Learn to design and build your own buildings from the ground up!

In our basic carpentry classes, students learn how to safely and effectively use tools for carpentry. In response to popular demand, we created this advanced women’s carpentry class specifically for graduates of our basic carpentry class, so they can take their skills to the next level. In this next-level program, we combine online lectures and five days of hands-on learning by doing. Students who participate fully will be able to leave the class with the knowledge and ability to construct a simple shed from the ground up.

Betsy Advanced Women's Carpentry Student

I took away a lot of the practical skills that I thought I would– how to build a wall and square it up, how to raise the wall and make sure that it is plumb, and square to a building, how to figure out the angles for rafters, cut them, and install them… I walked away with all of that. But, I think the biggest thing that I walk away with is a newfound confidence to engage in these projects that have been percolating in my mind. I feel like I have the skills to take an idea, create or follow a plan, and then to see it all the way through to the end. And that, that feels like a big deal.

The women’s carpentry classes have been my favorite thing I have done for myself in 20 years.
– Betsy, Personal Trainer, North Carolina


This class includes 5 full days of building instruction and practice, plus online material to study ahead of time and keep indefinitely.


framing a floor in a women's carpentry course

Day 1: Creating foundations and footers

On the first day of class, we will get to know each other and learn about the project we’ll be tackling together. Then, we’ll look at plans, divide into groups, and dive into working on a foundation and floor systems.


women doing woodworking

Day 2: Floors and getting started with walls

On our second day, we’ll work on finishing up the floor system, getting into cutting pieces for walls, and likely starting to put together our walls.


woman using a speed square for carpentry

Day 3: Building walls and

This day will be all about walls, assembling them, sheathing them, and erecting them. Depending on the project, you will be working on a stick framed or post and beam wall system.


door trim carpentry project

Day 4: More walls, plus rafters and maybe even a window!

Today we will likely finish up framing and sheathing walls, and cut rafters for the roof.


Day 5: Putting on the roof

Today we will install a shed roof on our building together! The online lectures cover multiple other types of roofs you can learn about too.


Online Lectures: Foundation, Floor, Wall, and Roof Systems, along with window installation

Within 1 week of registering for this class, you’ll receive access to an online lecture series covering foundation, floor, wall, and roof systems, along with window installation. In these in-depth discussions, you’ll learn the theory behind some of the most important parts of structural building. 

We ask students to watch the lectures in preparation for the class, whenever is convenient, and freshen up on learning before each relevant in-person class session.

It’s very important that you get through this material before you come to class, so that our in-class discussion can go beyond the basics. You’ll have unlimited access to this material, so you can refer back to it as you embark on your own projects.


Learn at your own pace – Check out our Online Tiny House Academy

Along with in-person building classes, we also offer an online tiny house building course called the Tiny House Academy. The online lectures for the Advanced Women’s Carpentry Class are a very small sampling from this comprehensive online program. The full program includes a ton of how-to’s, along with an extremely comprehensive video library of tutorials, lectures, and demos, plus instructor support. 

When you join our Women’s Advanced Carpentry Class or our All Genders Advanced Carpentry Class, you receive a coupon for $200 off this awesome tiny house online workshop.


We build at a pace that gets things done while considering students needs

We work hard to assure a balance between breadth and depth. Meaning, our goal is that each student understands the big concepts and principles, while also building competence in each step. Everyone will get to explore various stages of projects, get her hands on a lot of tools, and feel a sense of satisfaction at the end of the class. Since each step of structural building builds upon the last (pun intended!), we will need to move at a pace that allows us to finish the project. After running this class over a dozen times, we’ve dialed in what scale can allow for this, while not rushing the group. 


Instructors

Natalie Bogwalker

Natalie Bogwalker

Natalie (she/her) is the visionary behind Wild Abundance, as well as a primary instructor for many classes. She’s passionate about teaching and sharing skills to help all kinds of people live in an empowered and Earth-centered way. Natalie and her family live at the Wild Abundance homestead campus in the Southern Appalachians. She balances her ...

