Wood and Wood Storage

As I’m sure many of you are, we’re looking toward spring, which for us, also means looking toward next winter by getting the firewood cut and split so it can begin drying out.

Heating exclusively with our wood burning stove is pretty new to us. We moved to our Little House in 2007, but didn’t begin heating with just the woodstove until the winter of 2009 after a major ice storm showed us how much we could save without using the electric space heaters.

Thanks to that ice storm, we still have plenty of wood for next winter, people practically beg us to come and pick the wood up from their property. A good friend and neighbor has also let us use his log splitter.

We’re really committed to getting all of the wood cut, split and stacked for winter next year so we have a good supply of seasoned wood. Since we didn’t do it last spring, most of our wood this year is still pretty green. The trees were down, but we learned the wood doesn’t dry out until it is actually cut and split.

As well, with no cover, it has been open to the massive amounts of rain we got in the fall and the snows we’ve gotten this winter. We’ve been bringing enough to use for a couple of weeks time under the covered front porch, but I would like to have someplace other than my porch to store the wood.

I wish we would have researched this before building our Little House, I probably would have also had a wood box built into either the inside wall near the stove or on the covered front porch.

I’ve read up on seasoning and storing firewood and we’re planning on building something that keeps the newly split wood off of the ground, while allowing air to circulate, as well as exposing it to the hot summer sun.

The second aspect is moving the seasoned firewood to a woodshed or under some sort of cover this fall.

I’ve read about covered sheds that are open on all sides, as well as covered sheds that are 3-sided.

Quite frankly, I didn’t find any photos of ones that are suitable for our needs. Most of them on the Internet are for the “hobby” wood burners, not big enough for those of us who heat exclusively with wood.

We need a large covered shed or open structure that can warehouse enough wood for a winter, which for us, is at least 2 cords.

I know there are some readers here who heat primarily or only with wood and I’m interested in hearing what you think would be the best course for us for a woodshed. Comment and if you like, send Kent some photos of woodsheds here and he’ll show them off in a few days.

Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell is a full-time writer who lives in a 480-square foot home with her husband and 4 dogs. She blogs about their lives at Living Large in our Little House, as well as blogging about pet rescue at K9 Cuisine. She is an occasional guest on the Tiny House Blog.

16 Comments Wood and Wood Storage

  1. Jesse S

    I suggest something like Jamaica Cottage Shop’s 6×14 Wood Bin, http://www.jamaicacottageshop.com/6x14woodbin.asp. This is a traditional New England design that has proven itself over time. (I have no connection with Jamaica Cottage Shop, in case anyone is wondering.) You can build something similar out of dimensional lumber if you don’t want to buy their timber-frame kit.

    Reply
  2. Jesse S

    PS–Jamaica’s 6×14 Wood Bin precut kit is on sale for $1400 this month, and I believe they do ship around the country.

    Reply
  3. JP

    When we did that in Michigan. we just used four trees in the right spacing, and put down some sacrificial Jack Pine logs, halved,(cedar would have been better, but you use what you have) and stacked the outer edges as walls and tossed the rest of the split wood into the center.
    By spring, we were starting to use the side cords.
    We also could get away with using poor wood like Jack Pine, Poplar(quaking aspen) and the like as our furnace was a multilevel that burned the gasses in a separate chamber and we never had creosote build up due to the design. It was true wood furnace and had hot water ability, and we used it as a forced air. The only thing I’d do differently would be to make a platform to hold the wood off the ground. I’d have to get the axe to knock the wood off the frozen ground sometimes.
    My uncles both used a tarp over their piles. we never roofed ours at all.

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  4. Carey Huffman

    Hi,

    We live on an island where power can go out for a week or more at a time. We have heated our house solely with our wood stove and keep a cord and a half on hand just in case (We would never use this much for even a two week outage, but my wife likes to have lots extra just in case!).
    We are using an old 2×4 and plywood three sided lean-to with a floor and a roof to store part of it and the rest sits on pallets that we use as a floor and then just cover the top with tarps. We stack the wood in rows with the logs on alternating rows turned 90 degrees to keep the air flow passing through.
    We live on the Puget Sound where there is a decent amount of rain and I don’t notice any difference between the lean-to wood and the pallet and tarp wood when it comes to burning.
    In short, I don’t think you need a shed to effectively store winter wood. They sure can be pretty though. Best of luck with your search.

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  5. C.

    2 cords!!?? Wow. I grew up in a house in northern MN that uses one cord a winter, at most, and is around 1600 sq. ft. I guess passive solar really bends the equation out of normal.

    Our woodshed, for many years, was built from pallets. Collected from construction waste or garbage dumpsters. The floor and walls were all pallets just nailed together. The roof was framed with either tar paper or leftover shingles. we were very poor but the wood was nicely dry and the pallets blocked a whole lot more wind than I ever though possible. It wasn’t pretty but it was cheap, quick and very useful for it’s purpose.

    Reply
  6. Moontreeranch

    We just purchased our 5th cord for the season and we might need one more yet before the snow is gone.

    I built a simple shed with 3 complete sides plus 1/2 side for the front. We have a tarp that we use as a door to limit the drifting in our extreme winters.

    you can read about it and see part of the woodshed in some pics

    http://kmswoodworks.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/no-glacier-this-year/

    I built this shed for about $40…using some gifted wood, and some wood from the old deck, when I rebuilt it with Ipe about 10 years ago. It holds just under two cords, and is 4 x 12 and a little over 6 feet high in the front.

    it sits at the end of the drive, so most deliveries are pretty straight forward. It is also only about 10 feet from the front door…so our multiple trips each day…are not much of a hike.

    Reply
  7. Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

    Thanks again, everyone, for the links and the photos.
    C.-You were using ONLY a woodstove to heat? We used to use 1 cord a winter in the city (KC) and that was just using the fireplace on the weekends. My aunt down the road uses about 4 cords and they rely on electric heat backup, which usually only kicks in during the middle of the night.

    Reply
  8. Anna

    We’re always big
    proponents of cheap and easy to build.  My husband built an
    open-sided woodshed out of mostly found materials for next to nothing
    this fall, and it worked great (although we wished it was twice as
    big.)  I’m trying to embed a picture, but not sure if it’ll come
    through.  If so, it shows a few steps in the building
    process.  If not, you can see them on our blog at http://waldeneffect.org/blog/Home_made_firewood_shed_part_2/.

    Reply

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