Storing Firewood

Now that you have purchased your firewood, where will you put it? Storing your firewood properly will ensure that the wood is dry and ready to use when you need it. This is a guide about storing firewood.

Firewood stacked against the side of a house.

November 2, 2007 Flag
Fisher Swanson1 found this helpful

Buying Firewood

It's always best to shop for firewood before you need it. Sometimes you can find great deals in the spring and summer, before people are thinking about cool weather and warming their home. Good places to find postings of wood for sale are: Your local newspaper's classified ads. Grocery store, church or post office bulletin boards. Signs posted around the neighborhood.

Most firewood is sold in cords, face cords, ricks or truckloads.

  • Cord: A cord of firewood measures 8 feet long x 4 feet wide x 4 feet tall.
  • Face Cord: A face cord is 8 feet long, 4 feet tall but only as wide as one stack of wood. This is usually about half the size of a cord or less.
  • Rick: A rick is basically a pile, the size can vary quite a bit.
  • Truck Load: The size of a truck load will depend on how large the truck is and whether it's thrown in the truck or stacked.
  • Find Dry (Seasoned) Wood

    It takes 8 to 12 months to dry (season) wood for burning so unless you have wood on hand already you will want to purchase dry wood. Dry wood burns longer, cleaner and produces greater heat. Unseasoned wood creates a potentially dangerous creosote buildup in your chimney.


    Hardwood Burns Longer

    When shopping around for wood keep in mind that hardwood is going to burn up to twice as long as softwood. So just because a cord of softwood might be cheaper doesn't mean you are getting a good deal. Softwood is effective for kindling or mixing with hardwood but hardwood will burn longer, tends to burn cleaner and will produce more heat. Examples of softwood: Pine, Fir, Cedar. Examples of hardwood: Oak, Ash, Madrona.

    Storing Firewood

    Store wood off the ground and protect it from weather.

    You will want to store wood about 4 inches off the ground. Any wood on the ground will collect insects and rot more quickly. You will also want to keep it covered from rain and snow.

    Keep wood away from the house.

    Wood against the side of your house could attract wood loving insects like termites who will start nibbling on your house. It also keeps air from circulating around the wood which will help keep it dry.


    Try not to store wood for more than a year once it's dried.

    This isn't a hard and fast rule. You can store dry wood for more than a year but at some point it will start to rot and collect tons of insects. Make sure to use your oldest wood first.

    Bring wood in as you need it.

    While it's nice to have a lot of wood on hand in the house, you inevitably bring in insects even if you clean off the wood. So don't bring more than a days worth of wood into your home at a time. A wood pile in your house is basically a guest room for little critters.

    Do you have any more tips to add?

    Comment On This PostWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    September 2, 20040 found this helpful

    Be careful around wood piles, they also attract Snakes! A friend of mine found a Rattler in hers & managed to chase it away. However Rattlers frequently come as mated pairs. Luckily this was not one of those times.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    September 15, 20060 found this helpful

    A cord of firewood is 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet.Sometimes you can get shorted a cord by unscrupulous wood dealers.This happens more than one thinks.So make sure when the wood is delivered you are getting a full cord.We had that problem in my state and the AttorneyGeneral put out a bulletin through the newspapers and tv to contact them if you were shorted on a cord of wood.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    November 2, 20080 found this helpful

    It is best not to burn softwoods, many house fires are caused by softwoods being burnt in the house. Softwoods create more soot and turn to tar. The tar goes up the chimney and sticks to the sides and eventually catches on fire, and there goes the house too.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    November 3, 2008 Flag
    2 found this helpful

    Re-purpose your Igloo Shaped Dog house for storing some firewood. Our dog refused to use the Dog-Loo we bought her years ago. I got the idea to store a stash of firewood in it to keep it dry and easily accessible by our back door. Our woodpile is located in the far end of our yard, which is exposed to the elements.

    So having some dry wood stored in the 'dog house', keeps it available for when my husband gets the urge to use the fireplace. He also uses the dry wood for his smoker grill. I see the dog-loo's at Garage Sales and on the roadside for trash pickup, and it seemed they would be handy for other uses.

    By Mary C. from Orange Park, FL

    Comment On This PostWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    December 2, 20090 found this helpful

    In my area, wood has to be off the ground because of the little "critters" roaming around!

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    December 2, 20090 found this helpful

    Oh gosh, how I laughed. This from Florida! Snow is so deep here in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont that I have to keep wood for my stove in my front hall in a big rack (at least 1/2 a cord). This will not last the whole winter, of course. It will need to be replenished. And I don't even use it to heat the house--just to cozy the kitchen area. How many of those Igloos would I need?

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    July 25, 2011 Flag
    1 found this helpful

    Tublar firewood rack.Keeping firewood elevated is so important. It not only keeps it safe from rain and the damp ground, but all the bugs and critters are less likely to move in. By keeping our wood off the ground, we have found that snakes are less likely to crawl in too.

    We also cover our wood with a canvas to keep the rain off. I still uncover the wood carefully just in case one of the a fore mentioned critters decides to pay us a visit. I prefer a metal firewood bin such as the in the picture attached. It is made of metal rather than wood, and can be bought or made any size you need.

    By Doris from TX

    Comment On This PostWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    July 25, 20110 found this helpful

    Thanks for posting Doris, We stack our wood too,Don't want the cridders in either! :)

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    April 16, 2008 Flag
    1 found this helpful

    After reading the tip for buying firewood, I wanted to remind you how to keep the firewood "from going bad". The wood needs to be elevated off the ground and kept covered.

    Comment On This PostWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    December 2, 2008 Flag

    Get 4 wooden shipping pallets and two 8 foot steel fence posts. Lay two of the pallets on the ground away from the house. Have someone hold the other pallet on end then drive one of the steel posts into the ground about three feet.

    Comment On This PostWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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