Our Cordwood House
After years of dreaming and scheming, my husband and I set out to sell our midcentury ranch, buy land, and build a cordwood house from scratch. It’s pretty cool how we ended up here.
We get so many questions about our project that I’ve compiled the most commonly requested info here in one page.
- Kentucky, USA
- 16.4 acres
- Cordwood construction (infill for post and beam frame)
- Concrete slab foundation with concrete piers for post and beam frame
- NO! Cordwood will not rot if you do it right! Read more about that here.
- Footprint of 30’x34′, mudroom on front an additional 8’x12′
- Approximately 1190 square feet of interior space
- 2 beds/2 baths on main level
- Off grid solar power
- Water via concrete cistern (rainwater catchment, water hauling if necessary)
- Heating from wood stove and from radiant heat in the concrete slab
- Propane for water heating and cooking
- Passive Solar design
- Eastern Red Cedar logs
- 16 inches thick
- We cut down roughly 50-60 trees from our own property.
- Logs seasoned for about a year before building.
- Each tree was an average of 8-12 inches in base trunk diameter and 10-20 feet long.
- Roughly 17-18 face cords of wood
- Building the cordwood walls took from July 16 – October 30, 2016 to complete.
- Built primarily on weekends, holidays, and vacation days
- Approximately 588 square feet of cordwood walls
- Lime putty mortar
We used roughly:
- 50+ 50-lb bags of Type-S masonry lime
- 3100 gallons of sawdust/lime insulation mix
- 12+ tons of sand
- 250+ bottles, jars, and glasses
Number of days just laying cordwood = 40
Total time spent = 246-280 man-hours
Off Grid Specs
- Solar power
- 6 190-watt solar panels (capable of exceeding 1200 watts at peak sun)
- Morningstar TS-M-2 Charge Controller
- 4 Sealed lead acid AGM batteries, wired to produce 500 amp hours at 24 volts
- 4000-watt Magna Sine inverter
Learn more about off grid power and our experiences by reading more:
Total Cost to Build: $80,204.98
Material Cost of the House: $67,655.36
Miscellaneous: $8,352.55 (includes our tractor, shed, tools, and related items without which our home build wouldn’t have been possible)
Total Cost Including Miscellaneous: $88,557.53
Ready to build a house of your own? Plan the best build possible with The Owner-Builder Home Planner.
Not sure if you’re ready? Get the free guide here:
And be sure to check out our monthly homestead progress reports to get a better idea of what it takes to build from scratch. You should also join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and Pinterest too! Thanks for reading!