Cordwood Home Construction Best Practices

Reader Contribution by Richard Flatau
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Having built my own mortgage-free, 1,600-square-foot cordwood home in 1979 for $15,000, I was fortunate enough to be one of a growing group of builders who were getting their “hands dirty” with various types of alternative construction. [Read how Richard completed his project in MOTHER’s article  published in 1984, “A Mortgage-Free, Owner-Built Cordwood Castle.”]

Since then, my wife and I have helped hundreds of others build their own cordwood homes, saunas, meditation centers, sheds, barns and cabins. Additionally, we have hosted workshops, conferences and trained private family mortaring crews. Writing articles, consulting with cordwood homeowners and being lucky enough to be involved in a couple of major cordwood projects has helped me see first-hand the development of cordwood in North America.

This blog is going to be your window into the evolving world of cordwood construction. If a cordwood

home is built with a “best practices” approach, it can be uniquely beautiful, energy-efficient, sustainable, and (if this is your goal) mortgage-free. It is my hope that this blog will guide potential builders from planning stages to occupancy of a well-built, energy-efficient, sustainably-built, one-of-a-kind cordwood home.  Included in the blog posts will be links to additional websites, blogs, articles and inspiring photos and albums of cordwood buildings throughout the world.

Please feel comfortable asking questions, making comments and offering suggestions. Cordwood works well with strawbale, cob, light straw-clay, earthbag, adobe and conventional construction and there are quite a few hybrid cordwood and another style homes and cottages being built.

Let’s start a conversation and determine if cordwood or another form of natural building is right for you.

To find more information on building with cordwood, go to