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Building a Traditional Norwegian Storage Building: Constructing the Skjelter

Course Overview

The Norwegian countryside is scattered with eye-catching wooden structures with sod roofs, steeped in the history of families making their living in the beautiful but harsh landscape. Reaching back centuries, each structure was designed and constructed for a specific purpose: storing grain, livestock, textiles, or even serving as the wedding night abode to name just a few. Restoring these historic structures requires craftsmen to use tools, techniques and materials appropriate to the period of construction and has generated a group of specialists who travel the country to work, study and occasionally re-create these buildings. North House is delighted to welcome traditional builder Trond Oalaan back to campus to teach two courses in traditional Norwegian techniques constructing a skjelter with a birch bark and sod roof.  

The Skjelter is a storage building with at least a 500 year history in northern Norway. The structure starts off with a scribed and notched log base. The main wall portion has corner and doorposts with removable vertical wall timbers that can be whole small logs, split logs, or planks. This wall construction technique has a long history throughout Norway and is related to that of the Stav Churches. The upper wall and gable ends revert back to scribed log construction. The course will be taught using traditional tools and layout techniques. Starting with round logs, students will peel, hew, notch and split the various parts of the building all while  learning the history, culture and techniques of traditional construction methods.


Tue, Jun 11th, 2019  –  Thu, Jun 20th, 2019

Course Details

Length: 10 Days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: 9am-5pm
Intergenerational age: 14+ w/ adult 16+ w/o
Registration Cost: $950.00
Additional materials fee paid to instructor when class starts: included

Required Tools

You will need the following tools for this class:

  • carpenters axe (1-2kg/2.2-4lbs)
  • sturdy boots (steel toe recommended)
  • gloves
  • knife
  • much of our work will be done outdoors, please bring clothing, sunscreen, etc appropriate to a variety of conditions
  • folding rule
  • pencil

Optional Tools

  • 1.5” framing chisel
  • mallet(2-3lb)
  • chalk line
  • knife
  • pencil
  • tape measure
  • draw knife
  • bark spud

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.

Begin Registration

North House is now requesting full payment at time of registration. Payment plans are available upon request — don't hesitate to contact us at 218-387-9762 if you need to arrange one.

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Cancellation Policy

If North House must cancel a course, students will receive a full refund of any payments made for that course.

Students who cancel their enrollment more than 21 days prior to the course will receive a refund less a $50 cancellation fee to cover administrative costs. In recognition of the time and energy instructors invest in preparing for courses, students who cancel their enrollment 21 days or less prior to the course are not eligible for a refund.

Certain classes have different cancellation policies. When this is the case, it will be noted in the Course Overview on this page. Please be sure that you are familiar with your class's cancellation policy, and contact us if you have any questions.