Category Archives: Cordwood Construction

Cordwood Construction by Tom Huber in Michigan & New York

Tom Huber is a cordwood savant who builds with nature on his mind.  An eclectic by nature, Tom espouses the philosophy of Christopher Alexander and his idea of using “Pattern Language” to create a homestead that is both meaningful and beautiful.  Let me walk you through some of friend Tom’s creations.

Cedar Eden cropped with logo

This is his latest building called Cedar Eden.  Made of Northern White Cedar, which is both beautiful and long lasting.  Tom built this complex in stages and has room for more additions.  His concept is “Build small with what you have and add on later.”

Cedar Eden 5 resized with logo

The first “add on” shows a curved cedar post on the corner.  It is certainly eye catching. Note is is on a rock foundation and the posts were not squared, but left natural.


This was the first portion of the Cedar Eden homestead.

Tom Huber NY July 2012d

The interior of Cedar Eden with rock wall near the wood stove.  There is all manner of rocks, stones, gems and momentos in the wall.


Tom’s original cordwood home was in Michigan.  This beauty sold back in 2005 when Tom took a teaching position at Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks.  It sold for the asking price and the buyer commented that the well done cordwood was the deciding factor in the purchase.


The beautiful stone work, well laid cordwood, bottle ends and wavy pine siding speak about a builder who cares deeply about his creation.  Tom has the “artistic chops” to back up his work.

Tom Huber cordwood siding with stone with logo

The sitting porch is done with stone and the cordwood is actually “cordwood siding.”  Cordwood siding is 1″ discs of cordwood nailed or screwed to a mortar painted surface.  Bet it fooled you:0)

Sierra Exif JPEG

The carefully laid out stone wall has insulation between it and the interior wall. The interior wall is made with 4″ cordwood stubbies which allow the cordwood wall to extend down to the interior floor, while the stone protects and beautifies the exterior.

Huber Shed MI with logo

Tom’s first attempt at cordwood resulted in this very attractive cordwood shed.  The stone protects the sides and the cordwood gives a feeling of additional sturdiness and warmth.

Should you get bitten, not by mosquitoes, but by the cordwood bug, you may wish to take a look at   Read the articles by clicking on the 9 color photos, check out the Cordwood eNewsletter on the top menu, look at the workshop schedule and if you want to learn more check out all the ebooks and hard copy books at the Online Cordwood Bookstore.

The latest and in my opinion, the best book on cordwood is Cordwood Construction Best Practices, which was just updated.

Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixels 640 x 480

Double-wall Cordwood on Manitoulin Island, Canada

Double Wall Cordwood on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada. 
Linda Willson Manitoulin Island with logoHere are segments from the article describing the double wall cordwood home of Chuc & Linda Willson in Ontario, Canada… “Manitoulin’s covered in white cedar and it makes sense to use wind-blown cedars and logging waste to make stackwalls.”

double wall stackwall Linda willson

They built each stackwall in two parts – an inside surface and an outside one, both using 7 inch long logs, with two layers of 1 1/2 inch extruded polystyrene foam between them and some air space. Wire ties every 18 inches extend from one side of the stackwall to the other, binding the two log assemblies together through the foam, creating a total wall thickness of 17 inches. This wall thickness makes for some deep and cozy window sills as well.

David Migwans carvings on Linda Willsons cordwood home

David Migwans is an Ojibwa artist who carves wood, stone and antler, works with clay and paints. He spent weeks at the Willson house adding carved details into wooden lintels, door and window trim using hand tools and his uniquely Native artistic vision.

Linda Willson FB Manitoulin Island double wall cordwood

Chuc and Linda sell vegetables and preserves from their organic garden. They also grow much of their own food, and this means they have good use for a large food prep area, a design feature that’s part of the floor plan in a big way.   The link to the entire article

If you are interested in learning more about how to build your own chicken coop, garden shed, cottage or dream home, please consider visiting and checking out the pictures, the articles, the workshops and the online bookstore.

Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixels 640 x 480Cordwood Construction Best Practices is the latest book on cordwood building (updated in 2015) and will give you the whole range of possibilities in a full color, visually attractive, concise narrative.

