Category Archives: cordwood home

New Cordwood Website & Blog

Would you like to check out our new Cordwood Construction Website & Blog?  It is easy to navigate, filled with beautiful pictures, videos, instructional posts, books, plans & links.  Go to https://cordwoodconstruction.org/cordwood-timber-framed-sauna-in-michigan and have a “click around.”  If you’d like, please sign up to subscribe to the new blog. FYI, all NEW blog posts will be posted at this new site.  Charles Yeager sauna 4Want to learn about the Top Ten Best Practices to make your building warm and energy efficient (or cool and energy efficient)? Tom Huber Michigan masterpiece with logo.jpg

Alan & Rebecca 8 SE Oklahama small pixelsHow about a cozy place by the fire?Bruce Lord Alberta, Canada double wall with logo.jpgThinking about an Off-Grid cordwood cabin?  Alan house BEST cropped with logos

Cordwood Education Center solar tour 2Want to build a sauna that doubles as a guest cottage?Pelle Henriksson Sauna Sweden deck 1 pelle henriksson sauna stove.jpgHow about a cordwood castle?Alan Adolphson Hope, Maine aspen cordwood home 13 logo

Or a hybrid cordwood cottage?Clarke snell cob and cordwood with logoMillion dollar cordwood lodge.Cordwood hybrid timberframe and cordwood Wisconsin16 sided cordwood home?Curt and Annie Hubatch 1.jpg

Want to create a cordwood work of art for your community?Cordwood in ChicagoWhatever your cordwood ideas; on this new site, you will find detailed information so you can proceed with confidence. Visit https://cordwoodconstruction.org to explore all your options.

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Cordwood in Oklahoma is OK

At the edge of Ouachita Forest (ten miles south of Wilburton, OK), is a small community of homes in a serene and quiet treed area called the United Spanish War Veterans Colony.  About 100 veterans and their families live here.  Alan & Rebecca acquired a three-quarter-acre lot and built a 16 sided cordwood home.  It has an earthen floor, and a living roof planted with sedum.  Alan states,  “It is so comfortable to live in. It is only 800 square feet (one bedroom, 1 & 1/2 baths) including the pop out sun room on the south side, but is totally adequate for two retired folks.”

Alan & Rebecca's 16 sided cordwood home-made of 12" eastern red cedar.

Alan & Rebecca’s 16 sided cordwood home-made of 12″ red cedar.

The ceiling is Douglas fir and the structure is all locally milled pine.   Red cedar was used for the 12″ thick cordwood walls.  The windows are energy efficient.
They added a sunroom on the south side for solar gain in the winter.  For those who are wondering about building cordwood in a hot, humid climate, this will help answer your questions. 

A Hearthstone free-standing stove takes care of all their heating requirements.  Easter red cedar has beautiful patterning.

A Hearthstone free standing stove takes care of all their heating requirements. Easter red cedar has beautiful patterning.

Mortars:  They used different types of cordwood mortars, from Lime Putty (which they found too time-consuming and difficult) to Paper Enhanced Mortar (which they liked) to cob (which they loved).

The red cedar is a weed tree in the southern middle portion of the country and it is naturally resistant to insects.

The red cedar is a weed tree in the south-central portion of the country and it is naturally resistant to insects and rot.

alan-barreca-oklahoma-1The home is relatively tiny (800 sq. ft.) and easy to heat and cool. alan-rebecca-8-se-oklahama-with-logoThey also experimented with an earthen floor.  They are pleased with it.  It is made of local clay and sand with a Bioshield finish.Alan & Rebecca 6 SE Oklahama small pixels

Alan used Vasari Lime Wash to “even out” the color of the different mortars with which they experimented.  Notice the gray and white color variation on the top of the wall.

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   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.If you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

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 Workshop DVD (2018),  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (updated 2017) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

 

Cordwood Construction Best Practices 200 x 259 pixels Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices thumbnailCordwood Workshop DVD 3 small pixels

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org

 

 

Cordwood Garden Shed uses Wabi-Sabi

Brian Bronaugh built this most beautiful cordwood tool shed near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Brian said, “I’ve enjoyed the process immensely and have embraced the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi – which is finding beauty in imperfections. It has a beautiful artistry and function that is unique and eye pleasing.  My inspiration was the David Stiles book  Sheds – The Do-it-Yourself Guide for Backyard Builders.”Brian Bronaugh http instagram.com slash sambronaugh1 with logoThe pictures are pretty much self explanatory and you can see the use of recycled windows, doors, wood and metal everywhere. BB3with correct logo

Since the cordwood infill is only 6 inches it is important to break the project into smaller wall sections.  Keyways and screws help to hold the mortar tight to the side of the posts.

