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Building a Casa 90 into a hillside - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Building a Casa 90 into a hillside

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  • Building a Casa 90 into a hillside

    Hello All,
    I'm a newbie here, and this is my first post. If I make a mistake here, please let me know!

    My boss (the wife) has given me the go ahead to have a wood-fired oven constructed in our back yard. We live in the Russian River Valley in Northern California, and the most important component related to my question to you all is that we live on a 16% slope...meaning that we have no flat land. Our house is carved into the hillside and we have a retaining wall on the uphill side that is approx. 32" high. My thought is...rather than building a foundation for the oven somewhere...is to take advantage of the retaining wall and essentially make a slab for the hearth that sits at that 32" level upon which I can construct the oven. I'll have to dig into the hillside a bit to accomodate the whole unit, but that is no big deal. We have 2.5 acres of old growth forest here (a lot of oak), so I have a never ending supply of wood!

    So...considerations? Being on a hillside, we have some water moving down that hillside during the rainy months, and I'm sure I'll have to deal with that, in terms of drainage around the slab/oven. Also, given that this isn't going on a traditional foundation (cinder block, etc.), what considerations should I give to the construction of the slab/hearth? Are there any construction/material considerations I should take into account?

    I'm sure that there is at least someone out there who has done a similar construction, and it is my hope to not "reinvent the wheel" here, and get some wisdom from this forum.

    Thanks in advance!
    Pizza Freak

  • #2
    Re: Building a Casa 90 into a hillside

    Dusty, where is Dusty.....

    Russian River. It freezes there in the winter, correct? Not super cold, but mid 20s sometimes?

    It doesn't sound too difficult to handle. Definitely a French drain or some other type of drainage system below the grade and around the perimeter of the footing of the oven seems prudent. Your local building dept. can give you recommendations for the depth of the footings for your area. Otherwise, sounds like a bit of digging and time (oh, and money) is all you need to make your dream a reality.

    Hope that helps a bit. I'll let the smart guys talk now. Did I earn some free oak firewood for that???
    Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.