Check out this overview of how one aspiring homestead family built up a full post-and-beam house frame in one month! #diy #house #homestead

June Cordwood Homestead Update

We are making lots of progress on building our cordwood homestead! In one month we’ve gone from posts in the ground to a full house frame. Check out our photos and get a full walk-through in this post!

Check out this overview of how one aspiring homestead family built up a full post-and-beam house frame in one month! #diy #house #homestead


June has been a really hopping month up at Big Muddy Rock! On June 1st our home site looked like this:

Posts in place on our DIY pole frame for a cordwood house

 

And on June 30 it looked like this:

Putting up the sheathing on the front of our cordwood house (yes, we know that one corner is a little wonky...check out the progress here!)

 

Yes, we’re totally aware about that one weird little corner sticking up and yes, it’s since been fixed. But still….

Wow! I still can’t believe we did all that in one month!

Here’s a breakdown of EVERYTHING we’ve done in the month of June:

  1. Set all 19 posts

    Posts in place on our DIY pole frame for a cordwood house

  2. Notched the posts and set the headers (with help from good friends!)

    If you are thinking about building your own house, it isn't impossible! But if you're thinking it's going to look like all of the magical things you see on Pinterest, think again. Here, we discuss the realities of being owner-builders and the ONE BIG THING to keep in mind if you want to build your own house.

  3. Laid out Crete Heat and set radiant heat PEX tubing

    Radiant heat system using PEX tubing placed in Crete Heat insulation

  4. Poured concrete slab

    Watching the concrete slab be poured for our off-grid cordwood house

  5. Trusses delivered and set on frame (also with help from good friends, check out what we learned about safety while building your own home HERE)

    IMG_3273IMG_3281

  6. Moved the cordwood from the wood shed to the house frame for “staging”

    IMG_3366

  7. Got a load of sawdust and 12 bags of masonry lime for the insulation

    (we’re probably going to need more, but that’s what we could get for now)

    IMG_3394

  8. Cut down and peeled some more trees for our walls to make up for last year’s deficit

    IMG_3362

  9. Ordered the roofing and set up a time for the installation – first week of July, weather permitting!

  10. Started putting the sheathing on the gable ends (today!)

 

That was a LOT for us to get done in a month! We had some contractors for the big stuff like the trusses and the concrete, and some good friends helped us set the trusses and notch the posts (thank you so much!), but for the most part it was just the two of us sweating it out up on our hill at Big Muddy Rock.

So what’s next?

The roof should start going on next week, weather permitting. This is that shifty time of year in our region where we get pop-up storms with the daytime heating, so it’s a bit hard to predict. You don’t want to put metal roofing on in the rain or wind, after all! This is also the last big job that gets contracted out (hopefully), so the timing depends on another person. Not ideal, but after seeing how big and steep our roof is in real life, we felt that for safety’s sake we should hire a real professional to make sure it’s done right and so neither of us fall off the roof and break our necks.

Beyond that, we’ll finish getting the trees we need to complete the walls and start the actual cordwood walls very soon! We had about 3/4 of the logs cut last year, but we stopped cutting around September when the bark hardened to the inside of the tree and made them all but impossible to peel. In this area, our trees need to dry to around 12% moisture content. Fortunately for us, last year we monitored our logs throughout the summer, and in the 90 degree sunny weather they were all dried to 12% in 2-3 weeks. Even if we have to build with the logs “wet”, we can still seal around them later with a specialty compound. We’ll see how it goes!

If you’ve missed the latest on the project, check out these recent popular posts about the homestead build!

If you are building or are thinking about building a house - tiny, traditional, or otherwise - there are two big mistakes you're likely to make at some point along the way. How you prevent these mistakes and what you do when they happen anyway is critical! #homebuilding #diy

If you're dreaming of one day buying a piece of land to build a house or start a homestead, there is some important financial information you NEED to know before you take the leap from DREAMING to DOING. Don't jeopardize your homestead success because of money -- start off on the right financial foot! #homesteading #smartmoney

If you are thinking about building your own house, it isn't impossible! But if you're thinking it's going to look like all of the magical things you see on Pinterest, think again. Here, we discuss the realities of being owner-builders and the ONE BIG THING to keep in mind if you want to build your own house. #homesteading #building

If you’re just checking out the project, get more information on our homestead specs HERE, and check the latest Cordwood Building Posts HERE. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Instagram for updates that don’t always make it to the blog, and Pinterest for more fun stuff!

Check out this overview of how one aspiring homestead family built up a full post-and-beam house frame in one month! #diy #house #homestead

 

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  1. July 7, 2016

    The latest and in my opinion, the best book on cordwood is Cordwood Construction Best Practices , which was just updated.

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