Tag Archives: cordwood home

Tiny Cordwood Garden Cottage in England

We’ve never built anything before but we’re very pleased with how it’s turned out.” Jan and Baz Whitlock sent pictures of their cordwood garden cottage in Bristol, England.  They used the ebook Cordwood Construction Best Practices as their go-to source/guide.  Jan & Baz write: “Here are some pics of a small cordwood build we’ve nearly finished it in the middle of our garden in the UK.Jan and Baz Whitlock UK 3“It’s around 12 feet square, we used lime mortar, the wood is softwood-larch and pine. It’s in the garden between 2 areas. Front door to enter, back to get to next bit (side to BBQ area). I haven’t totalled the cost-the cordwood was free, mortar not much, but the post and beam frame and roof were costly… could have been done with much smaller beams etc – we just went for chunky so it would last.”Jan and Baz Whitlock UK 7“We still have to render the blocks once we get a bit of decent weather. We are planning to insulate in between the beams, as we have found it retains heat well. We have electric and a radiator, so it could be used as an extra room to sleep in when the family all descend on us.”Jan and Baz Whitlock UK 5It is a lovely place to sit, we have great views & it’s a perfect spot to watch the sunset.Jan and Baz Whitlock UK 4“We just used the lime mortar-there’s a lot of old stone buildings around us with thick walls, all done with lime mortar and they’re still standing and cool in the summer so we figured it would be fine.”Jan and Baz Whitlock UK 6“We cut and dried the wood in our polytunnel for around a year, and dipped each log in a borax solution before using. The mortar was easier, as we have a nearby supplier of lime mortar, which we mixed using your instructions for lime putty mortar. We used what they call a unhaired course mix and added a bit of argical as it’s pretty damp in Cornwall. We mixed it in a cement mixer a batch at a time and after a while learnt how much wall we could do per bucket of mortar.

 We went back over the lime putty with disposable foam paint brushes rinsed in a bucket of water, which worked well.   We nailed strips of wood down the door and window posts with nails protruding to anchor the mortar, and used extruded foam where the mortar met the beams (again as you suggested-thank you).

Jan and Baz Whitlock UK 1It was really good to have a range of shapes and sizes for filling awkward gaps but I often wanted little triangular ones and wood does not split into 4 evenly. (We ended up with a nice lot of kindling!) I would advise anyone attempting a build with a partner to be sure they have a good relationship, as we had quite a few heated ‘discussions’ during the process (but were always ready to tackle it again the next day)!

We found your book and advice invaluable and we thank you for taking the time to post a lot of useful information online.

Jan and Baz Whitlock UK 2We could only get green or clear bottles, so after cutting I painted the inside end with glass paint that is set by putting in an oven-a few didn’t take well, but the majority did and it’s nice to have some different colour in there.

My advice would be, as yours is, to do a practice wall. We didn’t, as we didn’t have much space to do one and the first bit we did looked fine,until we stood back and realised the logs were too far apart and too formal (in neat rows); so we took it all down and started again. We improved, obviously as we did more, and got much quicker and our final wall (the one with no doors or windows) is much neater than our first one.

Jan and Baz Whitlock UK 8.JPGBaz writes, “Another pic of the inside…using an old sanding disc, I used friction to “scorch” the wood to darken and bring out the richness in the grain and also to protect the cordwood...this part of the UK it’s very damp so charing the ends of posts etc without using chemicals is not uncommon. We will see how that turns out in years to come… for fun, under the window is “hidden” a sailing ship for our gran kids to find,on other walls there are a clown and a cat…skirting boards are nearly finished and the white double doors are going back to wood…it’s been fun and thanks for the positive feedback…ocean apart, but same ideas …happy builds, Matey’s…”

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 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 DVD will show you how to build a best practices cordwood home.

Cordwood Workshop DVD 3

The 30 detailed menu items from the Cordwood Workshop DVD.

