How to Build a Cordwood Garage

Homesteaders share how to build a cordwood garage, this super-simple design is extremely-low-cost and a garage anybody can build.

| January/February 1978

How to build a cordwood garage. Once you have a Hobbit Garage under your belt, you shouldn't find the construction of a "real" cordwood house intimidating at all.

How to Build a Cordwood Garage

The "super-simple, extremely-low-cost, anybody-can-build-one" cordwood house has been around a long, long time. (Ken Kern, for instance, first featured the concept years ago in his excellent book, The Owner-Built Home . . . and it was already an old, old idea then.)

But it wasn't until this magazine printed an article by New Brunswick's Jack Henstridge family ("We Built a $75,000 House . . . For Only $10,000!", MOTHER NO. 45, pages 96-99) that the idea really began to catch on in a big way. Since then, we've covered the concept again with a three-part article ("The Return of the Cordwood House", MOTHER NO. 47, pages 29-34), the Henstridge family has published a construction manual on the subject, Jack has been asked to demonstrate and explain his building methods to several state and provincial governments and developmental groups in the United States and Canada, and dozens of do-it-yourself stackwood houses are already going up in a number of countries throughout the world.

Nevertheless — as easy and as fast and as low-cost as a cordwood building is to fabricate — we know that there's a whole buncha good folks "out there" who still find the mere thought of actually putting up their own house with their own hands . . . well, intimidating, to say the least. Maybe you even fall into that group yourself.

Well, OK. There ain't nothin' wrong with that. You just need to have your courage reinforced a little. And the best way to do that reinforcing is to turn yourself loose on a "somewhat similar but even simpler" building project. Something like the Hobbit Garage constructed a while back by Nancy and Mike Bubel up in Wellsville, Pennsylvania.

If you'd like to know even more about the Bubels, their down-to-earth recycling way of life, and this example of their handiwork in particular, you'll want to get a copy of their new book, Working Wood (Rodale Press, Inc., $3.95) available from any good bookstore or by mail from MOTHER's Bookshelf for $3.95 plus 75 cents shipping and handling.

11/27/2016 11:17:23 PM

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