A simple foundation of stone paving with the base made largely from breeze blocks, topped with a platform layer of more blocks supported by concrete lintels and a wooden beam at the front.
A square of fire-bricks with a dome constructed from clay/sand mix and a brick arch at the front. There is a chimney over the entrance area and an 8 inch insulated flue-pipe heading upwards.
The basic wooden shelter helps to protect our pizza oven from the worst of the UK weather and provides a valuable perch for our cat to sunbathe on.
Underneath there is just about enough storage space to put a full builder’s bag of logs. They lie on top of a pallet which keeps the drying logs off the ground.
The three layers are an inner layer of adobe, a middle insulating layer and an outer crust of adobe.
I will attempt to show with pictures how we made the pizza oven. Most materials were bought in from builders merchants. The financial cost was a few hundred pounds. Labour was the major cost, but this was kept in check by a plentiful supply of child labour! An alternative approach would have been to make the pizza oven base and buy in a ready-made concrete pizza oven. However we have no access to the garden from the back and carrying something so heavy through the house would have been a nightmare. Anyhow it was fun making the pizza oven and allowed us the opportunity to work together as a family. Clay is also surprisingly fun to work with and quite therapeutic.
For us, construction started in Feb 2016 and we were ready to cook by May. It was a very part-time construction, using fine days only and totally unskilled labour.
Pizza Oven Cost
All-in cost was about £600, but most of this was for the base. Clay and sand are not particularly expensive.
Durability: We had concerns that it would not last, but 4 years, down the line, there has been very little wear and tear. There are long cracks in the outer layer but this is not causing any functional detriment. There are no smoke leaks or heat loss through the cracks. Any minor damage through roof drips are quickly patched up with some spare clay. The shelter is very basic, but it is just the driving rain that needs to be kept off.
Below the pizza oven is enough space to store nearly a cubic meter of dry firewood ready for immediate use.