Little Fish Woodworks was founded in 2004 by Steve Berg and Matt Hale of Michigan. Having both worked in the building profession, they realized the benefit of each other’s expertise and experience and decided to form a partnership. The sauna is one of their projects and was built for a client near Traverse City, Michigan. 

Steve provides some of the following detail. “The sauna is all northern white cedar.  We salvaged most of the cordwood from local utility easement clearings.  The roof is multi-layered.  The original plan included a living roof, but the client was inspired by some of the Charlevoix, Earl Young curvy cedar shake rooflines on the nearby ‘hobbit houses’.”

“The back end of the sauna is all field-stone with a masonry chimney for a Vermont Castings woodstove.  The sauna has been in use for 11 years and doubles as a bathhouse in the summer for the adjacent saltwater pool. We did the trim work on the main house in 2000 including kitchen, dining room table, railings, hearth & mantel, and outdoor kitchen.”

(Below) The “little fish woodworkers” are swimming across the wall.   

For the roof, Steve and Matt used:

  • Curved Cedar Rafters w/ half-lap mortises
  • Decked with cedar 1 ½” t&g decking (finished ceiling)
  • Framed with 2 X 8 rafters cut to fit ceiling shape
  • Closed-cell Spray Foam between rafters

  • A taped layer of  ¼”  foam vapor-barrier
  • 2 layers of 3/8” plywood with staggered seams
  • Bituthene membrane
  • Cedar hand-split Shakes

The attention to detail and the craftsmanship are evident in the photos. 

The completed project is full of delightful artistic motifs.  

Their horizontal log cabin building skills were useful in creating a dramatic entrance. 

Should you wish to find out more please contact Steve & Matt.  You can view their gallery of other projects at to the link.

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.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixels 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  2005, 2011 & 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD (2018),  Cordwood Construction Best Practices 2020 (print & ebook) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.

The Cordwood Workshop DVD is like taking a workshop in your own living room.

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit