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Outdoor Living

We may not live in the Mediterranean but outdoor living is often incorporated into the design of a new build home. For todays family barbecue areas, outside pizza ovens, tents for play, shepherd-huts for visitor accommodation, man (and girl) sheds, hot tubs, swimming pools, saunas and plunge pools, outside sofa areas and open fires have all become the norm. Outside decking areas have been around for quite some years now and a lot of existing houses will have had a conservatory or extension built on to the house adding extra space for work, rest, and play. We used to use ours in spring, summer and autumn with no additional heat but have now added a couple of radiators so that we can use our conservatory all months of the year. Not only does it give us an extra room full of natural light, it also provides a great area for entertaining. Our glass bi-fold doors, which link the conservatory to the main house, allow extra light into the house so that the two spaces merge into one, inviting the outside in.

Pizza Ovens

Some people buy a readymade pizza oven; there are a lot of different types on the market. Prices range from the basic models starting at a few hundred pounds up to professional ovens, like the Jamie Oliver models that retail at around £2000

  • You can have a lot of fun building your own Pizza Ovens. Most people start by building a stand in brickwork to support the oven. This brings the oven up to a comfortable working height and gives you an area to store your firewood below. The key is to build a non-combustible base that is strong enough and large enough to accommodate the oven.
  • If you are building a pizza oven that is going to be heated by LPG the base should allow for easy fitting and access to the bottles.
  • For pizza ovens made out of fire bricks, you may consider adding a door. The addition of a door means that the oven can be used for a wider variety of cooking, not just for pizzas. Heat can be controlled and the oven is not so prone to wind speed and direction.
  • A chimney will usually be added at the back of the oven to avoid overheating the top of the oven and helps to direct the smoke out of the oven. We can help in advising on the flue for a pizza oven, as each installation is a little different.
  • You might use a single skin flue only with a small homemade rain cap, or a twin wall insulated flue for a sturdier flue situation.
  • If you live in a smokeless area, such as London or a large city, you would need to use smokeless fuel on your oven rather than wood, unless you know you have tolerant neighbours. There are some pizza ovens that are suitable for burning wood in these areas that are approved by DEFRA.
  • Most people position their oven under a cover to protect from possible poor weather this is especially important it your oven is constructed out of clay and sand.
  • Positioning of the stove will vary according to the prevailing wind direction and overhanging trees.

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