Firewood prices can vary greatly depending on your location and the type of wood you are buying. It will also depend on what type of cord is being sold. When comparing the cost of a cord of wood, you really have to consider the variables involved, otherwise it is like comparing apples to oranges. For full cords, firewood prices can range from $150 per cord to over $400 per cord. The rest of this article should help you determine if you are getting a good value when you buy firewood.
The first thing in determining the cost is to make sure you and the buyer are talking about the same thing when you are discussing a cord of firewood. A full cord is 128 cubic feet of tightly stacked wood. In many states, that is the only legal firewood measurement. But many firewood dealers try to sell firewood by the rick, face cord or fireplace cord. In many areas, these measurements are not legal because they are confusing and not not exact amounts. A rick of wood, a face cord, and fireplace cord can be as little as only 1/3 the amount of wood as a full cord. So make sure the person you are buying firewood from is selling by the full cord or fraction of a cord. If they refuse or give you any lip about it, find someone else.
The cost of a cord of firewood will usually vary between hardwood and softwood. Dense hardwoods will usually cost more than softwood. This is because there is more energy in dense wood. You may think you are saving money by buying cheaper firewood, but if it has less heat, you may not be getting a good value. These firewood BTU charts can help you in determining the amount of heat in different types of firewood.
Green firewood will usually cost less than dry firewood. There is usually more time and labor involved in drying firewood, so sellers will usually give a discount if you buy the wood green and dry it yourself. This can be a great way to get cheaper firewood. I encourage my customers to buy green wood. Just make sure you buy it well ahead of time so it will have plenty of time to dry.
Firewood prices can vary greatly depending on what area you are in. This can depend on how much wood is grown in the area and the distance it must be shipped. In areas where there are a lot of local forest products being produced, often the price of firewood will be less since wood in the area is likely abundant. But not always. Sometimes areas with well established forest industries have more valuable, or less labor intensive uses for the wood, which makes wood for firewood more scarce. So when comparing wood prices, make sure you are comparing them in your local area.
When comparing firewood prices, be sure and factor in all the variables so you are comparing value and not just cost alone.