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build a roof

5-Day Wood House Building Course
After our success in splitting our 10-Day Mud and Wood Course in 2017, we are keeping the same format for 2018. The first week is more mud-based. The second week (this week) is more wood-based.

Depending on your experience, your budget and your requirements, you may want to do Week 1 Only or Week 2 Only .... or for a complete overview of how to build a Mud and Wood House, join us for the full 10-Day Programme.

5 Day Wood House Building
09-13 July 2018

Bookings Closed
Start:   10:00 a.m
Finish: 5:30 p.m.
Lunch: Hearty vegetarian stews and curries

10-Day Mud and Wood House Building Course
If you would like to join us for the full 10-Day Programme, please click on the link below to book your place.

10 Day Mud and Wood House Building Course

Terms and Conditions
Payment and booking form are required to complete a booking. Bookings are non-transferable.
Please click here for our cancellation policy.

Alternative Payment Options
Courses can also be paid for by cheque made out to Mud and Wood or by electronic transfer directly into the Mud and Wood account. Please contact us for our bank details if you would prefer to pay in this way.

Unwaged/Students Terms and Conditions
There are a limited number of unwaged/student places on each course. Please check that there are places still available prior to booking. Proof of unwaged/student status MUST be provided at time of purchase. Failure to provide proof will result in a void booking, in which case the course fee minus an administration fee of €20 will be refunded.

set out a building
Click Here for Online Booking Form Click Here for pdf. Booking Form Click Here for Gift Vouchers
Click Here for Testimonials    
build a timber frame wall

This 5-day wood house building course will cover the non-earth-based elements required to complete a contemporary natural home. There will be a mix of classroom theory and practical workshops with the aim of giving participants the confidence to tackle a range of natural house building disciplines. Thorough guidance will be provided in the use of all tools. Plenty of complete novices, as well as those with some building skills, have attended and enjoyed these courses.

This course will not cover cob.

Please do not come on this 5-Day Course and expect to be taught about the earthen elements. We will not have the time and it will not be fair to the other paying participants.

The 5-Day Wood House Building Course will be taught be Colin Ritchie, cob-builder and carpenter, and Féile Butler, cob-builder and architect (MRIAI) in the grounds of the Mud and Wood House. Classroom-based lectures will take place in the house.

The 5-Day Wood House Building Course will cover:

  • Video of How We Built the Mud and Wood House
  • Setting Out a Building (even a curvy one!)
  • Options for Foundations and Ground Floors
  • Building a Timber Frame and Straw Bale Wall
  • Understanding Insulation
  • Tips for Salvaging Building Materials
  • Making Timber Beams
  • Hanging Floor Joists
  • Making Temporary Windows and Doors
  • Building Simple Pitched and Flat Roofs
  • Natural Edge Wood Fitted Furniture

If you cannot attend the 5-Day Mud House Building Course but would like to learn about cob, we recommend the 1-Day Introduction to Cob Course or the Weekend Cob Oven Course. We will not cover cob on this course.

hang floor joists
installing temporary windows

What to Bring:

This is a very practical hands-on course with all workshops taking place outdoors. Bring good waterproof clothes and sturdy footwear, preferably steel toe-caps.

Bring a notebook and pen for theory. A hardback notebook or a clipboard is advisable if you want to take notes during outdoor workshops. The Handbook will be provided.

If you have them - bring a hammer, saw, measuring tape, cordless screwdriver, spirit level and pencils. We have extra tools on site, but if you have your own, you will not have to wait around to use tools. Please label all personal items before arriving on the course.

Novices tend to be most nervous of the cordless screwdriver. If you can get hold of one to practise in advance of the course, by repeatedly driving screws into and removing screws from a piece of wood, this can help your confidence from the get-go.