DVD Menu 1

DVD menu 2Thank you for your kind attention to Cordwood Construction.   If you would like more information, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Or email richardflatau@gmail.com 

 

 

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Cordwood to the Nth Degree: Nerdwood

The Nerdwood.com website introduction reads:  “It’s not what you buy, it’s what you build.”  This holds true for every part of Greg & Clare’s cordwood journey.  They built a two storey, passive solar designed, double wall, lime putty mortar, foam insulation, radiant in floor heat, post and beam framed cordwood home. They have beautiful gardens, thoughtful homestead design and much more.  Proper pre-planning using good building practices are evident in this U.P. masterpiece.Nerdwood.com 5(Above)  Cedar, lime putty and glass bottles create a beautiful wall.

(Below)  The home looks out onto a picturesque Michigan field and forest.Nerdwood.com 4Inside is more forest (note the birch log) and a gorgeous masonry heater. Nerdwood.com 2The main floor features an acid-etched floor, attractive random pattern cordwood and deep, plant-worthy window sills. Nerdwood.com 1Unique and interesting wall accoutrements.Nerdwood large mortar joints can be handled with rocks and such nerdwood.jpgGreg and Clare nerdwood.com 2

Greg & Clare taught workshops at the nearby wood drying kiln/greenhouse.

Nerdwood Window box attached to top plate small pixelsUsing masons line to keep the walls and windows level and plumb.

You should visit their website for further details, this post is simply meant as an introduction to  www.nerdwood.com Nerdwood.com 6Their comment as they installed this solar panel array was “Sorry Coal!”   Lots of subtle wit and wisdom on the always entertaining Nerdwood site.

In addition to being a fabulous gardener, Clare has a mixed media art studio where she designs all manner of beautiful things.  Looking for that perfect, “no one else has” gift?  This site is worth a look-see.

Nerdwood.com 8.png   www.clarerosenstudio.com

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 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 label.

Cordwood Workshop DVD 3

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

DVD Menu 1

DVD menu 2

 

 

 

 

 

Cordwood on a Basement is Off Grid

A beautiful cordwood cabin done the “right way” using Best Practices. The owner’s were meticulous and made sure every part of the cabin was finished properly.  The full walk-out basement required extra support.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe cabin rests in the middle of 320 acres of hardwood and conifer forest.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis 28′ x 36′ cordwood cabin was built on a full basement.  The engineer made certain the foundation was able to handle the significant weight of a 16″ cordwood wall.  An 8′ high cordwood wall weighs 500 to 700 pounds per lineal foot.  So every four feet you have a ton of weight sitting on your foundation.  Sierra Exif JPEGNOTE: People have been asking about the plans for Cordwood on a Basement. This cabin’s basement specs are featured in a comprehensive article in the Cordwood Conference Papers 2005 available for $10 at the Online Cordwood BookstoreOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe cordwood posts are red pine & cedar and the cordwood infill is pine, cedar  and aspen.  The basement was “capped” with a floor and the framework was added to the wooden sub-floor. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABoo Boo the bear cub walks across the central rafter log. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe heavy timber framing makes for a very attractive cabin.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sliding glass doors are attached to a large deck which overlooks a small spring fed pond. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A view from the loft. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe cabin boasts four bedrooms and a loft sleeping quarters. It also has an indoor sauna and an off grid system.

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 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 label. Cordwood Workshop DVD 3

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

DVD Menu 1

DVD menu 2

 

Cordwood in the South

Can I build cordwood in a hot, humid climate?  Here are some fine examples of cordwood in the South.  Obviously, if best practices are used, cordwood can be very successful in warm, moist climes.Sam Felts round cordwood home in Georgia interior 3 Sam Felt and Bill talking about cordwood building in the center part of the home’s inner circle.  This is a very beautiful and dramatic building.  The arches were 1″ dimensional lumber, bent to make a frame and then pulled off once the mortar hardened.  Sam Felts Adel, Georgia with logo Sam Felt’s home in Adel, Georgia.   It is made of cypress and has arched doorways created by the Godfather of Cordwood,  Jack Henstridge.

Sam Felts son's cordwood home in Geroga small pixels with logoAbove is Renyard’s cypress cordwood home in Adel, Georgia. Rockmart, GA  built in the late 70's with logo.jpgTom and Ann’s post and beam framed beauty, in Rockmart, Georgia.  This one has a large stone fireplace and is built on an older stone barn foundation.  It has the wrap around porch that makes for good neighborly living.  dirt under my nails NC 3 with logo.jpgMaria & Toby built this masterpiece in the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. It is a 12 sided, post framed cordwood with a living roof. dirt under my nails NC 8.jpgThe beams make a handy place to dry the garden produce.

