There have been many questions about cordwood in Idaho, Montana and Utah. There is quite a bit going on in Idaho and Montana, some with architectural plans and others doing it “by the seat of their pants.”

True to form on this blog, there will be more pictures and fewer words.  When we taught a Cordwood Workshop near Bonners Ferry, Idaho we learned of a few cordwood buildings in the state.  Below are a few cordwood cabins built as a hunting camp near Idaho City. These had come up for sale back in 2016 and sold soon after they were put on the market.  Frank Lloyd Wright would consider this organic architecture since it fits in with the natural landscape.


A beautiful off-grid meditation and retreat center deep in the mountains. 

A Starbucks in Kethum, Idaho.  Thank you, Ben Lambert, for drinking all those double lattes and sending the picture. 

The workshop we taught near Bonners Ferry, Idaho was a working permaculture site.  The tool shop, living space and tractor shed was framed by very talented local builders.  It is double 8 x 8’s of pine with cedar cordwood infill.  As usually is the case, we had a great group of adventurous souls. 

The man working from his motorized scooter with his son was a former college football player, who was determined to not let his injury stand in the way of housing his family (after a devastating fire). He went home to Montana and built the cordwood home in the Montana section of this blog. 

Mother and daughter-in-law working together to create a homestead. 

Our vista, the Selkirk Mountains.  What gorgeous country.  We were 15 miles from the Canadian border.  It was like having a good camp experience.  One of the participants was a former teacher from Wisconsin, who now runs his own primitive camping business using mules and tents. The next two photos are from the Idaho Base Camp, east of Sun City. 

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  

Quite a few people at the workshop are now in the process of building.  One couple is building in Alabama and another family recently finished a cordwood home near Bonners Ferry.

Draftsman Robbin Pichelman recently completed this floor plan for a couple, building in southern Idaho.


This is the home the gentleman on the motorized scooter built for his family.  He told us about a cordwood home he had visited in North Dakota with 36-inch walls!  We learn so much at our workshops.   

Look at that massive door framework!  Just amazing. Good work Don!


The folks in Utah usually play their cards pretty close to the vest, but Jennilee sent me these pictures of this totally gorgeous, off-grid cordwood sauna deep in the mountains of Utah.  

So many unique and organic motifs in the walls. 

The sauna is a livestock tank heated from underneath with a wood stove.  Very creative and powerfully hot!  

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 Online Bookstore 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.

Click on the picture if you would like to order this “best of the best” DVD (menu below).