Ella Scotto

Ella (she/her) took a carpentry class with Wild Abundance in 2017. After that, she bought an acre of land in Barnardsville, NC, and began building a house. For over a year, she worked with Barron Brown, learning everything she could about carpentry and construction. Ella is always eager to learn more, and is constantly honing her ...

Alex Kilgore

Alex (he/him) has been learning and teaching primitive and traditional living skills since 1995. He began with a formative apprenticeship with Steve Watts, the founder of the Society of Primitive Technology and director of the Aboriginal Studies Program at the Schiele Museum of Natural History.  In 1997, Alex completed his degree in Outdoor Experiential Education ...

Pete McKelvey

Pete (he/they) has lived in Asheville since 2009 and works full time as a construction supervisor with Habitat for Humanity. In the last decade, he has spent time as a bicycle mechanic, graphic designer, bike safety instructor, lead carpenter, and handyman. He’s also ridden a bicycle from California to South America. Pete loves sharing knowledge ...

Class Location

This class is held in Barnardsville, at a Wild Abundance home campus

Wild Abundance has two beautiful mountain campuses just 25 minutes north of Asheville. Each of them is a a bustling landscape with woods, wild plants, trickling creeks, and lovely outdoor classrooms and facilities. You’ll receive information about exactly where your class will be held, including detailed directions on how to get here upon registration. If you’re attending a class hosted at Wild Abundance, you may be traveling to other sites for field trips.

Please note: our campuses are all unconventional, with rustic amenities and uneven ground. Read more about our campuses here.

Local Accommodations and Facilities

Wherever you’re coming from, you’re welcome to pitch a tent in one of our flat camping spots in the woods or field, or to tie a hammock in the forest. If you live locally, you may prefer to commute to Wild Abundance from Asheville (25-30 minute drive). If you choose to camp, please bring your own bedding and rainproof tent or tarp. In the early spring and late fall it can be cold at night, so please bring warm bedding if you’ll be here before May or after September. We have a lovely outdoor kitchen equipped with a stove and running water, an outdoor shower, and an outhouse available to campers.  In extremely cold weather, the sink and shower may be out of operation due to water freezing.

If you prefer something with more creature comforts, we suggest you browse Airbnb for numerous options close to the campus. You can also check out local motels and B&Bs within a 10-15 minute drive to Wild Abundance. We’ll send a list of links to several options (with varying amenities and prices) in a welcome letter upon registration.


Registration Info

Course Dates:

  • May 17-21, 2023
  • Sep 6-10, 2023

Pricing for Advanced Women’s Carpentry Only

Please note that our Advanced Women’s Carpentry Class is only available to those who have already taken the Women’s Basic Carpentry Class, either this year or in previous years. We will be running several sessions in 2023, including: April 6-9, May 11-14, June 8-11, July 20-23, August 24-27. These classes will be announced with our New Years Sale, and some more fall dates will open during our Spring Sale.

Regular Pricing: $1,000 – $2,000

Please pay what you can afford.  The median price is suggested to help cover the full cost of hosting this class. Please select the low end of the sliding scale if you are low income. If your household income is over $115,000/year, please select the maximum fee.  Please place yourself in this range where you deem appropriate, based on your income.

Includes Basic and Advanced Women’s Carpentry

Please note that our Advanced Women’s Carpentry Class is only available to those who have already taken the Women’s Basic Carpentry Class.We will be running several sessions in April 6-9, May 11-14, June 8-11, July 20-23, August 24-27.

Regular Pricing:  $1,600 – $2,560

Please pay what you can afford.  The median price is suggested to help cover the full cost of hosting this class. Please select the low end of the sliding scale if you are low income. If your household income is over $115,000/year, please select the maximum fee.  Please place yourself in this range where you deem appropriate, based on your income.