Luke and Amy Metzger  Spartanburg, SC j 2012.jpg Spartanburg, South Carolina is graced with this post framed cordwood with a full walk-out basement.  The interior is also very attractive.  This home sold, when the family moved to Colorado, to the first person who looked at it (for the asking price!) The real estate agent said it was because of the quality of the build. Luke and Amy Metzger Spartanburg, SC g 2012a(Below) Kimberly built this 600 square foot cabin in western South Carolina for $6,000.  The majority of the materials came from the property.Kimberly Rak South Carolina 4.jpgThe The Cookie House (built in 1931) in Edgewater, Florida is a good example of how long cordwood will last in the south. Cordwood in Florida Cookie House 1930s.jpgWilburton, Oklahoma is so hot in the summer, that it’s hard to do heavy physical labor in the heat of the noon day sun.   This was built by a veteran on a military reserve and sold quickly, when he moved to Hawaii to be with his grandchildren.  It is made of Eastern Red Cedar.  Alan & Rebecca 8 SE Oklahama with logo.jpgSuffice it is to say that if a rot resistant wood is used, along with a slow setting mortar, within a post and beam framework, cordwood can be successfully built in many climates.

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  

Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsReaders 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,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015, Cordwood House Plans & Cordwood Shed Plans are the newest publications available from their ever expanding online cordwood bookstore.”  www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Cordwood Workshop DVD 3

Click on the picture to access the ordering information.  The DVD is an incredible bargain at $25.

Alaska: The Last Frontier Cordwood Cabin

Shane & Kelli Kilcher of the Discovery series Alaska: The Last Frontier have built a beautiful cordwood cabin on their land near Homer, Alaska.  The Discovery Channel has been documenting their journey.  Shane & Kelli bought my book (Cordwood Construction Best Practices) and stayed in contact via email and text throughout the building process.  We answered questions as they were building on site. Here are a few photos they sent of their progress.  That’s the film crew in the background.

Shane and Kelli Kilcher with logo cropped

Kelli recently wrote on her Facebook page  “This guy (Richard Flatau) literally wrote the book on cordwood building and has been a great help with all our questions!”  They also purchased the Cordwood Workshop DVD, which is a great way to prepare for building your first walls.

Shane and Kelli Kilcher 6

It was a pleasure to help them navigate all the many decisions and details that can bog a natural builder down.  They were rushing to beat the winter weather that inevitably comes to Homer, Alaska.

Shane & Kelly Kilcher cordwood in Homer Alaska3 with logo

They used 24″ peeled, dried pine logs and a traditional cordwood mortar mix with plenty of sawdust, perlite and sand.

Shane broke a vertebrae in his back in a fall recently.  He assures me that he is on the mend, can still walk, but is limited to lifting.   There have been hundreds of people who have offered their good thoughts and support to the family.  We are hoping that he will make a full recovery.

Alaska: The Last Frontier is seen on the Discovery Channel and this production is in its 7th season.  The singer Jewel is part of the family and brings her son Kase to visit and learn survival and homesteading skills.

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 instruction for thousands of cordwood builders.  Cordwood Workshop Video (2017),  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (2017) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Here is a picture of the Cordwood Workshop DVD cover, featuring the best practices Cordwood Education Center.

Cordwood Workshop DVD 3.jpg

 

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   Below is the 30 item DVD menu. 

DVD Menu 1A 400 pixels

DVD menu 2A 400 pixels.jpg

Cordwood: Open to the Public

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if there was a cordwood home they could visit… :0)   Most cordwood owner/builders are very kind & like to share, but they are also  homeowners and usually very busy with householder tasks.

