The first time I tried to use my woodstove, I went into the woods and dragged an old tree down to my yard. I cut it into logs and wanted to burn it to heat my home. Much to my dismay, it didn’t burn well at all! Because I was trying to burn a soggy, old, rotted tree. I realized I needed to purchase some actual firewood if I wanted to heat my home with my woodstove. But how much does a cord of wood actually cost? Is it worth it?
The average cost of a cord of firewood is roughly $300, or about 50 cents per piece. However, there are many factors that can affect the price of wood, including the moisture content, how far the wood has traveled, the size of the wood, and even the way it is stacked.
In this article, we’ll talk about how much a cord of wood really costs. We’ll go over how much wood you get in a cord, how much it weighs, as well as the factors that influence how much a cord of wood might cost.
How Much Wood is in a Cord and How Much Does It Cost?
Firewood is sold in bundles, pallets, face cords, or by the cord. If you are looking for a full cord, then you want a stack of firewood that is 8 feet long, 4 feet deep, and 4 feet high. Or you can measure it as 128 cubic feet of firewood. You may need to cut or split the logs in a cord, so they fit into a standard fireplace. However, if you are purchasing a full cord of firewood, you’ll probably be getting anywhere from 600 to 800 pieces of firewood.
According to homeadvisor.com, the average cost for a full cord of firewood is $300. However, it can vary from anywhere between $120 to $900, depending on a number of different factors that we’ll discuss below. The average price, then, for a single piece of firewood, is probably around .50 each.
A full cord of wood will not fit in a standard pickup truck, so if someone is selling you a pickup truck of wood, it probably isn’t actually a cord. That’s ok as long as it is priced accordingly.
A face cord, also known as a rick, is smaller. It is 64 cubic feet and typically 8 feet long and 4 feet high. The logs are usually 16 inches long. So a face cord is considered to be 1/3 of a cord.
The standard length of a typical piece of firewood measures 16 inches when you purchase it in a face cord. A face cord’s average price is about $40 to $300, depending on where you live.
If you are only purchasing a bundle of firewood, you’re probably getting .75 cubic feet of firewood. You can often find them at places like Home Depot, the grocery store, or even the gas station. They may come wrapped in plastic or netting for convenience. Bundles are more expensive per log than cords. A bundle may have just a few pieces of firewood and cost $10 to $20.
Bundles aren’t practical for daily use. They are better for camping trips or the occasional use of a fire pit.
Not every state or locale follows the same guidelines, so make sure you know what you are getting when you purchase firewood. Always work with a reputable dealer and make sure you understand what you are getting.
How Much Firewood Costs
|Amount||Number of Pieces||Average Price||Price Range|
|Full Cord||600-800 pieces||$300||$120 – 900|
|Half Cord||300 – 400 pieces||$150||$60-$450|
|1/3 Cord or Face Cord||200 – 250 pieces||$100||$40 – $300|
|Bundle||Varies||$15||$10 – $20|
How Much Does a Cord of Wood Weigh?
A cord of wood is pretty heavy, but it the actual weight depends on several different factors. Since many firewood companies are small businesses, they are easily affected by outside factors. Typically, a cord of wood will weigh anywhere from 2000 to 3000 pounds. If the wood is green, it might weigh more than if it is dry.
Factors that Affect the Price of Wood
If your wood is green, it will be significantly heavier than if it is dried correctly. However, a seller may sell green wood for less than dried wood, but you’ll have to give it time to season before you can use it.
Burning green wood in the fireplace or wood stove can cause dangerous amounts of creosote to build up on the inside of the chimney, which can cause chimney fires. The damage to your chimney can be expensive and downright dangerous.
The weather in any given season can have a significant influence on the cost of firewood, which then gets passed on to customers. For example, weather influences how long it takes for firewood to dry. It also affects how much work time is available. For instance, if there is an abundance of snow, loggers may not be able to cut down trees to use for firewood.
A wet season may mean it takes longer for firewood to dry. On the other hand, a very dry season may make it easier, which makes the firewood less expensive.
If the weather is too challenging to work through, this can make firewood more scarce and therefore more expensive.
If it’s a good season and firewood is plentiful, of course, the price will be lower. But, on the other hand, if firewood is scarce, then the cost will go up. It all depends on where you live and how much firewood is available there.
It can be challenging to find laborers to do the work of cutting down trees and then splitting them into the right sizes. In addition, if laborers are not readily available to work, or if they are charging high prices for their work, then the cost of the wood may increase.
The type of wood can affect the cost of it, as well. Hardwoods are often twice the price of softwoods, but they burn cleaner and longer. Hardwoods include:
- White Ash
These are woods such as:
Size and Shape of the Wood
Smaller pieces of wood will cost more than larger pieces. However, if you’re buying by the cord, you can fit a lot more small pieces of wood than larger, bulkier pieces. Some contractors will stack the wood loosely, so while it looks like a full cord, there are a lot of spaces between wood. Make sure the wood is stacked correctly, so you know you are getting your money’s worth.
On the other hand, it might save you money to split the wood yourself since wood that is already split is more expensive.
Origination of the Wood
Sometimes, firewood is a byproduct of another business. For example, some arborists will sell firewood cut from the trees they remove. This is an extra way for them to make money on the side and might reduce the cost.
On the other hand, if firewood has to travel long distances, the price will go up due to the cost of hauling the wood.
Tips on Making the Most of Your Firewood Investment
Firewood is expensive, so don’t waste it! Your firewood will cost you more if you don’t use it effectively.
Make sure your fireplace or woodstove is clean and well-maintained both for safety and efficiency. Choose hardwoods that burn long and hot, so you don’t clog up your chimney with creosote and so you get the most efficient heat source.
Larger quantities of wood, such as a cord, are probably less expensive than smaller quantities, such as bundles.
Make sure your firewood is stacked correctly and protected, so you don’t lose your investment.
Don’t purchase firewood by the truckload unless you know how much wood you are actually getting for the price.
Final Thoughts on the Cost of a Cord of Firewood
It can be difficult to gauge just how much firewood you’ll need in a given season, since there are so many factors affecting how well your wood burns and how much it costs. However, it can be a simple and sustainable means of heating your home, but you’ll need to keep in mind that there are a few extra costs involved. You’ll need to factor in the cost of a woodstove (if you don’t already have one) as well as the cost of maintaining it.
You may be able to reduce the cost of your cord of wood by transporting, stacking, and drying it yourself.
How long will a cord of wood last?
If you are using a woodstove as your sole means of heating your home, then a cord of wood will probably last you no more than 5 to 6 six weeks. If you use it as supplement heat, it might last you 10 to 12 weeks. If you only use firewood to create a homey atmosphere, then a cord might last you even longer.
Do I need to pay extra to have my firewood delivered and stacked?
You will most likely have to pay an extra sum to have your wood delivered and/or stacked. It costs about $2 per mile for delivery or possibly a lump sum of roughly $25 or $50. Having your firewood stacked for you is typically an extra fee similar to the delivery fee.