Small Cordwood Buildings

  /  Blog   /  Small Cordwood Buildings

Small Cordwood Buildings

Small Cordwood Buildings

Don’t know if a cordwood masonry house is for you? A good way to find out is to try a small cordwood building first.  If you’re having trouble with the small one, or find it too time-consuming, or simply don’t like it, then don’t build the house! In a worse case, you will have created a useful little building at relatively low cost.

What to build?  There are multiple and various possibilities: children’s playhouse, sauna, garden shed, guest house, private outside office or den, small guest house, storage building, etc. You can do a nice little building for between one and two thousand dollars. You don’t get much at a big building box store for that kind of money.

And, if you find that cordwood is what you want to do on your house, you will have gained invaluable experience on the small project. Better to make a $500 mistake on the little building than a $5000 mistake on the house.

Jaki and I (Rob writing) – and our sons – have built all of the suggested possibilities above, at Earthwood (Earthwood plans and instructions are available in our store!) and at workshops nearby and afar. Here’s a pictorial, with some salient facts or history, about some of our smaller projects.

 

This pond-side playhouse was built by three 7-year-old boys and a 10-year-old girl for ten dollars. Later, the pressure-treated ladder to the living roof more than doubled the total cost.

This pond-side playhouse was built by three 7-year-old boys and a 10-year-old girl for ten dollars. Later, the pressure-treated ladder to the living roof more than doubled the total cost.

 

The round sauna, 10 feet in diameter, has been in use at Earthwood since 1982.

 

The Library and Book Store at Earthwood is 16-feet external diameter with 12-inch cordwood walls, 154 SF of actual usable space inside.

The Library and Book Store at Earthwood is 16-feet external diameter with 12-inch cordwood walls, 154 SF of actual usable space inside.

 

Our Stoneview guest house, an octagon, has a long diameter of 21 feet and 256 SF of actual usable area inside. It cost about $5000 to build in 2004, but would probably be double that amount today.

Our Stoneview guest house, an octagon, has a long diameter of 21 feet and 256 SF of actual usable area inside. It cost about $5000 to build in 2004, but would probably be double that amount today.

 

We did both timber framing and cordwood workshops to build this sauna at a friend’s house near Earthwood. It has a stove room and a changing room.

We did both timber framing and cordwood workshops to build this sauna at a friend’s house near Earthwood. It has a stove room and a changing room.

 

Our “Mess Hall” – cooking and eating area for the small guesthouses at Earthwood – was built at workshops with a materials cost of about $1100 in 2008/9.

Our “Mess Hall” – cooking and eating area for the small guesthouses at Earthwood – was built at workshops with a materials cost of about $1100 in 2008/9.

 

This sauna, begun at a workshop near New Paltz, New York, was finished by the owner. A few years later they built a small octagonal guest house on top of it.

This sauna near New Paltz, NY, got its start at a workshop conducted by Rob and Jaki Roy. The little guest house above it was a later addition.

 

Inside the sauna near New Paltz. The exterior diameter is about 11 feet, and the walls are eight inches thick. Five or six people can sauna together.

Inside the sauna near New Paltz. The exterior diameter is about 11 feet, and the walls are eight inches thick. Five or six people can sauna together.

 

Our Hermit’s Hut is truly a “tiny house,” built on a foundation just 8 feet square. With 8-inch cordwood walls, the actual area is just 43 SF, enough space for one hermit.

Our Hermit’s Hut is truly a “tiny house,” built on a foundation just 8 feet square. With 8-inch cordwood walls, the actual area is just 43 SF, enough space for one hermit.