Here is a diagram of a double wall post and beam framed home by Cliff Shockey of Saskatchewan, Canada.

double stackwall post and beam

Cliff Shockey Cover 2007 small pixels

Here is Cliff’s award winning double stackwall book.  Cliff’s book is available at the online bookstore in ebook or print edition.

Cordwood Chicken Coops

With Spring arriving across the country, there is growing interest in raising chickens, gathering eggs and protecting this precious animal.  Cities are passing “chicken ordinances” (many are allowing 3 chickens per backyard) and folks are reading up on how best to feed, house and care for their fine,  feathered friends.  Needless to say, there are some interesting examples of cordwood chicken coops.  Here are a few of them.

Seattle city chicken coop tour via Green Tilth

This round chicken coop and pen is in Washington State.  It is a simple round structure with no post support, but is it so small, that reaching the top to put on the roof should be quickly accomplished.  Go to to learn more about how this wonderful family built their coop.

Cordwood chicken coop from Pinterest Lisa Mullins

This one is from Pinterest and came with no details or photo credits.  It is a simple post and beam frame on a raised platform.  Note the chicken ramp which can be closed in the evening to keep the predators at bay.

Tom Huber Chicken Coop

Tom Huber built this chicken “coop-de-ville” for his laying flock in Michigan.  He used cordwood siding to make the place more attractive to the flock and said the new, attractive “look” helped increase the production of eggs:0)

Tom Huber Super Chicken Coop

This is Tom Huber’s newest chicken coop in Potsdam, New York.  He is now a professor at Paul Smith’s College and is establishing another gorgeous homestead called Cedar Eden.   You can see the “scratching pen” at the rear of the photo.

Cordwood chicken rabbit coop with thatched roof

This is William Cahill’s thatch work on a cordwood garden shed with attached chicken coop/rabbit hutch.   Located in southern Indiana, the climate is ideal for keeping the birds laying year round.

If you are interested in a cordwood chicken coop it would be wise to gather information on how to best build a cordwood shed/coop.  Cordwood Construction Best Practices  is the latest book on the subject (updated as of 2015) and it will teach you how to build a lasting structure using a best practices approach.

Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixels 640 x 480Or you can go to and click on the online bookstore link to find this and many other cordwood books in ebook, CD and print format.

Good luck with your project.    If you have a question, please email me at and if I am not out teaching a cordwood workshop, I will get back to you asap.

While at the online bookstore, you may also want to take a peek at Cordwood Shed Plans.  

Cordwood Shed Plans 400 x 480



Cordwood Construction in Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Here is the beautiful 3 bedroom, code-approved, cordwood home of Pat & Beth Goulee near Tomahawk, Wisconsin.  Pat and Beth used the book  Cordwood & the Code: A Building Permit Guide (available in ebook and print format at ), coupled with architectural drawings to get financing and code approval.  Pat & Beth 4

Pat & Beth 13.jpg  let the sunshine

The wavy pine siding adds a nice touch to the home.

Pat & Beth 14The deck looks out over a gorgeous pine and hardwood forest.

Pat & Beth 12

Orion is in the walls with blue bottles.

Pat & Beth 9 cordwood love birds

The masonry stove keeps Pat & Beth warm and toasty on cold winter nights.

Pat & Beth 16

The bedroom has large windows overlooking the forest.

Pat & Beth 15.jpg  wood used

11 different types of wood were used in the construction.

Goulee stove ceiling cordwood wall

The masonry stove under construction.  The flues take the heat back and forth and drop it off in the brick and stone. It is then radiated back to the room.

Pat Goulee stove 5b

Pat Goulee stove 1aaa

Pat Goulee stove 5 with cordwood wall2

Stone mason above, wood mason’s below:0)

Beth Mercier & Pat Goulee Lincoln County 1To learn how to build your dream home, visit  read the articles and newsletters, click on the pictures to find out more.

To have all the right information in the right place you may want to have some literature.

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Questions: email me at or fill out the comment form.