In order to help the folks who want to get a “peek at cordwood” here is a list of sites open to the public, or BnB’s where you can spend a night wrapped in cordwood.Bracebridgelodgebest_high_resolution httpwww.bedbreakfasthome.comdatapowermedia.jpgThe Cordwood Lodge in Bracebridge, Ontario.    http://www.bedbreakfasthome.com/datapowermedia/

Cordwood Education Center with Summer small pixels with logo.jpgThe Cordwood Education Center at the Merrill School Forest near Merrill, Wisconsin is open to the public. Maps are provided at the entrance  https://www.facebook.com/SFWeAreMAPSchools/Kinstone cordwood chapel a.jpgKinstone Academy is open to the public for self guided tours.  There are three cordwood buildings, a yurt, a sauna, a tepee and a light straw clay cottage.  www.kinstonecircle.com 

KInstone Rick Swanson 3Mermaid Cottagw with logo low rez.jpg 2.jpgKimAnna9 with logoKimAnna16The Mermaid Cottage near Del Norte, Colorado is not necessarily a B & B (no breakfast:0), but it is a gorgeous vacation rental.   http://mermaid-cottage.org/ Cordstead 1 with logo.jpgThe “Cordstead” boasts 4 round cordwood buildings.  The concept is to give you a “cordwood living” experience to see if  a cordwood home is your cup of tea.  Sandy and Angelika are the finest of hosts.  https://thecordstead.blogspot.com/ 

Kinark Sustainable Living Center Canada cordwood entrance

The Kinark Sustainable Living Center in Ontario is an excellent place to camp, have an outdoor experience and check out their natural buildings.   http://www.koc.on.ca/about-us

Barna 1 with logo.jpgThe Barna’s Vacation Rental is in Houghton, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula.  Nicole built this as her college dorm room and now rents it to weary travelers. http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p281714Rairlee and James Frame it first 3 - Copy.jpgThis beautiful cordwood rental by Rainlee is in the White Face Mountains of upstate New York.  https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4872916?s=vcDi Rairlee and James Frame it first 2 - CopyRairlee and James Frame it first 4 - CopyRairlee and James Frame it firstSome suggestions for visits:  Call ahead, make sure you are a considerate visitor, don’t overstay your welcome and enjoy the experience.kinstone-42The cordwood sauna (above) at the Kinstone Permaculture Academy is also available for rent and so are the yurt, the teepee and the straw-clay cottage (below).  www.kinstonecircle.com  

kinstone-straw-clay-cottage

cordwood-education-center-solar-tour-2014The Cordwood Education Center at the Merrill School Forest in Merrill, Wisconsin USA is also for rent.  You can contact the Merrill School District for more information at https://www.facebook.com/SFWeAreMAPSchools/

cordwood-education-center-august-2015

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 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  

Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsReaders 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 Vide,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their ever expanding online cordwood bookstore.”  www.cordwoodconstruction.org

DVD label cover yellow

Here is a jpeg of the new Cordwood Construction DVD cover available at http://cordwoodconstruction.org/

 

Cordwood Home of 40 years

Folks have been asking about our northern Wisconsin cordwood home and how it has “held up” after 40 years.  Here are some pictures, commentary and a few links, should you care to delve deeper. Flatau's Chateau winter with logo30′ x 40′ Post and beam framed with Northern White Cedar on a frosty November morning. Flatau's Chateau for book CCBP with logoWe capped it with a truss room-in-the-attic (a Swiss Chalet style roof).  It gave us an additional 560 sq. ft. of living space (two large bedrooms and a half bath). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAInterior walls and ceilings are made from locally milled Norwegian Pine (also called Red Pine).   In a nutshell, our cordwood home is doing just fine.  The mortar is in good shape, there is no degradation of the wood and our home is cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  Who could ask for anything more?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt 720 pounds, the Hearthstone Wood Stove supplies all the heat we need.  Having a large thermal mass, a passive solar design and an attached solar/greenhouse room helps to moderate the interior heating and cooling. Flatau's Chateau 1b.jpgThe photo above was taken when the Mother Earth News sent a photographer from New York to document the Mortgage Free Cordwood Article we had written in 1980. Flatau's Chateau 2005.jpgThe always reliant Yellow Transparent apple tree provides fragrant blooms every spring.   Note the domestic hot water solar thermal panels on the roof.

Truss room in the attic small pixels

Above is the Truss Room in the Attic truss that increased our home by 560  sq. ft.   It cost the same as a traditional roof. Flatau's chateau 2 interior with logo.jpgThe Home Comfort wood cookstove is used many times a year, but especially around the holidays.  Rich Becky and Summer with logo.jpgMany articles have been published about our little cabin in the woods over the past four decades, here are links to the last and the first.

