Cordwood is often built to save money using locally available materials.  However, sometimes cordwood is built to impress, and here is a fine example.  This million dollar cordwood lodge was constructed in 1995, by a wealthy family from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   It is located on a hidden lake in Northern Wisconsin.  Cordwood_Lodge_northern_Wisconsin_photo_by_Richard_Flatau_300ppi small pixels

This timber framed, cordwood infill beauty is located on a gated, private road.  The 62′ x 42′ lodge boasts a full basement, a field stone fireplace and three floors.

Star Lake architects homeAs good fortune would have it, the architect for this cordwood mansion lived right next store, in a beautiful cordwood cottage.  He designed the cordwood lodge in the shape of a capital I so there would be an entrance and exit that would be shielded from the elements.

Star Lake other side 2

This is a good view from the east side of the building.  The fieldstone foundation keeps the cordwood up “off of grade” and allows for proper air circulation.  The cordwood is 18″ Northern White Cedar.  It was built with three 4″ mortar beads of a vermiculite/lime/sand slurry (vermiculite was used in place of sawdust).  There are two 3″ dry vermiculite insulation rows down the middle of the logs.  The roof is standing seam green metal.


The architect also used a capital I for his cottage, which he built within a post and beam framework.  His cottage is also 18″ Northern White Cedar.  He asked me to not use the name of the owner of the Million Dollar Cordwood Lodge and I have respected his wishes.


The interiors of the lodge and the architect’s cottage are both attractive and tastefully appointed.  The Lodge has sold two times since it was built, which is typical in a highly prized recreational area.

This simply shows what can be done when money is no object, however, it is relatively easy to build a modest cordwood home (depending on your parameters) for much, much less.

If you are considering building with cordwood, you would do well to do it right.  The most excellent book Cordwood Construction Best Practices if chock full of how to do it with “no regrets.”  If you follow the recipe and make your choices wisely, you too can build you own natural home/cottage/cabin/lodge:0)  Visit for more pictures and explanation.

Cordwood 320 x 414Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices


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