Backyard Pizza Oven Placement - Time to Decide?



Over the years, I've been quietly (and not so quietly) pining for the day when I can build a wood-fired oven in our backyard.  Between the lifestyle we have (with young kids) and this being a pretty hands-on, weekend-time-sucking project, it seemed like it wasn't ever quite time.  But now?  I'm still not sure it is the right time for tackling something like this - what with the digging of the foundation/footings, building the frame, then cutting and creating the dome from firebricks.

But, I also want to - and need to - get going on the full planning for the #newoldbackyard including some fall tree/shrub plantings and hardscape upgrades, future water feature placement, the eventual placement of a vegetable garden and greenhouse, irrigation system, a sports court and more.

At our old house in Elmhurst, we built out a backyard pavilion that we used to shelter us from the sun that housed our patio and I'm keen to replicate some parts of that with a new pavilion in our #newoldbackyard.  Back in June, I posted a photo of some pavilion-inspiration that was a bit more modern than our previous one, but is a good look at my current thinking.  Our previous structure was anchored to our detached garage and also had a fireplace/firebox on one side that anchored it to the ground to provide stability but also helped create a sense of 'place' underneath the roof.

This new, v2 pavilion is something that I want to use to help anchor the wood-burning pizza oven.  And that's kind of what you see in the sketch at the top of this post.  In black line, you'll see the 'as built' version of our house and patio.  I've gone ahead and created two locations for the potential oven and pavilion roof structure in red.  One outside of the screened porch, the other at the bottom of the sketch that is close to the south property line.  In both cases, I've tried to add some 'sight lines' from a few places in our house including the family room, the kitchen and the screened porch.

The placement on the bottom is my preference, but it requires some additional patio area that I've added in green that would show how we could extend the current patio to include a new footprint that can link the pizza oven area to the existing patio area.  The wood-burning oven would be set in the back in the longer rectangle shape with a roof/pavilion structure casting out over the front of the oven (incorporating the chimney, perhaps??) and providing for a bar/dining area that is covered from the elements.

Here's a photo I found online that shows a structure like our old pavilion that is freestanding and anchored by a fireplace.  Something like this (below), but with an oven in the back is a starting point for inspiration.


This version above gives a sense for the openness of the structure, but sightlines from the placement is a big concern for me.  Not to mention that we've been through this once and tried a 'freestanding' structure like this and it was super rickety.  

This all leads to the planning discussion.  I'm not in a position to build this thing just yet, but as we work to put in additional plantings and hardscapes and even an irrigation system, we need to be in a position to not get anything WRONG that we have to re-do when we make the final decisions.  

I'm going to give it a bit more consideration, but as of now, the lower/bottom placement of the oven/pavilion structure seem like the best fit for us.  

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