Mortgage Free Cordwood Home

Mother Earth News Magazine (first article)  

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 Workshop Video (DVD),  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print & ebook), Cordwood House Plans, Cordwood Shed Plans and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Cordwood Workshop DVD 3

 

Here is a picture of the print version and the DVD label in one composite.

 

Mermaid Cordwood Cottage featured in Czech Architectural Magazine

The prestigious Czech architectural magazine Drevo & Stavby: Kvalini Casopis recently featured the Mermaid Cottage.  Kimanna & Michael built this beautiful BnB in Colorado using cordwood construction with mermaid motifs.   Although this article is written in Czech, fear not, for there is a translation further down the page.  The article calls cordwood wonky and funky folk architecture.  I quite agree. Mermaid Cottage 1

Mermaid Cottage 3Mermaid Cottage 2

While the words are in Czech, the pictures tell the story of a gorgeous place to spend a vacation.  The building is a post and beam framed, cordwood masterpiece.  The cottage is registered with AirBnB.  For details on how to spend a night or a month visit   http://www.mermaidcottage.org/

Here is the translation of the article (I love the idiomatic translations):

  • If you are able to accumulate enough logs, you can cheaply build a full house somewhere between a wooden cottage and a wooden heap of Earth alchemy. For someone, the building of a house can be as demanding as a crossword puzzle for a graduate. For a builder of cordwood technology, this is just a leisure time activity with an ecological subtext that is no more complicated than going through TV channels. It’s just a little tedious. However, if you are the owner of a forest or a large pile of bark that is rid of logs, then the construction of your house will be economically beneficial.
  • Architecture is a bit crazy, but with “hairy,” green roofs, cozy proportions, and folk creativity, these houses have an unmistakable sparkle.   Looking from the distance, it looks like a stone house. That it is a wooden building is obvious only after a closer examination. While wooden houses built in the traditional way usually require long and high quality wood in large quantities, for a house built with cordwood masonry technology – wood-trimming you need long beams only a few for the load-bearing skeleton of the house and the rest, that is, walls, are already built from short softwoods wood.
  • Thickness of the wall is determined by the constructor by how long the logs cut. They are placed in a bed of a mixture of sand, cement and lime perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the wall. If the filler gaps between the inner and outer mortar layers, for example, sawdust, are used, the insulation properties of the wall increase. If it is made of soft, well-dried wood (for example, pine, larch or birch), which at least changes its bulk properties, the logs will not burst or separate from the mortar, and the wall will breathe well, respectively work with indoor and outdoor humidity. The presence of lime in the mortar, but also the filler prevents mold formation.
  • Some might consider it an act of despair of the poor. Another for building somewhere halfway between a heap of logs and a wooden cottage. The truth is, however, that in countries where building law is more congenial, this method builds not only permanently habitable houses, but also public and commercial buildings. A somewhat old-fashioned look can, of course, be combined with modern mitochondria of ecological operation such as a solar energy system, floor heating stored in a sand bed, capture and use of rainwater or a “cool” green roof.
  • Fans of natural construction are welcoming this return to the roots, the Czech construction office is catching up. But if we always have to meet standards, how many interesting and functionally tested housing alternatives have arisen just because the norms have been around and over and over?
  • Cordwood technology can ideally be used to build a small house by self-help. It is a frequent choice of alternates, dreamers and hypers, simply people who are enthusiastic about a simple, sustainable construction that does not cost much. Assuming basic rules such as preventing the interlocking of the logs, keeping the roof overhead and stripping the top structure off the ground, for example, a stone wall, then such a house will last forever, as evidenced by the findings of Siberia or the United States of America, up to a thousand years.
  • The log walls look the same from the inside as the outside. If you have artistic tendencies, you can create a series of mini-bottles from bottles or decorate it in funky style; beads, shells or colored shards …
  • Try this house:   The “Mermaid Cottage” Del Norte – a cordwood chalet located in American Colorado, and you can rent it through Airbnb.  http://www.mermaidcottage.org/

Here are a few more photos of Kimanna & Michael’s masterpiece.  KimAnna14 with logo.jpg

The mermaid shower.

KimAnna15 with logo.jpg

The mermaid bathroom.

