When planning your cordwood home, the roof becomes an essential part of your design.  From looking good to insulating to adding extra space, to protecting your walls, good roof design is an essential part of every home. Here are a few “topping off ideas” to consider for your cordwood construction dream home design.Roof Gormely Minnesota building the roof

A roundwood, log cabin style roof for the second floor. Roof king post truss.jpg

A simple “king post truss” can be handmade and spans a maximum of 16 feet.

Jessi hoy peterson9 living roof with logoA living roof needs a sturdy framework, proper waterproofing protection and good drainage.   The rule of thumb with living roofs is to build them like a fine cabinet maker would make a hutch. Ernie Slatter roof framing.jpgThe angle cuts for a round living roof can be complicated for a beginner.


Cordwood workshop sauna 6.jpgA simple shed roof is very easy to build.Issac Haumesser MO larger pixel with logo

Issac built his own trusses and then cut his own dragon skin shakes by hand.Roof separate from structure.jpg This roof (above) is separate from the building structure.Kinstone 20 Tension ring and circular metal roof bracket makes for a strong system.jpg

A ring collar and tensioner help to keep the poles in good alignment.

Truss room in the attic

The Truss-Room-in-the-Attic is my favorite roof for strength, shedding snow/rain and adding space.

Above, this is how the room-in-the-attic truss looks after being installed (but before finishing).

This truss room in the attic adds an extra 560 sq. ft. of living space on top of our cordwood home. Flatau's Chateau winter with logo.jpg

This is how it looks from the outside, somewhat of a Swiss Chalet style. The pitch is 8/12.

Roof common gable or common rafter roof.jpg

A common rafter takes longer to install than a truss roof.

Reciprocal roof with cordwood and logo

Above, Reciprocal roofs are beautiful but do not provide adequate insulation in cold climates, but they sure do look good!Peter Turkow d Waterport NY with logo

Peter Turkow’s childhood cordwood home.  Known as “The House with the Hat.”

These photos are meant to stimulate your planning juices.  This is certainly not a comprehensive treatise on how to build a roof, but rather a starting point from which to begin.  You will need to research the cost, buildability and “look” of the roof you choose for your dwelling.  Good fortune!

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   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 Cordwood Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.

Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

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.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

This is the Cordwood Workshop Video label. 

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