How Do I Learn Cordwood Construction?

Reader Contribution by Richard Flatau
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“How do I learn to build using cordwood contruction techniques is often the first question asked, followed quickly by “Will it save me money?” 

The first question is simple:

1. Read a book  
2. Take a Workshop
3. Build a Practice Building

 The second question about saving money involves many variables.  Do you have access to wood, do you have any home building skills, can you barter or trade for work, are you willing to recycle, reuse and repurpose? The cost goes up or down depending on your willingness to learn, bargain, barter and do.  Can you build your own cabinets, buy them second hand from a Habitat for Humanity restore, or trade to have them built? Suffice it to say that cordwood homes have been built for as little as $10 @ sq. ft. and more than $100 @ sq. ft.  The final answer lies somewhere in your decision on cost/benefit choices.

Now, let’s work on how to learn to build one first, so you can determine if this natural building technique is your cup of tea. Taking a workshop, taught by a master cordwood builder is the best way to go. You learn what mistakes to avoid and you are given individual, hands-on instruction using best practices. Questions flow and answers are forthcoming as the workshop evolves.

Here are a few examples of cordwood buildings and the actual wall building taking place. 

If you are interested in a Cordwood Workshop for 2014, take a look at the following brochure to see if there is one near you.  Cordwood Workshop Brochure 2014.

We will talk more about the Practice Building in a future posting.

If you are interested in learning the latest about Cordwood I would recommend reading the book Cordwood Construction Best PracticesIt is available in print, CD and ebook format from the Online Bookstore at