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 Masonry Heaters and Brick Ovens
Commercial and Residential

PRESS RELEASE: Local Contractor Becomes First Certified Heater Mason in the Kansas City Area 

Read this article on Masonry Heaters

Here's what you should know about Masonry Heaters...

  • Masonry heaters are the most efficient way to heat a home!  

  • One load of wood every 8-12 hours can heat a 2,000 - 4,000 sq. foot home.  The thermal masonry mass and specially designed interior channels retain the heat, then disperses it through the home. 

  • No ductwork or fans are necessary, so no electricity is used

  • Most heaters pay for themselves within 10-15 years.

  • Masonry heaters are built to last many, many years and have few parts that will ever wear out. Some heaters in use today in Europe are 500 years old!

  • Cost is approximately $10,000 - $30,000 depending on materials and size. 

  • The heater will be cool enough to touch, yet provide even heating for the house.

  • This is a true green building method using the renewable resource of wood.  You will burn less wood to heat the same space normally heated by a wood stove.

  • Masonry heaters are efficient, clean burning, and environmentally friendly.

  • This is a project for an experienced mason who has been trained specifically in the area of masonry heaters. Inexperience can be very costly. Some heater masons will contract for the homeowner to assist with the project to help keep your costs down. Expect to provide room and board for the crew unless the mason lives nearby.

  • Allow 3-6 weeks for construction to be completed.

  • Best if used in new construction only so the right planning can be made for the heater to work properly.  The heater mason must work with your builder or architect before plans are drawn (preferably).  Occasionally, heaters can be added to existing structures. 

Hint: The ideal location for your masonry heater is in the center of the home.  The best floor plan is open.  If you floor plan is not open, you may need an additional small heat source in some rooms.

Options Available: 
-Pizza/bread/bake oven
(taste the difference! - and you can cook full meals if desired)
-Non-heated bench (nice)
-Heated bench (nicer)
 -Mantels (to put stuff on)
-See-through heater with doors on both sides
-Wood storage bin

Materials That Can be Used:
-Brick  -Stone  -Soapstone  -Tile  -Stucco  -River rock  -Slate

To Plan for your Masonry Heater:

Step 1: Schedule an initial consultation with our designer/builder Gene Padgitt.   Your initial consultation will include going over your house plans, deciding where to place the heater, what size and type of heater will be required, deciding to use a kit or site-built heater core, options, and ideas for the finished heater exterior design.

Step 2: Consultation with builder and/or architect to let them know what type of footing to use and where to build it and where to allow space for the chimney to be located, clearances to combustible requirements, etc.

Step 3: Final consultation and decision of plan and design. We draw up a contract for the work.

We charge $100 per hour for consultation services with the homeowner and builder or architect.

Step 4: Schedule the work and we order materials.  Sign contract and pay retainer. We apply for the permit (or your builder may do this)

Step 5: We build the heater.  Please allow at least 4 months advance notice for construction.  We usually do this type of work in the Spring and Summer and will travel.  Allow several weeks for completion.  We will receive installment payments from you during the project.

Please call 816-461-3665 to request an appointment when you have begun your house plans. 


  This is a Brick masonry heater with a "white" bake oven.  White ovens are heated by the fire chamber below and around them.

 Note: "black" ovens are heated with wood inside of the oven.

 This has an Albie-core interior heater kit.

  This masonry heater heats a 3,000 square foot house. 


Cobalt Blue Tile Heater

This masonry heater and "white" bake oven was finished with a cobalt blue tile exterior with a light buff color grout.  The tile measures 2" x 2".  A small oven door landing was installed, and cast iron doors used for the oven and heater firebox openings. 
tile heater

Soapstone masonry heater with bake oven and cast-iron doors.

Finished at left

Left to right: standing Ricky Cline, Jerry Frisch, Gene Padgitt, Tony Gross working on a Northstone brand soapstone masonry heater with bake oven.

Granite two-sided masonry heater with bake oven and heated bench.  This is on the lower level of a 5,000 sq. foot home.

Back side of heater with rocks collected by the homeowners incorporated into the design. A second heater is on the main level.

Stone Heater with Bake Oven and
heated bench in progress. This was a combined effort with Gene Padgitt, Marvin Lehman, and master heater mason Jerry Frisch. 



Freilich Oven

Outdoor brick oven built for Dr. and Mrs. Bradley Freilich. 

