In 2009 we assisted in the building of a beautiful cordwood home on the White Earth Reservation in NW Minnesota.   We had serious help from Bill Paulson, Robert Zahorski, Arlen Kangas and the native tribal wood masons.   This is an 1800 sq. ft. cordwood home made of 16″ cedar with foam insulation.  It also has radiant in-floor heat and a sand heat storage bed.

The winter of 2009 with a coating of snow to accent the beauty of this fine abode.

We were fortunate to have Bill place Ojibway motifs into the cordwood walls.    Here is his “feather in the wall.”

Feather in the wall by Bill Paulson.

The owner of the home belongs to the bear clan.  Bill Paulson created this feather and the bear paw motif and they both stand proudly and beautifully in the wall.  The home is warm and inviting and has many Ojibway requested features, like the entrance door facing east.

The White Earth Cordwood Home on a late summer’s day

Stairway to the room in the attic truss that added 800 sq. ft. to the home.

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.

The bear paw mortared into the wall by tribal member and consultant Bill Paulson.

The home under construction:

Corner post detail.


Mortaring using a random pattern.

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 Workshop DVD (2018),  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print 2017) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their Online Cordwood Bookstore.  The books & DVD are also available as ebooks for a quick and easy shipping free download.
This is the Cordwood Workshop DVD will show you how to build a best practices cordwood home.
Cordwood Workshop DVD 3
The 30 detailed menu items from the Cordwood Workshop DVD.
DVD Menu 1
DVD menu 2

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