Accommodation:   Click here for local camping and B&B and self-catering options.
Directions by Car:   To be sent with booking confirmation.
Public Transport: Click here.
Cost:   €495 / €445 concession or early bird

Cancellation Policy:

  • 100% refundable up to 4 weeks prior to course start date, minus administration fee of €20.00.
  • 50% refundable up to 3 weeks prior to course start date, plus administration fee of €20.00.
  • No refunds for cancellations within 3 weeks of course start date.
natural edge wood




Testimonials for the 5-Day Wood House Building Course

"The timber and straw bale course was brilliant. Colin and Féile were extremely knowledgeable, helpful and patient throughout the course. In just five days we learned an incredible amount about the ins and outs of timber and straw bale building and, very importantly, we got to put everything we learned into practice. All of the hands-on work was great for gaining confidence in using tools, getting stuck in and not being afraid to make mistakes. Colin and Féile welcomed us into their home and generously shared their knowledge and enthusiasm. It has been an inspirational week. Thank you to Colin and Féile, their family and the team at Mud and Wood."
Gwen Boyle, Ballydehob, Co. Cork

"I found the Wood House Building Course excellent. I never used hand tools or carpentry tools before but ths course has given me the confidence to try this out for myself!"
Dylan Fitzgerald, Co. Cork

"Colin and Féile are good teachers and good hosts. so much helpful info in just a short few days and everything explained well for beginners. A really enjoyable experience."

Testimonials for the Intensive Mud and Wood Course
formerly a continuous 9 day course

"Nine days seemed like a lot before the course started but during the course our time was filled. Every day we learned so many new things in a very relaxed, friendly way. Féile and Colin and the family are lovely people and I would enjoy their company any time or place. Thank you guys for everything. I finish with a lot clearer vision for the future. P.S. Food was amazeballs!!"
David Walsh, Galway

"Colin and Féile and their family have been so welcoming, caring and generous. They have put so much preparation into the course and make sure they deliver its contents in a way that truly enables and encourages resourcefulness. All I have learned is worth every penny of the course fees and much more. Those nine days have cemented my confidence in abilities and helped me expand my vision of a free-er future. Colin and Féile are passing love forward through their expertise in carpentry and architecture. Some of us are hoping dreaming of a better world - they have started building it."
Samuel Angelo, Stroud, Gloucestershire, England

"The Intensive Course was extremely beneficial to me and has given me the confidence I needed to make the decision that ... I will build my own house!! The mixture of hands-on practical work and in-class theory was ideal to stimulate mind and body. I travelled from the other side of the world to attend this course and I am glad I did. The relaxed family atmosphere and delicious lunches were well balanced with physical cob stomping and whacking. The amount I learned in this time was priceless."
Jayce Fischer, Bluff, New Zealand

"I really enjoyed this course and found it extremely informative. It was excellent for figuring out your strengths and weaknesses and giving you a detailed overall experience of the theory behind cob structures, reinforced with many practical sessions. I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in natural building and would go so far as to say it was essential!"
Aimee Scanlon, Maynooth, Co. Kildare

"A thoroughly well-taught course with a good mix of theory and practical. The instructors are extremely helpful and patient. No question has been left unanswered. I will come away with a good feeling of the amount of work and dedication required for a cob building project, but also feeling that it is very possible. An empowering course."
Helene Petersen, Co. Wicklow

" showed us that anyone can build their own house! Féile and Colin are full of enthusiasm, knowledge and inspiration. We spent the course with a great group of people; having fun, using unknown muscles and developing our imaginations. My family are now setting off to Mexico to start to build our own Mud and Wood-style hostel. If you are interested in building naturally don't hesitate in coming on the intensive course!"
Vicky Ellaby, St. Helens, England

"We were interested in this course above others because it covers cob, but also wood - give a more complete idea and introduction to natural building. I feel it offers the full hand of options to go on with my/our plans. I feel happy and pleased with all the experience I got during the course. I'm a bit tired as well, but it helped me to be a bit more fit"
Marcello Guerrero (Marshmellow), Mexico City

"Fantastic course, very informative both practically and theoretically. Féile and Colin go into great detail on all aspects of cob building and all aspects of building in general. Really enjoyed the course as it reassured me that using cob as a building material is not only viable, but for me, the most practical and natural way to build. Well worth it for anyone considering using cob. 10 out of 10."
Vinny Barry, Feoghanagh, Co. Limerick

"The Intensive Course was a great experience. It gave a good overview of everything involved with a house build using cob/timber-frame/straw bale. A good mix of practical and theory. Colin and Féile are flexible in their teaching to take on students' learning styles. The practical demystified many aspects that seemed very technical and the prospect of a self-build much more realistically achievable."
Karena Stannett, Kilroosky, Co. Roscommon



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