Cordwood Bed & Breakfasts in North America

There are a number of Cordwood Bed & Breakfasts and even more Cordwood Rentals (no breakfast:0) in North America.  Here are a few examples (with links) to a few of these beautiful buildings.

Cordwood in Bracebridge Ontario by Richard Flatau cordwoodconstruction.orgAbove:   This is the Cordwood Lodge in Bracebridge, Ontario.

St. Anne des Lacs, QuebecThe “Cordstead” boasts 4 round cordwood buildings.  The thought herein, is to give you a “cordwood living” experience to see if  a cordwood home is your cup of tea. Sandy and Angelika are fine hosts. 

The gathering place b and b in Coe HIll, OntarioThe Gathering Place on Golden Ponds is in Coe Hill, Ontario and just so you are forewarned, many people who have stayed here, have gone on to build their own cordwood home.  

Flying LM B & B in Pierce, Nebraska2The Flying L M B & B is located in Nebraska.  It is a huge cordwood building with massive beams and lots of space. It is near Pierce, Nebraska.   

Barna 1The Barna’s Vacation Rental in in Houghton, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula.  Nicole built this as her college dorm room and now rents it to weary travelers.

Mermaid cottage 1b low rez Mermaid Cottage near Del Norte, Colorado is not necessarily a B & B (no breakfast:0), but it is a gorgeous vacation rental. 

AirBnB Rarilee Conway Adirondacks cordwood 1aThis beautiful cordwood rental is in the White Face Mountains of upstate New York. 

If your goal is to find out if cordwood living is for you, take the time to visit and check out some of these places.  With a rental you can poke around and enjoy your stay rather than imposing on someone to open their cordwood home at your convenience.

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cabin, cottage or home, visit and read the articles, click on the pictures and consider buying an ebook or print copy of Cordwood Construction Best Practices.

Cordwood Construction Best Practices  available in print & ebook at online bookstore.

Cordwood Construction Best Practices available in print & ebook at online bookstore.


Camp Cordwood in Copper Country, Michigan

My dear departed friend Wayne Higgins took us around to see some of the outstanding cordwood building that has sprung up from his stellar influence in the Keweenaw Peninsula of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Wayne is not only a fine tour guide (his knowledge of the area is phenomenal), but he takes genuine pleasure in all the conversation, meeting & greeting that ensues.
One fascinating place he took us to, was Camp Cordwood built by George & Paulette Beveridge. Beverage home camp cordwoodFor me it was like going to Cordwood DisneyWorld. The central pine tree in this home is 30 feet tall and has carved into it a bear, wolves, an eagle, owl and bobcat. The cordwood infill rises 24′ and there are more interesting features than you can shake a log end at!
A few photos of our tour.

George Beveridge UP of Michigan wallHere is a bottle end replica of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!  This is the poster child for Christopher Alexander’s book Pattern Language, where he suggests that people place something of their lives in their home. George Beveridge (with Paulette and Wayne Higgins) UP of MI with chain saw carving by Grizz Works of Maple, WIPaulette Beveridge & Wayne Higgins lean against Smokey the Bear. I love the way this cordwood lodge has so many fun and unique wood artifacts. The playing cards on the ceiling are a fine example of Yooper whimsy. I love these people, their fine wood craftsmanship and their most wonderful spirit. They are the most joyous folks I have ever met. A big thanks (again) to Wayne Higgins for introducing us and taking us for a visit!

Beverage ceiling 1aThey we so gracious to open up their home to us. Their energy is contagious. The burls on the post is outstanding.

Beverage house 2a

George and Paulette Beveridge

Paulette and George at the downstairs entrance.  Note the words Maw and Paw on the log ends.  These are salt of the earth type folks.  You come away feeling better for having known them.

Here is a close up of the buffalo head. It is a large burl found in the woods. It was painted and carved to bring out the buffalo.  Beveridge buffalo burl The rectangle blocks of wood that you see on the OUTSIDE cordwood  wall (below) are the end of the steps that run on the inside (they run through the cordwood wall.  If you are going to put steps in your cordwood walls this is the way to do it.  The sign on the right says “WIPE YER PAWS.”   Note the rope around the octagon window.

