#21  
Old 08-23-2010, 03:43 PM
Master Builder
 
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Location: Los Angeles
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Default Re: Ballpark cost for a 42" Pompei type oven?

You can hire the same guy who built Donatella's oven a few months ago: Serious Eats Slide Show
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Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO
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  #22  
Old 08-23-2010, 04:08 PM
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Location: minnesota, usa
Posts: 472
Default Re: Ballpark cost for a 42" Pompei type oven?

just chiming in to point out that a pre-fab oven is just the oven dome and can be enclosed and finished however you'd like, meaning that the only visible difference between that and a pompeii would be when you look inside...

tapered bricks: think of a trapezoid shape made from a square-ish brick. Each pompeii brick starts out as half a regular 4.5x9" brick. Most people then trim off an angled bit from each side to make a trapzoid so things fit together snugly at both the interior and exterior radii of the dome. The really crazy folks have gone as far as cutting ANOTHER taper on the other face(s), whereby making more of a pyramid shaped individual brick to account for the pitch of each course in addition to the radius. One member here has a super trick method of alternating spirals in each course so that only one tapered cut per brick is necessary. And just plunking down untapered half bricks will work, too. The prevailing wisdom is that the less mortar and the tighter your bricks fit together, the stronger your oven will be.
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  #23  
Old 08-23-2010, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Ballpark cost for a 42" Pompei type oven?

No worries CroMagnon, When I read this:

"I have no idea the contracted cost of a WFO, but IME you need an itemized quote that separates materials from labor to have any clue."

from Splatgirls post (not yours), it annoyed me to no end.

Please let me explain why something as simple and straightforward as breaking a bid down by labor and materials matters to me, but shouldn't matter to you.

First, unless you are planning on going into the contracting business yourself and are looking to learn how to estimate then what possible use could it be you to know what the breakdown is? It does not matter, because you have to pay the bottom line number regardless. If you simply want to know what the parts cost, you can easily find that out yourself, and in fact I did exactly that for persons in the Central Texas area last Friday just because I can:

http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f49/...ing-14050.html (Central Texas Pricing)

For the 42" you want, the oven itself will cost you:
Total, Plus tax=$587.55 (in Central Texas)

So why WOULD you want the breakdown? There are several reasons why you would want it:

1. So that you can bargain down the price by "shopping" amongst the various materials or asking that you be allowed to perform some of the construction based upon the prices as given (If you want to do certain parts of the construction, that is fine but the contractor needs to know which parts before he bids, as that will change his price far beyond what it would be if it were itemized, and you decided to do this and that).

This is an issue that should be dealt with by having proper plans and specifications, even if that only entails a couple of pages handwritten and hand drawn. Professional builders will be reluctant to even bid a project that requires a labor and material quote (because that is what it is, a quote, subject to change, not a bid), while , um, others will have no problem giving you a breakdown since it is a WAG on their part anyway.

2. To pit one contractor against another. If you have no plans and specifications, then you will HAVE to get a labor and material quote so that you can be assured that the various contractors are actually quoting the same thing. This is not good for anyone involved and WILL end up costing YOU money.

Most importantly, I will reiterate, why does it matter what the breakdown is? You aren't paying anything but the bottom line, and estimating information is proprietary and really no ones business but the contractor's. This includes both material pricing and labor costs, as well as Profit and Overhead.

So again, I wasn't trying to wad any panties, I was trying to help you to select a reliable, professional contractor instead of a guy with a truck and a hammer.
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  #24  
Old 08-23-2010, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Ballpark cost for a 42" Pompei type oven?

I see your point and for my purposes I only want to know what the material costs are so I can see what I'm paying for the skill/labor part of this equation and decide if to me it's worth that price. In this case I've estimated the cost of materials to be around $1500. That's based on Nic's estimate of what local Northwest material would go for (sounds like Texas has better pricing, unless we're talking about different material) and added some for overage. So I would be paying this gut $7000 for a weeks (I'm also estimating that it would take a pro a week or less to build one of these) worth of work. Seems a bit high, but even Nic said it was a cheap bid and wouldn't cover his labor costs. I am not in the contracting business and don't know squat. I only know what I can afford and this is over my budget which is why I'm seriously looking into how I can build this myself with as little impact on my back as possible.

