Tag Archives: natural

Cordwood Chalet BnB in BC

Golden, BC cordwood rental.jpgCordwood Chalet in Golden, British ColumbiaGolden, BC cordwood rental2 Cordwood Chalet B&B.jpgThis cottage shows how different building styles compliment one another:   cordwood, lime plaster, cedar plank siding and stone, all take their turn showing off. In doing so, they make a truly unique cottage.Golden, BC cordwood rental3 Cordwood Chalet B&B.jpgFrom the Airbnb site: “Situated in the stunning Blaeberry Valley, 15 minutes drive from Golden, our Cordwood Chalet is the perfect getaway to peacefulness and tranquility in the heart of nature. Newly built and comfy, its location offers a wide range of outdoor activities.”    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4440075

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

 

 

 

 

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Cordwood Home for Sale

Another cordwood home is being offered for sale in the Pacific Northwest.  This gorgeous 2,176 sq. ft. build  in the state of Washington, halfway between Portland and Seattle.  WA for sale 1Made from Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir, this is a massive post and beam framed beauty with large overhangs.WA for sale 2.pngQuality construction throughout, the floor plan is open and filled with light. WA for sale 3WA for sale 4A primary check will run right through the large rounds,  from inside to outside and must be stuffed to prevent air and insect infiltration. WA for sale 5Huge Douglas Fir posts make a sturdy statement. WA for sale 6These large pieces will continue to shrink in the wall, so a caulking like Permachink or Log Jam (which comes in mortar colors) is important to have on hand. WA for sale 7WA for sale 10This home was built in 1994.  It is on the top of a hill and shows a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains and valley.  It has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths and sits on 1.26 acres.

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

Round & Rectangle Cordwood: Best of both worlds

Who doesn’t love round?  Everyone right.  But there comes a time when folks who have been living in round (or nearly round) start to complain about the idiosyncrasies. Just recently a friend who lives in one of the most beautiful 16 sided cordwood homes ever, said to me.  “Rich, if I had it to do over, I would build a rectangle.  Every time I have to make a cut for roofing, flooring, cabinetry it has to be 11 degrees.   It takes forever to do the work.”

However, combining round and rectangle cordwood styles provides the best of both worlds.

Don Gerdes Reedsburg3.jpg

Don Gerdes an engineer from Reedsburg, Wisconsin built a post framed “curved front” attached to a rectangle.  Here are some pictures of his beautiful creation.

Sierra Exif JPEG

Cathy Hubbart and Don Gerdes in 2006.

Don Gerdes Reedsburg2The interior shows off Don’s Brilliant Bottles invention (which light up at night) and its curved walls.

Don Gerdes Reedsburg10.jpg

Brilliant bottles are made ahead of time as a single unit to mortar into the wall.  They boast a changeable LED light in the middle.

Don Gerdes Reedsburg11.jpgPlowing snow is easier with a straight line.Don Gerdes Reedsburg13.jpg

The workshop garage doors make it easily accessible.

Don Gerdes Reedsburg5.jpg

Hanging cabinets on straight walls is a breeze.

Don Gerdes Reedsburg4.jpg

From curved to rectangle is a smooth transition.

Rairlee and James Frame it firstOctagon with a “square” back room.  Rainless’ B and B in the Adirondacks.

Sebastien Demers 10Post framed, curved front with a rectangle on the back, a masonry heater and two stories high by Sebastien Demers. Sebastien Demers 12 build a modelA 3D model with a round front and   a rectangle on the backside by Sebastien Demers of Quebec.

Round, Rectangle, Octagon, or 16 sided?

When deciding which style of cordwood to build it is of the utmost importance to know that every cordwood author recommends building within a post framework.  The reasons are very simple:  1.  The roof can be built before the cordwood is finished.  2.  With the roof on, the materials stay dry and so do the builders.  3.  The cordwood wall building can be completed in manageable sections.  4.  You can cover the walls that remain unfinished and continue interior work. 5.  It makes the building inspector very happy.

Even if one decides to “go round,” a framework can be hidden in the middle of the wall using wraparound cordwood. Why would anyone build a hidden framework within the structure?  To get code approval, to make certain the roof is going to be properly supported and to allow for the use of  a “slower setting mortar” which reduces mortar cracking and log loosening.

16 sided cordwood creates a large number of 11 degree cuts:   The roof sheeting, the roofing material (metal or shingles) and the many valleys that accompany 16 sides.  Then the interior ceiling the interior flooring and the interior cabinetry all require angle cuts.  The cordwood itself will end up having small, tight mortar joints on the inside and larger ones on the outside.

If you decide to build an 8 sided octagon, keep in mind that you will need to re-engineer the structural parts (think posts and rafters) if you want to go larger than 300 sq. ft.  One way to get the curved and the straight to work together is to build a half round, half rectangle home.  

Bottom line, the choice is yours.  If you plan to build 16-sided cordwood, you can do yourself a favor by checking out the successful 17 page building permit application for a 16 sided cordwood home in SE Minnesota.  The approved permit is, in its entirety, in the book Cordwood and the Code: A Building Permit Guide.   It is meant to be copied and pasted and modified for your local building codes.  BN new 2 with logo.jpgThis beautiful round cordwood guest cottage,  by Bruce Kilgore and Nancy Dow has a post and beam framework hidden in the middle  to support the roof. BN new wraparounds with logo.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 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: 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

Cordwood Workshop DVD 3

 

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.

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.

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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!