When we search “How much is a cord of wood near me” – we’re simply looking for the Cord of Wood “Price” and “Quantity” of Firewood we will get, for what the vendor is asking.
However, many advertisements you encounter searching for “a cord of wood near me” can be vague or misleading in what they’re offering. Some will advertise a price for a “pickup truck full of wood” – Ok, who’s pickup truck – Is that a full-size pickup or a small pickup truck?
Today we’ll explore “what is a cord” and “how to avoid paying to much for one”
How Much Does Firewood Cost?
The National average cost below will guide you, however, keep in mind that market and weather conditions and overall Supply and Demand (the competition) in your area can greatly affect annual pricing.
Here are the average 2020 prices for Firewood across the United States:
On average the Cost for “Hardwood” firewood (more expensive than softwood) should run between $300-$450 per cord for Oak or Maple, with Hickory on the high side at $800 per cord, and Mesquite as low as $300 per cord. “Mixed” hardwood and softwood firewood should always be cheaper.
The cost for just “Softwood” Firewood, such as Pine or Juniper should run between $200-$250/cord. Softwood is a generally considered less desirable firewood, due to it’s inherent faster burning time, and creosote build-up that can lead to chimney fires, making it less popular for burning in an indoor fireplace. (See “Pine” below).
Firewood Delivery Cost
For Local Firewood Delivery expect that to vary greatly as well, anywhere from $100/load to FREE depending on the price the vendor is charging for the firewood itself.
Our suggestion – Become a savvy shopper, then once you find a trustworthy source, you can spend less time searching for firewood next season.
Some Services also provide Firewood Stacking onsite at your place – usually for an extra $20 – $30 bucks, but it might be worth it, as they will be forced to demonstrate the size of the stack is an actual “Cord” 🙂
If you need to add some “electrical” type heat to your indoor space – check out the most efficient space heaters.
How Much Is A Cord of Wood?
To further understand the “Sizes” Firewood is Sold: Here are all the measurements for a “Full Cord of Wood”, a “Half-cord of Wood”, “1/4 Cord of Wood”, “Rick of wood”, and even a “Face cord of wood”.
“Full Cord” of Wood: 4′ high x 4′ wide x 8′ in Length
What a Cord of wood Is Not; It is not a weight or a shape. The term cord does not apply to anything other than Wood. Bushels measure grains such as corn and wheat; pecks are for apples and pears, and of course, we buy our chicken by the bucket! 🙂
However, there are some parts of the world where they Do refer to a Full cord of wood as a Bush Cord (Canada?)
Other Sizes of Firewood (U.S. standards)
“1/2 Cord” of Wood: 4′ High x 4′ wide x 4′ Length
“1/4 Cord” Of Wood: 4′ High x 16″ wide x 6′ Length
I often see listings for sizes other than a traditional cord of wood, and it would behoove us to learn what those are.
For those of us who are wondering how much is a 1/4 cord of wood, it is only 32 cubic feet while a 1/2 cord of wood is 64 cubic feet. Quite a few retailers will offer a “face cord” of wood. This term is a little tricky because it does not conform to exact measurements. Instead, it is the length and height of a full cord of wood, but it’s only one log deep (the cut logs are usually 16-18 inches long). Thus, the face cord resembles a full cord when viewing it from the front (or face).
Sometimes I find advertisements for a truckload of wood. While this is a very inaccurate measurement, we can make some sense out of it. Whether the truck is a short bed pickup truck with a 1/2 ton rating or just a small pickup with a 1/4 ton payload capacity, we should expect to find no more than a 1/2 cord of wood in the truck bed whether it has racks or not.
An extended bed pickup with a 1/2 or even 3/4 ton payload limit can still only hold about 1/2 cord of wood without racks, but with installed racks, the capacity should double, and a full load can be safely carried. Likewise, a standard 1-ton truck with high racks can take a full cord of wood.
Nevertheless, whenever I’m hauling my own wood, I’m always careful to estimate the weight and consult my owner’s manual to ensure that my truck can safely and legally carry the weight I’m loading into it.
“Face Cord” of Wood: 4′ High x 16 – 18″ Wide x 8′ Deep
Quite a few retailers will offer a “face cord” of wood. This term is a little tricky because it does not conform to exact measurements. Instead, it is the length and height of a full cord of wood, but it’s only one log deep like a “Rick” (the cut logs are usually 16-18 inches long). Thus, the face cord resembles a full cord when viewing it from the front (or face).
