Many people are attracted to cordwood construction for the potentially low cost of building materials (wood)  and the possibility of heating ones own home with a sustainable natural resource (wood). If you have a woodlot, your cordwood home can be heated for your “sweat equity.” This post has examples of many different types of thermal mass heaters and wood stoves.  Some are very simple and inexpensive, others are more costly and more expensive.   Part of the home building process is to set a budget and then plan your building according to your resources. Heating and cooling (HVAC) are two of the major impacts on your building budget. 

(Above) A massive masonry heater in Wisconsin with baffles and flues to direct and store the heat.  The stones are from the owner’s property. 

A highly efficient Vigilant wood stove provides maximum heat for a minimal amount of wood. 

Our Home Comfort Wood Cook Stove (circa 1929) provides warmth and is an enjoyable, family oriented way to cook Holiday meals.

(Below)  The Maine Wood Heat Company has plans for a heating and cooking area. 

A gorgeous massive thermal mass heater with fireplace and bake oven.  Very nicely done!

A simple wood stove, masonry heater, with cook top made of stones, masonry and firebrick. 

Built from plans from the Maine Wood Heat Company by a local mason.  

Elegant rounded thermal mass heater graces a lovely home in Romania. 

(Below) Three Hearthstone Soapstone stoves functioning in homes in order, in Wisconsin,  Minnesota and Oklahoma. 

Our Hearthstone Soapstone Master in the great room of our $15,000 dollar, mortgage-free cordwood home. A 16-foot tall cordwood wall with a large Soapstone Stove at Daycreek in Minnesota. Eastern Red Cedar and a Soapstone Hearthstone Stove in southern Oklahoma.

How to proceed with planning?  Find two or three stoves that you like and then do your research.  The least expensive way to go is with a free standing stove.  They can be found used for a tenth of the price of a new one, on eBay, Craig’s List, in the local paper, and at flea markets.  The larger thermal mass heaters require a professional mason and are more expensive.  Like with any budget decision, it is important to consider the cost/benefit ratio of the product.  When we decided to build mortgage-free, our guiding principle was: Don’t buy what you can’t afford.  It took longer, but the rewards were worth it. 

Our Mortgage Free article from New Pioneer Magazine click here 

If you have any questions or wish to learn more please “subscribe” to this blog and/or email me at richardflatau@gmail.com

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 check-out the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print, digital and ebook format.

 

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 Cordwood Bookstore.  The books & DVD are also available as ebooks for a quick and easy shipping free download.