6/17/2013: Summer is the perfect time to order firewood

Trust me.  I learned this lesson the hard way.

Our first year on Randlett, I couldn’t wait for the fall so we could get the fireplace going on NFL Sundays.  We had just moved from a drafty condo with no fireplace, so the idea of a warm fire and Brady throwing for 500 yards every Sunday really appealed to me.  Then I made what will forever be known as “el tres mistakes.”

1.) I waited until September to order firewood.  Rookie move.  The wood had no time to dry   in the cool, wet air.  Wood takes about 3-4 months to dry, or less in the summer.

2.) I trusted the guy when he told me the wood was “seasoned.”  Big mistake.  The wood was cut like yesterday.  It’s very easy to tell fresh from seasoned firewood: fresh wood is lighter in color and is heavy.  (Newly cut wood can retain about 50% more water than seasoned wood.)  Good luck starting a fire with wet wood.  It’s smokey and hisses.

3.) I ordered an entire cord of firewood.  I must have been reading Game of Thrones and thought winter was coming.  A cord is A LOT of wood.  A 1/2 cord will get you through the winter — maybe two.

Here’s what I learned: order seasoned firewood in the summer.  It’s cheaper this time of year and if it shows up fresh, you still have a few months to dry it.  If the wood arrives fresh, call and ask for a refund. 1/2 cord of wood (oak, maple, ash) can be purchased for about $225.

Fresh wood in the middle, dry on the sides.
Fresh wood in the middle, seasoned on the sides.

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