Rick of Firewood
You may, in addition, find a lot of advertisements for different kinds of wood, and a lot of different measurements for the size of the lots they’re selling. I encounter full cords, 1/2 cord of wood, 1/4 cord, face cords, truckloads, and ricks.
History of Firewood (For all you firewood nerds)
Although firewood has been a part of the American tradition since its colonial days, the term “cord” has become as mysterious to most people as the distance of a furlong, the length of a fortnight, or the speed of a knot.
A comfy fire in the living room is one of the great pleasures of winter, and while artificial logs and gas fireplaces have encroached on firewoods honored position, the number of households in America that utilize firewood as the primary heating source is actually increasing. According to the US Energy Information Administration, in 2012, approximately 2 and a half million homes relied on firewood as their primary energy source for home heating. This total had increased from only 1.9 million households in 2005.
Americans are buying a lot of firewood these days, and with all of the new buyers out there, the question gets asked more every year. How much is a cord of wood?
For folks who still need a little more “detail – here’s the whole story!
Etymological researchers have traced the term “cord” back to the 1300s when it began to be used to describe string or small rope composed of several different strands. The earliest record for the term of a cord of wood first appeared in the 1610s when wood was measured and sold by the length of the cord that bound it, though we have no record as to how long their cord was.
Official Size of a Cord of Wood:
A cord is an official measurement of volume that applies to “Fireplace and Stove Wood” that was most recently established at the 99th National Conference on Weights and Measures in 2014. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) later documented the conclusions of the conference in 2015 when they published the “Uniform Laws and Regulations in the Areas of Legal Metrology and Engine Fuel Quality.”
This process and documentation became known as the NIST Handbook #130 and was published in 2015. In section 220.127.116.11, NIST defined “Fireplace and Stove Wood” as “any kindling, logs, boards, timbers, or other wood, natural or processed, split or not split, advertised, offered for sale, or sold for use as fuel.”
In section 18.104.22.168, NIST described a “Cord” as “The amount of wood that is contained in the space of 128 cubic feet when the wood is ranked and well stowed. For the purpose of this regulation, “ranked and well stowed” shall be construed to mean that pieces of wood are placed in a line or row, with individual pieces touching and parallel to each other, and stacked compactly.”
This mandate means that both the buyer and seller should ensure that the wood is not stacked haphazardly to increase the volume. We all know that it is next to impossible to take a product out of a box and then make everything fit back into it. We can find the room because great care went into placing all of the pieces into it in such a way as there was no wasted space – no air between the components.
More Firewood History?
Some of us might still be thinking to ourselves, “OK, this is all very interesting, and I appreciate the information, but I have a hard time picturing 128 cubic feet of something. Exactly how much is a cord of wood?” Cubic feet is actually quite simple to both calculate; Square footage refers to the product of the length times the width of some space, so a cubic measurement merely adds one more dimension to the equation. We need to multiply the length x width x height to get our 3-dimensional measurement.
While this configuration could theoretically be put together in any number of configurations, most professionals I find selling firewood near me will assemble a cord 4 feet wide, 8 feet long, and 4 feet high. However, if the wood is short lengthwise, it might be better to arrange it as 2 feet wide x 4 feet tall x 16 long.
It is not uncommon to hear stories of firewood buyers ordering a cord of wood and receiving a truckload. Some firewood sellers apparently think that they can offer a cord and deliver a large pile. Either through ignorance or malice, they are misleading their customers and engaging in fraud if their truckload doesn’t stack into a measured cord.
By the way, for those of you who would prefer to keep all Ten Fingers when cutting your firewood into Kindling, check out this Super Cool – and much safer tool you can use:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Firewood
How Much Does a Cord of Wood Weigh?
The weight of the cord will depend on the type of wood. Hardwood can weigh twice as much as pine, so a cord of Oak might tip the scales at 5,000 pounds while a softer wood might be as little as 2,500 pounds. The age and dryness of the wood will also affect the weight.
What is the Best Type of FireWood to Buy
For those who haven’t experimented much with different kinds of wood, Oak is a very dense wood that grows throughout North America and is probably the best option available. Its density makes it a slow burner that requires very little to keep it going. The trouble with Oak is getting the fire started, so a little pine mixed in can do the trick.
