Recommended: Cordwood Construction

Welcome to my “Recommended” series of posts. These will be weekly – for now – posts about resources I have found over the past while that I found so excellent, I want to share them with you, my dear readers. 🙂 Whether or not I continue to post these, and how often they are posted, will depend on feedback. Please feel free to comment below, and if you have a favorite resource of your own, do share, and I will review them for possible future posts.

I hope you find these recommendations as useful and enjoyable as I have!

Since we decided to try our hand with some cordwood practice buildings, starting this summer with what will be an outdoor bathroom, I’ve been doing a fair bit of research. I’m learning that this building technique has had some modern changes to it that have greatly improved the final result.

One thing I found, as I did online searches, what that time and again, I kept finding myself back at one site. Cordwood Construction: The Essence of Cordwood Construction. There are many, many sites, blog posts, videos and books about the technique out there, but I’m not finding anything else more informative and practical. There is so much information at the site – even house plans! – one could easily spend many hours there. (I’m loving their post about cordwood flooring, too!) Their blog seems to be kept up quite often, too. They also have a Facebook group, bookstore and newsletter.

They do have a YouTube channel as well. There are not many of their own videos there, but if you check their playlist tab, you’ll find lots more videos.

The information they have is very hands on. I find myself wishing I could attend one of their workshops but, alas, they are too far away.

They also get right into the basic, essential details in a way that is so very helpful.

My previous experiences with cordwood (aka stackwood) construction are historical buildings, and this resource is where I first heard of using an inner layer of insulating material between outer layers of mortar. It’s also where I first encountered the notion of bottle bricks, outside of Pinterest images that led to nowhere useful.

They provide so much basic information that I really feel that someone like me, who has never built anything major before, can do it. I’ve already downloaded their shed plans ebook, and it is so very thorough! I plan to rely on it heavily, and I’m downright excited about building some practice buildings over the next couple of years. Who knows. A few years from now, we might be using the technique when it’s time to build a barrier free house for myself and my husband!

Obviously, this is a resource useful for someone who is – or hopes to be – in a position to construct their own cordwood building, but I think the technique itself is a sort of “lost art”. Given some of its many advantages, which include lower costs, being fire retardant, and more “eco-friendly”, I think this is a building method that deserves a resurgence. Resources like Cordwood Construction are a fantastic place to learn more about it, and be inspired. Of all the other sites I’ve looked at, this one is, hands down, the best of the lot!

I’m really looking forward to putting what I learn from this resource into practice, and definitely recommend this resource for anyone to check out, even if it’s just to learn more about this fascinating building method.

The Re-Farmer

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