Mermaid Cottage low rez with logo.jpg

The lovely Kimanna tuckpointing to her heart’s content.

KimAnna17 with logo

The mountains make the setting serene and restful.

KimAnna10 with logo.jpg

If you love light and color, this may be worth a visit.

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

The Cordwood Workshop Video label. DVD label cover yellow

The 30 menu items. DVD Menu 1

DVD menu 2

The Drone View is especially spectacular!

 

 

 

Roofs 4 Cordwood Homes

When planning your natural home, the roof becomes a very important part of your design.  From looking good, to insulating, to adding extra space, to protecting your walls, a good roof design is an essential part of every home.

Here are a few ideas “topping off ideas” to consider for your cordwood construction dream home design.Roof Gormely Minnesota building the roofA roundwood, log cabin style roof for the second floor. Roof king post truss.jpg

A simple “king post truss” can be handmade and spans a maximum of 16 feet.

Jessi hoy peterson9 living roof with logoA living roof needs a sturdy framework, proper waterproofing protection and good drainage.   The rule of thumb with living roofs is to build them like a fine cabinet maker. Ernie Slatter  roof framing.jpgThe angle cuts for a round living roof can be complicated for a beginner.

 

Cordwood workshop sauna 6.jpgA simple shed roof is very easy to build.Issac Haumesser MO larger pixel with logo

Issac built his own trusses and then cut his own dragon skin shakes by hand.Roof separate from structure.jpgThis roof is separate from the building structure.Kinstone 20 Tension ring and circular metal roof bracket makes for a strong system.jpg

A ring collar and tensioner helps to keep the poles in good alignment.

Truss room in the attic

This truss room in the attic adds an extra 560 sq. ft. of living space on top of our cordwood home. Flatau's Chateau winter with logo.jpg

This is how it looks from the outside, somewhat of a Swiss Chalet style. The pitch is 8/12.

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A common rafter takes longer to install than a truss roof.

Reciprocal roof with cordwood and logoReciprocal roofs are beautiful, but do not provide adequate insulation in cold climates, but they sure do look good!Peter Turkow d Waterport NY with logoPeter Turkow’s childhood cordwood home.  Known as “The House with the Hat.”

These photos are meant to stimulate your planning juices.  This is certainly not a comprehensive treatise on how to build a roof, but rather a starting point from which to begin.  You will need to research the cost, buildability and “look” of the roof you choose for your dwelling.  Good fortune!

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

This is the Cordwood Workshop Video label. DVD label cover yellow

These are the 30 menu sections from the Video.DVD Menu 1

DVD menu 2

 

 

Cordwood Books & Videos

Which one? If I could only buy one cordwood book, which one should it be?  This questions pops up frequently as folks look to find one book that gives all the answers. Cordwood is evolving.  What worked 20 years ago has changed.  So, get a book from a reliable author and enjoy the latest information.  It may be in your best interest to get a couple.  Prices and ordering information at Online Cordwood Bookstore

Cordwood Shed Plans with frame.jpg

Many of these are available as ebooks in PDF format.  You can print off the pages you need to take to your building site (formulas, mixes, drawings) and keep the rest safe.

Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices 1200 x 1600

The Cordwood Workshop Video/DVD is like taking a workshop in your own home.

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The Cordwood Workshop Video is also available as a DVD and a digital download.

House Plan with border

House plans come with the floor plan for my 30′ x 40′ cordwood home, but also shows options for other cordwood styles.

Cliff Shockey Cover 2007

The double wall technique was invented by Cliff Shockey.  He continues to build and advise cordwood neophytes.

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The Cordwood Conference Papers are a wealth of information and ideas.

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CoCoCo 2005 cover.jpg

Rob Roy has revised Cordwood Building with lots of new information and suggestions.

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Timber framing made easy with mechanical fasteners.

Timber Framing

If you need to have your cordwood building code approved, here is the book that has all the latest testing on cordwood.

Cordwood and the Code cover bleed to edge.jpg

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 instruction for thousands of cordwood builders.  Cordwood Workshop Video (2017),  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (2017) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Here is a picture of the Cordwood Workshop Video cover, featuring the Cordwood Education Center.

DVD label cover yellow.jpg

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   Below is the 30 item Video menu. 

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