Beveridge wipe yer paws

The steps are massive and overbuilt, but this is the only way to insure that they will never move in the cordwood wall.   This is the right way to build a cordwood stairs into your home. Stairway beveragesBelow are some copper agates that are found all around in Copper Country (the Keweenaw Peninsula) of the UP of Michigan.

Beveridge copper agates and cordwoodThis is a close look at the interior cordwood/bottle/copper/memento wall.

Beveridge bottle ends gone wild

On the one side of the second floor deck the sign says Camp Cordwood.  On this side it says Tree House.



Interested in learning more?  Visit and click on each of the 9 pictures to learn more about his old fashioned method of building.

Should you get interested and want to build one that is warm and energy efficient?  Want to learn from others mistakes and not have to repeat them?   Then you should get a copy of Cordwood Construction Best Practices.

Click on the picture below to find out how.  

Cordwood Construction Best Practices




Cordwood Construction in Colorado by Bryan & Lois

Bryan and Lois Pratt of Woodland Park, Colorado have built one of the finest cordwood homes in the world!   This 12 sided, two story beauty is breathtaking in it’s construction and has an unfettered view of Pike’s Peak .

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Bryan and Lois planned for many years to build their masterpiece. Not only do they have a gorgeous home, but they run many side businesses that dovetail with their lifestyle. Bryan_and_Lois_house_9asmallpixels

Bryan_and_Lois_house_5b small pixelsThe kitchen is functional, beautiful and has views of the surrounding mountains.Bryan Pratt

Bryan sent this green bottle end picture as a greeting to all his friends on the morning of the Winter Solstice.  Gives you goose bumps, right?

Bryan Lois and Benjamin Pratt

Here is a Christmas photo of Bryan, Lois and their son.

Bryan_and_Lois_house_96bsmall pixels Pikes PeakLooking out the deck one sees Pike’s Peak!  Bryan says the fireworks on New Years Day are quite spectacular.BryanandLoisprattframework

The website has many pictures of the construction process.  Here is one of the framing. Bryan_and_Lois_house_99a small pixels logo

Not ones to sit on their laurels (or their beetski’s) they have built and market, PV solar, solar hot water installations (the ones on the roof) and a high altitude greenhouse designing business that allows them to harvest vegetables in the cold, dry climate.  The greenhouse is all in white (for shade on a hot summer’s day.)  If you wish to learn more, please visit their website at

For those readers who are interested in learning more about cordwood construction, besides visiting Bryan & Lois’s site (they have a good piece of information about cordwood), you may want to consider visiting   and check out all the books, plans and articles about cordwood construction.  You may also notice that Bryan & Lois’s home graces the cover of the book Cordwood Construction Best Practices.  

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If you have any questions, please fill out the comment form or email me at


Cordwood & Cordwood Flooring in Prague

Miroslav Bentley Kubala sent some photos of his beautiful cordwood garage/storage studio in Prague (Czech Republic).   Miro is an artist and a fancier of things automotive/motorcyle and sound related.  Miroslav Bentley Kubala Prague3.jpg from Pintrest site floor manufacture 3

Miroslav Bentley Kubala near Prague20


In his cordwood garage/storage area he decided to lay a cordwood floor. Miroslav Bentley Kubala Prague3.jpg from Pintrest site floor manufacture


He intermixed the cordwood with brick and stone.  Miroslav Bentley Kubala near Prague12

Here are instructions from Miro:

  • Clean the floor.
  • Cut slices of wood (hardwood or a rot resistant softwood) 3/4″ to 1 inch.
  • Seal the top of the slices so they don’t get stained by the grout.
  • Glue the slices to the floor
  • Fill the gaps with grout (Miro used a mortar/bentonite/acryl solution
  • Seal the floor

The juxtaposition of stone, brick and cordwood is very compelling. Miroslav Bentley Kubala Prague3.jpg from Pintrest  carport


Miro built a rugged post and beam framework and then infilled with cordwood. Miroslav Bentley Kubala Cordwood carport near Prague gable ends with Jack Daniels bottles - Copy

On his gable end he placed 62 Jack Daniels Whiskey bottles.

