimately, I am trying to avoid exposed concrete in a pretty nice outdoor kitchen that consists of field stone and bluestone. Maybe my attention will shift from altering the base to finishing detail.
Happy to lend a little heft. (must be Pun Day today!)
One additional thought is that the overhangs on the slab have a secondary function of providing a full base for the bricks that frame the insulated hearth. If your plan contemplates incorporating the slab into a “side by side” arrangement with your existing countertop, you’ll be okay as long as you allow for those framing bricks.
And here’s the kicker: you need that same base for the framing brick in the back and front. So in the end the overhang is more than rain protection, and it is what I should have said in my initial response.
If you can find a way to incorporate the slab into your existing work while allowing for the framing brick, you’ll be fine.
So, I’ve once again proved that having that first cup of coffee makes responses more on-the-nose!
I hope I didn’t mislead you too severely with my first response, Bill.
Thanks, again, for helping me to expand my thoughts and rationale. I have decided to stay (pretty much) with the specs’ and dimensions of Brickwood’s base, as much for ease of framing the base as anything else. I am a decent finisher, so I am counting on my abilities (yikes…) to come up with a way to tie it all together.
I do appreciate the thought you gave my question and your willingness to leave no stone unturned (last pun, I promise!).
The nice thing about the base is that it is very sturdy as designed. They’re moving to a “mortarless” design for the concrete blocks that uses a cement to fit the blocks. A couple of builders have used it and their impression is that it saves a lot of time and is much easier to work with.
Well, nothing like a good foundation for a great oven!
I do hope you take lots of photos and post them as you work through this build. The standalone ovens are beautiful, without a doubt. And, the kind of integration you’re planning is what really moves people’s thinking forward.
Good luck, Bill!
Not to extend this thread unnecessarily, but sleeping on my decision, and “eyeballing” my project for the ten-thousandth time, I am back to having made no concrete (new day - new pun) decision. I really want the base to be poured in place and within the walls of the existing structure, making finishing to fit with what already exists. I will keep ruminating, trying to come up with a way to get my finished base height at the finished height of the existing walls which would require that the void for insulating material below the oven be set into the base, if that makes any sense. I have no concerns at all with taking on the project and getting 'er done to start baking; but I can’t get out of the (over)thinking stage!
Picture is worth a thousand words, Bill, and both your existing work and how this fits in are worth a LOT of “over”thought!
I’ve sent up a flare to call in some more experienced minds than mine for a response. I’m sure what you want can (and should) be done!
Late getting to the party…
The red edge brick can vary in size from 4" - 8.5"… But I wouldn’t recommend going less than 4" in depth on either side or back. And the front should be no less than 5" (to accomodate a 4" Pizza Oven Door).
This will also reduce the width of your pizza oven base (which was your goal) -
Very cool looking project!!
But having looked at your current installation situation - I don’t see how it’s all going to blend as you described (unless you took out 1 layer of cinder block and built a hearth slab 1 cinder block layer down). But that’s going to effect the color of the mortar when you place the large rock back into position.
Thanks for your thoughts and comments! Making it all fit together aesthetically is my big concern. I was thinking that I would replace the red brick edge with bluestone, but, to do so, I believe I would need to set the slab down into the existing base space.
I have 34" inside the existing block to work with, and finishing the slab, with the 2" inset for insulation and getting the finished oven floor to match the bluestone height makes this English major’s head explode (I can do it… if I lay off the Mt. Dew!).
This much-anticipated project is dominating my life! Good thing I am retired (my wife believes this factor should only result in a finished product - now!).
I do appreciate the thoughts shared with me, as they continue to bump adjust and renew perspective.