We added travertine tile to extent the patio area, poured a concrete pad for the oven, built the oven in the same style and using matching brick used on the house, and added a granite landing area and slate roof to match the house.  Now it looks as though the oven was planned and installed at the beginning. 


Outdoor wood-fired brick bake oven built By Gene Padgitt . The oven is a brick oven with sprung arch, tile roof, woodbin, and clay chimney.

See project photos

We use this to make the most delicious pizza, entire turkey dinners, and breads ever!  The oven is great for cooking anything in the summer to keep heat out of the kitchen. 

The wood invokes a flavor that can't be matched in a gas or electric oven!coals
Hot coals almost ready for pizza

Oven Workshop

Gene Padgitt (front) leads a bake oven workshop using a Forno Bravo pre-cast bake oven with stucco finish for the Midwest Chimney Safety Council in August, 2005.
Pizza Bella Commercial pizza oven at Pizza Bella in Kansas City, Missouri
This is a Forno Bravo oven and chimney installed by Gene Padgitt
The pizza from this wood fired oven is fantastic and we highly recommend a visit!
genebuildingoven Commercial oven workshop
Gene Padigtt heading up a workshop on a commercial size brick oven at a workshop for the Midwest Chimney Safety Council in 2011. This is a sprung arch oven. Many participants got hands-on training at this workshop. 
  Indoor Barbeque changed
to Brick Oven

The homeowners were not using their indoor barbeque and wanted an oven instead so they could cook pizza and breads in it.  Gene modified the interior and built a brick oven, landing out of stone, and arch with a stone keystone.  The door is cast iron.  Now the homeowners get some use out of this!

Note: the mortar is not yet dry in this photo.

Photo of an old town bake oven still in use in Europe.

Links with more information:

Article by Marge Padgitt for the Masonry Heater Association

Article From SNEWS on Masonry Heaters

visit the Masonry Heater Association Website for more information

MARK TWAIN on the Kachelofen in 
                                  "Europe and Elsewhere"

Take the German stove, for instance - where can you find it outside of German countries? I am sure I have never seen it where German was not the language of the region. Yet it is by long odds the best stove and the most convenient and economical that has yet been invented.

To the uninstructed stranger it promises nothing; but he will soon find that it is a masterly performer, for all that. It has a little bit of a door which you couldn't get your head in - a door which seems foolishly out of proportion to the rest of the edifice; yet the door is right, for it is not necessary that bulky fuel shall enter it. Small-sized fuel is used, and marvelously little of that. The door opens into a tiny cavern which would not hold more fuel than a baby could fetch in its arms. The process of firing is quick and simple. At half past seven on a cold morning the servant brings a small basketful of slender pine sticks - say a modified armful - and puts half of these in, lights them with a match, and closes the door. They burn out in ten or twelve minutes. He then puts in the rest and locks the door, and carries off the key. The work is done. He will not come again until next morning.

All day long and until past midnight all parts of the room will be delightfully warm and comfortable, and there will be no headaches and no sense of closeness or oppression. In an American room, whether heated by steam, hot water, or open fires, the neighborhood of the register or the fireplace is warmest - the heat is not equally diffused throughout the room; but in a German room one is comfortable in one part of it as in another. Nothing is gained or lost by being near the stove. Its surface is not hot; you can put your hand on it anywhere and not get burnt.

Consider these things. One firing is enough for the day; the cost is next to nothing; the heat produced is the same all day, instead of too hot and too cold by turns; one may absorb himself in his business in peace; he does not need to feel any anxieties of solicitudes about the fire; his whole day is a realized dream of bodily comfort.

America could adopt this stove, but does America do it? The American wood stove, of whatsoever breed, it is a terror. There can be no tranquility of mind where it is. It requires more attention than a baby. It has to be fed every little while, it has to be watched all the time; and for all reward you are roasted half your time and frozen the other half. It warms no part of the room but its own part; it breeds headaches and suffocation, and makes one's skin feel dry and feverish; and when your wood bill comes in you think you have been supporting a volcano.

We have in America many and many a breed of coal stoves, also - fiendish things, everyone of them. The base burners are heady and require but little attention; but none of them, of whatsoever kind, distributes its heat uniformly through the room, or keeps it at an unvarying temperature, or fails to take the life out of the atmosphere and leave it stuffy and smothery and stupefying...."


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