Miroslav Bentley Kubala near Prague6

On the inside he has stone, brick, block, cordwood, stucco and a fireplace!

Miroslav Bentley Kubala near Prague11

Miro has put attractive and artistic motifs into the walls (including a rubber duckie:0)Lord love a duck courtesy of Miroslav Bently Kubala cordwood builder from the Czech Republic


Here is Miroslav on one of his machines.   He loves speed, good styling, music, cordwood, travel and fun.

Miroslav Bentley Kubala near Prague21

Miro builds speakers and loves good audio.  He claims this one by Kraftwerks is the best he has ever heard.  Since he is a master of sound, I believe him.

Should you be interested in building a cordwood floor please visit and click on the picture of the cordwood floor near the bottom of the first page.

Should you wish to read about how to build a cordwood cabin, click on the book cover.

Cordwood Construction Best Practices  available in print & ebook at online bookstore.  Questions?   Please contact me at 

Here are links to the other two Cordwood Flooring posts:

Cordwood Flooring by Sunny in sunny Arizona

Sunny Pettis Lutz  send some photos of her gorgeous, hand-made cordwood floor.  The following is a detailed list of how they made their floor with legal pickings from the state forest.   “Go out to the forest and harvest dead trees. In our area that means Juniper and Pine.  We are using Shaggy Bark Juniper and Alligator Bark Juniper.”

Sunny Pettiz Lutz Cordwood floor 7

Cordwood flooring by Sunny Pettis Lutz in Cornville, AZ 2 step by step instrucitonsRun each piece through the chop saw set at 1″.

Sunny Pettiz Lutz Cordwood floor 8

Prepare surface by sweeping and mopping clean. We are gluing directly onto our concreet slab.  Sand both sides using a belt sander.Begin to layout disks on the floor. Try to get them as close as possible. Work in 2′ sections.

Cordwood flooring by Sunny Pettis Lutz in Cornville, AZ 2 step by step instrucitons work on 2 foot section at a time


Glue the pieces down and firmly tamp them.  We’re using Loctite PL Premium Construction Adhesive.

Cordwood flooring by Sunny Pettis Lutz in Cornville, AZ

Sunny Pettiz Lutz Cordwood floor 6

Apply a light coat of polyurethane to the surface of the disks. (this is to prevent the grout from adhering to the tops)

Grout the spaces with a mix of 80% sanded grout, 20% sawdust.

Apply 2-3 coats of polyurethane to finish.

Sunny Pettiz Lutz Cordwood floor 5

Here is a detailed list of how Sunny and her husband Tony made this beautiful cordwood floor!

Cordwood Flooring Instructions by Sunny Pettis Lutz & Tony.

  1. If you don’t have wood you can access on  your property, then go to your local Forest Service office or ranger station and buy a wood harvesting permit.
  2. Pack your pick-up tuck with gloves, chainsaw(s), ax, come along an other tools as necessary.
  3. Go out to the forest and harvest dead trees. In our area (Arizone) that means Juniper and Pine. You can take Oak, but it must be fallen. Pine and Juniper can be taken while standing. We are using Shaggy Bark Juniper and Alligator Bark Juniper.
  4. Look for wood close to the road on the uphill side. No one wants to be dragging these logs from the down-slope side.
  5. Cut down the dead wood using tools from step 2.
  6. Attach Forest permit to wood and take it home.
  7. Sort what will be lumber and what is just good for firewood.
  8. Cut logs into manageable size.
  9. Run each piece through the chop saw set at 1″.
  10. Sort ‘disks’ for usable vs bad ones.
  11. Remove any loose bark either by hand using a chisel or scraper. Stuck on bark can stray.
  12. Prepare surface by sweeping and mopping clean. We are gluing directly onto our concreet slab.
  13.  Sand both sides using a belt sander.
  14. Begin to layout disks on the floor. Try to get them as close as possible. Work in 2′ sections.
  15. Glue the layout from #14. We’re using Loctite PL Premium Construction Adhesive.
  16. Repeat #14 and #15 until your project area is done.
  17. Sand using a belt sander till everything is smooth and level.
  18. Use shop vac to cleanup all dust and derbies.
  19. Apply a light coat of polyurethane to the surface of the disks. (this is to prevent the grout from adhering to the tops)
  20. Grout the spaces with a mix of 80% sanded grout, 20% sawdust.
  21.  Apply 2-3 coats of polyurethane to finish.