When I’m searching for firewood near me, I sometimes have a choice between Red and White Oak. From my experience, I would say that the White Oak burns a little better and possesses a more pleasing aroma than the Red. However, white oak can be more difficult to split than the Red Oak, so if you do the splitting yourself, Red would be the better option.
If you’re good working with wood – check out the “Cheapest way to build a Wood Privacy Fence”
Both Red and White pine is popular for firewood. On the positive side, pine splits and cures easily, starts, and burns quickly. Unfortunately, its high resin and sap content makes it messy and unpredictable. While the crackling and popping noise of the pine fire is charming, this noise results from the ignition of pockets of sap.
These sap pockets can spark and send flames outside of your fire and ignite on the carpet – simply put – Pine is ideal for outdoor fires, but not for use indoors.
Though it exudes a pleasant aroma, Pine should not be burned inside. Extra pecial care should be considered when burning pine. Even more troubling, creosotes can build up in the chimney, if not cleaned regularly and potentially cause a fire.
Doug Fir is another excellent softwood that can be burned as firewood. When searching for firewood, I often encounter cords of Douglas Fir for sale. Though it doesn’t ignite as quickly or efficiently as pine, it is knot free and conveniently splits in smaller kindling size chunks for fire starting. While it generates more heat than some hardwoods, it is a low-density wood, so the oxygen content in the fire is elevated resulting in a faster burning fire.
Whenever I’m looking for firewood, I often find Maple in abundant quantities. It is another excellent hardwood for fires that produce little smoke. However, I find it more difficult to split than Oak. Though it burns slower than Oak, it does so at a lower temperature.
Birch is a quick starting hardwood that generates a lot of heat. Unfortunately, it also burns rapidly and requires more attention and maintenance. I try to use it as kindling or mix it with other logs for a more sustainable fire.
One time when I was searching for firewood near me, I had the good fortune of stumbling across a cord of Black Locust. It forms hot coals as it burns and radiates sufficient heat for an extended period. Moreover, the Locust coals eventually consume themselves and leave very little ash to clean up. However, while burning, Black Locust tends to pop and throw sparks, and some users complain that its aroma is unpleasant.
Once you have your Firewood cut and in place – Check out how to build a DIY fire pit – The cheapest way!
If you’re in the mood to harvest vs. buy your own firewood, please check out our article best chainsaws for homeowners. If you do decide to gather your own wood, make sure you check with local authorities or landowners first, to get a permit or permission first. Looking to Harvest your Own Wood? If you’re doing a lot of lumbering on your property, you may want to consider a wood chipper shredder for easier cleanup.
How To Stack Firewood
The simplest way of stacking firewood is to use the free-stack method. With this method, simply choose an open (for ventilation) area, and lay each log next to and on top of each other, forming a long row of firewood. To maintain the height and configuration of the firewood stack, you can place two – 4 ft. poles in the ground at either end to support the stack, or use “crib ends”, alternating each row of logs to create a supporting structure.
In addition, we recommend stacking firewood well away from your house to dry and cure. While winter certainly kills them, wood attracts various bugs – including termites, which you definitely don’t want in your house. Keep your woodpile at least 50 -100 ft. from your home, and if possible, bring firewood indoors that is ready to burn.
Video: How To Properly Stack Firewood “Without Supports”
Where to Buy Firewood
In a word – Use a search engine such as “Google” or “Bing” – An internet search engine Is simply the fastest way to find firewood in your area these days. You may also find good options for local firewood by word of mouth, stores that sell chainsaws, or wood splitters.
We hope this article has helped you determine How much is a cord of wood and Why to Heat with wood. To find the best possible deal for the available firewood near me, I am careful to consider all of the potential variables, and so should you. First of all, determine how much is a cord of wood.
Get at least two estimates from reputable dealers. Is the wood already pre-split into burnable pieces? This is a big one to ask! Will they deliver it, or do I need to pick it up? Thus, the advertised firewood prices near me are only a starting point in my research for the best possible deal for the money I’m spending.
Additional Reference & Reading:
Another fun DIY Project – How to Build Your Own Corn Hole Board Set” – BestHomeGear.com
Firewood Primer – Which Wood Burns Best: BobVilla.com
Tree Branches in Your Way? Get the “Best Cordless Pole Saw” at Amazon – BestHomeGear.com
Easy Yard Clean Up – “The Best Cordless Leaf Blowers You Can Buy” – BestHomeGear.com
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