On this page I continue my interview with Joe Raboine, President of Harmony Outdoor Living, Inc.
Q. Turning to brick oven design, Joe, what are some of the different designs used in building these units?
A. Brick ovens can be built in a limitless number of designs. Aside from the size of the domes, the exterior can be incorporate materials such as stucco or tile. The design is really only limited by one’s imagination.
Q. Give us some examples of how such-and-such a brick oven design works really well with a particular landscape style.
A. They serve as great additions to match Tuscan or Mediterranean landscape design themes, just to name two common styles.
Brick ovens can really be created to blend with any particular design. While the Mediterranean design is very popular, just about any type of design can be created, such as contemporary, traditional, or craftsman style.
Q. For the sake of homeowners who plan on selling their home someday, argue the case for brick ovens as a good financial investment.
A. Brick ovens transform a vacant or unsightly area into another usable area of the home, allowing homeowners to maximize their use of space. The expansion of an outdoor living area allows the homeowner more options for entertaining guests, which is increasingly important to home buyers.
Outdoor living, in general, is huge right now and any high-end feature done properly is one of the "Wow!" items that help one’s home stand out in the market. It’s critical that one’s home have features that stand out, especially whenever we have a buyer's market.
Q. Playing devil’s advocate, let’s imagine potential buyers who had no interest whatsoever in brick ovens. Would the presence of one on a property in any way diminish its value in their eyes? If such people were to go ahead and buy a property containing a brick oven, can you offer any ideas as to how they could convert the brick oven into something else more to their liking?
A. I don’t think that a brick oven would be a turn-off such as a pool may be. If done properly, they can be very beautiful and a nice focal point in the yard. It would be difficult to convert them to something else –- although with our outdoor modular oven elements, you could easily pick them up and take them with you!
Q. Let’s get back to people who find brick ovens to be an asset. How much more would they be willing to pay for a property with a brick oven already on it?
A. According to numerous studies, oftentimes there is a dollar-for-dollar ratio when determining the value of adding an outdoor kitchen accessory, and actual real estate value when it comes time to sell. Thus, the investment pays for itself, if not more so.
Outdoor kitchens and accessories can be the determining factor for prospective home buyers, if they are considering one home with an outdoor kitchen and/or brick oven and another fairly identical home without one.
It’s difficult to say for sure but, I believe that most home buyers who are interested in a wood-fired brick oven would be willing to pay the extra $5-12k that a masonry brick oven costs.
Q. Can you provide specifics from any of those studies on investing in brick ovens that indicate a dollar-for-dollar ratio?
A. I am not aware of any studies that specifically discuss brick ovens – although they definitely fall into the outdoor kitchen / outdoor living category – which is the #1 requested feature that home buyers are asking for today.