Bruce and Nancy Kilgore’s built this beautiful round cordwood guesthouse in upstate New York.  After they built it, they lived in it for nine months while constructing their double-wall cordwood home nearby.  Nancy is a mortar maven and Bruce is a superb mortar mixer.  They make an excellent team and have built some of the most beautiful cordwood I have ever seen. Currently, they are teaching classes on cordwood and natural building at Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York. 

Bruce and Nancy Kilgore's guesthouse in NYThey wrote an article about this guesthouse (which has a hidden post and beam framework) in the Cordwood Conference Papers 2005, called “Wraparound Log Ends” and then wrote an article about their new cordwood home in the Cordwood Conference Papers 2011 called “Ravenwood: One Couples Adventure.”  They also wrote a summary article for the Cordwood Conference Papers 2015.  These excellent compilations of cutting-edge cordwood articles are available in print or ebook at the Cordwood Bookstore 

KIlgore wraparounds to cover post and beam framework

Notching the logs and wrapping them around the posts (Wraparounds).  Then they are toe-screwed to the posts. The living roof is being installed with manual labor.

For more information on how to build effectively and efficiently with cordwood go to  Or email me at

Bruce & Nancy have a Facebook Group page called

Here are some pictures of the Ravenwood Cordwood Homestead. 

Ravenwood (is not the guesthouse but the home) in all its energy-efficient glory.  It only uses 2 full cords of wood to heat in the winter! 

The wall has a frog face and the face is chewing a toothpick. 

Metal brackets look so good. Bruce made all these by hand.

Nancy explains the function of the thermal mass heater. 

The cordwood infill is exquisite! 

Proud Nancy keeps on mortaring. 

Bruce and Nancy were gracious and generous hosts for the Cordwood Conference in 2015.  The food they provided coupled with the humorous conversation was unbelievably nourishing. 

A 14″ beam lag-screwed to the adjoining beam.  

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Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested check-out the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print, digital and ebook format.


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 Cordwood Bookstore.  The books & DVD are also available as ebooks for a quick and easy shipping free download.