Tag Archives: eco friendly

Buy a Cordwood Home?

Would you consider buying a cordwood home?  I have known of several dozen cordwood homes that have “come on the market” in the past ten years.   What would encourage you to buy?  What would be a deal breaker? Here is a home in British Columbia that came for sale and the asking price was under half a million dollars.  Cordwood for Sale BC 1With half an acre, 1800 sq. ft. and western red cedar as the cordwood infill, this beauty sold as soon as it hit the market.  Cordwood for Sale BC 2

Cordwood for Sale BC 3Lots of wood, but oh, so well done.  Personally, I love a wood ceiling. Cordwood for Sale BC 4Cordwood for Sale BC 6Well placed cordwood log ends, with clean mortar joints,  make for very attractive, complimentary walls. Cordwood for Sale Comox BC5Cordwood for Sale Comox BC7Cordwood for Sale Comox BC8The specific features: 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms, timber frame & cordwood; vaulted ceilings, a large open kitchen, a bright Sunroom & a cozy fireplace. The kitchen is large & open with an eating area. The roof was replaced a few years ago with light weight metal.Cordwood for Sale Comox BC9Cordwood for Sale Comox BC10Most cordwood homes that do sell quickly sell because of the attention to detail and the quality of the build.  The doors, windows, posts, roof, mortar, cabinets, closets, interior fixtures all play an important role in the attractiveness of the home.

This cordwood home sold very quickly.

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 and the DVD is available for an immediate download! 

 Online Cordwood Bookstore

 

 

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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.

Cordwood Cookie House: Florida

The Florida Cookie House was built in 1931 by John Bass, Jr. for the Biological Laboratory and Zoological Research Supply Company.  The informational sign (below) tells of the immigrants to Wisconsin who built these kind of structures.  It’s called the Cookie House because the white mortar with the brown, round log faces resemble a cookie on a plate.

Cordwood in Florida Cookie House 1930s.jpgKnown as “stovewood” or “stackwall” there is a Stovewood home and chicken coop at Old World Wisconsin.  It’s purpose is to preserve the history of cordwood in the Badger State.Cordwood in Florida Cookie House 1930sA.jpg

Below, the Cookie House under renovation.

Florida cordwood from Linda Stevenson Here is a great little historic cordwood building in Florida dating from the late 30s. It has been relocated to a park in Charlotte County Florida..jpg

Cookie house 3

A black wrought-iron fence was erected to keep people away during renovation.  It is now a permanent fixture of the site along with the signage. Cookie house 2The interior shelving shows off some of the “finds.”

How the new sign looks today.

Cookie house 4

More cordwood in Florida.  Below is the Little Cordwood House at the Flywheeler Swap Meet.  This is part of an Historical Village in Fort Meade, Florida.

Florida cordwood Little Cordwood House Fort Meade, Florida Flywheeler Swap Meet a Historical Village Fort Meade FL.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.

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 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/

 

 

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

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Largest Cordwood Building in the World

The 75 foot long Quetzal Cordwood Classroom is located in the rain forest near Coban, Guatemala.  Built by the Community Cloud Forest Conservation it is a long curved structure that resembles the tail feathers of the Quetzal (the national bird).

CCFC 2017F.jpgThese buildings house classrooms, kitchens and dormitories that serve the middle school girls from the area. The girls are able to continue their education and learn skills that are income producing.  Many volunteers and organizations have helped in the support and construction of this wonderful community.  Rob & Tara Cahill are the Directors.CCFC 2017BThe shingles are recycled tires and are donated by a Canadian shingle company.  They are guaranteed to last for 100 years.  Comforting thought in the rain forest!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Quetzal’s have high stone foundations to funnel the ever present rainwater away from the buildings.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The cafeteria is bright and colorful.

CCFC squash and cordwood Guatemala.jpgThe community grows traditional fruits and vegetables (local squash is pictured above) and has an industrial kitchen to make jams, jellies and salsas to sell on the world market.CCFC 2017DThe beautiful windows are handmade by local artisans.CCFC 3 July 2017.jpgStudents learn valuable skills that help them with high school and employability.

Quetzal.jpg

The Quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala.   The tail feathers of the Quetzal are the inspiration for the buildings. CCFC 38 Elvira.jpgElvira, a graduate of the Cloud Forest Conservatory, is teaching plant identification and their uses to a group of visiting students.   There is also an ornithology program run by Cornell University.   Many unique species of birds and plants are to be found in the adjacent rain forest.

CCFC 1S

The architect of the curved window and his drawing. CCFC 1QYoung students were taught masonry skills to erect the buildings. CCFC 1A with logoThe front porch is a valuable and beautiful teaching space.CCFC cleaning the cordwood before mortaring 1 with logoCleaning logs for the cordwood infill.

CCFC 27 with logo

Laying the logs in mortar with an insulation cavity filled with sawdust.

(Below) River stones were used for the shower rooms and the entrance ways.

CCFC Conservation, Agroecology, Sustainable Living Learning Center Tara Jean Cahill 5.jpg

The building is framed with local, non-native, invasive eucalyptus and the cordwood infill is local pine.

CCFC 24 cleaning the walls in sequence

The local population provided the labor and were paid a fair wage for their work.

CCFC rebar for seismic activity

Should you wish to contribute, visit, work or learn more about the Community Cloud Forest Conservation please contact Rob & Tara Cahill.    rtcahill@gmail.com    www.cloudforestconservation.org    http://cloudforestconservation.org/our-work/walc/

CoCoCo15 Papers.jpg

The Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 has a wonderful article about the Quetzal Cordwood Classroom. 

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 Tool Shed w/Pitchfork

Greg Zahn wanted to honor his grandfather’s woodworking legacy by building a cordwood tool shed in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  He asked if Cordwood Construction Resources LLC  would teach an onsite workshop and we jumped at the chance.  Photos & video below.  Greg Zahn 4

Large doors will accommodate any size project.  Greg Zahn 6Greg Zahn 1Note the pitchfork and saw embedded in the mortar.Greg Zahn 8Looking toward the lake.  Nice view!Greg Zahn 7

Beautiful recycled glass bottles make for a colorful glass display.  Note that some of the colored bottles are placed on the outside.    Greg Zahn 5Greg Zahn 2A tools.jpg

Tools of all shapes and sizes were embedded into the walls of the aptly named Cordwood Tool Shed.

Greg Zahn 3

A large window will grace this side of the shed.

Greg Zahn Shed 15

Greg is an architect by profession and so his excellent drawing would naturally reflect his prolific skill set.

Manitowoc 3.jpgFolks attended from all over the country, but the majority were cheeseheads (aka Wisconsinites).  Manitowoc 7.jpgSmiles, laughter and learning were the order of the day.  Manitowoc 12Manitowoc 13

Manitowoc 4Manitowoc 5Manitowoc 1.jpgAs you can see, a good time was had by all.

Videos from the workshop (link below).  Special thanks to Anna Trzyna of http://www.getinkahoots.com, who was incredibly helpful in getting the videos she took on my Youtube site.  Thank you Anna!    https://www.youtube.com/cordwoodconstruct 

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) 2017,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices 2017 (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

DVDandPrint

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

 

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.

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The mermaid bathroom.

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The lovely Kimanna tuckpointing to her heart’s content.

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The mountains make the setting serene and restful.

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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.

Roof common gable or common rafter roof.jpg

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