Category Archives: Natural Building

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.

Cordwood 320 x 414Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices


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 & 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

Cordwood Million Dollar Mansion

Cordwood is often built to save money using locally available materials.  However, sometimes cordwood is built to impress, and here is a fine example.  This million dollar cordwood lodge was constructed in 1995, by a wealthy family from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   It is located on a hidden lake in Northern Wisconsin.  Cordwood_Lodge_northern_Wisconsin_photo_by_Richard_Flatau_300ppi small pixels

This timber framed, cordwood infill beauty is located on a gated, private road.  The 62′ x 42′ lodge boasts a full basement, a field stone fireplace and three floors.

Star Lake architects homeAs good fortune would have it, the architect for this cordwood mansion lived right next store, in a beautiful cordwood cottage.  He designed the cordwood lodge in the shape of a capital I so there would be an entrance and exit that would be shielded from the elements.

Star Lake other side 2

This is a good view from the east side of the building.  The fieldstone foundation has keeps the cordwood off of grade and allows for proper air circulation.  The cordwood is 18″ Northern White Cedar.  It was built with three 4″ mortar beads of a vermiculite/lime/sand slurry (vermiculite was used in place of sawdust.)  There are two 3″ dry vermiculite insulation rows down the middle of the logs.  The roof is standing seam, seamless metal.


The architect also used a capital I for his cottage, which he built within a post and beam framework.  His cottage is also 18″ Northern White Cedar.  He asked me to not use the name of the owner of the Million Dollar Cordwood Lodge and I have respected his wishes.


The interiors of the lodge and the architect’s cottage are both attractive and tastefully appointed.  The Lodge has sold two times since it was built, which is typical in a highly prized recreational area.

This simply shows what can be done when money is no object, however, it is relatively easy to build a modest cordwood home (depending on your parameters) for much, much less.

If you are considering building with cordwood, you would do well to do it right.  The most excellent book Cordwood Construction Best Practices if chock full of how to do it with “no regrets.”  If you follow the recipe and make your choices wisely, you too can build you own natural home/cottage/cabin/lodge:0)  Visit for more pictures and explanation.

Cordwood 320 x 414Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices


If you have additional questions or comments, please email

Cordwood Sauna on the Iron Range of Minnesota

Tony and Denise built this beautiful cordwood sauna during their summer weekends.  They felt confident after taking a cordwood workshop.  Visiting their property on Minnesota’s Iron Range they patiently put in the foundation, framed the sauna and then added the cordwood infill.  Finished in the Fall of 2014, they are very pleased with the result of their labors.   Here are some dazzling pictures of the result. Tony and Denise finished sauna


They put two benches for resting on the bottom row of cordwood.

Tony and Denise finished sauna4


They placed some amazing “effects” into the wall, including a sail boat!

Tony and Denise finished sauna9shelves and bottles


If you would like to see photos of the construction phase, visit

Tony and Denise finished sauna5 sailboatinside low rez

Anchors Aweigh my boys!

Tony and Denise finished sauna6 anchors away low rez

Bottles, jugs and shelves.

Tony and Denise finished sauna8shelves and bottles

Their favorite view as they approach their sauna.

Tony and Denise finished sauna3

An outstanding job of cordwood building;  Tony & Denise are rightly proud of their creation which they will use during vacations and weekend excursions to their land.  To learn how to do this, you may want to read the book  “Cordwood Construction Best Practices” available from the Onine Cordwood Bookstore at  It is available in ebook, print and CD.

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

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


Cordwood Cottages DIY article sizzles in New Pioneer Magazine

New Pioneer Magazine published a four page article on DIY Cordwood Cottages in their Winter 2014/2015 issue.  The magazine is “hot off the presses” and on the newsstands & bookstores until January 2015.   The article details the building of cordwood cottages, classrooms and homes.


The second page talks about how we built our mortgage free cordwood home.

NewPioneerarticle2The next page details the advantages of being mortgage free.


The last page shows a cordwood sauna and a cordwood garden shed built after attending one of our two-day cordwood workshops.


This article is reproduced with permission from New Pioneer magazine (  If you wish to find out more about Cordwood Construction visit and read a few of the many instructional articles about many unique and interesting cordwood buildings.

The article is available online in a larger format or you can press Ctrl and + to increase the size of the text.

In order to build a cordwood cottage, sauna or home you might want to consider getting the newest and best book available on the subject “Cordwood Construction Best Practices”  which is available in print and ebook format.  The Online Cordwood Bookstore offers many books on cordwood including the Cordwood Conference Papers, Cordwood Shed Plans, House Plans and Cordwood and the Code: A Building Permit Guide. Cordwood Construction Best Practices  available in print & ebook at online bookstore.

Rendezvous Cordwood Cabin

Eric & Beth Carlberg built their Rendezvous Cordwood Cabin last year to use during “gathering activities” on their land.  They hold tomahawk and Bowie knife throwing contests, Muzzleloading target shoots and all manner of historical and woodsy/folksy activities.

Eric & Beth 1

You may notice that the flag has 13 stars, the flag of the original 13 colonies.

Eric & Beth 13

There are so many wonderful cordwood accents to the cabin.

Eric & Beth 8

Like this mushroom and these shelves.

Eric & Beth 11

The bottle ends and the stones in strategic places.

Eric & Beth 7

The cabin’s “build date” is done in cordwood Roman Numerals!  Look above the door frame. 

Eric & Beth 14

The foundation for the 16′ x 24′ cabin: telephone poles on concrete slabs.

Eric & Beth 29 pac man

This cabin has some of the neatest and most artistic cordwood we have ever witnessed.  It is a credit to Eric & Beth and the friends who helped them.  They kept the “build” consistently tasteful and attractive.  Not easy to do when the sunlight is fading, the mosquitoes are biting and there is still a foot of wall to finish:0) Time to fire up the “halogens!”

Eric & Beth 15

In order to keep themselves fresh and ready for rendezvous activities they practiced throwing the tomahawks!  I stuck this one after 5 tries:0)

Eric & Beth 4

The tiny rock flowers make a small but powerful statement.

Eric & Beth 23


Eric & Beth 21

One of their friends saved all the bottle caps he opened during construction.  They made a memento of his libations.

To learn how to build a cordwood cabin of your own you may want to consider reading the latest and best book on the subject.                                                                                      Cordwood Construction Best Practices.  


Cordwood Construction Best Practices  available in print & ebook at online bookstore.  Click on the picture or go to and go to the Online bookstore.  The book is available in ebook, print, and CD.  

Questions?  Send an email to