BB6i with correct logo A testament to hard work and ingenuity, the building is framed and roofed before the cordwood infill was applied.  Very smart!
The sliding door adds a nice touch.  Note how it slides on a track “out” from the building.BB8 with correct logoHaving a framework makes the cordwood infill “flow.” BB9 with correct logoA porch gives access to the exterior.
BB7 with correct logoThe star motif is subtle and effective.
BB5 with correct logoThe interior is very attractive and will be filled with working antique tools. BB10 with logo     BB2 with just cc logoA snowy winters day near Pittsburgh.
BB4 with correct logoThe floor was in place before the framework was erected.
BB11 with correct logo

Beautiful workspace for a craftsman.

Should anyone wish to learn more about Cordwood Construction and all the different choices available for building with this old fashioned technique: visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org or click on the book cover.

Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixels

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 Workshop DVD (2018),  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print 2017) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their Online Cordwood Bookstore.  The books & DVD are also available as ebooks for a quick and easy shipping free download.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

This is the Cordwood Workshop Video will show you how to build a best practices cordwood home.

Cordwood Workshop DVD 3

These are the 30 menu sections from the Cordwood Workshop DVD.

DVD Menu 1

DVD menu 2

Thank you for your kind attention to Cordwood Construction.   If you would like more information, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Or email me at richardflatau@gmail.com 

 

Camp Cordwood Michigan

My dear departed friend Wayne Higgins took us around to see some of the outstanding cordwood buildings that have been built 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 ensuing conversation.  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 things from 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 4′ x 8′ 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. 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 closer 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.

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Interested in learning more?  Visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org 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    http://www.daycreek.com/dc/html/paypal_flatau.htm

The latest from our growing selection of current and useful cordwood offerings.  Cordwood Workshop DVD is like taking a workshop  in your own home.  Learn about types of wood, mortar mixing, framing, laying up a wall, electrical, plumbing, foundations, roofing, and 20 more topics.   Click on the picture to learn how to order.

Cordwood Workshop DVD 3 small pixels.jpg

The Cordwood Workshop DVD is also available as an immediate download from our Online Cordwood Bookstore.

If you have questions please email them to richardflatau@gmail.com 

   

 

 

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

Sunny is laying out the hardwood discs.

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 between the slices with a mix of 80% tile grout, 20% sawdust.  Your local flooring store will have many options.

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 (Arizona) that means Juniper and Pine. 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 ones vs bad ones.
  11. Remove any loose bark either by hand using a chisel or scraper.
  12. Prepare floor surface by sweeping and mopping. We are gluing the slices directly onto our concrete 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 you have chosen. We’re using Loctite PL Premium Construction Adhesive.
  16. Repeat.
  17. Sand using a belt sander until everything is smooth and level.
  18. Use shop vac to cleanup all dust and debris.
  19. Apply a light coat of polyurethane to the surface of the disks. (this is to prevent the grout from adhering to the faces).
  20. Grout the spaces with a mix of 80% tile grout, 20% sawdust.
  21.  Apply 2-3 coats of polyurethane to finish.

More pictures of Sunny & Tony’s floor.
Cordwood Flooring Sunny in Sunny Arizona

Do you think that Sunny & Tony raise chickens?  What brought you to that conclusion?

Sunny Pettis Lutz new floor pix 3

Sunny Pettiz Lutz Cordwood floor 10 with logoClick to see the  other article on Cordwood Flooring .

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   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 richardflatau@gmail.com  

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.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

 

Cordwood Cabin (with 24 thick walls) makes it energy efficient and fortress-like

Adam & Erica Konopka and their children started building a Cordwood Cabin near the shores of Lake Michigan this past summer.
The cabin has 24″ thick walls with foam insulation in the center cavity.

Adam 8 big strong cordwood men         A cordwood cabin requires a lot of cordwood log ends and big, strong men!

This posting is now part of our new cordwoodconstruction.org website. Read the rest of the article  https://cordwoodconstruction.org/cordwood-cabin-with-24-thick-walls-is-energy-efficient-fortress-like-revisited

 

 

 

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Cordwood Countertops and Flooring!

Cordwood Countertops & Cordwood Flooring Bill Jarratt came up with this unique way to build cordwood right into your bathroom or kitchen counters.  Here are a few pictures and an explanation from Bill.    It seems there are many ways to use cordwood (not just for the walls:0)

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Instructions for Building a Cordwood Countertop 

Continue Reading to learn Bill’s recipe for making cordwood countertops. 

Cordwood Construction