Off Grid Cordwood Cabin

I was fortunate to have Larry Schuth share his cordwood cabin adventure.  He sent beautiful pictures of the cordwood cabin he and his family built for $9,000 in the 1990’s.Schuth 6 with logoThe basic cabin is 20′ x 30′ with a 30′ x 10′ loft.  Just right for bringing family and friends for a visit.Schuth 10The upstairs bedroom is a wonderful place to sleep , surrounded by thick cordwood walls and large windows.Schuth 11The stairway takes friends to the loft.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe family likes to head to the cabin in the winter and stoke up the woodstove and live off of the grid as long as they choose.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sturdy hand built pine breakfast table provides time to plan the days activities.Schuth 9  Note that the shutters are lockable so the cabin can be secured. Schuth 15 low rez.jpgPV Solar panels have been installed to provide electricity.

Larry offered a few details about his cabin. “The facts: The ground floor is 20’ X 30’ inside and the loft is 10’ X 30’. Time to build is about one man hour per square foot of wall. Total cost for the building (mid 90’s) was $9000. Today’s (2012) cost would be about $2500 more with most of the increase for cement, lime, metal roofing and insulation. There is 6” of reused (salvaged) Styrofoam in the floor and 4” of 4’x 8’ sheets of urethane foam in the roof. The total cost for the cedar logs was $500. I found a place that was logged for cedar. Anything large was cut for lumber and the tops were cut for fence posts. About 2/3 of the cement blocks for the foundation were reused. Most of the windows were used. The timber frame, floors, rafters and floor joists are white pine. We had a lot of fun with this family project.”

This is just the kind of pioneer spirit that blazes bright across the world. Building ones own shelter is certainly a feeling like no other. Nice job Larry and crew.

hould you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

“Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.

Cordwood Workshop DVD 3

5 responses to “Off Grid Cordwood Cabin

  1. Erwin Hopfgartner

    You did realy a great job. This kabin looks so nice.
    erwin from carinthia (Austria)

  2. Love your cabin. Thanks for sharing the cost, both then and what it would cost today. That is so motivating! Makes one think there’s still hope!

  3. John L Wadsworth

    Are these plans available?

    • Hi John,
      There are no drawings available, but I have a local draftsman who will do the drawings for your specific situation for a very reasonable fee. He lives in a cordwood home. Here is his information.

      Rob Pichelman Draftsman

      Cell: 847-363-1598
      Home: 715-536-1386
      (leave a message)

      Many cordwood home plans for code permits available.

      $350 for detailed set of plans, elevations, etc. for builder, code official or loan official.
      • 24″ x 36″ finished set (tubed)
      • PDF file via email if needed
      • CD or Flash Drive if requested
      • phone, email, text for instructions
      • Floor plan examples available upon request

      I am using PDF and I also copy to disk and send out. I am charging $350.00 for complete set of plans and that includes 11″ x 17″ drawings.

      When the plans are finished I send a 24″ x 36″ finished set (tubed) and a disk.

      My cell phone is 847-363-1598
      My home phone is 715-536-1386

      I am home most of the time but leave a message, if you get the answering machine.

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