The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Outside brick oven inside?

Martyn's picture

Outside brick oven inside?

I have an ambition to build a WF oven in the garden and I'm currently installing drainage and landscaping our small plot of land. My wife saw my plans and pointed out that the oven is situated where she is having her greenhouse. This has thrown my plans into disarray since the garden is not very big. Another option that I've come up with is to build my oven in the back of the garage, this would mean I could use it whatever the weather which is a positive benefit here in the UK.

The book I ordered from Amazon, Your Brick Oven - Building It and Baking In It, has just arrived. Many of the pictures show brick ovens inside the house, so inside the garage shouldn't be too big a problem; or am I missing something here?

sphealey's picture

=== The book I ordered from Amazon, Your Brick Oven - Building It and Baking In It, has just arrived. Many of the pictures show brick ovens inside the house, so inside the garage shouldn't be too big a problem; or am I missing something here? ===

You're not missing anything; indoor brick pizza ovens are common and I have seen many pictures and drawings of general purpose brick ovens in houses in Scandanavia.

However, you are going to need to engage a professional fireplace builder, architect, and/or HVAC engineer to make sure that (1) your oven will pass building inspection but much more importantly (2) will be safe for you to use.  Being outdoors with an infinite supply of fresh air covers up for a lot of suboptimal oven/chimney performance; being indoors where smoke and carbon monoxide accumulate and can kill you (and people is adjacent rooms) requires a more proven approach.


rick.c's picture

I don't see a problem with it, but I would suggest contacting a professional as well.  In addition to the above mentioned issues, there is probably a local code for having exposed flame in a garage due to gas vapors.  I know water heaters and furnaces need to be a minimum height so that the vapor concentration doesn't contact the pilot.  Not that you would fire an oven with the car in the garage, just another item to cross off on the checklist though.  Good luck!


Martyn's picture

Thank you both for your input. I was up 'till the wee small hours of this morning reading through my new book; the author has a section on different flues for indoor, outdoor and covered ovens, so my question has been more or less answered.

When I say "garage" I use the term very loosely, it was built as a garage but is now a brick built outdoor storage area that has been completely renovated.

I was explaining to a friend about brick ovens and my plans to build one, he got very excited and offered to help. He has a supply of reclaimed bricks which he has offered to donate to the project; only fair after all the bread of mine his family has eaten!

ClimbHi's picture

I have a friend who has had WFOs in his last house and current house -- both in the basement so he could tie into existing flues. In my neck of the woods, WFOs are treated as wood burning fireplaces by the building inspectors, so following codes for normal fireplaces is required.

Don't forget that you'll have to build a chimney to the required height. WFOs in the garden can function perfectly with only a stub of a flue to get the smoke higher than the cook. But when the WFO is part of, or enclosed in, a structure, things change. Here the code is that the chimney must rise at least 2 feet (60 cm) above any building component - usually the roof -- within 10 feet (3+ meters) of the chimney. Further, no part of the WFO or chimney can be closer than 2" (50 mm) to the structure's framing or other combustible. Since around here, that usually translates to a pretty tall chimney made of triple-wall pipe, the flue can easily cost more than the oven itself.

Note that WFOs range from heavy to REALLY heavy, depending on the style of oven, so a proper footer is a must. That could mean tearing up the garage floor to install proper subsurface support.

What the other posters said about fresh combustion air, gas vapors, etc. If you ever plan to use the WFO with the garage door(s) closed, you'll need to install a vent to provide makeup air. Generally, you the area of the vent opening should be at least equal to the size of the flue.

Check with your building inspector and your insurance carrier before you start laying block.

Pittsburgh, PA

Martyn's picture

I'm still looking at plans and designs for ovens and my mate called round this afternoon to see how many bricks I need. At the same time my sister, who I rarely see because she lives so far away, called in on her way back from her holidays. My sis sat and looked at the pictures of the ovens and asked, "what is it?" When I explained that it's a wood fired oven for cooking pizza, bread and other stuff, she exclaimed, "I've got one of those in the kitchen of my house."

She tells me she didn't know what the big hole in the wall behind the cast iron door was for, she thought it was for keeping firewood in for the log burner in the living room.

So it looks like I may just have to pay little sis a visit sometime soon. She said it's the end of the terrace just before you get to the big disused water wheel. ROAD TRIP!  :-D

gavinc's picture

I built my WFO 2005 using the advice provied in the book you mentioned by Russell Jeavons.  I deviated a little but fundamentally used his ideas in the contruction of the foundation and dome oven.  I didn't build a flu as it's some distance from the house.  I also did it myself (limited brick skills) but found it quite easy.  We have lots of great fun on days we fire up the beast....

It's a bit rustic, but you can see the way I went about this on my flickr site.

Best Regards,