Wood Warms in Wonderful Ways

Wood Warms in Wonderful Ways

Many of us here in New Hampshire have heard it said, “Wood heats you twice.” If that firewood nestled in the wallsounds unfamiliar, it simply means the physical labor of stacking and hauling firewood warms your body from the exertion and burning the wood warms the house. There is something about wood heat that penetrates a body, in from the cold weather outside. The heat is radiant and penetrating. The glow of embers and flickering light of flames animate the light and add ambiance to a cozy room.

As a natural energy resource, wood is 100 percent renewable. Cordwood is abundant in New Hampshire and throughout the Northeast. It is among the least expensive fuels per BTU (measured energy output) available. And it is beautiful in appearance. Stacked firewood adds a lovely visual touch to certain spaces – inside and outside. Here in temperate climates, we expect to see some firewood stacked adjacent the fireplace and woodstove. The presence of neatly stacked rows of cordwood outside a home in full view speaks of a homeowner well prepared for the cold season.

Wood storage planning is an opportunity to create a look and feel that many people are naturally drawn to because of the natural beauty; colors and textures of cut firewood. Here’s where a designer can help you plan and build, if necessary, outdoor and indoor storage space as well as the amount of visibility you would prefer.

Logs can be round or split at irregular angles, either triangular or trapezoidal (4-sided). Some prefer only the round logs cut from smaller tree branches and many wood dealers can accommodate round-only cordwood orders. Generally, a standard firewood order will include some of all three cuts, mostly angular. The different appearances of round-only compared with angular cut wood stacks are quite distinct from each other. You may want to experiment with different wood cuts to see which one you like best.

Cordwood Quality is Important

The best time to order firewood is late spring to midsummer, should you want to customize your order. If you wait until fall, it’s likely you’ll need to accept whatever is left on the dealer’s lot. And beware, not all wood dealers are alike! The cleanliness and appearance of the wood can be a huge issue. Mud, sand, mold, fungus, and rot can be major quality problems from dubious cordwood sources. It’s a good idea to thoroughly inspect a random selection of logs from the truck before you allow the driver to unload the wood on your property. Checking references ahead of time is also a good idea unless you have a good supplier whom you trust.

firewood stacked off the kitchenDecorative and functional firewood can be beautifully integrated into modern-contemporary designs as well as in traditional or rustic. Utilizing existing areas of the home can be easy enough, but planning for and building in storage space for your wood may be your best bet to optimize spatial use. Whether it’s a closet, sturdy shelving, open crawlspace, a wall unit or a modular rack system, there are so many options for you and your designer to be creative, and have some fun in the process.

3W design has decades of experience working with New Hampshire homeowners who enjoy their fireplaces and woodstoves. See a nice selection of ideas and examples of beautiful, functional indoor firewood storage.


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One comment on “Wood Warms in Wonderful Ways

  1. Like your tip on checking a few random pieces of firewood before you let them unload the truck. Still thinking about decorating with firewood as I’m not sure I like the look during the warmer part of the year, and I generally read that you want to be careful about bugs and such.

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