This has always been a trickier question than it seems. The costing estimate for your firewood requirements always depends on a whole bunch of other variables. However, we shall guide you through this article and try to answer most of the questions you have on this front.
Let us start with the factors which impact the pricing of firewood.
Season: The demand for firewood raises exponentially during winters which directly has an impact on the pricing. During the peak seasons, vendors charge a premium on it and hence pricing also goes high. You should look to buy your stock right before the weather hits cold in spring or summer when the demand is low and supply is high which eventually results in low pricing.
Location: Your home location also has an impact on the cost of firewood. If you live in an area that has woods in the vicinity, the supply and transportation eventually become easier, and the costs go low.
Volume: For fuelling up your fireplace or wood-burning stove, you can either buy a few racks and split it yourself or you can stock up a truckload at the same time. For obvious reasons, a few racks would cost more on a per rack basis than a truckload. That is why if you are looking to use the firewood for the entire season, stocking up in large volume can prove to be a more cost-effective option for you.
Quality: You need to understand that cheaper firewood might not always be the right kind of wood you are looking for in your fireplace or wood-burning stove. Sometimes, you can find green firewood at a low cost or firewood cut from the trees whose wood is not best suitable for burning. Hence, the quality of firewood also impacts its cost.
Cost of Firewood
Generally, the firewood is sold in the market on per cord or rick basis. The volume of a cord is typically 128 cubic feet. One can stack the woods in any fashion which gets covered in this volume; however, usually, it is kept in 4x4x8 feet (128 cubic feet) dimensions. A full cord weighs around 5000 pounds.
The typical cost of a cord of seasoned hardwood ranges from $100 to $300. It depends on the quality of the firewood and from where you purchase it. You can explore the market and look for a good deal. These suppliers keep on giving advertisements in local newspapers. You can keep a lookout for the same. You can also explore online options on craigslist and other such websites.
As the cost of firewood depends upon a lot of factors, you may end up getting confused about estimating the best price in your local area. In such a case, finding out the average price always proves to be a good starting reference point. This helps in spotting the best deal on firewood in your area. Anything between $120 to $180 can be considered to be a bargain. This is an average price which means on some days you have to pay less and on some days you have to pay more.
You can also buy firewood basis the truck size. A small or short-bed pickup truck can hold about a half cord of firewood with or without a rack (two load tickets needed). A long bed pickup truck can carry half a cord of firewood without a rack (two load tickets needed) and around one cord of wood with a rack (four load tickets needed). A standard truck can hold around one and a half cords of wood (six load tickets required).
How to find the best deals on firewood
The best place to start exploring a good deal is always your local market area. You can get good quality firewood which might have been procured recently by your local supplier. It is advisable if you haven’t found anything good in the local market, then only to start searching in stores like Walmart. These stores typically buy in bulk and store it. There is always a possibility of harboring invasive pests present in the old stock which is not preferred.
You can also keep a lookout for crews who do clean up after a storm. Generally, they get all kinds of wood that need to be offloaded and you can get a pretty good deal with them. Don’t forget to check at local sawmills if there are any spare nonusable logs. On similar lines, you can also check with local construction and tree trimming enterprises as they also get a lot of scrap wood that needs to be cleared.
As a desperate measure, you can also use aged wooden pallets as firewood but that needs to be used cautiously as they have all types of chemicals which may prove to be harmful.
Best time to buy firewood
The cost of firewood keeps on varying throughout the year depending upon the season, demand & supply, and a host of other factors. However, the spring season proves to be the best time to get the best prices.
People are not in a hurry to buy firewood in this season so demand & supply is optimized. Another reason to buy it during spring is that you have about 5-6 months for the winters. This time can be utilized to season the firewood by the end of fall.
All you need is to place it in a zigzag pattern in an open area where it gets good sunlight and wind to blow through.