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Home » The Homestead Life

Firewood Storage: Why We Built A Woodshed

Submitted by on November 28, 2016 – 2:29 pm 14 Comments
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Firewood storage, and why you want a woodshed on your homestead.

My goofy husband modeling for scale.

 

We’ve had a lot of projects going on this year. One of our most recently completed projects is the new woodshed my husband built.

Isn’t it glorious?

In all honesty, it was tough for me to justify spending the money to build the structure. In my mind, burning wood to heat our home is supposed to save us money… not cost us money. But after eight years of stacking wood on the ground or on pallets only to find it eaten up with termites, fighting winds to keep a tarp over the pile, and having to buy wood because ours was still wet, I’ve realized that a woodshed is a homestead necessity.

Jerry wanted it large enough to hold four cords of wood, so he built it 16 ft. wide by 5 ft. deep by 10 ft. high at the front (8 ft. at the back). We really don’t know how much wood we need to get through the winter ’cause we’ve never had it all split and stacked at once, so this will be a good test for us to see how much we use.

We figure stacking firewood in a covered structure like this serves several purposes…

1. It keeps the logs from rotting on the ground.

When wood sits directly on top of soil, the natural decomposition process begins to happen. The wood starts to rot, termites get into it, and eventually it’s no good to burn. Having it up off the ground protects the logs from rotting and keeps them solid for burning.

2. A cover keeps the pile dry.

We had a ton of wood get rained on last year, and ended up having to buy wood because our logs were too wet to split and burn. Having a cover over the pile helps to keep it dry and ready to use.

3. The sun will season the wood and keep it dry.

We faced our wood shed on a hillside facing south so that it gets full sun exposure all day. Fresh wood must be dried for several months before it will burn well. Seasoning the wood by allowing it to dry in the sun will help your wood burn more efficiently.

4. Hopefully the snakes will stay out.

Log piles are notorious for snakes to hide in. I’m always worried about the kids playing around the wood piles. I’m hoping that with the wood up off the ground, snakes will prefer to hide under the shelter instead of in the stacked wood.

5. It gives us an idea of how much wood we need for the winter.

By having a structure to fill with wood, we’ll have a better idea of how much we need to split in order to get through the winter. It’s a visual gauge for us to go by, to see if we still need to split more or if we have enough. It gives us a goal to meet.

We’re eager to see how empty the shed will be by the end of Spring. Will it be enough? Surely!

My husband has worked his tail off this year chopping, hauling, and splitting this wood. It feels good to see the woodshed stocked. It’s like money in the bank!

14 Comments »

  • FL Prepper says:

    I have read many articles in the past as to how much wood you need to get you through the winter when people first set out homesteading. After the first winter, many who have tried to estimate said they came to the same conclusion that, no matter how much wood you think you need, Double or triple that original estimate. So I guess you can never have enough. It would be horrible to run out, and then have to try cutting more in a few feet of snow. Anybody out there want to share your thoughts on this? Thx.

    • Kendra says:

      I’ll tell you this, FL Prepper… we’ve burned through all but a cord of the wood from our woodshed and we still have until mid-April for freezing weather. I’m not sure we’re gonna have enough to make it, unless it continues to be unusually warm as it has been here over the past couple weeks. We already have the woodshed almost filled a second time ready to cure for next winter. (My husband is such a hard worker. I’m so grateful for him!) Our stove is terribly inefficient so we’re using a crazy amount of wood. It all depends on how good your stove is, how well your home is laid out to heat evenly (keeping in mind that heat rises), and the type and quality of wood you’re burning. So many factors to consider when trying to estimate how much wood you need. I definitely agree with what you said about it being better to have more than you need than to run out. If you have access to more wood, just keep splitting and stacking and don’t stop until you’ve got nothing more to split.

  • Scott says:

    Hey – nice wood pile and shed!! I think the worry of your wood freezing together is proportional to how wet it is/covered. Very smart to have long pole for bringing down high, top pieces regardless – good suggestion. I like it!! Can’t wait for the final tally 🙂

  • Grandma Susan says:

    Great job, both of you!!

    We are in west central MO, and just put in our woodburning inserts this year. We usually have semi-mild winters, and will only use wood backup in emergency power outages for now. We have no idea how much of our stacked wood we would go through, if that was our only means of heating or cooking.

    I enjoy your newsletters! Keep up the good work!

    P.S. In case I have missed it somewhere, how is your Grandpa?

  • Christie says:

    So- I appreciate your website, but this post made me realize how very different our climates are! We live on the NY side of the Berkshire mountains and we go through 15 cords of wood every winter! We like to have 20 cut and stacked, and we have enough logs on the property for 3 winters at any time ( so 45-60 cords). You must have very mild winters!

    • Kendra says:

      Oh wow, Christie! That’s a ton of wood! Yes, we do have very mild winters, usually. Tomorrow is Nov. 30th and it’s gonna be over 60*, so it’s still pretty warm. We usually don’t get snow until January, and our last frost date is usually around mid-April.

  • Bruce Bellis says:

    Be very careful in the winter. The wood will freeze together and all the wood that is stacked over the height of 6 feet will become a hazard for falling like a wall. If there is any way to put chain or heavy rope across the front of both the front and rear stacks at 6′ and 8′ it should provide some stability. A long pole with a hook will be a great idea to pick pieces off the stack without being right in front of it and not having to climb up on the stacks in the dead of winter. Hope all is well with you and yours, have a great Holiday Season and a Merry Christmas.

    • Kendra says:

      This is great advice, Bruce. Thank you!! I’d never heard of wood freezing together like that. Yikes! I’ll tell Jerry so we can all be safer. Thanks again!

      • Nance says:

        Kendra, Down here in central-ish Texas, we burn 3-4 cords every winter, since 1978. We have NEVER had wood freeze together. (We heat with wood, but use propane for cooking and water heating.) My dad built our woodshed before the house was finished. (Okay, so the house has never been finished, but the woodshed is still shielding our wood.) And this year, we still have not had a frost, but tomorrow is our average FF Day, and our average last frost is March 1.

        Maine is obviously way different than us southern states.

  • shelby says:

    this is great!!! i love the goofiness. he has every right to have that big cheesy grin…it looks fabulous. enjoy it!

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