Click to see the  other article on Cordwood Flooring .

To learn more about doing Cordwood Construction for homes and walls, visit Cordwood Construction Best Practices  available in print & ebook at online bookstore.

Cordwood Construction in the mountains of Utah

Jennilee sent me the following email with pictures from Utah. They are doing everything by hand with what they find. Talk about sustainable. Thank you Jennilee!  Here are their beautiful projects.

Jennilee Utah 2a low rez


This picture was a little crooked so I tipped it straight:0)

Jennilee Utah 1a low rez

“Hi Richard, This is our cordwood sauna and our wood fired hot tub. We are up in the western Uinta’s outside of Park city Utah. We started this project last fall. Then winter came and finished this fall. It is an external feed. It works great!! We have Beaver chaw incorporated in the wall. What an amazing fun project. This was our first attempt. Turned out Swell.

Jennilee Utah 3a low rez
The next one is going to be a Vardo (sheep camp) This will be our guest house and art studio. It will contain cordwood in a few walls. Thanks for all your info.
Advice is be patient, let it set up and have good beer and a great partner
We have three working wood stoves, hot tub,sauna,& cabin.
It is a beautiful world out there we spend all of our time outside.I can’t wait for spring to get the next projects rolling.
Jennilee Utah 6

Mike and I (Jennilee Post) have a really sweet small cabin in the western Uinta’s. A special place where we can backcountry ski right from our cabin. Jennilee Utah 8We are surrounded by mountains and a small lake up here. There are only  eight people that live up her year round. You have to snowmobile in or ski up to our cabin. It is Awesome for us.


We are at Weber canyon, by Oakley, Utah outside Park City, Utah.                         I made the door !!! I hand shaved the pine logs (for my teepee poles) Then sanded them and cut them for the border. The other wood is cedar with a deer antler handle. The swirls are from a friend that had a yard full of blacksmith scores!!! Recycle everything I can. We love to scavenge what ever we can find!

Jennilee Utah 7jpg

Beaver chaw is  the finds after they cut a tree; Chewed on wood. I guess that’s my own term. Ha!  My husband is laughing at me. I call our little cabin Beaver Chaw. We use everything. It’s driftwood I find at the lake that the Beavers eat and build there houses. We have made many things with it. fence, stair railing and my deck railing, etc.  Inside it is all cedar benches. The walls have blue glass, pink cups, wine blue bottles. clear glass blocks, Driftwood beaver cut trees (chaw)

Jennilee Utah 4

Here is a cool recycle green house I made out of old windows. The frame is wood we get out of the dumpster from building waste. Thought you would enjoy. I have some inside the sauna that I will send to you. Hope you enjoy. It is so fun to build and reuse everything you find. When I start my Vardo ( sheep herder camp structure) I will keep you posted.

Here are pictures of the hot tub made from a 5 foot cattle tank.

Jennilee Utah 9We used a 5 foot cattle tank. Snorkel stove that is wood fire feed. We also used a bunch of R3 insulation around the tank. Also put foam insulation under tank. We use no chemicals in our hot tub.

Jennilee Utah 10 Every time you get in it water flows out. We fill a little more after use and it keep’s it clean. We also drain it and bleach it out every month. It gets extremely hot so you must make sure you don’t scaled yourself. We fire it up before we go for a ski tour then when we get home a nice soothing  tub  is ready to go. Finish it off with a nice beer ! A great addition to our cabinEnjoy…Jennilee           Thank you Jennilee! 

Cordwood 320 x 414Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices

For more information on Cordwood Construction: including articles, books, links ,pictures, and more…visit