I'm gald you posted again and look forward to tapping your expertise if I go forward with this project.

Cro
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  #25  
Old 08-23-2010, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Ballpark cost for a 42" Pompei type oven?

As a rule, time=money in construction, so a guy that has all the tools, skill, and knowledge will get it done quickly. The overhead and expense of having the tools, skill, and knowledge is not cheap and that is why there is usually such a large gap between the cost of materials and the completed price. An apocryphal story about a young George Washington goes like this:

A neighbor asked George if he could fix his squeaky door. George replied that he could for one dollar. The neighbor agreed, and George nailed the jamb tight with a penny nail in about 10 seconds and asked the neighbor for his dollar. The neighbor complained, "but the nail only cost a penny!". "Yes", replied George, "but knowing where to place it cost 99 cents".

You will always save money by doing it yourself, and will often end up with a better product than if you contract it out, but you will spend a lot more time in doing it, so you will be trading (your) time for money.
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  #26  
Old 08-23-2010, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Ballpark cost for a 42" Pompei type oven?

What Cro said. And I apologize for annoying you to no end with my initial comments. What annoys me to no end is that the construction trades continue to both be seen and operate as some kind of random, dark, mystical art. Moron magnetism, to the detriment of the consumer, the industry as a whole, and all of the really great, skilled and smart tradespeople out there.

I think your assumption that all a potential customer would ever want to do with an itemized bid is pit you against another contractor or bargain you down is incorrect and unfair to both sides. And if that is the case in any given situation, do you really want that customer anyway? And as you pointed out, it's easy enough to find half that information and deduce the rest on one's own anyway so it's not like the people who seek to do this can't still.

I think being an informed consumer, whether you choose to see both sides of the coin or not, works to the advantage of the experienced, skilled contractor just as much as it does the client. What if it turns out the guy was charging 3x the going rate for materials? What if the guy only bid for 10 hours of labor? Hello? At the very least you could then ask why, which would lead to a better feel for the contractor and his/her grasp of the project. Maybe there's a good reason for 3x the materials price, or why Cro's guy is bidding $7K, or 40 hours at $175/hour (or 80 hours at $87/hr) for a weeks' worth of labor and maybe, once informed of the reason, he would decide it's worth it to pay that. An honest bid is an honest bid whether the facts behind it are openly disclosed or not, and just because the consumer has the facts doesn't mean they're not going to pay the bottom line, you know? Why be insecure about it?
In my work, I charge more because I'm better than most and have 30 years of experience. My clients know this and pay--happily and repeatedly. If they want something cheap, they go to someone cheap, and that's just fine by me. The more they know what they're paying for, the better I look.

cheers
s.g.
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  #27  
Old 08-23-2010, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Ballpark cost for a 42" Pompei type oven?

The bottom line is that if you think that his price is fair, he is competent and reliable then you accept the price. How he arrived at that price really does not matter.

Now I will agree with you 100% that you should be an informed consumer. You should know exactly what you want built, you should have a rough idea of the material costs (and you don't get that from the contractor), and most importantly of all, you should have on paper the type of materials you want used, the plans and dimensions of what you want built, and insist on a written contract that includes that information as well as a payment schedule and completion dates.

There are a lot of people out there who call themselves contractors but what they really are is skilled labor with no idea of how to operate a business. That is the guy who will give you a labor and material breakdown (and a GREAT price!), write a contract on a legal pad, and never return your calls.
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  #28  
Old 08-23-2010, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Ballpark cost for a 42" Pompei type oven?

Splatgirl, in your business do you provide a labor and materials breakdown?
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  #29  
Old 08-23-2010, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Ballpark cost for a 42" Pompei type oven?

If requested, I would and do, yes. I'd rather have no client than a cheapskate client who doesn't really appreciate my work anyway or one who isn't happy and comfortable with what they got for their money. As you say, they're either going to pay your price or they're not. If having a fistful of information changes that, I see it as a win either way for me because it weeds out the people I don't really want to work and/or makes the client more comfortable. Plus it's an opportunity for a discussion about why I charge what I charge...
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  #30  
Old 08-23-2010, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Ballpark cost for a 42" Pompei type oven?

So basically you agree that what matters is the bottom line, and not really how you get there.
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