Laurie & Scott Davis of northern Wisconsin sent the following photos and notes of their incredibly well-built, best-practices cordwood home. 

“We took one of Richard (Flatau’s) workshops in 2018, and he’s been keeping tabs on our progress with our build. He recently asked if we were ready to post some of our “finished” photos (there are still lots of little projects to do), so we decided to make a post and show off some of what we’ve done. Most of the exterior photos are a little older, and the house is in various states of less finished, but the trees, etc. in photos taken recently block too much of the view of the house.”
“This is in Northern Wisconsin, the wood we used for our log ends is Poplar. We used cellulose/Portland cement/lime/sand mortar. 98% of the cordwood work was done in 2020. One small corner of the house has a little bit that was done in October 2019. We used spray foam insulation in our walls.
The sections of the house exterior that are black were done as conventional construction – one area to provide a better backdrop for our shower and where the washing machine was installed, one area to provide shelving in the pantry and a solid base for some of the kitchen cabinets, and one area that backs onto the main bedroom closet and allowed us to create shelving in there too. And, some of those were chosen to speed up the build.”
“Thanks to all those who built and posted before us, and gave us the inspiration to build our house.”
The clerestory allows air from the first-floor windows to flow up and out of the top windows.  The double roof is also easier to build and is very stable in the mishmash of weather we get in Wisconsin.
Those five windows across the top help to generate airflow and hence, ventilation.
Note the two split face blocks that keep the elements off the lower rows of cordwood.
The porches and decks allow for unfettered access to the great outdoors.
The large vertical white pine post adds its massive presence to the back porch.
The cordwood in the bathroom is a sight to behold.  Nicely done.
The kitchen is functional and beautiful.
The great room has so many pleasant things to look at, it is hard to know where to start.   The two pooches seem to love it. 
The intricate bottle and log work across the top panel are very pleasing to the eye.
A fireproof tea candle box is just right for nighttime roaming.
The bedroom has very generous views of the outdoors.
This photo shows the symmetry of the design.
Makes me want to cosy up with a cup of coffee and ask questions.
The two little axes are a whimsical treat.
Excellent smooth tuck pointing and good log placement.
Different shaped bottles give a good account of themselves.
The tea candle holder is certainly a unique touch.
The three boxes that slide open are a veritable treasure.
The pine log found a perfect home.
Windows are less expensive if you can install and trim them yourself.
Guess what gets stored in this little tiny closet?
Beautiful work near the floor.  Perfect for children.
A peace sign, gorgeous bottle and tchotchkes work well, together.

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 click on the book cover to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.

If you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at  

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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 Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.”