Alan & Rebecca Barreca sent me the following pictures and information on their beautiful home in SE Oklahoma. For those who are wondering about cordwood in a hot, humid climate, this will help answer your questions.

“We moved into our 16 sided cordwood home on March 21 and simply love it. It is so comfortable to live in. It is only 800 square feet (one bedroom, 1 & 1/2 baths) including the pop-out sunroom on the south side, but is totally adequate for 2 retired folks.”

Alan & Rebecca's 16 sided cordwood home-made of 12" eastern red cedar.

Alan & Rebecca’s 16 sided cordwood home-made of 12″ red cedar.

Mortars:  They used all different types of cordwood mortars, from Lime Putty (which they found too time-consuming and difficult) to Paper Enhanced Mortar (which they liked) to cob (which they loved).

A Hearthstone free-standing stove takes care of all their heating requirements. Easter red cedar has beautiful patterning.

A Hearthstone free standing stove takes care of all their heating requirements. Eastern red cedar has beautiful coloring.

Alan & Rebecca used a special plaster paint to blend all the different cordwood mortars together and speak glowingly of Vasari – They say it is so easy to use and so much better than a lime wash. It is actually a plaster that is lime-based.

The red cedar is a weed tree in the southern middle portion of the country and it is naturally resistant to insects.

The red cedar is a weed tree in the south-central portion of the US and it is naturally resistant to insects and rot.


The home is relatively small (800 sq. ft.), handsome and easy to heat and cool. alan-rebecca-8-se-oklahama-with-logoThey also experimented with an earthen floor: After a year the floor is holding up pretty well. We have it everywhere including the bathroom. It is made up of clay and sand with a Bioshield finish.

Here is a sample of the central capital and the posts, including the earthen floor.

Here is a sample of the central capital and the posts, including the earthen floor.

The plaster paint that Alan & Rebecca used was helpful in covering up the different types of mortar they tried while building their lovely home.  You can see the different shades of mortar at the top (below).   The Vasari Lime Wash made it all the same color.

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This home is on the only private Veteran’s Colony in the US.  Veteran’s pay a one time, lifetime fee of a few hundred dollars to build their home and live here.  It was started after the Spanish-American War and now takes applications from veterans of foreign wars.

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.

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

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.